FilmCom

Independent Feature Film Project Plan

Primarily Used to Secure Funding and Participation of Key Players

Contents:

  • Project Summary
  • Story Synopsis
  • Profit Centers
  • Project Team
  • Bankable Attachments and/or Targets
  • Marketing Elements Specific to Project
  • Distribution Strategy
  • Budget Production and Marketing to Distribution
  • Financing Plan
  • Comparables
  • Risk
  • ROI [Anticipated Profits Over Time]
  • Project Schedule / Funding Release Schedule

APPENDIX

  • Full Script
  • Director Reel
  • Soundtrack Sampler
  • Promo DVD for Project
  • Letter/s of Attachment or Interest from Bankable Talent
  • Letter of Attachment or Interest from Director
  • Letter of Commitment or Interest from Financing Source
  • Letter/s of Interest from Merchandising Entities
  • Letter of Interest from Record Label / Distributor for Soundtrack
  • Relevant Locations Photos
  • Relevant Illustrations [Costumes, Merchandise Designs etc]
  • Newspaper, Magazine, Internet Articles Supporting Interest in Subject Matter
  • Any Other Information Supporting Viability or Profitability of the Project

NOTE 1: All plans are built over time. You start with whatever info you have, and build from there. As you build the plan, you use what you’ve built to interest other parties in the project; then you build them into the plan as they become formally involved.

NOTE 2: This is an optimum plan. Not every plan will involve all of these elements. Incorporate everything you can provide that will explain and support the project.

NOTE 3: Do not show this to a potential distributor or network – particularly information related to budget — as they should not know the budget of your project when you are negotiating a licensing or acquisition deal for the completed project. If the distributor is acting as a co-producer on the project and providing production funding, budget will naturally become an issue. In general, distributors are interested in the end product, recognizable actors, a strong script, talent of the directors, and any marketing elements unique to the project.

FilmNashville Project Plan______2

Project Summary

>>>provides a thumbnail overview of everything about the project, such as what kind of project it is, a couple of lines about the story, the production team, target market, and so on — basically it’s a compressed overview of all the other sections to follow, and you get going on it first, then build all other pages, then come back and refine the Project Summary — i.e., constructing a project plan, itself, is a process. you also want to indicate the type of legal entity the project is ; i.e. and LLC [Limited Liability Corporation], LP {Limited Partnership], C Corporation etc

Story Synopsis

>>>Story Synopsis – this is purely an overview of the characters and plot [it does not talk about any business aspects, target market, distribution etc]

Profit Centers

>>>these are all the different ways any given project can earn revenues, and it varies from project to project. i.e., Schindler’s List basically had domestic and foreign distribution to theatres, television, dvd, along with soundtrack, while Jurassic Park had all that plus toys, lunch boxes, action figures and so on – the filmmakers has to look honestly, not hypothetically at the realistic revenue centers of a project. investors do not like or trust hype language. technically, each distribution window is a profit center, meaning domestic theatrical run, first domestic television, second domestic television, dvd, foreign sales, possible Spanish market, possible Christian market, and other niche markets that may be applicable.

Project Team

>>>list anyone attached that will bring credibility to the project and highlight why in a couple of lines; e.g., producer, director, cinematographer, editor, composer with feature film experience

Bankable Attachments and/or Targets

>>>actors that are on board or are targeted once funding is available — mainly, the actors that are important to investors are Bankable Actors, who have some sort of name recognition that will help attract a distributor or a network because they, in turn, will be able to use that to sell the film to their audiences; secondarily, one can list actors with significant acting credentials, so that investors at least know the roles will be professionally performed [head shots are important to include for all attached or targeted actors, though the head shots should be saved
for the Appendix at the back of the plan

Marketing Elements Specific to Project

>>> just like it sounds - every project has unique aspects about it that can be capitalized upon or developed to push the project; e.g., Flick's whole idea with Chupacabra being truly feared by the Latin American market, therefore indicating a built-in audience there, etc; or someone may do a story about fighting drug addiction and develop a promo campaign for the project through nationwide non-profs dedicated to preventing substance abuse, etc

Distribution Strategy

>>>just like it sounds - who's going to handle it; target distribution companies and networks; how they're going to be contacted; and everything else that can be thrown in here

Budget Production and Marketing to Distribution]

>>>for production and some for promoting the film via festivals and meetings with potential distributors and networks to try to sell the finished neg

Financing Plan

>>>how the funding is going to be cobbled together; i.e.. some investor financing, some in-kind contributions for crew and equipment; some sponsorships via product placement in the movie; some completion funding from a distributor, gap financing from a lender, foreign co-production deals, and so on [financing for a single project can involve any one of the above, or any combination of the above] – See separate sheet in Indie Production Financing

Comparables

See separate sheet on Comparable. For each project you will need to get comparables that are similar to your project both in terms of budget range and genre; i.e. a drama in the $1-to-5 million range. Consult Baseline/FilmTracker.com – they provide domestic and foreign revenue
numbers on many feature films [this is for a fee, but much more useful financial info than something like imdb.com or imdb pro]

Risk

>>>these tend to be standard risks, such as no guarantee that the film will get a domestic theatrical release, no guarantee of dvd revenue amount, no guarantee that there will be a soundtrack issued – this section is somewhat optional, though Risk is an area that investors typically need to see addressed in plan so that 1] they are prepared for any potential downside, and 2] they know you are being honest with them rather than presenting any smoke and mirrors you can dream up in order to get their funding.

ROI – Return On Investment [Anticipated Profits Over Time]

>>>1] Use Comparables sourced above from Baseline/Filmtracker to create revenue projections for domestic and foreign sales including television first run, second run; dvd; foreign sales, applicable soundtrack and merchandise; 2] subtract budget of the film and costs for distribution to arrive at net profits earned by the project LLC; 3] determine percentage of profits earned by the LLC that will be returned to investor/s who funded the production costs [ typically an investor will receive 100% of all profits earned by the LLC until they have recouped their initial investment, then they may receive 30% or more of all
profits earned by the LLC from any revenue stream, in perpetuity].

Project Schedule / Funding Release Schedule

>>> if funding source is already known and targetable, then provide an actual set of dates for pre-pro, principal, post, a few festival submissions, meetings with dis tributors and ne tworks etc and theoretical release dates [usually anywhere from 6-to-12 months after film is completed, though sometimes sooner if going direct to TV or DVD etc]

APPENDIX

  • Full Script
  • Director Reel
  • Soundtrack Sampler
  • Promo DVD for Project
  • Letter/s of Attachment or Interest from Bankable Talent
  • Letter of Attachment or Interest from Director
  • Letter of Commitment or Interest from Financing Source
  • Letter/s of Interest from Merchandising Entities
  • Letter of Interest from Record Label / Distributor for Soundtrack
  • Relevant Locations Photos
  • Relevant Illustrations [Costumes, Merchandise Designs etc]
  • Newspaper, Magazine, Internet Articles Supporting Interest in Subject Matter
  • Any Other Information Supporting Viability or Profitability of the Project

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