In an old fashioned manner there was no contract, just a handshake deal; he really believed that we could make Football Factory a big success. When you really mean something and you have that sparkle in your eyes anything is possible and I think the investor absolutely sensed that and trusted us, so we never took that trust lightly. We worked really, really hard to ensure that every penny went up on the screen and that there would be a good return for him. Some people are hesitant about equity investors, but for us the fact that somebody we liked had a stake in the film just made us want to succeed even more.
So there are alternative options to the more traditional routes to fund creative projects. If you believe in your product and can demonstrate that passion to investors, then there is the possibility to succeed. We managed to secure funding for two films with the immensely successful Rockstar Games, makers of Grand Theft Auto, again an alternative to traditional routes.
Part of that is being professional in presentations. I’m amazed by the amount of film companies who don’t even have business plans. We have all sorts of projections on every film we’ve ever made, as well as larger company business plans and historical comparisons. Any serious entrepreneur or city investor will expect that level of detail and planning when you’re demanding their cash. So be very well prepared. Getting finance out of people isn’t easy and the more research you have that backs up your projections and demonstrates their potential return, the better.
Stating the obvious and using a cliché (although one that rings loudly true) filmmaking is creative and fun but it’s also a business and you need to be able to match them both in order to truly succeed.