Nuts, bolts, hot tips, and road-tested information from Holly Million for indie filmmakers raising money

Tag Archives: narrative

Hey, narrative filmmaker peeps! SFFS-KRF grant deadline looms!

Hey, all you narrative filmmakers out there awash in a sea of documentarians! Here is your rare chance to apply for grant funding for your narrative. Deadlines are fast approaching for the Spring 2013 round of the SFFS/KRF Filmmaking Grant LOI — The San Francisco Film Society and Kenneth Rainin Foundation have $300,000 smackeroos to give away to projects that “help contribute to the Bay Area filmmaking community both professionally and economically.” And by “projects,” they mean narrative films. Documentarians, there is no need for you to read further. Past grant recipients include Destin Cretton’s “Short Term 12” (SXSW 2013, World Premiere), Ryan Coogler’s “Fruitvale” (Sundance 2013, Dramatic Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize Winner) and Benh Zeitlin’s “Beasts of the Southern Wild” (Four-time 2013 Academy Award Nominee). Here are the deadlines, and I told you they were looming!EARLY DEADLINE: February 13, 2013, 4:59pm PST LATE DEADLINE: February 20, 2013, 4:59pm PSTHere is where the fine print lives. To apply, visit this link and be ready to submit! And by the way — good luck! — In fundraising solidarity, Holly Million (Public domain photo by Kosta Kostov)

Film Fundraising Client Feature — New Media International

I’ve just agreed to consult with Sean Ramsay of New Media International, the producer of Victory Day. Victory Day is a feature narrative that tells the story of photojournalist Sam Cassels, who finds himself involved embroiled in a tangled web in Russia that involves sex-traffickers, criminals, and oligarchs. Shot in Russia, the Czech Republic, and Australia, Victory Day won the “Best Political Film” award at the 2009 Action on Film Festival.

I’ll be working with Sean to write a fundraising plan to raise up to $100,000 for a 5-city theatrical premiere for the film.

Drawing from his experience as a Reuters photojournalist and war correspondent with over a decade based in the former Soviet Union, Sean wrote the story for Victory Day. It is an expression of the emotional truth of a journalist who wants to change the world. In finding that his proffession is incapable of doing of it, the character is driven to do it by direct war. Sean plays the lead role as firebrand journalist Sam Cassels.

As part of its 5-city premiere, Victory Day will be screening in San Francisco in the late fall of 2009.

Brick by Brick, Raising $500,000

I’ve been writing about the feature narrative, “Nominated,” and my involvement as the producer. Director Dan Pavlik, of Southpaw Productions, has written a fantastic script. In fact, Dan is a script-writing machine. He came to my house for dinner last Friday and slammed another screenplay down on the dining room table. “What? Another one?” I asked. “I got a drawer-full of them!” Dan replied. Some people just can’t stop!

I had originally proposed to Dan that we try to hunt down some equity finance for his film. But that was long before the bubble burst. 2009 is not the year for us to hunt down equity finance, a rare bird in the Bay Area even in a good year. Instead, we are reverting to our hunter-gatherer roots. Dan and I have donned our animal skins and wooden clubs and are going out to hunt us some investors. One bonk on the head with the club, then we drag ’em off by their hair! I guess I’ve seen one too many caveman cartoon.

But seriously, we are going to take a grassroots approach to our fundraising needs. I proposed that we form a core team of 5 or 6 people who will sell shares in the film. Shares will be set at around $1,000, and there will be half shares, quarter shares, etc. The members of the team will be equipped with a sales package to help them promote the film. As they sell shares, they will be rewarded with either a cash cut or a fraction of a share, TBD. And of course, everyone on the team will also be graced with the title of producer in the credits. Sounds good to me!

By dividing the labor, we increase our chances of raising the half million needed to make the film. Together, our group has a bigger network than any one of us alone. Dan’s already created the LLC to provide the business structure for the film. Now we have to consult our attorney, Richard Lee, to see if the LLC can accommodate the large number of investors we would like to have. Dan’s recollection is that there are 35 members max for the LLC by law.

Stay tuned as we figure out the nuts and bolts of selling shares and getting “Nominated” filmed! In the meantime, check out our trailer.