I’m excited to share a series of great guides with you written by my fellow filmmaker and co-instructor Caleb Negassa. Caleb is a film producer who has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for personal and team video projects. We recently co-created an online training course on How to Fundraise for your Next Video or Film Project. Along with inspiring videos, Caleb has written a few guides that will help you in key areas related to fundraising a film project.
Today, Caleb gives you 5 tips for pitching your video project to an investor. Over the next two weeks, we’ll be sharing more guides on how to create a lookbook, top 5 places for finding money for your film, scheduling your fundraising campaign, and tips for successfully raising funds with a crowdfunding campaign.
There is not one right way of doing a pitch. However, consistency in information and identifying a flow that is unique to you will put you at ease when pitching. A lot of people get tongue-tied and go in all sorts of directions because they haven’t figured out what information is really relevant. Determine all the things you have to get out and practice a routine that helps you get it done as efficiently as possible. No fluff and extra information because you are on a ticking clock. How does anyone get good at doing something? PRACTICE!
You always need a hook when you are trying to pitch something. This is how you get your subject interested in what you are talking about. Usually this is a one line intro to your entire project that gets someone excited. After you get somebody excited about what you have to say, you have about 2 minutes before he or she loses interest in what you are talking about unless they really are interested in the idea. If you are consistent with you pitch, everything you need to say will be done in roughly that amount of time.
After you have hooked someone into the idea, there are a few more things left to do. Tell them the log-line of what your project is about. Discuss how you came about the idea and what it means to you. Discuss how relative the project can be and how invested others could become. Identify your goal, your deadlines, the team and why it is important and needs to be.
4. THE ASK
After setting yourself up with all the necessary information, ask your subject if your project is something they would like to be involved in. Make it clear and concise what kind of relationship your looking to have with them, and see if collaborating is possible. The most important thing is getting the information out there and asking for something tangible (a specific $ amount) in return.
Pitching is always hard, especially because you are making yourself vulnerable. Everyone is afraid of judgment and insecure to a degree about generally having a conversation with anyone, including strangers and friends. Having said that, there is no right way in which you can do a perfect pitch. Learn to gauge how comfortable you are in a room with someone, and how comfortable they are in a room with you. Try and create an atmosphere that makes everyone one involved feel comfortable. This may mean having a small talk before getting into the business side of things.