What to Include in a Film Production Business Plan
Preparing a film production business plan is like creating a roadmap that outlines the details, scope, and responsibilities of your film production business. Just like you would create a business plan for any other company, creating a film production company will require you to carefully plan your business. In fact, a film production business plan is likely to be required for everything from financing to tax write-offs so you’re going to need to make sure you get it all together early on in the development process.
If you’ve never created a business plan before, you might be lost! It’s okay! You’re definitely not alone. Most film producers will turn to their attorney to help with the business plan.
But in case you are going to attempt a DIY plan, here’s what you need to include to satisfy the banks, investors, and others that may be interested in knowing what your plans are.
A Confidentiality Agreement
The first major item to include in your film production business plan is a confidentiality agreement.
This is going to include a notation which essentially reveals that what is contained in the plan is confidential and protected.
You need this to make your investors and others involved in your business happy to know that trade secrets and other details are protected.
A Summary of Your Business
What’s your project about? What will the business do? What is your mission statement? Does your film have a logline? Who is your production team?
Your summary should include all of these details including summarized details about your target audience and distribution plans.
Your film production business plan should include a synopsis of your film. Who are your characters? What is your plot?
The synopsis should include details about your film that will help those who read your business plan to understand exactly what your film will be about.
Not only should you make note of any reputable team members or those who have a reputation within the industry in your film production business plan.
But you should also include information about who your project managers are, who is producing your film, who will direct, and what your cast is like.
Team details should include educational background, notable past projects, and details as to the contracts and needs covered by your creative team.
Because you’re almost certainly going to use your film production business plan to derive potential investment and financing opportunities, you’re going to need to deliver details that matter to investors.
Who is your target audience? What is the market size? How will your film target them specifically? What are the demographics? What is your audience like?
How are you going to make money with your production? What kind of revenue are we talking about?
Your investors want to know how you intend to make back whatever they give to you to produce your film.
You should also include your marketing plan in your film production distribution plan. Not only is your audience going to question how you intend to build an audience around your film.
They’re also going to have questions about how you will general revenue. This information must NOT be made up! You must provide details based on research.
Which include how you intend to generate revenue through things like social media platforms, film festivals, promotional campaigns, and various other opportunities.
Much of your business plan is going to tap into what investors want to know.
Therefore, you’re also going to need to provide a clearly planned distribution strategy that will work for your ideal target market and audience.
Who What When Where Why?
Will you distribute through theaters? Do you intend to distribute on DVD? Is your plan to distribute digitally through something like Amazon, Netflix, or Hulu?
Theatrical distribution, naturally represents the most traditional course when it comes to producing a film.
But that’s not the only option and it’s certainly not the only way that you might want to consider your film’s entrance.
Video on Demand strategies, home video options, and broadcasting on television or cable are also other options that you may consider.
Make sure that you have considered these options and have a solid understanding of all of these distribution strategies and what is most suitable for your film production before you begin writing.
Again, don’t make it up!
What are you going to spend for the production? Your film production business plan should include details about the budget for the project and any individual costs which you can itemize.
In fact, your budget should not only include details on what it costs, but also details about individual cost allocations by project stage.
For example, what will development cost? What will pre-production cost? What will production cost? How about insurance? What will post-production cost?
How will you finance the project? Your financing plan should include information about any soft money and hard money financing that will be incurred for your project.
Include information on how you intend to secure funding for your production.
Whether that’s through pre-sales, negative pickup deals, private investment, or any other means such as grants, gap financing, or tax incentive programs.
This is important! Your film production business plan should address any risks involved with any money that might be invested into your project.
You must have this in order and it must be true because you will be required by the SEC to have it.
If you intend to draw investment funding, you will have to use a PPM or you will have to have appropriate SEC risk assessments in order to do so.
Finally, you’re going to need to have sales projections in order as part of your film production business plan. Realistic data is important for every area of your business plan.
Which is why it is advisable that you work with an attorney or other support in developing what you need. Take your time and make sure that you have your research.
In order when it comes to sales, investments, risks, and audience or market segment data before you share it in your investment.
You’ll be thankful that you did and so will your investors or other members of your team!