Will Tiao, founder of Film Finance Master Class and writer and speaker on getting your film funded, recently wrote a piece on corporate sponsorship as a means to fund your film: Can I Get Advertising Sponsors to Pay For My Film? The Role of Branding, Advertising and Product Placement in Indie Films. One of Tiao’s early jobs was in product placement for an independent film so he has firsthand experience in this area. He also has firsthand experience as an independent filmmaker successfully getting funded for his own project. So his insights are a worthwhile read (in a nutshell, Tiao favors this option, though he warns that you need star power in your cast to land substantive sponsorship dollars).
Regardless of whether or not you pursue sponsorship for your next film, thinking through how you might do it is a worthwhile exercise:
- What audience are you targeting that might attract sponsors?
- What themes run in your film that might attract sponsors?
- Do you feature products whose companies may want to sponsor or can you build that in in a non-intrusive way?
- Aside from sponsors, might there be grants or patrons interested in supporting your film?
- Based on all of this — audience, themes, product placement, attractiveness to other funders – what are the companies that may want to sponsor your film?
- Is the pursuit of sponsorships something you’re willing to budget your time and effort against?
- Is there someone in your cast/ crew with an interest? Perhaps a fan or other supporter of your work?
We decided to crowd fund for our next project, Memorable Minorities. How are you getting funding for your creative work?