In the last few months, three very different pitches came across the FBC Films radar looking for project funding – a horror movie, a dramatic film, a dramatic play. We’re participating in the play and will be sharing more about that in the next few months as we help with the rest of the project funding. Here are some factors that we looked at in making decisions on project funding:
Amount needed to participate
All three projects came with varying project funding requirements, with minimums ranging from several hundred to $5,000. With small minimums, there is the possibility to fund more than one project at a time. Of course, you have to look at what a small minimum actually gets you. In this case, the small project funding minimum was from a crowdfunding project, and it didn’t get you a producer credit.
With the type of projects we fund, the upside from any one project funding decision is more about building the FBC Films brand and reach than financial upside. Straight plays typically don’t make money so project funding for plays is really a passion play. Horror movies do make money, but given the crowdfunding aspect of this project funding opportunity, our individual potential is limited. The dramatic film was the middle ground here – the subject matter didn’t seem very commercial but with fewer participants in the project funding and more total upside than the straight play, it probably had the best risk/ reward balance.
Fit with our interests
The horror project sparked my interest immediately – FBC focuses on horror and science fiction, after all. It also was a female-led project, which fit into the diversity angle at FBC. Neither the dramatic film nor play didn’t fit our genre, but the film has a Japanese subject and both the film and play have a diverse cast, so in that way both are still a possible fit for our project funding pipeline.
Who is involved
Bruce, my FBC co-founder, is acting in the play, so the play got to the top of our project funding queue given the very personal and immediate connection. The horror movie was introduced to me via a professional association, of which I’m very active, but still not so personally invested. I didn’t know anyone else involved and since you’re sharing the limited resources of money, time and attention, it really matters who else is involved. The dramatic film was pitched to us cold, so the biggest risk – however, the writer at least researched our company in advance and personalized his pitch. He also followed up quickly when I asked questions, so the cold pitch became a warm pitch pretty quickly.
In the final calculation, timing carries a lot of weight in project funding decisions. The straight play is entering a big fundraising round in the fall, and based on other projects (I just did a string of comedy shows, and Bruce started a recurring role on The Blacklist) there is a limit to how much we can devote to producing right now. So while the other films were interesting and arguably doable from just a financial standpoint, we wanted to reserve time and attention for the play.
So the play’s the thing for the next few months. Bruce has been working on his fundraising deck, and the iterations of what to include and what to emphasize will be the subject of a future blog post!