This is another question we get asked a lot, and fortunately these days are plenty of ways to go around it.
First things first you have to have an idea of what kind of budget do you need. Consider these questions:
What resources do you have and what are the ones you have to pay for?
What you have to pay for, is it for people or physical things?
Can you find a way to get it cheaper/for free?
Can you lower your budget without compromising your concept/idea?
Fede Alvarez, for example, is an uruguayan filmmaker who made a VFX heavy short and used some friends to complete it at praticallly no budget at all. He then posted it on Youtube, went viral, and he is now making the remake of Evil Dead for Sam Raimi! Check out the awesome interview we had with him.
So it is important to consider those questions and work around them. It is after you know how much you really need that you can start looking at options for how to get it and get your short film funded.
Friends an family. This was always an option and always will be. Plenty of filmmakers (known ones even) have opted for this method and it worked out good for them. You don’t have to apply to something burocratic as below and wait for the results, you just have to pitch it to your friends and family and hope to sell them your dream. They will be happy to see their credits on the screen when you’re done!
Apply for a grant. There are also many sponsored programs for funding film shorts, in some countries even governamental funds that you an apply to. Of course these will have strict guidelines and might not “understand your vision”, some will be a bit burocratic and contest based… but if your short really needs some significant ammount of money it could be an option.
Kickstarter. This is something that wasn’t around until recently but one of the best options these days. It’s like you pitch your family and friends but then are extending it to a world of people! Even more important than that, if complete strangers give you even a small ammount of money to make you short, it means they have become a fan of your project, and that takes care of part 2 of this great journey: you made your short, what now? (for another blog post!)
Take this example of Christopher Salmon. He wanted to create a short CG film that had the feeling of a graphic novel come to-life, based on a Neil Gaiman short-story, The Price.
He ended up getting $161,774 of the $150,000 he stated as a goal.
Also, if you’re making a short film, chances are you are pretty good at it and making an awesome video for Kickstarter is a major advantage for getting funded.
No budget-it. And we’re back to those questions above. If you have failed to get your short film funded by those methods above, or you think they’re not for you, then think of a way to make it with a non-existing budget, just with the resources you have. Even if it means changing your original concept a bit, think of how you can make it a reality with no funds!
And there you have it, those are the best and most known ways of getting your film funded. If you have tried those, or anything else, let us know in the comments below.
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