Finding the right person to sponsor your film can be as tricky as finding a good life partner. Same as any relationship, this one also needs a perfect balance of trust and comfort. However, once you find that right sponsor, things become a lot easier. And in this post we are going to tell you 10 best ways to get that right kind of sponsor for your short film.
Check 10 ways to Find a Sponsor for Your Short Film or for a TV Show
This is the most popular way to find a sponsor all over the world. Preferred by the majority of budding filmmakers, this method is getting more and more patrons with each passing year. The grant amounts are going up, but so is the number of applicants. Therefore, it has become a cutthroat competition in the ocean of aspiring filmmakers who keep applying for such grants every year. Some of the most popular film grants for budding filmmakers in India are — NFDC, Global Film Initiative, World Cinema Fund and CineMart.
This is the new ‘in’ method of funding a film these days. Several short filmmakers all around the world are moving to this platform to avoid the competition of film grants. Interestingly, crowd funding can be done both before and after making a movie. Some filmmakers prefer to raise money by either making a trailer or concept video of their future film. On the other hand few filmmakers ask for crowdfunding ‘after’ making their film and releasing its concept and snippets to attract sponsors. The sponsors who get interested in the project are shown the film and if they agree to invest the film, they earn the credit of ‘Producer’ on the film roll. Most popular crowd funding platforms in India for films are Kickstarter, Wishberry, Bitgiving and Ketto.
Watch: Leeches- A CrowdFunding Short Film
This is the bravest and most honest way of attracting sponsors. In this method, you start making some shorts on your own budget (not very expensive), and then you put those shorts for display on a public platform such as Youtube. This way, you not only demonstrate your skills and talent, but also project confidence to a prospect sponsor. Once you are done with a kickass demo reel, you can send it to several sponsors and financiers with your prospect film’s concept. Some famous content creators who took this path and succeeded are – Ankur Kapoor, Scott DW, and Manjot Kang.
Related Read: How to Make Money From Short Films?
This one is a little difficult to pull off but promises great rewards. Several big companies (mostly financial) offer small grants for artists and creatives, in return of projecting the company’s image in a positive light. As a filmmaker you don’t have to constantly shine a light on their logo, but just show it a few times in a good spirit, attached with a positive message, and thats it. Though in such deals the companies pay in instalments and keep a tight watch over your project. The bright side; is that the money is really good. A few companies that offer such grants are — Tata, Reliance, Bajaj and Hindustan Unilever Limited.
Its a lot like product placement, but done with subtlety. Several brands these days are foraying into the field of social media without looking like hardcore businessmen or marketeers. The trick here is to take a product and integrate it into a concept, to make it an organic part of the storytelling. The latest example in this method is The Viral Fever’s web series Tripling, sponsored by Tata Tiago. The series was a road trip story that had the same car of the said brand in centre all the time. The web series threw subtle hints about the car’s good qualities and gave it a screen time of around 60%. Brand integration is the new product placement.
Quid Pro Quo
Perhaps the best way for a budding filmmaker to learn the ropes of filmmaking while getting familiar with the new gadgets and techniques of the trade. In this method, a filmmaker can get in touch with a company or service provider, promising to make a short film, or commercial in return of using their equipment or services. This gives the sponsors a chance to market themselves for free while they rent out their equipment (or render services for free). The comic group AIB got free furniture from a furniture company by making this video:
Its the most basic method of filmmaking, but very true and honest to the art’s spirit. In this method a filmmaker contacts the actors, crew, and technicians, and promises them a cut in the film’s profit (if it makes any in the future). Everyone who agrees joins the team and helps in making the film. Its an arduous and time consuming method, but it can make bonds that may last for a lifetime. Or maybe somebody who you get onboard might help you find the right sponsor. The possibilities are endless here!
Related Read: This Much of Money You can Earn From YouTube Videos
This is like scraping the barrel, where you decide to crowd fund your own project, but personally. In this method, you may find your sponsors within your friends and relatives. This works majorly with filmmakers who come from a well to do background.
Get the Government’s Help
Several state governments offer rewards and subsidies for the films shot in their cities. It not only helps the sponsors to recover their production costs but get discount in taxes. By making a schedule to shoot in a state that offers great rewards, a filmmaker can attract many sponsors who would like to get and early, safe and big return on their investment.
Good Old Networking
Nothing beats this old school technique of meeting people and pitching them your story. It not only makes them understand your project better, but also engraves you in their memories. Its almost impossible for a sponsor to forget a filmmaker’s name after hearing a passionate pitch from them. So you can find out the contacts of some producers or companies who sponsor films and can approach them directly. Remember, its like a combination of a job interview and a sales pitch.
Also read: Contacts of Film Financiers in India
Content Related To: How to Find a Sponsor for Your Short Film, short film grants, Find Movie Sponsor, Find a Sponsor for TV Show