Would you rather pitch an investor or studio? There has never been a time where video content is in such demand. If there is one thing the internet revealed was the power of a solid niche audience. There is a feeding frenzy for original content. So whether you are a film producer, director, screenwriter, or an Executive Producer its an amazing time to get your films produced. Networks, Studios, and Independent Filmmakers are fighting tooth and nail to keep their creative team.

So which partnership is right for you? Is a small group of investors with little creative input fit your strategy? Or is your current project so high concept that only a studio with unlimited financial resources make a better fit? It is always intimating at first to pitch to a person or a company that has financial leverage over you. But don’t underestimate the leverage you have as a creative filmmaker. Companies need content desperately. 

This is a question that I am exploring for my current slate of films, series, and web series. Both have their pros and cons. Also, the location you live in plays a factor on how you go about funding.

I personally have not pitched to a studio yet but for some of my higher concept film projects it might be a perfect fit, especially Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. An investor who only brings capital to the table might not be enough for your film to reach its highest potential. Unless they have marketing, online marketing, or a major tie-in to your demographic. For my 2017 Slate I am doing a hybrid of pitching to both investors and studios. There is no way around it at this stage of my career. On these film projects I am going have to switch hats and be the Showrunner on one, Producer on another, Director on two of them, and the EP on another one.

So who are you pitching to?

 

Sign Up!
10 Things That Mess Up Your Budget PDF
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

19 thoughts on “Would you rather pitch an Investor or Studio?

  • avatar
    Prema Rose

    Great question to examine, Mr. S. Would you consider a $12M budget either for indie or studio? Yes, it is high concept.

    Reply
    • avatar
      Mr. Sifuentes

      Hello Prema! I would say anything that goes over a SAG signatory agreement between $150k to $3.75 million should be pitched to a studio. That is to much private equality to risk IMHO.

      Reply
  • avatar
    Phil

    If your property is based on an existing IP that has the potential for sequels or a series of films, and has an extensive track record of sales for that IP, then a studio may be interested in it. Studios are only interested in major IP’s or “comic book/graphic novel ” content. If your property is not based on an existing, well-known IP, but maybe a spec script or one-off from a writer or producer with a track record, then I’d go to private investors to raise the money as a studio will not touch it.

    Reply
  • avatar
    Rahul

    Will you be interested in arranging a 2cr for an indies?

    Reply
    • avatar
      Mr. Sifuentes

      Hey Rahul! Feel free to email so we can discuss it more in detail! Best.

      Reply
  • avatar
    Eric A. Vasallo (@Eric__INK)

    I just pitched my indie comedic short to a room full of Chinese investors in Los Angeles as part of a film festival.

    http://umfilms.org/2017UMFF/2017UMFFpitch.html

    It was pretty abysmal for all pitchers. We were 10 total with a variety of topics, some Chinese themed or pro-china. The investors didn’t seem to bite for any project. It would have helped for the festival to give pitchers an idea of what they were looking for. The Chinese investors seemed to have been very particular and conservative in what they wanted to fund.

    I will never pitch blind like that again.

    Reply
    • avatar
      Mr. Sifuentes

      Hey Eric,

      That is a strange scenario! Whats there a theme or genre that the film festival focused on? That’s like inviting sci-fi investors to a rom-com pitch. Out of all the genres tend to have the hardest time translating into our countries. I’m surprised that the film festival director didn’t do a prior survey to cater to the filmmakers attending. The pitch must have been brutal.

      Reply
  • avatar
    Tarun

    Hey Mr.Sifuentes, can you provide your mail for further info.?

    Reply
    • avatar
      Mr. Sifuentes

      Hey Turun! Feel free to send me an email via my contact page. If I post my email on here I tend to get a lot of spam. Looking forward to hearing about your film project! Talk soon!

      Reply
  • avatar
    Ron Graner

    I have letters from both Arte and Espresso TV asking for an acquisition of my documentary, but I first have to produce it. It’s a music-holocaust story. So I’ve decided to approach individual investors to get the music recorded first, before proceeding with the entire documentary. I don’t want to produce a live concert, unless I already have the CD’s or DVD’s ready to sell, and the music cleared for broadcast on a universal buy-out agreement with the musicians and actors’ unions. I’ve already produced a live concert, to test audience reaction, won an award for my short film, (Produced and financed by BRAVO!), won another award for the stage version of the movie script, and I’ve even recorded some new interviews in France , California and Vancouver, some of which can be included in the proposed documentary. But getting that first $15,000 so I can qualify for grants is a really hard sell.
    I’m telling my investors that I don’t want their money yet, -just a pledge, because if I don’t get the grants, I’d have to return their funds. 25% raised is enough to cover the entire costs of recording if the grants come through. (Rehearsals, liability insurance, organ and piano rentals, piano tuning, catering, sound engineers, etc. etc.) Am I right? Getting grants is not guaranteed, or should I ask the donors to pay the whole shot, not just the 25% down-payment? Is crowd-funding the answer?

    Reply
    • avatar
      Mr. Sifuentes

      Have you considered partnering with a Broadway producer? This is a really profitable market! I live in South Texas so my ideal investor for a Broadway musical might not where I should spend my efforts but it would be perfect in New York and London.

      Reply
  • avatar
    Zecco Eze

    Where can I find people to invest in my scripts. What are the avenues to go and find investors other than crowdfunding and indigogo. I just would like to figure out how. PLUS when you start you project can I join your crew.

    Reply
    • avatar
      Mr. Sifuentes

      You have to partner up with an experience producer! If you are the writer/director give that responsibility to someone who is a natural salesperson. It doesn’t matter if its for investment or crowdfunding. There has to be someone who is going to talk to investors or non-profits. Shoot me your resume 😉

      Reply
      • avatar
        Zecco Eze

        What your email to send over my resume

        Reply
  • avatar
    Zecco Eze

    How do i figure out the budget of my script to let people know how much it would take from pre-post.

    Reply
    • avatar
      Mr. Sifuentes

      You need a Line Producer/UPM. Look for a 1st or 2nd AD that now wants to go into UPM. Have them breakdown your script and make a budget.

      Reply
  • avatar
    Scott Wegener

    I am always aimed to produce high concept which required low investment. I am based in Cincinnati, where we have a talented Production base capable of producing a television series for a fraction of typical Hollywood cost.

    I have produced a concept pilot episode for an action adventure series, yet it seems because we are from Ohio it is difficult to get traction.

    Reply
    • avatar
      Mr. Sifuentes

      Scott do you have footage? Have you considered setting up Network meetings in LA?

      Reply
  • avatar
    Ellison

    Hi Mr. Sifuentes,
    What would you recommend getting funding for a remake of a theatrical film that out in early 90’s and funding is all that is needed. The producer/writer/director wants to have total control of the film. This person also produced, directed and starred in the original film.

    Reply

Leave a Reply