Friday, September 21, 2007

Life's A Pitch

Making a film on a micro budget has its challenges and this week I've shared with you some of the knowledge from the BBC/Film London "Microschool". As a producer it is critical to choose the right script in the first place. If locations are too many, actors in abundance and lots of special effects, choreography or fight scenes for example, then these all add to the expense of the film and increase the rehearsal and shooting time. These are all inhibitors to getting a film off the ground and obtaining buy-in and thus investment.

Show business is one of the most competitive businesses in the world, especially in independent film. Making an independent film which is entertaining, compelling, exciting and drives audiences to see it, is one thing. Making a profit on it is quite another story.

Take London To Brighton for example. The final day of the Microschool had an audience with the Producer. Private investors provided £65,000 to make the film. Then another £200,000 was required to deliver it to the cinemas. The box office receipts for a UK cinema release were £200,000 and DVD sales have reached 23,000. Yet it has still a long way to go before it breaks even. Apparently around 95% of cinemas income is generated from the popcorn, hotdogs and drinks that we have. The other 5% is from the showing of the film and even then most of that goes to the promotion, advertising and distribution. So, that film you've seen in the cinema that looks amazing and you've told your friends about, hasn't made any money. However if you have a successful UK film, it is likely to sell to other countries around the world and if it build up a significant interest in lots of countries, which each have loss leading cinematic releases, the ongoing DVD sales over the following 3-5 years, are what will ultimately make the return on investment.

Right now, Little India is sitting on the cusp of becoming one of those films. All it takes now is for a successful 15 minute pitch to four of the most powerful people in the UK film business.

On Monday. At lunchtime.

No pressure.

Making It In Hollywood - there's no business, like show business.


Rai Jenkins said...

Good Luck for Monday!!!

UK Theatre Network said...

Thanks very much Rai.