FAQ financing your first film
The budget for your first film after you are graduated, is usually limited. How can you find ways to get a bit more funding with what you could achieve a whole lot more?
Subsidy from specific film and television funds are meant for professional film and television producers. You were not eligible for these subsidies as a student but you can apply for it after your graduation.
You can also look for private funding on the basis of your film’s subject. Many funds have the objective of providing information about specific, socially relevant issues. If you find funds whose areas of interest coincide with the subject of your film, ask them about the details of their conditions.
Which leads for sponsoring are there in your script? Go through all the scenes and make a list of all the products that appear. Find out which manufacturers or importers provide the products. Search for addresses and phone numbers. Call the companies and ask who you can approach about sponsoring. Write down the name, initials and position of the person you should contact (and the person who provided you with the information). Also consider facility sponsorship, or sponsorship in kind. If your film is broadcast via the NPO, sponsorship and product placement are bound by the regulations laid down in the Media Act. Find out in advance what is and isn't possible.
Write down your request, a maximum of one page. Make it clear what you want, without mentioning any exact amounts. State who you are and what you are making. Describe your film’s plot in one sentence. Mention the broadcasting company which will be showing the film, and list any other possibilities for distribution and airing.
In return for sponsor contributions you can offer product placement, and mentioning names and logos in film credits and on publicity material.
Participation by former work placement providers
Maybe a producer with whom you’ve had a successful apprenticeship is prepared to help you with your first film. Often this help consists of defraying the costs of materials you need for filming and recording. A common exchange for this might be to produce a “making of” for one of his new productions.
Seeing that every little bit helps, you can also set up a crowdfunding campaign among your own family and friends, and everyone you can get interested. You organise it yourself or through a intermediairy (Kickstarter, Cinecrowd, VoordeKunst). In a matter of weeks you can gather a large amount of money. The supporters will receive something in return for their donation, a reward.
Record all agreements you make in writing. There are standard product placement agreements, sponsorship agreements (companies) and gift agreements (private individuals). Funds normally have their own agreements or send an allocation letter with conditions.