How to get sponsors for film project?

Hey all! I'm planning on doing another web series, and this time I plan on actually having a budget. I'm thinking it would be great to get sponsors for the show, but since I have no experience doing that I'm wondering if anyone here do. I'm talking about getting a major company/brand to support the show in exchange for product placement (or something like that). I know it's possible, but I'm new to all that stuff so I wouldn't know where to start.
I'd be more than willing to have everyone in my series wear Nike clothes, or all computers be PCs if I could get a deal Lol. If I were to do all that, what would you advise me do? Thanks.


  • It doesn't work that way :) You have to get the "eyeballs" first.
  • Yeah, you're not going to get corporate sponsors unless you're already marketable and profitable. If it was possible to do without that, no one would ever have problems getting their films funded.
  • What about smaller local sponsors? Anyone have experience dealing with them?
  • edited February 2012
    Smaller, local, are even tighter with their wallets.
    The rule of thumb in business is for YOU to make money off another business, you have to make money for them, and a BUNCH of it, or they won't even want to bother.
    It's kind of like banks only loan money to profitable businesses, not ones that need a cash injection to stay afloat. Hahaha.
    Hey, there is some hope that you can get a million hit YT video, but you need to get monetized first.
    If you can set yourself up as a "gatekeeper", like "Frugal Filmmaker", where you have plenty of general traffic, YT will beg you to become a Partner.
    There's an old saying: "If you want to make a small fortune in video, start out with a large fortune" :)
    Another way is to come up with a "shtick", like a blind guy that plays darts, or you can fart out the national anthem, something like that. Look at Milli Vanilli! There's a lot of undercover bullshitters around faking stuff.
    So what, if you're not strictly legit? You just want to cash out in your 15 minutes, right? Not just go down in history as the unpaid jagass. :)
  • edited February 2012
    Even with Kickstarter, you need a really good hook to make your project stand out. It's a great service, but lately everyone who has an idea for anything is using it, so there's a whole lot of competition. I've seen countless short film pitches on there that haven't gotten any funding because they have a weak promo video, or they're not pushing it or publicising it nearly enough.
    So many people think it's just a matter of posting your idea up and waiting, but there's so much more involved with successfully funding through KS, and you have the same problem you'd have with any other means of funding: People need to know that they're going to get something back from their investment. So with that in mind, I'm going to say Kickstarter isn't the right venue for an amateur web series. *shrug* I suppose it's possible though, with the right promotion and attitude. :)
  • Well, its something he can do proactively since all his other ideas are getting shot down so thoroughly.
  • edited February 2012
    What idea did he have that got shot down?
    Here's one that might work. Do a fundraising video to help the "children, schools, whales, whatever", and deduct your costs from whatever you make.
    Or what about an internet memorial? You offer to store the image of the dearly departed for only $1 a year. Then if you can get 50,000 people to sign up, you just kick back. Or you can market them for extras like music, animated puffy clouds, etc.:)
    Hey buddy, don't get mad, :)
  • edited February 2012
    Based on info I've gathered from this thread and Google, I see that my best bet is to make an awesome teaser for the series (more awesome than the series itself Lol) and use that as a way to raise money. I know a lot of times I see a cool short film on Youtube that I end up wishing was longer, or was a web series. That way hopefully I can get a lot of views on the "short film" which will help get people I need on board. It would definitely serve as my Kickstarter video also. I believe with some effort I should be able to make something awesome enough to make bunch of people drool!
    That definitely does seem like my best chance. Take that Mortal Combat web series for example; it all started with that short film and then some time later became a series. Now the people behind that short definitely are bigger than I, but it's the same concept really.
    EDIT: budwzr to be honest I'm don't know whether you're being serious or not half the time Lol
  • @Rody, i've used before. Its not just about having a teaser. Really its marketing your own project and getting people to the site. If you generate some of your own buzz, then people will gravitate towards it. When it comes to local businesses getting money is difficult, but getting services or goods is easier. I know places out here that will cater if they can be featured.
  • Something to keep in mind. There are 2 things a director always wants on any production, control and money. The more money you get from outside sources the more control you give up. When you are filming for $5 of your own money, you have total control of how you spend that $5. You may not be able to do all the things you want for $5, but you have absolute control over what you can do. If you get Mr. Bigbucks to put up $50,000 to fund your production, A: Mr. Bigbucks wants to see a return on his investment. He wants his money back and then some. B: he will want control of how you spend his money. So you might find that Mr. Bigbucks is willing to put up the $50,000... provided you cast his niece Gertrude Notalent in the female lead. Its always a balancing act between money and control.
    One thing we did early on to fund our projects and pay for equipment was shooting tv commercials for local businesses. We contacted the local cable companies and learned how to broker time slots. We were able to show local business owners that we could produce tv ads for less than they were paying for radio time. Granted we were often brokering the worst time slots imaginable, but its all about knowing your market. You can sell an ad to Bob's Discount Tattoo Parlor at 3 am because thats when the biker bar closes and the guys go home and flick on the late night tube before they pass out. The cable companies sent us books on demographics to see who was watching and when, so we could show people that prime time might not be YOUR prime time. We specialized in fringe markets and we sold a lot of midnight to 3 am commercials at cut rate prices.
    We also did all kinds of video projects and filming jobs. If it could be filmed we did it. Weddings, birthdays, anything. Talk to lawyers, they often want to use videos in court, or need video enhanced etc. Get creative and think of every possible way you can use what you have to make money. Pass those business cards out. Send out letters on your letterhead. You have video equipment, use it to make every dime you can. Take the profits from those jobs to fund your feature film.
  • budwzr to be honest I'm don't know whether you're being serious or not half the time Lol

    If it sounds ridiculous, that's when I'm not serious.
    Instead of asking how to get venture capital, why don't you post an example of your work and ask if it's good enough to be invested in?

  • If it sounds ridiculous, that's when I'm not serious.
    Instead of asking how to get venture capital, why don't you post an example of your work and ask if it's good enough to be invested in?
    They're not movies, but music videos are close enough. All videos on this channel are shot, directed, and edited by me.
  • edited February 2012
    Nice! Good camera work, nice subtle dollies. Me likey. You should remix that whole collection with a killer soundtrack into one big reel with some motion graphics. Make a giant eye candy hiphop or trance pumping four on the floor through the roof!
    I'm serious now.
  • Just bumping this in case anyone else have some great advice.
  • Did you try selling more stuff on your banner?
    You can probably split that into three ads.:)
  • I miss the Fxhome forums :(
  • @Rodypolis... why do you miss FX Forum?
  • Because there would have been a lot more posts with helpful info if I posted a topic like this there (back when the forums still had people). Pretty much all the replies I got on here say: "You can't do it! It doesn't work like that." Ok fine, so what should I do? What approach should I take? Care to share your personal experiences? Does anyone here have any experience getting their projects funded?
  • I wish I could help you Rody, but I do agree, things most definitely have changed...
  • Okay Rody,
    here it is in a nut shell, there is no easy answer. What might work for one guy, won't work for another. Plus, everything is topsy turfy. The cool thing is that most of the old rules don't apply anymore. The only thing that is still true, is you have to get business, to believe, that they can't get word about their products out there, without you. Steve Jobs, was the master, of getting people, to believe that they could not live without, what he made.
    Also you might want to look into trading services, that is how I am getting my website made. I am videoing, and editing hi-def media, that can be used on his websites, and for that he is making me a website.
    The main thing here is to think out of the box. The internet is like the wild west, and people are still figuring out how to make money on it. That is why all these big media companies, are running scared, because they have become insignificant.
    This is a good demo reel, what you should be doing, is getting your name out as much as possible, all the social media ie; Facebook, twitter, YouTube, ect.
    Hope this help. My main advise out of all this, [quote]Don't be afraid to fail!!![/quote]
    It is only the tree, that is blown by the strong wind, that becomes strong, young grasshopper!!
  • @Rodypolis Ive been researching the same thing for my web series
  • edited February 2012
    @Rodypolis Hey man, you're young, ambitious, and a good-looking rascal, so you're already ahead of me, and most.
    You can work on both sides of the camera. Myself, I'm stuck behind it, with the rest of the uglies. :)
  • this a good question, one I've been keeping my eye on, unfortunately i haven't a clue how to get real funding for my shorts, my University has never really pushed any work or experiences towards the students to help them get a footing to earn form their skills, neither has it helped us find funding from companies/ arts funding associations.
    I end up effectively self funding my shorts, but as the estimated budget grows and grows as my projects become larger and more serious, it becomes a lot more difficult to fund the productions on my own. I've saved a lot of my student loans + bursaries to fund my next production but i don't see them covering half the cost.
    Budgets really become an issue when you start including actors and expenses, and when you want to take your time to get the most out of your actors and your self.

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