Starting out making a film is not easy. Whether that is professional or amateur, you need the funds to be able to follow through with the project. However, there are many ways that you can raise the money to fund your project. Some of these include grants from companies, crowdfunding and personal fundraising.
For smaller projects, personal fundraising takes a lot of work, but it is very effective. You could host a fundraising party, organise a raffle, bag pack in supermarkets, or charge for advertisements if you are a theatre with programmes. This works well with smaller projects because you get to keep the money that you raise, and the donators are not normally wanting anything in return other than your finished project.
Crowdfunding has become a more popular solution to funding for projects around the world. Websites such as Kickstarter have a 46 per cent success rate for those who advertise. Once you place an advertisement on the website, people from all over the world can pledge to donate a certain amount of money in return for some kind of perk or gift. The gifts get better the more money you pledge. Crowdfunding relies heavily on those you know to donate; otherwise, it has to be interesting enough for strangers to donate. This may include a star name or a really interesting storyline or method of filming. It is not free money because of the perks you offer in return and the fee that the website may take. It also takes a lot of work to push your project on social media. However, there have been some very successful projects that have emerged through the help of crowdfunding websites.
There are thousands of companies that award grants to artistic projects each year. The amounts vary and so there is almost certainly a grant out there that will fit your needs. If you secure a grant, it will boost the reputation of your project because you have a major donor. However, grants are extremely competitive, and often lots of preparation and research are required to be considered for a grant. Companies are unlikely to give to a project that is unsure of its aims and is not thoroughly researched; this is because they want to make sure they are giving their money to people who are likely to produce a successful project.
All film projects have to start somewhere, and it is up to you to figure out your options. There is lots of funding available out there if you look for it. Everyone deserves the chance to follow their artistic dream. Good luck!