You are determined to become a filmmaker. You’ve already taken your first step: applying to film schools. In Canada and abroad, there are many choices. Your life feels ripe with possibility. But you have one fear that haunts you. You wonder if you will really have what it takes after graduation from film courses to make your dreams come true. You have plenty of ideas for movies, that’s for sure. But that doesn’t mean that you know how to finance one. Here are three book ideas to calm these kinds of fears, common amongst new applicants to film schools.
1. 43 Ways to Finance Your Feature Film by John W. Cones
In this book, entertainment lawyer John Cones shares his insider knowledge gleaned from almost two decades helping independent filmmakers navigate the multifaceted world of movie financing. Although the author is based in Los Angeles – where else? – the book includes a discussion of financing from countries other than the United States, and is, therefore, appropriate for new applicants to film schools in Canada and abroad.
This book may turn up on the curriculum of your film courses, but there’s no harm in beginning your research early. Reading on your own increases the likelihood that when you do finally graduate that you will have a firm grounding in such topics as:
industry financing (What is this? It is basically funding by your peers, i.e., other, more established graduates of film schools)
2. The Fundraising Houseparty: How to Get Charitable Donations From Individuals in a Houseparty Setting by Morrie Warshawski
Although this book could be of use to any kind of fundraiser, it is written with filmmakers in mind. The author explains how graduates of film schools can organize a compelling event, touching on such details as:
food and drink
Warshawski emphasizes the importance of graduates of film courses appealing to the emotions of their potential donors, something to which their craft, fortunately, is uniquely well suited. What is the role of film schools if not to teach students how to appeal to the emotions of their audience?
3. Shaking the Money Tree, 3rd Edition: The Art of Getting Grants and Donations for Film and Video, also by Morrie Warshawski
In this book, Warshawski tackles that topic of supreme interest to staff and students of film schools in Canada and abroad: how to write a winning grant application. This kind of knowledge can even help students in film schools finance their productions for film courses.
If you are anxiously awaiting a wave of fateful letters from films schools in Canada and elsewhere in the world, calm your nerves by advancing your studies on your own. Who knows, it may help you finance one of your film school’s productions once you finally do get that longed for acceptance letter!