I always enjoy talking about this part of the game. Where do we get the money? Because movie making is just like life according to Scarface....'first you get the money, then you get the power'....... and no, it's not coincidence that most movie producers end up riddled with bullets in climactic shoot-out.
I always tell people, how bad do you want to make this movie? Because there's always a way. Sam Raimi shot an 8mm film for nothing and then showed it to every single doctor, dentist, and business owner his parents could put him in touch with. He raised enough to shoot 'The Evil Dead', Robert Rodriguez subjected himself to weeks of medical testing to get his hands on enough money to shoot ' El Mariachi', and there are folks like Chad Ferrin, director of the Troma released 'Unspeakable' sold his house to finance his project.
If you're willing to risk humiliation, pain, rejection, starvation, and perhaps homelessness, there's a way to get things done.
The first and best step is simply to tell every person you can about your movie....like my upcoming project: 'You Can't Save Her!' A shocking suspense horror film were planning on shooting this spring. See, now we're talking about my movie! See how easy that is? Keep it up because you never know who's ears are going to perk up in interest. Tell anyone and everyone you know about how awesome your movie is, about how hot the girl playing the lead is, and how you're willing to introducer her to the doctor who is performing surgery on you as you speak.
Be prepared for rejection. We live in Denver, not New York or LA. We're not a big film town. Heck, we're not even New Mexico big. But there are people out there who will pick up on your near manic passion for the project....and manic passion is what you're going to need. Watch a panhandler on the street. He gets insulted, rejected, spat upon, occassionally set on fire, but he manages to fill his cup with enough quarters to get his fix of booze and smack. The movie has to be your booze and smack.
There's also the magic of a fun raising party. Get a location [your house? Your favorite bar? Your uncle's art studio?] and pack it with as many people as you can. Charge them ten bucks to get in. Get your cousin's band to play, then continue to tell everyone how kick ass your movie is. If they're drunk enough, you may get a ten here and a twenty there. Every bit helps. Or if you're going slightly more classy, invite all those doctors, dentists, and drug lords you've met in your travels and bring them together to talk about the project. Make it an investment party. Show a previous film you've shot to impress the pants off of them. Once their pants are off, steal their pants. They usually contain wallets.
One thing you should try to avoid is paying to use a location for a fund raiser. Nothing worse than paying two hundred bucks to rent a fancy art gallery on Santa Fe then only make fifty bucks above cost. Every penny not going directly into the movie is wasted!
Remember, be ethical! Sure, it's profitable and fun to bilk senile war widows out of their social security money, but you may end up in jail. Tell everyone that Russel Crowe may be showing up in your $5,000 dollar DV film? Illegal if it's in writing, but you're a scumbag just for mentioning it. Keep in mind that you may want to make another movie someday, and that these people may come in handy again.
There are other suggestions to get the job done.
Sell anything you don't need that has value. You're kidneys come in a pair for a reason [the liver also will grow back if you sell off half of it!]
Once again, tell everyone how awesome your movie is. If it's almost as kick ass as 'You Can't Save Her!' You may be in luck.
Be darn sure you've gone over that budget twenty seven times [never twenty eight, however]. I can guarantee
there is about five thousand you can shave off of that fifteen thousand dollar movie if you need to. Crafty, costcutting, corner shaving skills are the hallmark of successful independant producer!
And no, don't take the three grand you've raised and take it BlackHawk or Central City.....that's not a sound investment.
Be sure you're ready to make a personal sacrifice before you commit. Don't apply for seven credit cards and then max them out unless you're ready to be in crushing debt/bancruptcy. Don't sell your house or car unless you think it's worth it. Keep in mind that the odds of your movie being the next El Mariachi/Clerks/Bad Taste are very slim, so don't go on a Kamakaze movie mission unless you are willing to live with the consequences.
Whew...enough typing. Keep in mind that you need to raise enough money to get the thing shot. Or just to get shooting started. There are movies like 'Eraserhead' that took years to shoot, or 'Phantasm' that was shot over nearly a year. So long as you're willing to stick to it, you'll get it finished....or die trying!