My phone rang right on cue at 12:30 pm last Thursday. It was Michael Praver, president of Film Funding LA calling to make good on a phone appointment I had scheduled with him through his company’s website the day before.
SOME BRIEF CONTEXT : My film “The 5th” which I co-wrote, produced and starred in is currently on a successful run in film festivals throughout the county. We shot it as a six minute short film and had our polished, completed, feature-length script ready to share with interested production companies and potential investors.
However, it became clear I didn’t have experience engaging potential investors and production companies on a peer level. As a self-produced, independent filmmaker in Los Angeles, it sometimes feels like you are hacking your way through dense jungle with a rusty, dull machete —– you don’t know where you’re going and you definitely don’t have the right tools or experience to get to your destination.
ENTER Michael Praver, president of Film Funding LA —- I had come across his company while perusing my LinkedIn feed.
“Film Funding LA advisors help filmmakers understand the intricacies of business finance, asset protection, business taxation, and corporate structure, as a natural by-product of helping them finance their business. These services are provided free of charge as part-and-parcel of the funding process.”
IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE (as stated on their site FilmFundingLA.com):
- They are a consulting company and business service provider.
- They are NOT a bank, direct lender, or investor and they will never ask you for any equity, ownership, control, or oversight of your company or its projects.
- You pay only when, and to the extent, you actually get access to new financial resources. The agreement documents all costs and terms.
- They have helped dozens of filmmakers and hundreds of other business owners get access to the money they required to move their projects forward.
This can be a huge advantage to a self-produced independent filmmaker by empowering he or she with access to unsecured credit and guidance which far exceeds that which an individual could attain on their own.
The bottom line is that Film Funding LA opens up new possibilities for a filmmaker to finish his or her film and get it distributed profitably, even in the absence of powerful industry contacts.
Andrew Oliveri is an LA-based writer, actor, and filmmaker.