The author receives that call or email that their story could be optioned for a movie. The contracts, check and waiting period begins. Usually, this time period lasts about 12-18 months with a possible extension. If it goes from screenplay to movie, you get paid again.

When the option is not an option:
Most authors know that’s not the reality for the majority of storytellers who put their amazing stories on paper. What do you do when your story would make an amazing movie but the option doesn’t come in?  Nike said it best… Just do it! Make the movie on your own. Pull together your producer, director, cast, fundraising team and go to work.

Finances, how do you get them?:
Ok, so what the option didn’t come with a check to turn your story into a movie. Look on the bright side. You still have 100% control over your project and you can make whatever you want when you want with whoever you want. Plus, you can raise funds without the obligation to sell your project to a third party. If you decide to do so, you can sell the option based on your visual production and you can put plenty of additional money in your project.

Funding options:

  • Fund the project based on royalties received for the book sales. Then search to match funds to create a strong budget for the production.
  • Crowdfunding for the production plus additional funds to cover the same amount you would have received for the movie option (a few thousand dollars)
  • Once production is complete, return to potential investors and request funding to push the project to the pitch stage.
  • Bring on a team of fundraisers who specialize in packaging your project and building funding relationships on your behalf.

How do you make a movie:
You need a team of movie creators with the skill set to take your vision and turn it into a moving motion picture. Start with one of the key components of making a film. The screenplay/script. From there, it’s time to determine the cost. You need a team or a line producer to help you produce the budget so you can determine what it’s going to cost to make the film.

I don’t have a team:
It’s time to add a company or person that can help you organize everything from the screenplay to location to a finish project and pitching. Keep one phrase in mind as you go through this process. If it’s not your genius, it’s not your job. Add the right team to help you raise money, film the project, add the music, edit, color correct and pitch the film for placement.

Hire a team:
It’s important that you make friends before you need them. Finding a team is about networking, asking for people that are trusted in their position and then trusting your team to deliver. But always inspect what you expect. It’s obvious that has the team in place to help you pull together your project and that we would love to discuss those options. But do your homework and talk to as many teams and team leaders to see who is going to help you reach your goals.