Pitching a location letter to Film Investors can easily impress them when presenting your film proposal. Location. Location. Location. This is something we hear in the real estate world, but the same holds true in the world of independent film – film locations are an important selling tool. A strong location can not only add great production value to your film, but also become a key selling point when correctly pitching a location letter to film investors. Having a location donated shows you've put thought towards your negative pick up costs and ensuring you have the correct Location Release agreement in place demonstrates you are on top of your entire "Chain of Title," so your film will saleable.
It is just as important to pitch a location owner as it is to pitch investors. When writing a scene or storyboarding, you should have an image of how a particular location looks, and location scouting is designed to help you find that magical place. When you do scout the perfect location, it will be pristine, meaning no filming ever took place there before. This serves an independent filmmaker well; as the location owner may not be familiar with film production or the possibility they could be paid for use of their location. Most of the time, location owners are excited just to see a movie being filmed in their establishment, or the benefit of advertising their location to a large audience, as long as it doesn’t interfere with their business. This type of soft film financing, securing your location at no cost, will impress investors.
Once you find the perfect location, how do you approach the owner? The simplest and most efficient way is via a location letter, followed by a phone call. This letter should be simple, to the point, and is a very successful tool in getting what you want for free. The location letter paragraphs should be structured as follows:
- Introduce yourself and the film. Include your attachment to the project, the title of the film, logline and any notable cast or crew members. If this is a low budget film, explain how cast and crew are donating their time and how you are reaching out to see if the owner is willing to donate his/her location.
- Pitch the scene you want to film at their location and how their location is going to make the film great. Butter them up by praising their location. Make them excited about the scene that will take place there. Include days and times you would like to film there. Don’t be too specific. You don’t want to scare them off by saying the scene will require a fifteen hour day during the work week. Show you are open to working around their schedule. Conversations with specific details will come later.
- Tell them about other neighboring locations where you are filming. Show other location owners and people are on board. Say you have insurance or will be obtaining insurance (Insurance is a must). If this is the first location you are approaching, give them a production timeline and your plans for the film.
- Wrap up the location letter by including your contact information and scheduling a time to meet and discuss further details.
The point of the location letter is not to scare a location owner with all the details. Details will follow in the next conversation. Remember to use key words: donating, volunteering, low budget. The ultimate goal is to get them to give you the location for free.
A strong location can not only add great production value to your film but also become a key selling point when correctly pitching a location letter to film investors. Having a great location early on is more ammunition for your proposal when pitching to film investors. It shows you are already budget and finance conscious and on your way to making a great film.
Location Letter Example Template
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Pitching Film Investors
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