Film Producer | Pointers


See also General Filmmaker page. Sunglasses smiley


  1. Useful Websites for Producers
  2. Film Funding
    1. Advice
    2. Grants (national and international)
    3. Investors
    4. Crowd-funding
  3. Producer Software
  4. Sales & Distribution
    1. Self-distribution
    2. London-based Film Sales Agents
  5. Books

I. Useful Websites for Producers


Filmmakers’ Blog:

Pre-production Process:

Crew Birmingham

FatLlama (equipment hire)

Filming in England (crew database)

Hertfordshire Film Office

Nu Boyana Studios (Bulgaria) – favourable overheads

Pathway – Virtual Production Studio run by Nathan Newman

Post Factory Group: Digital Cinema Package (DCP)

The Police Advisor
Andy Oldham’s police advisory service for UK filming

PrimeTime (crewing)

Production Hub

Screening Room Map, The
Screening rooms directory

Social hub for makers of short films

Staff Me Up

Studio Map, The
Studio facilities directory for film production


Getting Reviews:


Ask for Movie Review
Movie Review Exchange

II. Film Funding

Luck is the residue of design.
Spike Lee‘s favourite quote

1. Advice

Baseline Intelligence
Service providing reports on popular (finance) topics for producers

BFI: Sources of Funding for UK Film Makers

The Business
Filmmaking business podcast by Kim Manners, editor at The Hollywood Reporter, & guests

Creative England, UK

Field of Vision: Virtual Mentorship & Consultation Service for the Documentary Community

Film Courage: Interview with Glen Reynolds (YouTube)
(advice on film selling & distribution)

Film Daily – How to Fund Your Film

From the Heart Productions: List of Film Grants (International)

Greenlight My Movie
Funding sources and screenplay portal to US production companies

Independent Horror Society: How to Finance Your Film


Guide to Grant Writing:

Funding & Distribution Videos:

StudioBinder: A Guide to Funding Your Film (YouTube)

UK Tax Relief (Advice from BFI):

2. Grants

If applying for a film grant, remember:

  1. Get the application in at least a few hours before the deadline.
  2. Include a ‘proof’ of concept or mini trailer (sizzle reel) even if just 30 secs long. If you don’t have one, use recce footage, or example of your previous work.
  3. Applying for grants should be free. If you’re asked for a fee, is it worth it?
  4. Mention long-term goals as well as short-term accomplishments. Supporting artistic evolution bodes well on grant-awarding bodies.
  5. Get your proposal proofread by other filmmakers well before submission.
  6. Read and re-read the application guidelines. Get every aspect right.



Actors’ Benevolent Fund


Network: BAFTA Crew Mentoring

Documentary Features Funding

Documentary Society Fund

BFI: New Production & Development Funds for Live Action & Animation Features

Creative Debut: Black Artist’s Grant

Creatve UK

Disability Arts Online: New Commissions for Disabled Artists

Enter the Pitch

Enterprise Initiative Scheme


The Film & TV Charity

Iris Prize (funding, distribution & promotion of LGBTQ+ film)

Network: Early Development Funding


Satellite: Skip/Intro Scheme

ShootingPeople’s Film Funding Database

The Uncertain Kingdom – Development Fund

Wahala Film Fund

The Whickers – Documentary Fund


Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Screen





European Film Promotion – Film Sales Support

IBF Europe: Regulations for Distribution Support

MEDIA – European Film Funding

CountryOrganisationNational Film Agency
1.AlbaniaAlbanian Center of Cinematography
2.AustriaAFC - Austrian Films
3.BelgiumFlanders Image
4.BelgiumWallonie Bruxelles Images
5.Bosnia & HerzegovinaAssociation of Filmmakers of Bosnia and Herzegovina
6.BulgariaBulgarian National Film Center
7.CroatiaCroatian Audiovisual Centre
8.CyprusCultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus
9.Czech RepublicCzech Film Center
10DenmarkDanish Film Institute
11.EstoniaEstonian Film Institute
12.FinlandFinnish Film Foundation
14.GeorgiaGeorgian National Film Center
15.GermanyGerman Films
16.GreeceGreek Film Centre
17.HungaryNational Film Institute Hungary
18.IcelandIcelandic Film Centre
19.IrelandScreen Ireland / Fís Éireann
20.ItalyIstituto Luce Cinecittà (Italy)
21.KosovoKosovo Cinematography Center
22.LatviaNational Film Centre of Latvia
23.LithuaniaLithuanian Film Centre
24.LuxembourgFilm Fund Luxembourg
25.MacedoniaNorth Macedonia Film Agency
26.MontenegroFilm Centre of Montenegro
27.NetherlandsSEE NL (The Netherlands)
28.NorwayNorwegian Film Institute
29.PolandPolish Film Institutexx
30.PortugalInstituto do Cinema e do Audiovisual I.P. / ICA (Portugal)
31.RomaniaRomanian Film Development
32.SerbiaFilm Center Serbia
33.SlovakiaSlovak Film Institute
34.SloveniaSlovenian Film Centre
35.SpainInstituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales / ICAA (Spain)
36.SwedenSwedish Film Institute
37.SwitzerlandSwiss Films
38.United KingdomBritish Council

Rest of the World

Ford Foundation: Just Films

3. Investors

As Dov Simens says:

  1. Make a profitable £2000 film to get investment for a £20,000 film.
  2. Make a profitable £20,000 film to get investment for a £200,000 film.
  3. Make a profitable £200,000 film to get investment for a £2M film.
  4. Make a profitable £2M film to get investment for a £20M film etc.

Types of Investor:

  1. major studio looking to finance big-budget film;
  2. investor looking for an executive producer credit. – Will donate funds to filmmaker already on upward trajectory, for a film that’s already set to feature at prestigious film festivals;
  3. online platform that distributes films;
  4. small /local businesses (e.g. for product placement /their signage in your film). Be creative in how their business can profit from funding/co-funding your film (e.g. footage they can show their employees).

Scope for profit comes from your having access to the audience that wants to see your film. Investors invest for profit and/or personal interest.

4. Crowdfunding

Film Crowdfunding Sites


If you’ve an established audience, offset platform fees by considering a self-hosted campaign.

Crowdfunding is usually for funding your first, initial, passion project. It’s not really a sustainable way to get repeat funding; donors may tire of funding the same person/crew.

The film is marketed before it’s made. To crowd-fund, you must first have the crowd. Audience-build throughout your career. Find the strangers and tell them where you are. You have to have a relationship with your audience that matters. Let your fans school you on crowdfunding. The crowd is going to make you a more attentive, empathic artist. Remember that your audience is at least as smart as you think you are! Show, don’t tell.

Have a 90-second pitch video which resonates with your crowd. Do not ask for ‘help’ with a donation. Ask them to join what you are offering with a contribution, because, together, you are making something relevant. That tone has to permeate everything in your crowdfunding campaign.

Show the project, not the makers. E.g. a dramatic scene from the film; then demonstrate what your cinematographer is capable of + collation of things your actors have been in. Demonstrate you are capable of making the thing you are promising. Use a preview of your crowdfunding campaign to get feedback from your audience, before launch.

The first day of your campaign should be a big day for donations: build to that, because donors are more likely to support a campaign which has already almost reached its target. Send a personalized preview of your campaign to your biggest backers, asking them to donate early, to give your campaign the momentum it needs to succeed. Send a personalized reminder email to them on the first day of the campaign.

  1. Who is your audience? (There will be different demographics including a core group.)
  2. Where do they hang out?
  3. How do they like to be spoken to? ⇒
  4. How do you reach them?
  5. Dedicate yourself actively to engaging your audience (hard work & patience).

Personalized emails will be more effective. Post continuous updates while the campaign is live (crew, locations, gear, excitement). Ask initial donors to increase their donations if they can and to share campaign details with their friends.

*Kickstarter’s model only charges donors if you reach your target goal. Donors usually prefer this, as it ensures they’ll be supporting a properly-funded project.

More Tips:

III. Producer Software

IV. Sales & Distribution


Interview with Marcus Markou


London-based Film Sales Agents

Sales agents bridge the gap between filmmakers and potential distributors, for a % cut.

CineCircle advice on sales agents:


V. Books

d’ADAMO, Amadeo:
Producing for the Screen
(Routledge, 2020)

A Guide to Low Budget Filmmaking
(Creative Essentials, 2019)

Producing for Film & Television
(The Crowood Press, 2019)

CLEVE, Bastian:
Film Production Management
(Routledge, 2017)

The Independent Film Producer’s Survival Guide
(Schirmer, 2011)

FOLLOWS, Stephen:
Crowd Funding for Film Makers
(Creative Essentials, 2018)

Shoot Me: Independent Filmmaking from Concept to Rousing Release
(Allworth Press, 2002)

GAINES, Philip & RHODES, David:
Hollywood on 5,000, 10,000 or 25,000 Dollars a Day: Survival Guide for Low-Budget Film Makers
(Sillman-James, 1994)

Persistence of Vision: Impractical Guide to Producing a Feature Film for Under $30,000
(Michael Wiese Productions, 1995)

GOODELL, Gregory:
Independent Feature Film Production: A Complete Guide from Concept Through Distribution
(St Martin’s Press, 2003)

GROVE, Elliot:
Raindance Producers’ Lab. Lo-to-no Budget Filmmaking
(Focal Press, 2013)

HARMON, Renée:
Film Producing Low Budget Films That Sell
(Samuel French, 1988) – Dated but still useful

The Complete Film Production Handbook
(Elsevier /Focal Press, 2010)

LEE, John:
The Producer’s Business Handbook
(Routledge, 2017)

LYONS, Sarah:
Indie Film Producing
(Routledge, 2012)

The Filmmakers’ Legal Guide
(Grantham Books, 2024 – ensure to check for latest edition)

PATZ, Deborah:
Film Production Management 101
(Michael Wiese Productions, 2011)

Howard Kazanjian: A Producer’s Life
(Cameron Books, 2021)

Rebel Without a Crew: Or How a 23-Year-Old Filmmaker with $7,000 Became a Hollywood Player
(Penguin, 1996)

RUSSO, John & VINCENT, Gary:
How to Make Exciting Money-Making Movies
(Burning Bulb Publishing, 2015)

RYAN, Maureen:
Producer to Producer: A Step-by-Step Guide to Low-budget Independent Film Producing
(Michael Wiese Productions, 2017)

Feature Filmmaking at Used-Car Prices: How to Write, Produce, Direct, Shoot, Edit, and Promote a Feature Length Movie for Less Than $15,000
(Penguin Books, 1988)

STERN, Bret:
How to Shoot a Feature Film for Under $10,000: And Not Go to Jail
(William Morrow & Co., 2002)

Production Management for TV & Film
(Methuen Drama, 2010)

Making Independent Films
(Allworth Press, 2000)

Crowdfunding for Filmmakers: The Way to a Successful Film Campaign
(Michael Wiese Productions, 2016)

TURMAN, Lawrence:
So You Want to Be a Producer
(Methuen, 2006)

VACHON, Christine & BUNN, Austin:
A Killer Life: How an Independent Film Producer Survives Deals & Disasters in Hollywood & Beyond
(Limelight Editions, 2007)