The Basics of Film Finance: Film Marketing Budgets

[The following article was supplied by and written by Roman Sahakov. He is a freelance marketing specialist with a primary focus on customer satisfaction for different businesses. Being a true humanist he draws inspiration from the simple things in everyday life and the matters he comes across.]

Photo by Lê Minh from

The market size of the cinematography industry is expected to increase year by year. Being a branch of both economy and culture, it enjoys great popularity around the world. Raising the cultural level of viewers is crucial through high-quality films. Financing of film projects is one of the important investments to bring tangible value in the process, as getting results requires payments to talent, labor, materials, effects, and of course, marketing.

The Importance of Marketing

Film marketing is an activity aimed at meeting the needs and requirements of viewers, as well as making a profit from the sale of a film. It is a process that identifies market needs and encourages film market participants to respond to them. Besides, marketing is essential to the success of the film. However, effective marketing strategies demand investment. The more your budget is, the better it will target.

There is a group of filmmakers who say that they make films to satisfy their artistic needs. However, making a film requires effort and endeavor, and it can bring you profit. It is not simple, as first, you need to find your audience and then show your movie. In reality, both are quite difficult goals to achieve with a low to no money budget. Fortunately, there are ways you can go with raising the budget for film and marketing even if you’re a beginner.

What are The Next Steps?

Before looking for marketing budget funds, you will need to establish that there is one to be planned. You need to plan your film budget in a way that the percentage goes to marketing (unless you have a breakthrough, a kick-ass idea for word of mouth, then we say you’ll need it). We know that film production costs are endless, but if you’re thinking about showing your film to a wide range of viewers, you need to be prepared to spend some money on marketing as well.

After carefully planning all the details, the next important step is finding a place where you can get grants. The first and obvious places to get grants are national film institutes. Almost every country has a film institute that supports local productions and filmmakers. The Institutes offer many grants from full production to screenplay or skills development. Keep in mind however that most Institutes support the local film industry (even though they have international grants) and it’s always best to start with your own country.

Next, you can also search for local support like cultural councils. If you decide to apply for an institute grant just remember to follow the exact grant guideline or you’ll decrease your chances of receiving one right there at the beginning.

An alternative way to receive funds is crowdfunding, a great way for independent filmmakers if well prepared. Crowdfunding is a marketing project and to perform a successful crowdfunding campaign you need to think like a marketer. You can also choose to entrust your crowdfunding campaign to professionals specializing in the theme of crowdfunding.

You can also try to find a producer for your movie (most likely independent) to fund your film and your marketing needs. It is always worth keeping your eyes on upcoming pitchings organized not only by studios but also by film schools and televisions (local and global). The only problem here is, that with a producer you most likely will not have as much freedom as you’d like.

Once you’ve got the funds you need, go over your production goals again and see what must be done not only to produce but also to show your movie to the audience.

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3 Responses to The Basics of Film Finance: Film Marketing Budgets

  1. Na’ !
    Crowdfunding is the “shovels and the pikes” metaphor in the gold rush.

    I did exactly that.
    Two different campaigns for a kickstarter, Patreon,etc. And not a person showed up!!

    Crowdfunding is over a few years back.

    Take that money go straight to the marketing of the movie in facebook, twitter, instagram, etc. They are mega cheep ads.
    Have a nice trailer and pray!

    If you have an amazing movie with a marvelous script and god loves you… Luck will be on your side!

    If you believe in god pray for Luck! That is all you need in here (presuming you are an amazing well crafted filmmaker i’m assuming you are)

    Listen to Larry – he is more than an advisor, he is a brilliant guru!



    • Larry says:


      There’s an old adage: “It takes money to make money.” Marketing takes money, and time, and talent. It doesn’t just happen. You need to plan and budget your marketing as carefully as you do production – because in both cases, there’s never enough money and time. You do the best you can.

      I also agree that there’s no “one way” to market a film; and be cautious of people who say that there is.


      P.S. Thanks for the kind words about me, as well.

  2. […] by Roman Sahakov | […]

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