by Sue Basko, esq.
If you want to invest in something where you are sure to be repaid and to make a profit, most independent films are a very poor choice. It is extremely difficult and rare for an independent film to recoup its costs, let alone become a moneymaker. The few that do are usually made by experienced people, backed by ample funding, and distributed by a top-rated mainstream distributor.
But.. there are other reasons to invest in independent film. One can invest in things other than the moneymaking aspects of a film. By giving your money to make a film, you can:
1) Help support the filmmakers, so they can eat, have a place to live, and make their movie;
2) Help promote the story or cause of the film, if it is something you believe in;
3) Help promote the art of filmmaking;
4) Get involved in an interesting project;
5) Let the filmmakers get needed experience so they can move on in their careers and use this film as samples on their reels;
6) Get experience yourself as a film funder or executive producer;
7) Get into the filmmaking community;
8) Get invited to screenings, parties, festivals, and awards ceremonies;
9) Perhaps take a role in the film -- either technical, acting, promotion, design or sales of licensed merchandise related to the film, etc;
10) Your leadership role in the film can lead to other opportunities outside of film.