Making Money

Save big budgets for Hollywood.  The movie you make should only be what you can afford.  If you already have a video camera you should be able to do it for free and with a lot of help.  But since you came to this page titled “Raising Money”, you obviously want to know something about it. 
American Film home
Do you own a lawn mower?  Does your friend own a lawn mower?  If so, get together, put an ad in the newspaper, and convince a parent to drive you around town to cut the grass.  Charge $10-15 per yard and pretty soon you’ll be raking in some extra cash.  Tell people you’re doing it to raise money for a movie you want to make and you might get some good tips.  People respect you if you work hard for your goal.  But what if it’s snowing where you live?  Do you own a shovel?  Does your friend own a shovel?
Get together with the friends that will help with your movie.  Get some big plastic jars.  Cut a hole in the lid so people can drop money in.  Put a label on the jar with your movie title, names, and that you are doing a fundraiser for the good cause of making your important movie.  Go to local stores and see if they’ll let you put the jars near the cash registers or some other ideal place.  Have parents take them to work.  The more jars, the better off you are.  But don’t expect the jars to fill up overnight.  This is a long term fundraiser.
If you have two VCRs, or can borrow your friend’s, it will be easy to make copies of your movie when it’s finished.  You could sell advance copies of the movie for just a few dollars.  Tell people it will really help you make a much better movie if you had more cash at the start.  Make sure they know the movie will cost a lot more when it’s actually done.
Do extra chores around the house.  See if there’s a super big project, like painting the garage, that you can do for some big bucks.  Remember, you need to work hard to find your goal.
Figure out what will cost you the most money for your movie.  If it’s a really expensive prop, like an ancient statue of armor, see if you can talk the store owner into getting his name in the credits for letting you use it.  Tell him you’ll even put the name of his store, his kids’ names, his grandma’s name, whatever.  People love to get credit.  Oh, let me know if this works.
If you are making a movie for a school project, get permission to put up flyers or have an announcement made.  Tell people what you will need and get the teachers involved.  See if you can film at the school.  See if you can borrow camera or editing equipment from the video department. 
In a last resort, and if you’re really serious, and totally convinced your movie needs to be done with a LOT of money…  write an honest letter to rich business owners in town.  Tell them your story and why it is important for you to make the movie.  If they don’t give you cash, they might surprise you with donations of food, clothing, or something else. We were able to get a loan from a local business in out town Auto Glass in New Orleans  At the very least, you’ll start to make a name for yourself.  Before you do this, make sure you know your idea inside and out.  Make sure your script is perfect.  Make sure you can actually pull it off.  Tell them exactly what you’ll use the money for.