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Documentary Film Business Plan

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Raise the money you need to develop and shoot a feature-length documentary with this fully editable Documentary Film Business Plan template. The Plan can be used by either a start-up or an existing film production company. The purpose of the Plan is to entice private investors to fund the production costs. The Business Plan includes: - production plan, - distribution plan, - financial plan setting out the use of the proceeds, income projections, and a set of assumptions on which the projections are based, and - Confidentiality Agreement to protect against disclosure of your proprietary information. You need a solid business plan in order to demonstrate to lenders and investors that your business venture is likely to succeed. Each section of this Documentary Film Production Business Plan template contains instructions to help you complete the document.

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									                           [NAME OF COMPANY]

                                  BUSINESS PLAN
                                      [date business plan issued]




                                  Contact: [name], CEO [or President]
                                               [address]
                                         [phone no. & fax no.]
                                                [email]
                                               [web site]




    The information contained in this business plan is confidential and proprietary to [NAME OF
 COMPANY] (the “Company”) and is intended only for the persons to whom it is transmitted by the
   Company or its representatives. Any reproduction of this document, in whole or in part, or the
  divulgence of any of its contents without the prior written consent of the Company, is prohibited.

This is a business plan. It does not imply and shall not be construed as an offering of securities. Persons
            interested in pursuing an investment should contact their professional advisors.
                                 -2-


Business Plan Copy No. _______




                                  2
                              Confidentiality Agreement

The undersigned reader acknowledges that the information provided by [NAME OF
COMPANY] in this business plan is confidential. Therefore, the undersigned reader
agrees not to disclose any of such information without the express written permission
of [NAME OF COMPANY].


It is hereby acknowledged by the undersigned that the information to be furnished in
this business plan is in all respects confidential in nature (other than such information
which is already in the public domain through other means) and that any disclosure or
use of same by the undersigned may cause serious harm or damage to [NAME OF
COMPANY].


Upon request, this document is to be immediately returned to [NAME OF COMPANY].




Signature


Print Name


Date
                                                                                 - ii -


                                                             TABLE OF CONTENTS
Confidentiality Agreement ...................................................................................................................................... i
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ......................................................................................................................................... 1
I.     THE COMPANY .......................................................................................................................................... 2
       1.1      Company Background ....................................................................................................................... 2
       1.2      Directors............................................................................................................................................ 2
       1.3      Outside Consultants & Professional Advisors ................................................................................... 2
       1.4      Business History................................................................................................................................ 3
II.    MARKET ANALYSIS ................................................................................................................................. 4
       2.1      Industry Analysis............................................................................................................................... 4
       2.2      The Market ........................................................................................................................................ 4
       2.3      The Competition ............................................................................................................................... 5
III.   THE PROJECT ............................................................................................................................................. 6
       3.1      Synopsis of Script ............................................................................................................................. 6
       3.2      Writers .............................................................................................................................................. 6
       3.3      Production Crew ............................................................................................................................... 6
       3.4      Goal ................................................................................................................................................... 6
       3.5      Rating ................................................................................................................................................ 6
IV.    PRODUCTION PLAN ................................................................................................................................ 7
       4.1      Development ..................................................................................................................................... 7
       4.2      Pre-Production .................................................................................................................................. 7
       4.3      Production ......................................................................................................................................... 7
       4.4      Post-Production ................................................................................................................................. 7
V.     DISTRIBUTION PLAN .............................................................................................................................. 9
       5.1      Distribution Pattern ........................................................................................................................... 9
       5.2      Publicity .......................................................................................................................................... 10
       5.3      Advertising ...................................................................................................................................... 10
VI.    MANAGEMENT & MILESTONES ....................................................................................................... 11
       6.1      Management Team .......................................................................................................................... 11
       6.2      Major Milestones ............................................................................................................................ 11
VII.   FINANCIAL PLAN ................................................................................................................................... 12
       7.1      Use of Proceeds............................................................................................................................... 12
       7.2      Financial Assumptions .................................................................................................................... 13
       7.3      Income Projections .......................................................................................................................... 13
       7.4      Early Negotiations ........................................................................................................................... 14
       7.5      Future Projects ................................................................................................................................ 14
APPENDIX “A” [support documents] ................................................................................................................. 15
                                           [NAME OF COMPANY]
                                             BUSINESS PLAN

                                          EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
(NOTE: The Executive Summary is the section of the business plan in which you give an overview of the business, its
present status and future direction, and highlight the key points and the purpose of your business plan. This section
should be written after the rest of the business plan, and should not exceed 3 pages in length - that’s why it’s called a
“summary”.)

Company Background

[for existing companies]
[NAME OF COMPANY] (the “Company”) is a [describe, e.g. “a corporation incorporated under the laws of the
State/Province of ___________”] which has been engaged in the business of film production and
distribution for the past ____ years.

[for new companies:]
[NAME OF COMPANY] (the “Company”) is in the process of being formed/created as a [describe, e.g. “a
corporation incorporated under the laws of the State/Province of ___________”], for the purpose of producing
and distributing feature length documentary films.

The Company [is/will be] managed by a team of _____________ individuals with a total of _______ years
experience in the film industry, a chief financial officer with _____ years of accounting and administrative
experience, and _________ [list].

Project

[Insert name of project], a feature-length documentary film about __________________ [briefly describe], is
the _________ [first, tenth, etc.] project the Company has placed into development.

Opportunity

With successful distribution, the film may earn a portion of the $_______ [insert current number} billion
annual box office receipts. Other revenue opportunities include home video / DVD sales, television
contracts, international theatrical releases, and educational markets. While the film industry is highly
speculative, it is estimated that the project could gross $______ million among different venues and
products.

Capital Requirements

The Company requires an estimated $_________________ in order to produce and distribute the film.
                                                    -2-


                                       I.      THE COMPANY
1.1     Company Background

[The following is provided by way of example and should be revised to fit your particular circumstances.]
The Company was incorporated on _____________ [date] in __________. The head office of the Company
is located at [address].

To date, the Company has issued ___________ shares of common stock [provide details on all shares of stock
issued and outstanding]. The following table sets out the current shareholders and the number of shares
owned by each:

      Name of Shareholder                            Address                       No. & Class of Shares




The remainder of the issued and outstanding common shares are retained by the Company for [future
distribution / allocation under the Company’s employee stock option plan / etc].

The Company currently has outstanding shareholder loans in the aggregate                          sum    of
$___________________. The following table sets out the details of the shareholder loans:

      Name of Shareholder              Amount of Loan            Date of Loan        Balance Outstanding




1.2     Directors

The Company’s Board of Directors, which [will be/is] made up of highly qualified business and industry
professionals/experts, [will be a valuable asset to the Company and instrumental to its development by
assisting/assists] our management team in making appropriate decisions and taking the most effective
action; however, they [will not be/are not] responsible for management decisions. The following persons
[will make up the/are the current] Board of Directors of the Company: [list each person on the Board]

        Name of Person
        business & educational background, past industry experience, other companies in which the
        person played a key role

        Name of Person
        business & educational background, past industry experience, other companies in which the
        person played a key role

1.3     Outside Consultants & Professional Advisors

At present, no outside consultants or professional advisors have been retained. [if outside consultants have
been retained, list them and their credentials:] The Company’s outside consultants and professional advisors
provide tremendous input and support to enable management to make well-informed, creative and
appropriate decisions:
                                                -3-


       •       [accountant/cpa]
       •       [legal counsel]
       •       [others]

1.4    Business History

Since _______, the Company has been a steady supplier of written and filmed products to domestic and
foreign distributors. [give examples, describe any awards or accolades for past films]
                                                   -4-


                                   II.     MARKET ANALYSIS
[Do your homework for this section – industry research is required to come up with the most recent
available figures. Be sure to quote your sources.]

2.1     Industry Analysis

In ______ [year], the North American box office totaled $______ billion. Due to the growth in international
demand, American motion picture distributors generated more than $_____ in worldwide revenues in
______, an increase of ___% from the year before. Analysts project that the worldwide box office will
increase by ____% over the next ___ years. Since _______ [year], admission prices have increased by
___%, proving that increased ticket prices do not deter movie audiences.

The number of films released in North America averaged ________ per year from ______ [year] to _____
[year]. Of these films, ____% were R rated, ____% were rated PG-13, and only ___% had a G rating.
Documentaries account for only about ___% of film revenue. Most documentary filmmakers make their
films for reasons other than box office revenues.

The documentary film industry has changed dramatically over the last 25-30 years. Historically,
independent filmmakers dominated the industry by producing and distributing the majority of
documentaries made in North America. Currently, however, many documentary films are produced and
distributed by entities other than the independents, including mainstream movie production companies.
In addition, the financial structure of the industry is experiencing an important change resulting from the
expansion of television, cable, the Internet and increased popularity of DVDs.

While mainstream companies own their own production studios (equipment, sound stages, post-
production facilities), have national and worldwide distribution, produce and release films with budgets
of millions of dollars, and provide a continuous supply of product to exhibitors, the independent
filmmaker must rely on others to help produce and distribute a documentary film. An independent must
raise funds, which can range well into six and seven figures, to either rent or purchase production
equipment and post-production facilities, to hire the necessary people, and to find distribution outlets.
Because the costs are so high, independents are forced to apply to the public and private sectors to obtain
funding. Since few independent filmmakers produce and distribute documentary films for profit, they
must create vehicles for funding that are consistent with underwriters and sponsors who are looking for
returns other than profits.

The documentary film industry consists of two broad principal activities: (i) production, which includes
development, financing, pre-production, principal photography, and post-production; and (ii)
distribution, which includes advertising, publicizing, licensing, release and exploitation of the film.

2.2     The Market

The average market of a documentary film ranges from screenings at neighborhood theaters to multiplex
theaters in larger urban centers. With constant changes in technology in television, cable, film, and home
entertainment, the market can more easily access documentary films to view. This accessibility extend to
include those who are either unable to attend theaters or would just rather watch films at home.

The project has attracted attention from countries all over the world, including _____________________.
The Company believes it will appeal to a broad audience, both male and female, in the _____ to _______
age range, and of diverse ethnic backgrounds.

While documentaries are only a small portion of the total film industry, they have the potential to
generate significant income. However, many pieces have to fall into place for that to happen, and many
                                                    -5-


documentary films are made to tell a story objectively and accurately, without employing the kind of
gimmicks or promotion that can help create box office success. As Robert Redford once said,
“Documentary films have the power to reveal truth in ways other genres don’t.” But getting that message
out to audiences requires distribution, and it is through distribution that a documentary film gains
revenue potential.

2.3     The Competition

Consumers have many choices for ways to spend their leisure time and dollars. All of these hobbies and
leisure activities compete with films. The major leisure time activities which compete with watching films
are: cable and satellite television, broadcast television, home video and DVD, recorded music, radio,
Internet, reading, and video games.

Recent studies have shown that filmed entertainment comprises over 50% of total media consumption.
This is the segment where a majority of the Company’s product offering falls. In categories where the
Company does not currently plan to offer a product, it will use that medium to generate interest through
publicity and advertising. By offering multiple products based on the documentary, the Company intends
to compete in multiple markets, increasing revenue potential and public awareness of the project.

Feature documentaries are much more than just a means of entertainment, they are also educational. This
increases the potential audience for the project.

The greatest competitive threat to the project would be if another production company also makes a film
based on the subject matter and releases it before or at the same time as our project. This could adversely
affect the ability to secure distribution for some areas. If the media becomes saturated with the subject
through numerous projects being released at or near the same time, it could be difficult to get the kind of
public attention necessary to drive audiences to the theater and to purchase the related products.

The strength of feature documentary films 
								
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