In Episode 1, I took a detailed look at “Budget Development”, and in the second, I treated “Business Plan”. In this Episode, I shall be concluding my article with “Pitching For Finance”.

From the point of conception of the film idea to the end of a business plan development, “Pitching for Finance” is the first situation and time that brings “Talent” face to face with “Capital” to play out their conflict. This is the point “Talent” says: “to give life to my creative ingenuity, this is the money I will require”. Then “Capital”, considering the arrogance will ask: “Why should I invest in your passion, and how do I get my money back?”. The process of convincing “Capital” to give up his money to finance an invisible product (movie) is what I titled “Pitching For Finance”. Recall that you have two vital documents (Budget and Business Plan) already prepared and ready for delivery, but the investor does not have the patience to entertain the works of your sleepless nights. So how do you catch his attention? You must prepare both psychologically and physically. Appear smart, courteous and confident before your financiers and pitch your heart out. Remember to use very comfortable shoes, it does help!

After exchanging pleasantries, introduce yourself very briefly and introduce the title of the script you are pitching for: “My name is Okao Peddie, I’m pitching for the script IKOKA.”

At this point, courteously put in front of each person in that room, a copy of a well-designed but not too busy “HANDBILL” showcasing the proposed headliner of the movie and the title.

Quickly present the “Logline” of the story in short but compelling few sentences.

“In this story: Iyase leads an audacious rebellion against the king in a 1705 A.D. Benin Kingdom, only to be rescued by love, the beautiful queen of Oba Ewuakpe who was caught between love and loyal in reconciling the King with his subjects. Queen Iden had to die so that the king may live.”

Then tell the investors the intended lead actors that are likely to headline the film: “Olu Jacobs will be headlining the film while Justice Esire plays the villain. Two great actors whose interpretational competencies have the propensity to trigger the most sincere emotions from a stone-hearted audience.”

As you make out to drop a copy of the synopsis with them, start to tell them a very short story (synopsis) of the film. You may start with: “Permit me to tell you what this compelling story is all about.”

Truly, at this point the investor has started to wonder!

“Against his mother’s counsel, the king chastises his subjects making terror synonymous with his staff of office. Revenge, over Iden, a maiden’ love he loses to the king drives Iyase’s ambition to lead this audacious revolt but he finds a warrior in Queen Iden who stands in defence of her husband. The king seeks help from Ikoka, the land of his mother, but they deny him food, water and service in reminder of his brutish actions of the past which Ikoka refuses to forgive. Hungry, alone and hurt, and with his staff of divinity, Oba Ewuakpe lays a curse on the land of his mother that never again shall a man of substance emerge from Ikoka. A curse which keeps Ikoka in denial till date. But to rescue the king, Iden, the only companion and loving warrior of the king, offers herself for a sacrifice which the king accepts in tears, a sacrifice that casts silence, loneliness, and fear within the walls of the palace makes the king wonder if tomorrow will ever come!”

As you conclude with the synopsis, drop a copy of your “Budget” on the table, and continue your presentation:

“This compelling story will cost =N= X amount of money to produce and the world is waiting to see this movie”. The breakdown of the cost is contained in this document marked ‘Budget’.”

At this point, give them a minute because you have just diluted a glowing pleasure of a compelling story with the whistling sound of your cost which they try to confirm from your budget summary pages. Then move on to the concluding part as you drop a copy each of your business plan:

“In this last document, I have carefully stated how this cost will be recovered. It is a couple of pages but resolves the question weighing in on your mind right now. You will find that the film ‘IKOKA’ will return 45% on your investment within one year.”

At this point, maintain your peace because your voice is temporarily not required as they flip through the summary pages of your documents. Do not fire the first shot! Just wait. Use this time to open your documents on your laptop which by now is projected onto a wide screen (if available. If not available, be prepared to refer them to each relevant page).

Then the questions will gradually set in. Keep all raised heads and eyeballs on the screen by opening to each relevant page, to answer any question thrown at you. Do not answer with summary pages but with pages having detailed information. Show them how you arrived at costs and how you intend to generate every item of revenue in your documents. Just own your documents and be a master of it.

And when the questions stop, pause a while, then humbly slip your Business Card and a Show-Reel of some of your past works in front of them:

“This is my business card, and that is a show-reel for some of my past works; it speaks to my competencies in filmmaking.”

Wait quietly for whatever comes next until you are dismissed. Remember to thank them for their time, as I make to thank you for keeping faith with my episodic article which closes today. Thank you for staying with me.