Case Study

How to Fund Your Film

"an incredibly useful tool – it’s got everything in there."
Tessa Ross, ex-Head of Film Four


Netribution Ltd


May 2003 — May 2010


  • Co-author, editor
  • Design, layout & typesetting
  • Marketing, sales & publicity
  • Website and online shop
  • eBook conversion & distribution


  • Film Finance Handbook cover
  • Fund Your Film website
  • Film Finance Handbook advert 1
  • Film Finance Handbook inside 1
  • Film Finance Handbook advert 2
  • Film Finance Handbook epub
  • Film Finance Handbook inside 2
  • Film Finance Handbook poster
  • Film Finance Handbook website

    The Film Finance Handbook

    "An indispensable guide"
    BBC Film Network
    "You can't think about funding without it"
    Chris Jones, author & head of London Screenwriters Festival
    Netribution began publishing a free film finance guide on their website in 1999. In 2003 this evolved into the Shooting People Press book Get Your Film Funded: UK Film Finance Handbook and two subsequent Film Finance Handbooks. For the last 2007/08 edition , over 40 experts from six continents contributed, re-released in 2010 in DRM-free ePub, Kindle and PDF versions. It covered:
    • All forms of film finance explained;
    • In-depth international incentives (tax breaks and public money) for 50 countries, written in collaboration with legal experts in each country;
    • How to use the web for fund-raising, marketing and distribution;
    • Details of 1000 funding awards from over 300 bodies;
    • Cutting budgets, a guide to microbudget techniques;
    • Dozens of case studies and interviews, including Oscar-winning producer Jeremy Thomas (The Last Emperor), crowd-funding pioneer Jim Gilliam (Brave New Films), Susan Buice and Arin Crumley (Four Eyed Monsters), Roy Disney, Gus van Sant, Nik Powell (head of NFTS and legendary producer), Lance Weiler and Paul Haggis (Crash).

    Why did we make this?

    With some 11,500 copies sold, the motivation for the book is the same as when it was a webpage in 1999 - it's a question we want to know the answer to: how to fund a film in the current landscape? How to make a business around your ideas and keep making films without jeopardising your creativity and freedom? And could we stay true to three principles:

    • 1

      No glass ceiling of knowledge: all information for everyone

      There are many levels of filmmaking - from no-budget shorts, to bootstrapped micro-documentaries through to big-budget international co-porducitons. A filmmaker in their career may move between any of these places. Someone just starting could learn as much about high-end packaging, as someone at a big budget level can learn about micro-budgets. Many people suggested we should create two books - a 'high-end' and 'low-end' but this two-tier film industry seems to becoming less relevent: we all make moving image and want an audience, whatever the budget.
    • 2

      Keep it affordable

      Having created business books for £500 to £700 a copy, it was suggested we should make a high cost book for 'serious producers'. It seemed essential the book should be affordable to people at all income levels - anywhere in the world. Much knowledge has been kept in closed circles and subject to expensive advisers and courses, so we've tried to put as much as we can in one book for around the price of a night at the cinema.
    • 3

      Get the best writers and proven case studies

      Rather than present a single guaranteed path of success, we aimed to highlight and champion success stories and best practice. On the last edition, as well as seasoned financier and lawyer Adam P Davies - who co-wrote and helped publish it, we had local guides written by dozens of experts and lawyers around the world, backed up with case studies and interviews.
    "I read your book cover to cover… great insights & significant clarity on a very complex subject."
    Duncan Cork, CEO
    "Producers should arm themselves with this comprehensive, well written guide."
    Tim Adler, former editor, Screen Finance & Deadline Hollywood