Jeff Steele has a good article about the film finance landscape over at The Wrap.
Importantly, he proclaims:
The first thing an independent producer needs to ask before taking on a project is, “Is this worth investing $10,000 – $25,000 of my own money?”
At a bare minimum, that’s what it costs to get a script ready for primetime: budget, schedule, finance plan, incorporation, script option, casting director, investment package, cash-flow schedule, and sales estimates.
These are the tools of the trade and, therefore, the cost of doing business as an independent producer. Don’t skimp. You get what you pay for
Fortunately, there are ways to accomplish most or all of this using “other people's money”, secured through use of a “front money” deal.
As always, consult a knowledgable, experienced entertainment lawyer for the details about front-money agreements and film finance deals in general.
For a primer on “6 Ways to Finance a Feature Film”, sign up for my free mini-course.