What a week! Lots of great and exciting stuff going on with Love in the Time of Monsters, most of which I can't quite talk to you about yet. I know, I know, its lame, but until it's "official" my lips are sealed. If you can just wait a little bit longer we'll have all sorts of sweet news: CASTING! LOCATIONS! MONEY!
Speaking of money, what's the most important physical tool you can create as a producer to get it? A business plan! If you aren't familiar with what a business plan is, it's the document that details to a potential investor what exactly the "plans" are with your project. If it goes well, it can mean a windfall for your production, if not, well... It can be intimidating, but there are a few things I've picked up along the way that helped me a great deal.
When building my first business plan, I went to different resources for assistance. I grabbed a couple books, borrowed plans my friends had written, and listened to my instructors at UCLA. All were useful, and it was really interesting to see the diversity of styles and content each plan had. I mean, the variety was astounding: some plans were short and sweet, others had pages of facts and figures that took hours to read. What was the best way to approach it? Do I drop a bunch of info on the movie industry and complicated ROI (return on investment) projections into this thing, or do I just stick with a few basic bios and a plot synopsis?
After a bunch of trial and error, I figured out what my base business plan should be (I say "base" because it's wise to have multiple versions of your plan ready in case certain investors want more information). My base plan is a happy medium between the two schools of "less is more" and "more information than you can get through in one sitting." I want to give investors an idea of the film without overwhelming them in the process. It's also very important to convey your excitement about the project while staying professional. (This was pretty easy while working on the LiToM plan, because we have so much going for it!) Needless to say, you want to make sure all of your sellable elements ("name" cast, famous crew, low budget, etc) are highlighted throughout.
So far, that size of plan has worked for me. I would also like to point out that no business plan is as effective by itself as the #1 tool you have at your disposal: yourself. No single document can completely convey your knowledge and excitement about the project you are pitching. Without you as a companion, it just doesn't work.
Good luck, and remember: no one business plan is right for every project.