Independent Film Finance – A Primer – Part Three – Product Placement

KC PosterIf you’ve seen any of the last several James Bond movies, you’ve seen a spectacular, obtrusive amount of product placement.

What is product placement?

It’s when a film production gets money from a company that makes a product to show that product in the movie.

Ideally, to the company paying out, the product is being used by cool, good-looking people to do something cool, like outrun bad guys or smooth the way toward an amorous escapade (I’m looking at you, HeinekinSkyfall product placement deal).

So how do you, not the producer of Skyfall but of an indie film, get product placement dollars?

Actually, there are companies that – yes – specialize in placing products in projects. You can call them, submit your project, and see if they can make anything happen.

Obviously, these product placement companies do not do this out of the goodness of their hearts – they’ll take a fee or a percentage of what you get. But you could raise a portion of your budget this way, so despite the fact that you may not have Brad Pitt sipping a Jameson in your film, it’s probably worth giving it a shot.

You can also try calling brands themselves directly. Check out this outtake from Kingdom Come where Morgan Spurlock talks about calling brands in hopes of getting product placement for his film about product placement. Meta and very funny. (And check out Morgan’s documentary on product placement, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.)

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