Confessions of a Film Investor

The Missing Book for Independent Filmmakers

Non-Fiction - Self Help
168 Pages
Reviewed on 04/25/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rich Follett for Readers' Favorite

Confessions of a Film Investor: The Missing Book for Independent Filmmakers by Albert Sandoval is as rare a find in the world of filmmaking as the proverbial unicorn in the garden. In a practical, no-nonsense, conversational style, Sandoval teaches and testifies that being a creative person does not mean that we have to be bad at business. His candid tone and laser-beam focus are unmistakable: “I will give it to you straight—no fluff, no bullshit—and you do with it what you want (p. 39). In the “time-is-money” world of film financing, the old adage “you only get one chance to make a first impression” is elevated from adage to mantra, and Sandoval gives a plethora of insider tips on how to make the most of every opportunity and every moment, whether they be carefully planned or completely unforeseen.

Topics range from hiring first-rate talent on a budget to gaining access to prime investors to perfecting your ‘elevator speech.’ Any reader with even a passing interest in film production will immediately recognize Sandoval’s content-rich primer as an indispensable resource. Sandoval’s experience and wisdom are of the choice variety that can only be acquired in the real world over the course of a lifetime – experience and wisdom that are rare to find and even rarer to find in someone willing to share so unselfishly. Confessions of a Film Investor is more than a field guide to success; it is a crash course in creative reality – a cautionary tale inexplicably and refreshingly chock-full of unbridled optimism. What a gift! Superb in every aspect. Whether you want to become a film investor, learn more about the art and business of filmmaking, or just want to enrich your independent cinema viewing experience, Confessions of a Film Investor by Albert Sandoval is a riveting, must-read masterpiece.

Bruce Arrington

Confessions of a Film Investor: The Missing Book for Independent Filmmakers by Albert Sandoval is a fairly short read. A total of 15 chapters of insights, examples, and practical advice for anyone looking to find an investor to fund their movies. It takes a no-nonsense approach, packs in only useful information and has not one ounce of fluff. I chose to read this book because I’m interested in how funding works with scripts and movies. The idea of funding a movie had always seemed to be this strange unknown floating out in space.

But not anymore. Albert’s relative and recent experiences (look him up on IMDB) make him the perfect person to write this book. He shares the pitfalls, the traps, the deceptive practices by supposed “investors” who are nothing more than con-men dressed in gold. But he also will tell you how to find the true investors. If you are serious about getting your movie funded, you will want to read and follow his advice. To the letter. The author shares the pains and frustrations he went through so you don’t have to.

But Confessions of a Film Investor by Albert Sandoval goes beyond just handing out warnings. He takes you through the steps, what to do post-production, how to watch every dime, how to arrange your time and schedule, what you will need from lawyers. It is a gold mine of information, essential to any would-be movie maker. Don’t even think about starting a movie without this book!

Asher Syed

Confessions of a Film Investor: The Missing Book for Independent Filmmakers by Albert Sandoval is an insider look into the business of financing a film project. Sandoval breaks down the process in a no-holds-barred and frank approach to all aspects of the trade. The guide begins with the author's own experience in the industry, narrating his personal story and professional outlook in the first person. In over fifteen chapters, Sandoval pinpoints the who, what, when, and wherewithal (in its most literal definition) and gives readers the ultimate insider view in an effort to help others in the industry understand the potential for windfalls and pitfalls when attempting to get funding for their film.

Albert Sandoval writes like a friend that genuinely wants you to succeed and do well, but also isn't going to sugarcoat the process or pretend it's easy. It's not, but Confessions of a Film Investor will, at the very least, give a producer the tools necessary to avoid showing up to a knife fight armed with a wet noodle. Sandoval delivers in a relatable voice with solid, experienced advice and—most importantly—reminding a reader that even when a producer is desperate, the financer/recipient partnership should be mutually (even if not equally) beneficial. For example, in Chapter 11, Selling Your Soul to the Devil, he writes, “Do not allow the investor to take any authority away from you. Too many times, there is a misalignment in responsibility and authority, and that will never work.” I believe sound advice like this is critical to a would-be producer, particularly when they are new or begin to feel desperate. I think if you're going to start looking to secure private financing for a film, before picking up the phone—I'd recommend picking up this book first.

K.C. Finn

Confessions of a Film Investor: The Missing Book for Independent Filmmakers is a work of non-fiction intended to help those aspiring to work in the film industry, penned by author Albert Sandoval. As an investor for many years in the film industry himself, Albert Sandoval offers a guidebook filled with lots of personal experience about supporting independent films and their creators. The book intends to bridge the gap between the ‘money people’ who seek to make private investments in the cinema industry, and those creative folk looking to make their visions come to reality, but also to succeed with the work in the wider world.

For a relatively short book, author Albert Sandoval packs a punch with a huge wealth of information for his aspirational creatives. The chapter organization is excellent, covering personal experiences but also valuable topics such as spotting fakes, thinking like a producer when you want to ‘sell’ your idea, and how to develop the right personality traits, ditch the ego and get along with industry people so that you can deliver a realistic and good product to succeed with. The writing style is also very conversational and easy to read, narrated as though Sandoval is talking straight to you in no uncertain terms. Overall, Confessions of a Film Investor: The Missing Book for Independent Filmmakers is a unique insider’s guide to the world of film investment. A rare book of its kind that will be very useful to those seeking such investors in the future.

Gisela Dixon

Confessions of a Film Investor: The Missing Book for Independent Filmmakers by Albert Sandoval is a non-fiction book targeting people in the independent film making business. In this book, Albert talks in detail about his own professional life and early career and how he eventually got into film investing. There is a detailed bio of his career at the beginning of the book and he talks about who the book is meant for. After that, the book dives into the nitty-gritty business of the Hollywood film world, how to distinguish the real, serious film investors from the egoists, how to have the right mindset and passion in this business to be successful, the importance of gaining experience and be able to read people, knowing who you are and what you want and pitching authentically, and so much more. There is also a list of additional resources and books provided at the end.

I found Confessions of a Film Investor to be a very informative, entertaining and useful read. I had never actually read a book on this precise subject before and I don’t think there are many such books available in the market. This was definitely a new world for me and it was great to read about the intricacies of what happens behind the scenes of independent film making and how finding an investor for a film is so crucial. Albert is able to provide various strategies, tips, and advice based on his own experience both as a creative artist as well as a businessperson. His writing style is direct, no-nonsense, and yet engaging at the same time, and his passion for the topic and the field comes through. This is a wonderful book!