9 Tips on Finding & Choosing Comps for your Pitch Deck

articles raising money tips Sep 06, 2023

As many of you prepare for events like MIPCOM and AFM this fall, we've decided to dive into all things PITCH DECKS this week!

Are you struggling to find the right comps for your film? Here are 9 tips on choosing the right ones to BEST market your film!

1- Pick Films within the Last 5 Years 

You want to pick films that are fresh and relevant today. Because the market is always changing, it's imperative that you compare your film to others in a similar landscape. With the pandemic, I do give this timeframe a two-year grace period if you are having trouble finding comps. Using a film that is 12 years old doesn't serve the purpose of proving that yours could be successful today.

2- Pick Films that are Familiar

The best comparable films are one's people recognize and immediately associate with "awareness" success.

3- But not Blockbusters

You want to shy away from comparing your film to blockbuster hits. It signals that you are being unrealistic by comparing your film to a unicorn success, studio backing or a film with many more resources and backing than your indie.

4- Stick with 5 Comps

More is not necessary and five gives you a good sampling of examples.

5- Use Films with Similar Budgets

When trying to show how your film can be lucrative using other films, budget is an important factor - so finding films close to your budget range is key. They don't have to be exact budget matches but they shouldn't be extremes. If your film is $750k, I'd first aim for up to $1.5M but it is usually safe to go up to $2.5M or $3M. If your film is $2.5M, you can go up to $5M-7M if needed (maybe even $10M). Use your judgement, but don't compare your $2M film to $25M films or higher and keep at least a couple close to your actual budget.

6- Know the Difference between Financial vs. Tonal Comps

Financial comps are used to show similar films that performed financially well when pitching your film to investors. In order to be the most accurate, films should have a similar budget to project a realistic potential ROI. Comparing your $1M indie romance to the Titanic, for example, is not realistic as clearly the budgets alone provide for completely different production quality, stars, and value.

On the flip side, often in decks, filmmakers will choose to use other films simply to demonstrate the tone of the film.  These are tonal comps.  In this case, the budget is less important than picking two or three known films that each showcase different aspects of the tone represented in your film.

7- Don't Stress about Finding Exact Story Comps

Many filmmakers I work with think they need an exact comp for their film. Instead of trying to find a comp that is in line with your story on all levels, look at the aspects of your film that may be able to be demonstrated separately through comps. For example, we had an American football film about young orphans that had faith elements, so our comps included football films, some kids sports films, some faith-based films, etc. If I was pulling comps for Thelma and Louise, I would look for films perhaps around sisterhood or friendship, female empowerment, road trips, female led adventures, etc.

8-You Don't Need Financial Comps for TV

If you are pitching a TV series, you are pitching it to the team who will ultimately decide what the budget is. They finance it based on their resources, so you do not need to include financial comps (not to mention you will have a hard time finding them). Use a few tonal comps and you are off!

9- Do a Professional Search

We love the team at The Numbers! Not only can you search their site for FREE to help you find comps for your film using key word searches, genre and budget, but you can also order detailed comps. Detailed comps give you a breakdown of not just Box Office numbers but other revenue like TV, Streaming, Digital, and more that calculate the ROI, P&A spend, etc. These are very helpful to not only provide numbers-oriented investors more precise information, but it also gives you more clarity on whether films were indeed financially lucrative (behind the scenes) and where that money actually came from to help you make smarter more informed decisions in development to set your film up for success. Usually, you have to purchase a minimum of 20 films, but if you tell them Sara Elizabeth sent you, they'll allow you to purchase as little as 10 films saving you 50% of the usual minimum price.

Happy comp searching!

Are you feeling overwhelmed trying to craft a compelling pitch deck that'll attract investors for your film project? Our Pitch Deck Content & Design Package is designed to be your compass through the intricacies of investor pitches from the content to the design. Sara Elizabeth will help you with the content of the deck while Laura Cassidy will professionally design your deck! You'll finish this package with a beautiful pitch deck that'll impress potential investors and executives!

Head HERE for more information and to start working 1:1 with our team on your pitch deck!


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