To be clear, “Three Trembling Cities” had no investors, only my last feature, “Found In Time.”
I made a business plan that tried to make a case for investing in the film as a business. I tried to estimate how much the film could make given market conditions and other comparable films, and sent it out to anyone I knew who either had deep pockets or knew someone who did. 99% of the time I got a “no thanks” back.
My ex-wife (who produced my first feature, “Caleb’s Door”) and my friends (one of whom was my first film professor) both liked the script and believed in me, and so they invested some money in the film. 90% of the investor stories go something like that - it’s someone in your family/circle of friends/one degree of separation from.
I cautioned them that the film would probably not go into the black, and they knew that since they were in the business. [It hasn’t.]
For “Three Trembling” the budget was much, much lower, and the upside was nil, so it didn’t make sense to ask people to invest. They could help crowdfund, and get a producer credit if they gave us enough money.