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My first crowdfunding campaign 'Red, Amber.'

Hey SP,

Long-time lurker, full-time deluded filmmaker here. I'm launching my first ever crowdfunding campaign and we have a pre-launch page up and running:!/project/7231/86...

Needless to say I'd love your feedback and/or support for this passion project of mine.

I somewhat underestimated what an undertaking crowdfunding is, and before the official launch (Nov. 1st) I really want to make sure it's as good as it can possibly be.

So any constructive criticism, general advice, resources that come to mind, etc. would be would be gratefully accepted.

Perhaps more than anything I'm looking to know who to engage as wide an audience as possible with the project (my personal circle of friends and industry contacts is quite limited).

Thanks any help,

  • Jonathan's post has been up for two days without comment. These sort of projects often seem to me to be facing an up hill struggle, as indeed do the majority of crowd funding campaigns. There's been tons of advice from 'qualified' opinion; particularly from folk with an interest in crowd funding facilitators. Unlike the empirical nature of physics or pure maths though the fundamentals of what represents a successful methodology with crowd funding is hard to gauge when both losers and winners have trodden similar paths, as far as that 'learned' advice goes.

    Engaging with those strangers usually means either providing them with entertaining involvement, since it's unlikely that they'll get much more beyond a DVD or a download of what is equally unlikely to be much treasured. An alternative, and especially if included with the forgoing, is a project that has some altruistic, spirit lifting or charitable aspiration. This can easily apply to a drama or arts project as it ought to a factual, it's a heart and soul thing. Even a polemic project that contradicts with the aspirations of a majority can garner more than enough support to succeed if it has salt and spirit.

    The bottom line I guess for a campaign to be regarded as successful is that it achieves its goals and target budget. Most campaigns logged as successful are micro budget things. Including such in any raw statistical analysis does a disservice to those trying to calculate the real odds of crowd funding a serious low to middle budget project (say between £20,000 and £200,000). We're all on different planets in that regard. Lies, damned lies and statistics.

    I'm not sure that what I see on Jonathan's 'Beta' campaign represents a lot of hard work though. Perhaps the project already has that key 'inner crowd' in place, has a very modest budget target, a sum that unusually is not revealed, and doesn't really mean to attract much funding from total strangers?

    The buzz caused by Internet based crowd funding has inspired some highly optimistic campaigns . The first thing is to empathise with why those complete strangers might be persuaded to donate anything at all. With short dramas and purely arts films one ought to rise beyond relying upon ones own subjective esteem for ones art. A way ought to be creatively imagined to get ones crowd to feel either tangibly engaged or rewarded. I don't really get any compelling reason to focus energy, attention or money in this Beta test. For that reason I doubt the campaign as it currently is likely to raise much from total strangers.

    1 year ago
    • Hi John, I appreciate the response and your assessment of the market.

      Whilst I disagree with your observation that the campaign has seemingly had little hard work put into it (quite the contrary), if this does not show to people like yourself then it matters little how much work we have actually done.

      I am interested though, seeing as you are the only person who has replied what it is that I could be doing to improve our crowdfunder? You mention charitable causes but our story has very little relation to those, and as far as rewards or energy goes you felt they were lacking.

      With this project specifically how would you look to market it if it were your own?

      1 year ago
  • I recently saw a short that was totally funded by crowdfunding and it was shot on film. I believe its budget was about £30k (from memory so may be wrong). It did have quite a famous actor in the lead role though. Just goes to show that the rules for a successful Crowd Funding campaign are the same as for getting money for an Indie movie: if you have well known talent attached people are more likely to give you money.

    1 year ago
    • That's a good point, I guess what I'm curious about is the campaigns that are successful but lack big names. All they are selling themselves on is the story and their own brand uniqueness I guess.

      1 year ago
    • I think the prizes on offer help. Meeting cast and crew, spending the day on set, being an extra for a day, being invited to the premier at BAFTA, seeing their names on the credits at the end as a producer, getting an entry on IMDB as a producer. A lot of people dream about being in the Film Industry and, for a lot of people, contributing to a Crowdfunding campaign, and they rewards that come with it, are as near as they can get.

      1 year ago
    • This is a great idea, thanks so much! Any advice regarding how and where I get the word out? Every time I post it seems to be quickly buried by everything else.

      1 year ago
  • Mark suggests good ideas. In fact for Jonathan's project they're probably essential ideas.

    It's important that people know how much money is required, even if there are stretch goals allowing for scalable designs. Maybe a colourful pie chart detailing how the money will be spent in terms of percentages.

    Maximise the resources in hand. More photos of the cast in and out of character. Exploit the locations.

    If one has made or significantly participated in other films then links or excerpt clips would enhance provenance. Alternatively or additionally one might make a one minute trailer or montage that encapsulates the style and emotion of the project. Anything that reveals creative energy and ability. Currently the beta campaign is simply text describing the aspiration of the film and the CV's of the cast and crew. The head and shoulder pieces to camera don't offer any insight to creative potential because no creative work effort is manifest in those clips. For me Jonathan's piece to camera was a bit lacking a spirit of confidence, particularly at the somewhat stumbling end. The whole thing could have easily been knocked up in single day (not including of course the scripted preproduction of the film itself)

    But one need not entirely re invent the proverbial wheel. Take a good look at the voluminous number of crowd funded successes on Kickstarter, Indigogo and other sites. There's a huge educational resource on 'How to create a crowd funding campaign'. Hard work includes doing the homework; the differences are striking, revealing what separates the achievers from the dreamers.

    You can do it Jonathan; go for it and prosper. :-))

    1 year ago
    • Hi John, thanks so much for this. I think these additions would be of great value to the page, and I'm working on a proof of concept video today so hopefully that will be more successful.

      1 year ago
  • I'm no expert but all looks very professional to me. Best of luck :)

    1 year ago
  • Just wanted to thank everyone for the feedback, I've taken on all the suggestions and mulled them over. Hopefully the final result will prove satisfying to anyone who stops by, we've officially launched now so any further support is hugely appreciated!!/item/livetree/723...

    1 year ago