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How to commit social media suicide - Run a crowdfunding campaign

In the run-up to launching a crowdfunding campaign for my latest indie horror feature film called "Host", I've been heavily monitoring all my various social media accounts. Checking once, sometimes twice daily, my and our (my own Ray Brady & UKFILM.CO) various Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc accounts. Having been slowly building both personal & professional connections on several accounts over the years, joining and contributing to various communities. Which has led me to notice two things that really stand out?
After years of reciprocal liking and retweeting "friends" projects and adventures, I've noticed the trend of late of being unfriended, unfollowed, etc, by many people that I know personally and called friends for years (outside of social media, in the traditional context of the word). This I find both sad and hurtful as social media is a two-way street, it becomes a one-sided communication, only being able to listen and not reply when you've been cut-off. This could be due to several reasons, one that they know that I have been planning and have just started my first crowdfunding campaign, and I guess simply that made the assumption I was going to inundate them with daily emails and updates, or ask them to do me a solid by doing me a "shout-out" or "re-tweet" or secondly, simply following the abhorrent fashion of, in attempting to make themselves look more interesting, slowly, subtlely unfriending/unfollowing large numbers of people that they previously followed to adjust the ratio of people that followed them to people that they followed. The objective has become, follow few whilst attempting to be followed by many is good. Whilst I understand and appreciate this if you are world-famous for something this would make complete sense, but for us, regular mortals following this practice is not aspirational but simply sad. I have therefore adopted the utilitarian practice of follow4follow, I monitor and when people drop me I simply drop them too.
Secondly, the fall from grace of 'like' and 'feedback'. People seem to be so annoyed at being repeatedly asked to either like or give feedback, especially on a corporate level, I've noticed that the majority of people now simply refuse to do either unless the reason for doing so is exceptional, i.e. posting a picture entitled "first day on the International Space station", might warrant a 'like' but seemingly little else. The sheer gall of it...suggesting that you move your mouse slightly to the side and then click, terribly onerous. This has become our sad reality, losing contact with real friends because they're playing the social media game of who is more popular, me or you. How did we get to this so fast, social media, something that was celebrated for bringing people and communities together has become the most divisive, manipulated, weaponised tool within a decade. Oh...and I highly recommend watching "The Great Hack (2019)" on Netflix for further far scarier insights.
Love & Peace to you all.
Kindest regards Ray Brady

  • Clearly they weren't true friends Ray. But the viral element of crowd funding, whilst only initially boosted a bit by them sharing and reposting, doesn't depend on a few social media friends for that exponential effect in terms of the quantum of funding. It's thousands of people you don't know that are needed (or a couple of multimillionaires). Certainly social media and YouTube are a part of that but ultimately it's about how much those other people actually care about a project who find resonance with their own lives, cares, passions, aspirations etc. They are the ones who ultimately make a project go viral, not a nepotistic network.

    It's long been clear to me that purely arts based projects need to have some sort of strong social statement and/or sociopolitical element inherent within for maximum support. Projects without such usually struggle to raise the sort of budgets needed for an ambitious feature film. They might achieve more by not imposing time limits on campaigns or other targets, which is why I don't use Kickstarter. Stretch goals allow strategic pragmatism. Ones eggs can be placed in as many proverbial baskets as one can find. Existing organisations with their own crowds that share those aspirations can be fabulous partners too. Newsworthyness can be creatively exploited as well.

    Keep on keeping on Ray, you have the energy of intent to add to your creative craft, that'sthe magic. You don't need 'cupboard love' friends.

    1 year ago
    • Many thanks John, very greatly appreciated.

      1 year ago
  • Hi Ray, I sympathise with your issues and can vouch for having a similar experience. For me I now compartmentalise my social media accounts. My Facebook account tends to be used mainly for friends and family, and my Twitter account is purely film related i.e. connecting with film fans of my favoured genre. I think the problem of having general 'filmmaker friends' is that everyone is in the game of self-promotion and crowdfunding, though I agree it doesn't take much to like, share or re-tweet a post.

    It sounds like you have re-adjusted your social media strategy accordingly. In my experience Facebook is not a good platform to reach a new audience. You can use it to set up a specific page for your project (to keep it separate from your personal account), but to reach a wider audience requires paying for adverts. Using a personal Facebook account to promote your work is a minefield, as everyone is your 'friend' for a whole variety of reasons. What you need is a social media account that is specifically targeting an audience that actually wants to know about your latest product.

    From my own experience Twitter is less personal and more business-like, so this is where I have focussed my efforts over the last year. Be ruthless about follow/unfolllow and seek out film fans of your genre. Also follow the 80/20 rule and stay on-message.

    I'm sending you some information that might be of help Ray, so check your inbox ;)

    1 year ago
  • Hi Mark,
    Many thanks for your thoughts and especially for the information Mark, interesting indeed and also very greatly appreciated. Since I've been making films for over twenty-five years now the borders between professional and personal have been broken down that they've completely disappeared as I have so many friends in the business in one way or another, ​far ​more so than not. I will continue to make new contacts like yourself that I hope to work with one day. Meet new people to collaborate with, hopefully on numerous occasions. Importantly if I'm lucky, meet more honest, genuine, trustworthy people as working with them makes the job so much easier.
    Regards Ray @ukfilm_co

    1 year ago
  • Hi,
    Whilst I am fully aware that not everyone likes horror films, not even psychological ones but...having posted in this list a few days ago a link promoting our campaign for our latest indie feature, number eleven, I was hoping for a few contributors believing that Shooting People is an active supportive g community of filmmakers an after all, ShootingPeople membership is around twenty thousand filmmakers approx. I have been as usual completely disappointed by the response of contributors, being just one person Angela Peters. Angela has been a collaborator for over a decade and I am indebted for her contribution and continued support and as an ally. Even more so since she is presently running her own campaign on Indiegogo, thankfully a comedy, so no conflict of interest, and yes I did reciprocate and contribute to her campaign. But that was it nothing else, the powerful reach of ShootingPeople is Zero. Over the years I have contributed to dozens of campaigns and start-ups, never even thinking to try running a campaign myself one day. Now that I'm running one and am once again reminded of the huge indifference to shout-outs through this forum. I can only hope that Angela has fared better but somehow I suspect that she will find the response to her campaign similar if not identical. When running a campaign it is well known that the hardest part of a campaign is getting it off the ground, getting those first contributors, that act like a siphon in creating a flow thereafter of other people, more confident to contribute after others have already contributed and shown their support and believe in a project. I wouldn't say I'm either surprised or disillusioned but am feeling slightly numbed as the silence has been somewhat deafening.
    Regards Ray Brady

    1 year ago
  • "A prophet is never honoured in his own country"
    Kahlil Gibran

    It's not a delightful scenario you describe Ray. Shooting People has some of the characteristics of a Pyramid marketing scheme. It's members are mostly trying to advance their own careers and businesses. It seems absurd when some members set up crowd funding schemes and expect other members to contribute to their project. Beggars begging from beggars. That's what a pyramid scheme is. The administrators try, and do, provide various benefits for members to explore but the notion that the membership, on the whole, is about being more charitable to each other than than seeking to solve their own aspirations, isn't a realistic expectation, even though such mutual benevolence is occasionally manifest.

    Of the 30,000 or so members, it's evident that the vast majority are either 'lurkers' or just occasional visitors only when they have a specific need. I don't see that as a particularly bad thing. Otherwise we'd all be "rending our own clothes" in half to give the other half to the poor.

    The real value here is that there's a handful of people, yourself included, who keep the community Ask and Discuss sections alive and who provide regular titbits of experience and information. Crew finding facilities seem to be much used too. But there's also a burgeoning hidden sector on SP where networking and business activities occur privately amongst members that would not have occurred without the existence of SP. Such collaborative activity I suspect to be the real power of SP.

    I've never expected a quid pro quo relationship with anyone here, even though such mutual considerations are going on all the time behind the scenes.

    I'm reminded of General Urquhart, trapped behind enemy lines, telling one of his colonels, a battalion commander, also trapped behind another enemy line, who had asked Urquhart when he would be able to rescue them, Urquhart responded that he wasn't sure if in fact it might actually be that the colonel should rescue him.

    On a more optimistic note, I'm also reminded of the cartoon sketch that tickled me greatly, showing a little American girl, standing behind a traditional lemonade stand, with a sign offering a glass of lemonade for one million dollars. A man says "You won't sell many at that price" the little girl replies "I only need to sell one"

    1 year ago
  • Many thanks for raising my spirits John, greatly appreciated. Noted that Angela Peters campaign has received several well deserved further contributions as she's worked tirelessly for a decade now supporting others and her time has come to shine. In regard to my own campaign, thankfully had three contributions today. £100 came in overnight, then £175 at breakfast time and then a wonderful one of £1000 this afternoon. So I obviously smiling again especially now that the campaign is finally up and running.
    On another note, I've competed in so many film festivals over the years that I am often sent (every couple of days or so) discounted submission rates by film festivals trying to encourage me to submit a film. I was previously forwarding these onto a small group of close-knit film director buddies but have decided now that I've finally committed to Twitter, to post them and other interesting film-related links and articles at @ukfilm_co as it wouldn't be worth posting them on ShootingPeople as they often expire quickly which many would find frustrating if they missed them.
    Many thanks
    Ray Brady

    1 year ago
  • Hi Ray we ran a crowdfunding for a feature length film, and in the end it was quite successful but we didn't factor in certain things for example the big draw card for us with the star who aged 82 at the time had many friends and followers but they did not like paying into an online fund rather just give us the money, and the rewards had to be something good otherwise people just didn't give. In the end we had to get a multitude of sponsors to bank up the rest of the money to finish the project.

    1 year ago
  • Hi Moira,
    Many thanks for sharing your experiences and for taking the time to join this discussion, appreciated. Unfortunately, we do not have any well-known names attached to be able to work that angle. We have though provided info on our film website for anyone to get in contact with us directly re independent contributions or even possible investment. Other positive points are: we have lots of experience as this will be personally my eleventh feature-length film, so we definitely deliver finished films and know how to market, promote and sell our finished films i.e. we presently have five features available on Amazon Worldwide ROW. We have won dozens of film festival awards and have attended most major festivals and film markets, several multiple times. Our feature script has already won three film festival awards and awaiting results from many other film festivals where it has been selected or is presently a semi-finalist, so already a multi-award-winning film before we have financed and made it, which has got to be a positive if your thinking about contributing to a crowdfund. Have sadly failed though so far in attracting sponsors, it's not been a good year for many of my previously successful friends in other businesses than film. Making film sponsorship alliances is an area which I believe holds a great financial opportunity for indie filmmakers i.e. Shane Meadows Somers Town. For relatively small contributions from sponsors, they could potentially garner huge product awareness and exposure from in-film/immersive product placement. I'm not talking Rolex watches and Bentley cars wore by stars, I'm talking about including everyday products like corn flakes, real ale and oven chips that the majority of people use or eat. I am incredibly keen to discuss and meet anyone that can make any possible inroads into this area of film financing or provide vehicles, food, and drinks or even venues that would open out of hours to allow a small film crew a potential location in return for film exposure promotion, quid pro quo deals are essential when trying to keep a cast and crew fed and locations varied? Really cool that you managed to attract sponsors to finish your project.Kudos
    Kindest regards Ray Brady @ukfilm_co

    1 year ago