Today two young ladies were working excitedly talking about raising money for their film. It inspired me to write this post about the two most popular film fundraising sites on the web. My first venture with film funding was with IndieGoGo and I learned quickly to do my homework! My second campaign that I assisted in was very successful and taught me a lot about the in’s and out’s of crowdsourcing. This has prompted me to write this series on KickStarter vs. IndieGoGo. Today in part 1 we will talk about Film Funding.
What is Film Fundraising?
There are many ways that one can raise funds for a film. They can invest their own money or they can use what most deem as OPM (Other People’s Money)! Now if this was you which one would you prefer? Obviously you would probably choose Other People’s Money! For the aspiring writer and film make OPM is hard to come by. You could go the investment route whether it be angel investments or venture capitalists. The hard part is WHY would somebody invest in your film if you aren’t known? It is very, very hard to find investors if you fall into the “aspiring filmmaker” category. So what options do you have?
Well you could always throw up a website and reach out to everybody you know to donate to your cause on PayPal. Now if you know a lot of rich people who believe in you (or people who would be willing to invest that may not be rich), but do you think you would actually make the money you need? The answer is probably NO!
The new way that indie film makers are going is this new thing called film funding or crowdsourced funding. The two most popular sites on the web for this are KickStarter and IndieGoGo. The question is which one do you choose? The answer depends on many variable that I will go into length about in later posts.
Why Use Crowdsourced Film Funding?
The advantages of using Film Fundraising go on and on. Now with KickStarter you either make it or you don’t so you better be sure you can raise the money. With IndieGoGo you can choose Flexible Funding which allows you to collect the money no matter if you make it or not.
- Tax Free: Any funds you collect through crowdsourced film fundraising are 100% tax-free because they are donations (or pledges as they are called).
- Builds Audience: Through funding your film through a site like KickStarter or IndieGoGo you are building an audience that loves your project or film.
- Pre-Sale of Movie: One of the biggest perks given away is copies of your film through digital download, DVD, or BlueRay. This is very important when it comes to later distribution!
- People With $0 Can Make a Full Feature Movie or TV Show: Whether you are an experienced film maker or an aspiring film make this allows you the opportunity that wouldn’t be available. You can make YOUR FILM or TV SHOW without any money (or experience for that matter)!
- Respect: Now I know this is something that maybe argued by the “Hollywood” world, but by successfully raising funds and doing the above items you will get MUCH respect from the film community. If you do your campaign correctly then you can even be featured in News outlets which adds a lot of “production value” to your film
- Film Festivals/Distribution: The last but maybe not thought about by most is the fact that it allows you great leverage when it comes to distribution of your film. Now some people will want to go straight to distribution while others will want to enter the film into a film festival. The most important thing is you will be able to take a high quality piece of work that ALREADY has an AUDIENCE to the film festival or to distribution. It makes it a lot easier to sell!
- Make or Break with KickStater: If you don’t successfully raise the money on KickStarter you will either be made or broken. You must hit your goal when raising funds on KickStarter. It is very important to go for an achievable amount and ensure that you have a very well designed page! Rewards are very important too! (I will go more into detail what it takes later in this series.)
- Costly: You really need to have a marketing budget to do a successful campaign. One of the keys to success is a strong PR and Marketing strategy. Now you can do it for free, but I HIGHLY SUGGEST YOU INVEST IN MARKETING! First it gives you money for paid avenues of marketing (PR, Social Media, Etc…). The second key things that is if you won’t invest in your project how do you expect others to as well? INVEST IN YOUR PROJECT! It is worth it.
- Time Consuming: Running a campaign and pre-campaign for film funding can be very time-consuming. In fact if you want it to succeed you must put 110% effort into it. If you have a group of people on your film/TV project then I suggest that you pick the one with the most CLOUT to run the campaign. Whoever is the one that is better in the public eye or know more people have them spearhead the campaign. This doesn’t matter if it is your lead actor or producer! Another thing to remember is YOU MUST HAVE THE ENTIRE TEAM on board. From the producer to the smallest actor. Now I know many will argue “this isn’t possible”, but I think the more people you have on your side the better!
- YOU MIGHT NOT RAISE THE MONEY: I know this is something that you can’t let be a negative that stops you from trying, but you have to realize that not everybody succeeds. In fact MORE WILL FAIL than will raise the funds needed. You have to be ready to try again and you better not set a production schedule based off the end of the campaign and receiving funds. You haven’t raised the money until it is in the BANK!
Check back soon as I will continue this series through out this week and next.
Let me know what you think. Leave me a comment below! Let me know if you have run a campaign and succeeded. If you failed at a campaign I am interested in your thoughts as well. If you need help running a campaign feel free to reach out and ask questions!