Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Crowdfunding 101 - Let's Start Here

Crowdfunding is lost. Why? Let me answer.

First, if you aren't aware of what crowdfunding is; it's simply when a filmmaker (I know there are a lot of other reasons to crowd fund but let's stick with filmmaking) turns to the internet site Kickstarter, as an example, creates a campaign, a pitch video, posts what the project is about. Then, fans, the crowd, people who become interested, donate to the project to help make this dream a reality.

So far, so good.

Now, I will lay the blame on the filmmakers. Some do it right. Those are the ones who achieve their goals and actually do better than they hoped. The ones who look to blame everyone and everything except themselves are the problem.

PLAN, PLAN, PLAN - keyword in planning is plan. This is simple. Do your homework and research what you're making, what crowdfunding platform would work best. Look at costs and finances. Have a back up plan in case your goal is not met. Know what you're you need insurance, permits, new equipment? What needs to be paid for. Look into everything. Make a check list. How much will it cost to crowd fund? To make and deliver your perks? Look at everything. (I won't touch on pitch video or perks today, but stay tuned for a future video or blog)

Stop creating multiple crowdfunding campaigns asking for help 3-4 times to get one project done. You're already asking people to take a chance, now you're looking terrible and potentially ruining the experience for them, and the next project they might invest in. You could start a chain reaction that damages others dreams. Be responsible.

You are a filmmaker, in essence starting a business. You need to budget yourself and your project. If you can't do this, don't crowd fund. Do not ask for anything that is beyond your means. Stop asking for unrealistic numbers. Don't have a following? Then the chances of you succeeding is small. Maybe crowd fund for a small project, make and complete that and build faith in your current customers and potentially build a larger audience.

Stop and PLAN
Here is the blunt fact - stop being lazy, stop blaming others, start researching and show others why they should invest in your project.

Look at your project as an outsider and be honest: would you donate? Do you care if this gets made? Does the pitch trailer look like a professionals work?

Before I launched my campaigns, each of my 3 projects I used crowdfunding (all successfully reached their goal, the last reached the goal 36 hours after launch) I was studying pitch videos, reading books, googling for help online. I asked others and paid attention and stopped using excuses like "Well, Rob Zombie was crowdfunding and thats where the money went!" Stop fooling yourself. His fans aren't investing in yours. "But Rob, you don't understand"...actually I do...that's why I'm being honest. I treated my investors like partners and shared things along the way and tried to show them bits and pieces along the way. I delivered on all 3 projects. I worked hard, lost some money but didn't let that stop me. I made mistakes but I would NOT let people down.

That's it for today. Crowdfunding works. It's not begging unless you make it begging. The people investing are proving they believe in you. Have integrity and don't let them down. Prove you're a professional and make something great. You can take this advice and make the best project possible or ignore help and realize you made a mistake, costing you much more than a bruised ego. Look around, plenty of advice/help out there. Best of luck.

Until next time, want to see my films? Visit and watch for free.

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