You may have heard or read about crowd funding, it has recently become very popular. Especially with the indie filmmaking crowd. What is it? Crowd funding is where you have a project and you reach out to people for financial support (usually via the web) to fund your project. Donations can be anywhere from $1 to thousands of dollars.
Why would people do this? Quite simple: they have a project they want to do but need the funds to do it. There are a lot of examples I could use but since I’m most familiar with crowd funding films, I will stick with them.
The economy isn’t the only thing to have taken a hit. The film industry is quickly finding out that the way people watch they’re entertainment is changing. And making $200 million dollar films in a recession is just ridiculous. Plus, the last few years the Academy Awards have shown quite a bit of love to independent films. (Generally shot for under $15 million.) So many up and coming filmmakers are looking to raise funds to shoot their project, whether it be a film, webisodes, pilot, documentary etc. There are two well used platforms to do this: Indiegogo.com and Kickstarter.com. Below I will explore the pros and cons of each.
I’ve used this site twice. I believe it’s the more well known of the two. It’s fairly easy to start the campaign.
- You first have to write them stating about your project, what you want to raise, what rewards you’ll offer etc. If they accept it, you’ll get access to making a page.
- Now for the busy work. You need to come up with a compelling description for your project and an honest reason why you’re raising the funds. Also, you create donor levels (ie. $5, $25) that offer perks to the backers. These need to be great incentives for people to give you money. They don’t need to be expensive, in fact some of the best rewards are unique ones like a ‘sit down with the director and stars’.
- You should create a video. Either a trailer for your project, or a video of the actors and director talking about the project. It’s a fantastic call to action. People like connecting with who they are giving money to. Don’t cheat them.
- You set the time limit of your campaign. Generally it runs between 30-45 days.
- You spam every network you can with links to your site. You need a wide net. Most people donate between $5-$25 and if you’re raising $10,000 you need many donors. So work that FB, Twitter, Linked In, Pinterest and Google+!
Here’s the Kicker: Kickstarter takes 5% of whatever you make and iif you don’t make your goal, you get nothing. That’s right, nothing. So you have to set a reasonable goal and hit it. Kickstarter has recently had multiple projects hit over the $1 million mark. Now that’s some funding!
Indiegogo is another site very similar to Kickstarter. They are almost identical in their layout. They have the perks, video, description etc. The only differences are:
- If you don’t meet your goal, you still get to keep the money raised. Great right? Takes a little of the pressure off. But there’s a catch.
- If you make your goal, you pay Indiegogo 4% plus an extra 3% for credit card fees. However if you don’t make your goal you pay 9% plus the 3% for credit card processing.
Both sites have their pros and cons. Check them both out, look at some of the projects on them and get a good feel for your style. They are a fantastic way to make your dream project a reality!
Lisa Coronado is a content writer for CoolBlueWeb who are a Seattle Magento Developer.