Making Your Movie – Pre-production – Funding
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 6/26/2012 3:44 PM
So I was looking pretty hard at using Kickstarter as a source of crowdfunding for my short scripts, "Ball's Out" and "In Ink".
I did a lot of investigating and found it compelling and fun... plus no small amount of work. There are no guarantees that you'll get funded, but short films seem to do pretty well.
If you have questions about Kickstarter, throw them in here and maybe I can answer them and save you some time. If not... there's always their website...
Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 6/26/2012 4:08 PM
One thing to think about when deciding which site to use is how donors are charged. I have used several different sites, but nowadays I only give to places like Kickstarters that only charge if the project meets its goal. It doesn't feel real good when you are charged right away on a credit card, but they don't reach their goal, but keep the money. :-/
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 6/26/2012 5:24 PM
What do you get out of it as a donor? Do they give you exec producer credits?
Are you more likely to succeed if you're looking for a smaller amount, like 200-400 bucks/pounds?
Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 6/26/2012 6:18 PM
I usually opt not to get any of the gifts because I want to see them get the film made, not me bying stuff.
I've also seen people start offering associate producer credits...so, if you really want an imdb credit, you can now buy that for about $80!
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 6/26/2012 7:08 PM
MJ - Success depends on a lot of factors.
1. The project - does it inspire? Is it fun? Is it interesting?
2. The video - this is probably the most important bit, really, because you are selling both the project AND your ability to get it made. Make it fun and funny and Professional. Include other people in it who are part of the project. Ham it up.
3. Goodies - I'm like Pia... I don't need the gift... but some people want it. In the case of film, the most common item is the film itself. Go on to Kickstarter and look under Film and see what is offered. Usually it goes in this order:
- Our sincere thanks
- A photo of the star(s)
- The above, + a digital download
- The above, + a T-shirt
- The above, + a DVD
- The above, + Name on credits
- The above, + Associate Producer credit
Each item is a different level of "contribution". Some even offer 'be on the set' prizes. That's all up to you, but make it compelling.
4. Updates - in order to keep people interested, you need to provide updates (part of the site functionality)
5. How much you are asking for - if you ask for $500, you may well get it. And you may get a lot more. If you are asking for $10K, it's less likely to fund... but you could get a lot more if the story is a great one.
6. Time to fund - You can pick anything up to (I think) 90 days... but the sweet spot is 30 days. It creates a sense of urgency.
I've read many of the Projects that were asking for very little and they did NOT fund. I've seen projects which I thought were just dumb and which over funded by a mile.
Lightning in a bottle. Go catch yerself some!
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 6/27/2012 1:43 AM
Boy, do I need this thread. I've been thinking about Kickstarter to help fund my feature, but I've been trying to get everything in order before I go there. Budgeting an independent film is daunting, to say the least, and asking people to put their money into your personal dream is really scary.
I'm just starting to work on the budget for the feature I want to film, and making every effort to keep costs as low as possible while still making it in some way profitable to the individuals and businesses that help me.
The only advice I have at this point it to be creative in how you'll keep costs down while making it satisfactory and rewarding for people who are willing to back you... And pay yourself last.
Ayal Pinkus (Level 5) ~ 6/27/2012 3:08 AM
I've donated to ten kickstarter projects so far, and examining my own behavior:
1) it helps if I am rooting for that person to succeed. The most successful funding campaigns ever seem to have been of this type. A guy who draws stick figures managed to raise 1.25 million dollars to have his webcomic printed, for example. That was completely ridiculous.
2) currently I wait right until the end before pledging. This because of the volatile financial markets at the moment... Who knows how many euros I have to plunk down for a dollar a month from now :-)
3) I do pledge if I think the work created is a work of beauty. For some reason it does help if a comics industry veteran is running the project; Alex de Campi, P. Craig Russell have run Kickstarter projects.
4) I have pledged more if I got something out of it that was of value to me. A script and original art so I can study their process, a chance to collaborate with an Eisner-nominated artist (although that one hasn't panned out yet, I should contact the artist). But I am more than happy to just receive a beautifully designed book in return :-)
Not sure how much of that holds for film, but my two pence.
Bill Clar (Level 5) ~ 6/27/2012 8:23 AM
Would it be beneficial to put together a few short films first? A portfolio of your work to ease investors' fears?
David M Troop (Level 4) ~ 7/23/2012 10:55 AM
First of all, thanks to Timmy for creating these threads.
Does anyone have comments about product placement? How to approach a company, etc.
I have a talented director/actor/editor interested in doing a mocumentary web series with me in Florida.
I think we can film the pilot for close to nothing, but need funding for season one.
I think Kickstarter is a great idea and will probably go there as well once the pilot is finished.
Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 7/23/2012 1:17 PM
Target verbally committed to underwrite our reality show in -09. All they cared about was how the show would reflect on them, how much exposure they would get (how many people they would reach) for how much they would spend. In other words, is your show going to be the quality a company would be happy with and also have those figures for the size of audience and demographics you are expecting ready when contacting the company.
Good Luck! :)