5 Crowdfunding tips for filmmakers

Over on DesktopDocumentaries.com they have a guest posting from John Trigonis, who quite literally wrote the book on Crowdfunding for Filmmakers!

John runs down 5 questions that every filmmaker should ask themselves before starting out on their campaign. It’s no surprise that it all comes down to community. Even though the web is something of a tool you can use anonymously, successful campaigns always bring a big chunk of the filmmaker into them.

 

The hills are alive… with the the Sound of Mario – cool video game music doc on KickStarter

I don’t talk too much about specific crowdfunding campaigns on here because I don’t want to make the site dated, and , let’s be fair, there’s a bazillion of them!

But this one caught my eye. I love a good music documentary and this one is very unique. BEEP will focus on the history of sound and music in video games. It is something that has evolved so markedly in my lifetime – from the 8-bit halting rhythms burping out of an Apple IIe to the symphonic masterpieces blasting out in 5.1 from my home cinema as I de-zombiefy the earth.

Add to that a great looking campaign page, the fact they are from KW and the fact that they’ve got someone who worked on KyleXY on the team! How can you go wrong?! I’m in.

 

What Crowdfunding is doing to startups

Ok, not technically an article about the media or film business, but, over at FirstRound.com they have a nice piece about what crowdfunding is doing to startups as far as access to capital and how we have to change how we pitch.

In a world where we most likely still need VCs, what does crowdfunding mean?

Have I discovered a scam on IndieGoGo?

Here are two campaigns on IndieGoGo.

The first is a musical, supposedly from Los Angeles, for a musical called ‘Soul Song’

Next is this, from Toronto, for a horror film called ‘The Codex’

Let me compare a couple things

Codex Soul Song
However, I am part of the older generation and believe the upcoming generation that LOVES horror films. [edit].. I have a few theories as to why Gen-Y loves horror films, but no one can truly pinpoint it. What I do know is that horror films is that they make money NOW. However, I am part of the upcoming generation that LOVES musicals. I have a few theories as to why Gen-Y loves musicals, but no one can truly pinpoint it. What I do know is that musicals make money NOW.
$2150+ – Location Fees and Film Permits. From renting a house from the province of Ontario to renting a cafe shop, to paying for parking, to rehearsal space, to the recording studio for the sound and music, to possibly paying a Peace Officer to babysit us… We want to afford to do everything on the up-and-up, and not have to run around illegally, fearful of being kicked out. I’ve been a part of those shoots, and trust me, it’s just better to have the approval and permits. 2150+ – Location Fees and Film Permits. From renting a beach from the State of California to renting a flower shop, to paying for parking, to rehearsal space, to the recording studio for the music, to possibly paying a Peace Officer to babysit us… We want to afford to do everything on the up-and-up, and not have to run around illegally, fearful of being kicked out. I’ve been a part of those shoots, and trust me, it’s just better to have the approval and permits.

 

Looks suspicious to me!

Stromberg – Der Film – mainstream crowdfunding in Germany

Earlier this year the German version of the American version of the British version of The Office came to the big screen in Germany.

The TV show ran for 5 seasons in the Germany, between 2004 and 2012 (no, I don’t understand that either!) and is a fine example of the well known German sense of humour (sarcasm intended). But, the show was highly successful, but that was where it ended. When the show (finally) limped to an end in 2012 no further plans were made.

Now, the show is not without it’s controversies. The show’s makers actually did not acknowledge it as being a remake of the Office. In 2007 the BBC brought in the lawyers and “inspired by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant” was added to the end credits (and a bag of cash was deposited somewhere in the Caribbean).

Maybe that was what led to the ‘no further plans’ thing. But, whatever the reason, the German fans were not content to let the show fail. A crowdfunding campaign was started by producers Brainpool. In a week they had raise €1 million. They did it in an interesting way. For each €1 invested, if more than 1 million people saw the film then the investors would get back €.50. This kind of investor profit sharing is a very clever idea and I can definitely see this being a wave of the future as we go away from ‘gifting’ to true investing.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention that for 3 weeks the Stromberg film was the top grossing film in Germany. In it’s first two weeks in took in €30 million.

With numbers like that, and the interesting business model, Germany – and other European nations – might be on to a winning formula for home grown content resurgence!

 

 

Wanna crowdfund? Take 2 hours and watch this

Again, all respect to FilmCourage.com. Incredible work, guys.

Here is another series of interviews tied together under the theme of raising money via crowdfunding. You will probably never get these people in a room and certainly never for free.

Follow on article from Thomas Mai about Crowdfunding

A few days ago I posted the first part of this. Thomas Mai is a Crowdfunding consultant, film producer and former sales agent.

Thomas has run 11 Crowdfunding campaigns for films.

In this second instalment on the indiewire blog he follows on with more great advice on how to get the best from Crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding tip: People back People, not projects

It’s painful sometimes to look out over the crowdfunding landscape. It’s like watching a car crash in slow motion some times.

It’s not some big secret. KickStarter themselves offer pages and pages of tips. Here’s a great article, from Entrepreneur Magazine, that summarises some of them.

But time and again people ignore these tips.

Here’s a project I found this morning

You know what? It could be cool. But I see some problems with the campaign:

  1. Its too long! – Time and again KickStarter and everyone who is successful says keep it to 30 days. Not 60 days like this one.
  2. Where’s the people? – The fundraising video is some creepy music, some cobbled together clip art and text. Where’s the people?!?!
  3. Put the people up top – If you’re not going to bother to get anyone to speak to camera then at least tell us right at the beginning who we are investing in
  4. You’re making a film – show us you can make a film! Yes, maybe you have a director secured(?) that tool in over $100 million, but, that was then and this is now.
  5. Staged campaigns – this project asks for £500,000 up front. Greater success would be had if they asked for £50,000 for some pre-production costs and then ran another campaign later

Now…maybe this campaign will be successful. I am going to follow it. But, I have my doubts.