You've got a great idea, you've got a great crew and you're ready to make your film. Only one problem - you don't have the funds.
Using crowdfunding to fund your film can be a lifesaver in a industry where demand for sponsorship outweighs the amount available.
The Video Mode has rounded up a few tips for the best way to promote your project and how to choose your platform.
Choose your crowdfunding platform wisely
As we said before, there are a lot of websites out there for crowdfunding, each with their own policy and rules. Kickstarter, for instance, runs on an ‘all-or-nothing’ policy where you either reach your target and land the funds or you get nothing. This type of crowdfunding works well if you’re testing out an idea, otherwise you definitely won’t be able to make your film without those funds.
Indiegogo on the other hand lets you keep the funds you raise even if you don’t meet your target with their flexible funding feature, provided you will be able to continue your project with what you raise.
Also, remember to read the small print as most crowdfunding websites take a cut of what your raise alongside payment fees.
Set reasonable a target fund
We’d all like to raise a million pounds and create a Hollywood blockbuster but crowdfunding is not the way to do this. It’s much more viable to raise a couple of thousand pounds to boost your project.
Also, make sure you plan how much you’ll actually need as only some of the platforms give you the option to continue fundraising after reaching your target.
Outlying your costing plan will also give your backers a more clear cut vision of where their money will go, making them much more likely to fund.
Choose the right length of time for your campaign
There’s been plenty of research on the best amount of time to set for your campaign. Crowdfunder advises that the optimum amount of time for a project is 28 days to keep the momentum running. Indiegogo found that the majority of their successful campaigns lasted between 30-39 days, the relatively short time frame allows you to build a sense excitement about the project.
Our best advice on this is to just be realistic on how much time you have to invest in getting the campaign up and running.
Make your incentives desirable
Think premiere screening tickets rather than a signed autograph of your friend whose acting in the film. T-shirts, DVDs and other merchandise are generally good ideas.
Also, don’t be afraid to mix them up if they’re not working after the first week. If you’re struggling for ideas – don’t worry because Kickstarter has rounded up 96 for you including putting investors’ names in the credits and writing them into the film.
Have a great pitch
This is your only opportunity to sell your project, so make it count. Some of the most successful campaigns have a video letting investors know what the project is, what the story is and how you will use their money.
Check out this Kickstarter video for Blue Mountain State: the Movie for some inspiration of how to outline the story while keeping the humour of the project.
Keep your investors up to date with the project
The point of running a campaign is not to make it and then leave it to fester for a few weeks. Keep updating it to let people know about how the project is going and what’s next for you and your crew. Indiegogo recommends sending email updates to your potential and current investors as well as updating the project to keep everyone in the loop.
Added bonus – this will also help those who have already invested to feel like it’s money well spent.
Publicise your campaign
No one is ever going to see your project if you don’t let anyone know it exists. Luckily we live in a world of constant updates on social media so you have no excuse not to link up your campaign to your other channels.
Indiegogo has even made an all-purpose outline of how to best use social media.
Don’t forget to check out our summary of film funds you can apply to right now.