In this blog, I’ll be writing about topics that revolve around the numerous aspects of crowdfunding for indie film projects to provide a solid foundation of fundraising know-how for those of you planning a campaign in the future. Although I emphasize the personal touch and going with the natural flow of fundraising (what I call the Tao, or Way, of crowdfunding), I’ll sporadically examine other innovative tactics that don’t necessarily follow my own tenets of personalization. Success is success, after all.
What exactly is crowdfunding? It’s quickly becoming the primary way for today’s indie filmmakers to get the funds they need to bring their projects from script to screen. By setting up a campaign on Indiegogo, Kickstarter, or any of the other crowdfunding platforms out there, you can now reach out directly to your audience (the “crowd” in “crowdfunding”), and by recording a pitch video, offering rewards, and spreading the word via social media, you could be on your way to calling “action!” sooner than you think and without having to go through the rigmarole of finding investors, filling out grant proposals, or taking a loan from the bank.
As with everything, there’s a right way and a not so right way to crowdfund. Many people don’t realize that there’s as much art that goes into a successful crowdfunding campaign as there is in making a film. More than art, crowdfunding really revolves around convincing a group of people to band together and help make your dreams of shooting a motion picture a reality. In that sense, we –– as crowdfunders first, filmmakers second –– cannot be seen solely as filmmakers and certainly not as businesspeople. We must make our projects their projects. Simply stated, this means being a person before a petition.
In a piece I originally posted on my website on June 27, 2011, I outlined these three P’s of crowdfunding –– namely pitch, perks, and promotion –– each of which are enhanced by the fourth P of personalization. I made use of these tenets when I crowdfunded $6,300 on Indiegogo for my short film “Cerise.” Recently, I revisited my original post and added examples of more contemporary crowdfunding projects that are utilizing these three P’s and seeing outstanding results. For your enlightenment, as well as more of an introduction into who I am as a crowdfunding consultant for indie filmmakers, give a read to “The Tao of Crowdfunding: Three Ps for a Successful Indie Film Campaign.”
Next month, I’ll dive into what really makes a great pitch, which is the first and most important thing potential contributors will see when they visit your campaign homepage. You’ll need to make it about you and your project, naturally, but most importantly about your crowd, in order to convince the crowd to contribute.
See you then!
John T. Trigonis is a published poet and storyteller, DIY filmmaker, freelance professor and author of “Crowdfunding for Filmmakers: The Way to a Successful Film Campaign.” A cat lover, coffee aficionado, wine enthusiast and comic book geek, as well.