Monday, March 18, 2013

Crowd Funding On Mars

Crowdfunding On Mars

Most of your know what crowd funding is. For those of you who do not it is basically raising money through donations from fans and followers by using sites such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter. These sites have helped thousands of independent artist and film makers to get funds to help with their projects. Some times it is for money to start a production and others it is to cover post productions and or distribution.

I question whether or not that it was indented for what has recently happened. The producers of the cancelled series Veronica Mars, in order to make a feature length film from the series, went on kickstarter with the goal of getting a full production budget of two million dollars. Yeah, can you hear doctor Evil saying “Two Million dollars”? Most are using these sites to get anywhere between a thousand dollars up to a high end of one hundred thousand dollars. In other words well with in the budget of the average low to micro budget digital film. They gave themselves a thirty day window to hit the two million dollar mark and within three days they are well over three and a half million dollars.

This could end up being something that benefits all of us in the micro budget world or it could be a disaster. It could benefit those who use the site by the simple fact that this massive event has gotten kickstarter and indiegogo like sites a great deal of attention and those who donated to the big project may be willing to donate to other projects in the future.

Then again it could mean the start of a flood of Hollywood types who do not need this venue, but look at it as a way of funding their over blown vanity projects. Well I am one of those people that believe there is no level to low for the Hollywood elite to sink to and I see this more as a negative than a positive.

You doubt that huh?

Have you watched the independent Spirit Awards lately? It use to be a venue where little films got recognition. Where film makers made their bones. Lately it is the place where Bruce Willis hangs out to pick up chicks and free drinks.

I doubt that any of us will be able to fight this trend once it gets rolling, but we can survive it.

How do we as digital film makers manage to use Crowd funding to our advantage?

Look first to how Veronica Mars managed to pull this off.

 It was a cancelled tv series with a loyal following. (If it was Babylon 5 or Andromeda or even Heroes, I would not have written this post.) The producers of the show used this following to get the word out and then to get the cash to pour in.
The loyal following is something that has to be considered. If you are going to do well with crowd funding then you are going to need either a great product with a great trailer in hand or you are going to need a loyal and focused fan base for the project you are looking to have funded. Not all of us can have two seasons of a network series to generate press for our future crowd funding project, but we can have a active web series to generate a loyal following. We could have a series of short projects behind us that have introduced us to the world. If your work is good people will talk about it. Fans of your work will want to support you in the future if your feature length project appeals to them.

I am not much for constantly being on facebook and twitter (social media) to grow my brand name. This is very time consuming and I have always believed that if you do great work others will do the social marketing for you. I have not decided about Google Plus yet. The circles that it provides could come in handy when you have a project or wish to start a conversation with those who follow you. It may be a great place to do some branding and I get a lot of information from followers on Google plus about their projects and in return I tend to write about them and or post them on one of my blogs.

If you have a blog it is good to reserve a page for crowdfunding notices. Not just for your own, but for others who you believe in. This can be a way of giving back to the digital film making community. I admit that I have not done this, but I am going to add a page to this blog for Crowdfunding announcements. If most of us who have Blogs and websites with a decent following did this we could create an atmosphere where it would be possible for someone like me or you to launch a campaign with a fresh new project that could pull a million dollars in donations. Some of the best film makers on earth are making web series and digital shorts with no budgets. They are out there and if given the chance they could and would make amazing features. Peter Jackson and Sam Raimi and Christopher Nolan were low budget film makers who were given big breaks by the big studios. It would be great in the next great film maker was given a big break by a crowd of fans.

Please take a moment to share this post with someone. To stumble us on stumbleupon and to add me to your google plus. The next post will be part two of my interview with Travis Bain the maker of Throwback. I am a writer by nature which means that I fall into the category of being a creative type, so I have always loved learning from those who are technical in nature. Ask me about writing a script or working with actors or even the financing of a project and I am your guy, but the behind the camera aspects of film making and or editing and I am still a novice. I am learning as I go. Mr. Bain has given a great deal of insight into an area of film making where I am by no means an expert.

Okay that is it for today. See you guys soon.

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