Want money for your film? Read on...
Yeah sure, and then you wake up....
Crowdfunding remains an incredible popular method among filmmakers (especially among documentary-makers) to get together the financing for the production - or part thereof - of their film.
However, despite there being numerous guides on the market on how to successfully campaign, some filmmakers still expect the money to come flooding in once their campaign - their bid for funding on one of the available platforms - goes live.
Why bother to make an effort? After all, there are hordes of people waiting to get rid of their money. Sure, yours is the only film which needs their help. They will support you because your film is special. Get. Real.
Even if you have a hundred mates who are all - in spirit - willing to support you, the reality is that not even half of them will. That's not because they secretly don't like you or what you are intending to produce but because of a plethora of other reasons; they were on the bus when they read your message and forgot; the week you asked their boiler broke down so money was tight; they thought "I'll do it later", and forgot; the baby cried, they forgot; the kettle boiled, forgot; the 8 o'clock news started, forgot.
Taken that into consideration, my first tip would be to contact your friends not once, not twice, but at least three times during your campaign period.
Then you need to think outside of that circle: how can you reach strangers, the press, influencers and other (to the topic related) organisations? Unfortunately this will cost you time and lots of it.
Successful campaigns never 'just happen', often filmmakers will spend the majority of their time on their campaign.
You need to ask yourself a few questions, such as what is your worth? Who are you as a filmmaker/artist/activist/expert? Why would others fund your film? Are people affected by the topic? Is it a campaigning film? Highlighting a certain plight? Does it involve an actor or actress with a steady fan base? All questions that if answered and worked with, could help you determine who would be likely to fund you if you asked.
I also can't stress enough the use of social media. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest (use stills if you have them), Vimeo, YouTube (fling that trailer and/or fund request the world in with full force!) - all these platforms can help you reach a new audience, a new potentially funding audience.
The same goes for contacting the press. Reach for the stars but don't forget where you're coming from. So after you press send on that email to the NY Times you should look up the email addresses of the entertainment writers on your local rag (that's a newspaper by the way for those of you who are not British). And don't forget about the trade press and the bloggers. Some bloggers might be small but often have a very targeted and loyal group of readers and ultimately you want everyone talking about it because a buzz indicates success.
In between all of this you need to keep updating your social media (share your gratitude with the world if someone is kind enough to support you), and of course your website and the campaign page.
Ultimately the crowdfunding campaign is the first chance not just to get together money but also to gain an audience and the attention of festival organisers, broadcasters, the trade press and critics. If the latter see the potential of your film, all you need to do is finish it.
So, perhaps after this this article crowdfunding sounds a lot less attractive then when it was a case of just collecting the money, but do you care? You'll be able to make your film by the end of it and that's what matters.
Have you had any experience with crowdfunding? If so we'd love to hear about it. Let us know by commenting below or via our Facebook page.