Unlocking Your Crowdfunding Campaign’s True Purpose

Photo Courtesy of Jakob Montraiso Flickr

Photo Courtesy of Jakob Montraiso Flickr

Guest blog: We as filmmakers must strive to create something more experiential than another movie campaign

Everywhere you turn, it’s as though everyone, and I mean everyone — from indie film pioneers to Hollywood’s household names — is raising funds online for a new film or video project.

A mere three years ago, crowdfunding was in its infancy and just learning how to walk. Now, it’s on its feet, running and moving faster month after month affording artists, entrepreneurs and conscientious individuals and institutions the ability to more easily fund the things that matter most to them.

More easily, but by no means easy, of course.

Because of crowdfunding’s rapid growth and popularity, it’s no longer sufficient to simply run another crowdfunding campaign that seeks to presell a finished film. Transactions are particles of the past reassembling to form the relationships of the future.

We as filmmakers must strive to create something more experiential than another movie campaign; we must become more than just another content creator hoping to get his or her passion project off the ground through crowdfunding, and more and more of us are pulling a page from the book of transmedia and crafting campaign experiences to further engage their audience in creative ways.

In my book “Crowdfunding for Filmmakers,” I write in detail about the “three Ps” of crowdfunding — Pitch, Perks and Promotion. But there’s a fourth one that’s most important of all, which enhances any campaign, and that’s Personalization.

The pitch serves as the opening act of your crowdfunding campaign, and you probably have at most three minutes to affect the audience and convince them that your project is worth their hard-earned $5 or $50. But more than impact, you need to connect your project to your audience.

Everybody’s got a project; so instead of selling us on your film, encourage us to support you, the filmmaker. Therefore, I suggest you …

Pitch the Person, not the project: Make a brief introduction to who you are as a person before you start talking about your film project. One thing to keep in mind is this: People give to people, not to projects. It’s also important that you never ask for money, but rather invite your potential funders to join you on the journey of making a great film.

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