An Introvert’s Guide to Crowdfunding

By Nathan Williams | Indiewire,
Seed&Spark has given Indiewire permission to republish this story which originally appeared on their blog.

Thousands of fans. A team of tireless super-producers. An instantly viral concept. A robust network of friends with deep pockets. If you have any of these, congrats! Now save yourself the time and stop reading. This is addressed not to the filmmaker who is primed for crowdfunding success and just needs to fine-tune their campaign but, rather, the talented, passionate filmmaker for whom none of this stuff comes naturally. Because I know exactly how you feel.

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I’m a private person (I avoided Facebook until 2013). My films have had touching responses from their relatively small audiences but have nothing resembling an established fan base. My close collaborators are stellar film artists but neither fundraisers nor social media pioneers. I feel queasy asking people for favors and worse asking for money.

But we’re kidding ourselves if we let any of that serve as an excuse. If you can make a film, you can crowdfund a film. It may run against the grain of your personality, it may be more work than you want it to be, it may involve countless small disappointments, but if you are smart about constructing your campaign and truly determined to make it a reality, you will succeed. Here’s how:

Do your research

Nathan Williams
Location scouting for “If There’s A Hell Below”
In preparing our campaign for “If There’s a Hell Below,” I looked at dozens of past crowdfunding campaigns. I looked at campaigns that were huge successes and those that were dismal failures. I looked at campaigns I’ve personally supported and those I’d never dream of backing (sorry, Mr. Braff).

You’ve watched thousands of films as you’ve developed your filmmaking taste, skills, and style. So do your crowdfunding homework for a few nights. We didn’t find any individual project that was a perfect model for us, but seeing great ideas and bad ones (and ideas that looked like great ones but failed for some reason) were critical in informing our own strategies. Films have been crowdfunding for half a decade, and they’re all still out there to learn from—don’t ignore this valuable resource.

READ MORE: Crowdfund Successfully with Expert Advice from Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Seed&Spark

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