Crowdfunding has become the go-to option for low budget indie film funding. It’s a great resource for filmmakers to not only raise capital but to also grow, develop, and foster a community around their projects. However, there are a lot of myths and misunderstandings in filmmakers who are new (and veteran!) to crowdfunding.
- Myth: The Platforms help you raise money.
Generally speaking, crowdfunding platforms are services to collection contributions for you, for a price. While some like Kickstarter have huge backer communities and people who constantly give to campaigns, the platforms themselves don’t do any marketing, promotion, contribution, or crowd-sourcing for you. It’s up to you and your team to market and promote, find contributors, keep up with the blogs and press releases, and hammer home the social media.
- Myth:You’ll never get investors interested in your film after crowdfunding.
Complete nonsense. Consider this: If you have a successful crowdfunding campaign, a great pitch video, awesome social responses and a great product, you’ve done all of the investor pitch already. Investors want assurances and that’s hard to give, especially if you’re just starting out and don’t have an amazing film pedigree in your pocket, so showing them a successful campaign, completed phase, and all the hard work you’re doing is a great step to getting more capital.
- Myth: Crowdfunding makes it easy for someone to steal my idea.
Nope. There are steps you need to take before launching your campaign. One of which is protecting your intellectual property. If you register your completed manuscript (Register with the WGA. It’s cheap. Remember: you can’t copyright an idea.) and somebody takes your idea, you can legally pursue them, shut down their production, and generally cause a whole world of trouble. Protect yourself first, no matter if you’re crowdfunding or not and just exercise some common business sense. We are, after all, in the film business.
- Myth: Everyone loves T-Shirts and Autographed Scripts.
No, just no. Your perks are an important part of your crowdfunding strategy and what you offer as a return to your contributors shows the level of care and respect you have for them. Gone are the days when a T-Shirt was considered a cool perk. You need to show some creativity here. Nobody cares for a special video chat with the director. It costs you nothing to personalize a character name, give a walk-on roles or cameos (provided that you stipulate they are responsible for travel expenses). Depending on your production, you can also offer some of your key props as a reward if the prop is cool enough.
- Myth: Crowdfunding is simple or easy.
There is no “If you build it, they will come” in crowdfunding. Your planning should begin 2 months prior to launching your campaign. The actual “work” will be for the 30 some days of your campaign. This will become your full time job. You’ll need to be on social media all the time, sending out emails, asking friends and family, providing updates and constant communication with your backers. It’s neither quick or easy to have a successful crowdfunding campaign and it takes a massive effort on your part to ensure that the campaign goes as well as possible. Don’t just jump into it thinking you’ll have some success.
Crowdfunding isn’t for the feint of heart. It takes determination, hard work, sacrifice, and a thick skin to make it in the crowdfunding world. You’ll need to know your project inside and out, grow your audience and communicate with the frequently, and settle in for a fast paced and stressful month of work. And, after all that, then you have to make your film and ensure you guarantee delivery of both the perks you’ve offered and the finished product.
We’ve launched our own crowdfunding platform at Film Fervor. It’s a place where we can help grow and nurture independent films from concept to reality. Our goal isn’t to make as much money as possible on the campaigns, our goal is to help the filmmakers get the resources they need to not only make their film but also find an audience in festivals and distribution. We’re growing a database of film supporters, festivals, bloggers, social media champions, and film makers who want to see the independent film industry thrive.
One of the major aspects of what we’re offering, aside from the lowest platform fee’s in the business, is that we will actively help you promote your campaign and find you a larger audience. This doesn’t mean that we do all of the work for you, you still have to put the leg work in and do the promotion, crowd building, and heavy lifting, what it does mean is that you’ll have a partner in your campaign that’s going to help you get noticed and when you finish your film, we’ll help you get into the right festivals for your genre.
Head on over to https://funding.filmfervor.com/faq/ to check out our FAQ section.