Questions about the best ways to crowdfund films continue to be asked, with the rise and rise of Kickstarter and other platforms. With this in mind I thought it worth putting together a series of blogs addressing the various facets of crowdfunding and try to tackle the questions that lead creating the ideal campaign.
There is seemingly an insatiable appetite for crowdfunding in the film industry. If 2012 was the year when Kickstarter showed its dominance of the platform with its films making a splash at major festivals, then 2013 as predicted will be the year mainstream broke through - with Hollywood hitters Veronica Mars, Zach Braff and Spike Lee all raising millions of dollars on Kickstarter. This has seeped into pop culture to the extent whereby I would imagine if you mentioned to the majority of people you know the phrases “Kickstarter” and “crowdfunding” they would know exactly what you mean and a lot of them will have backed at least one project – I doubt this would have been the case a year or two ago.
I have heard on few occasions this year the view that Kickstarter's bubble has burst for independent film makers and its only a matter of time before the big players come in and dominate the sector, with the indies only being left to fight for the scraps. This is not something I agree with a number of reasons – firstly Hollywood dominance is a long way off (and in my opinion quite unlikely, which I’ll try to tackle in future posts) and secondly if done correctly, crowdfunding still gives an opportunity to the small guy to connect with an audience and raise funding in a way that no other approach can. To do so, you have to know the right and wrong methods, before embarking on your endeavour.
When producing the campaign for The Fitzroy, with Andrew Harmer and Liam Garvo, we did a tireless amount of research into the right and wrong methods other filmmakers applied to crowdfunding. Since the campaign finished I’ve become fascinated by the art form (and yes, to me, when done correctly it is an art!), it's development and innovation used by others to continue to develop the market. I have helped out on a number of campaigns and made contacts from others who have run campaigns and I've learnt from their experience. I’m keen to share their thoughts and my own, on what makes a great crowdfunding campaign and the tricks and tips that can be employed to achieve success.
I have canvassed the thoughts and opinions of people who have run a range of crowdfunding campaigns on a variety of platforms. In the New Year intend to begin a series of blogs that express their opinion and mine on the many facets of this developing industry. Do you have any questions on crowdfunding or topics you’re keen to find out about? Or do you have any magical pearls of wisdom you’re keen to share? If so, let me know in the comments below or find me on twitter @jamesjheath and I’ll do my best to try to address them in future posts.
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