How to Crowd-Fund a Movie (Continued)

Here is the second part of Alex's take on the whole crowd funding experience and strategy. Enjoy!

4. Recruit Your Audience

One of the most valuable things about crowd funding for a film is that it provides you with a chance to build an audience for a film that doesn’t yet exist. In our case, backers have also been encouraged to follow this blog, which (hopefully) makes them feel  included throughout the whole process. By the time PHB makes it to the big screen, our goal is to have an audience of thousands.

5. Build a Coalition

Before launching our Kickstarter project, we did a lot of research watching other project videos and strategies. We wanted a project video that was short, sweet and to the point. Rather than say, “Please help me” in a pity me sort of way, we wanted a video that said, “We are making this movie, come and join us!” in an inclusive way. It was in this spirit that we conceived of our project video. We wanted to introduce ourselves as a team of people coming together to do something awesome. More importantly, it was a way to instill a sense of ownership in the project across the board. This wasn’t just our writer/director hustling on his own to make this movie by himself. Rather, this was a team of us working for our collective interest to see our film made.

All of this is really about being inclusive and, in keeping with this theme, we chose to set our minimum donation at one dollar because we were thrilled to welcome any backer who was interested in rallying behind us. Had we kept our minimum at something like $50, we would have lost out on a whole group of really helpful, link-sharing, wonderful people that also gave us a few dollars.

Lastly, building a coalition let's you cast a wider net. Many people working for a common cause will get the job done far more efficiently than any single person.

6. Every Dollar Counts

We reached our goal a little early, 5 days actually, but we only ended up about 800 bucks above our goal …  which is further proof that every dollar really does count and, needless to say, we are grateful for every, single last dollar.  It’s incredibly important to thank each and every donor with a personal note as soon as a donation is received -- so on the off chance that your thank you was lost in the shuffle, THANK YOU!

7. You Get One Shot

The bottom line:  securing $50,000 through crowdfunding was a lot of work. Good work, fun work, encouraging work, but work. You are putting yourself out there. It’s risky and it’s probably your one shot for raising funds this way. Your donors are not likely to come back time and time again each time you develop a new script or project, so do it well the first time. Be honest, direct, and efficient. Do your research, know your audience and go out and FUND!