Advanced Crowdfunding For Filmmakers Master Class

The Single Best Form Of Independent Film Financing
Taught by Stephen Follows

$289

On Demand Class - For immediate download. Unlimited access for 1 year.

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Class hosted by: Stephen Follows

Established Data Researcher for the Film Industry

About Your Instructor: Stephen has produced over 100 short films and two features. His corporate produced video work for a wide variety of clients ranging from computer game giants (Bethesda), technology giants (Nokia Siemens Networks) and sporting giants (Jonny Wilkinson) but sadly no actual giants. He’s shot people in love, in the air, on the beach and on fire (although not at the same time) across over a dozen different countries in locations ranging from the Circle Line to the Arctic Circle. Stephen has taught at major film schools, normal business schools and minor primary schools. His lessons range established topics such as Producing at MA and BA level, online video and the business of film producing to more adventurous topics such as measuring the unmeasurable, advanced creative thinking and the psychology of film producing. He has taught at the National Film and Television School, Met Film School, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Filmbase, and on behalf of the BFI, the BBC and the British Council. Stephen is an established data researcher in the film industry whose work has been featured in the New York Times, The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Mirror, The Evening Standard, Newsweek, The News Statesman, AV Club and Indiewire. He acted as industry consultant and guest on the BBC Radio 4 series The Business of Film, which was topped the iTunes podcast chart, and has consulted for a wide variety of clients, including the Smithsonian in Washington. Stephen’s scriptwriting has won Virgin Media Shorts, the Reed Film Competition and IVCA awards; has been nominated at the British Independent Film Awards, Viral Video Awards, LA Movie Awards and long-listed for a BAFTA; and has been championed by Mike Newell, James King, Stephen Fry, the Daily Telegraph and Le Monde. When he has time he drinks tea in the office of his production company, Catsnake, in Ealing Studios. Catsnake is a leading online video agency where Stephen is the Creative Director. They specialise in brand-funded short films and their work has been seen by over 30 million people. Full Bio »

Summary

A Note From Stage 32 Founder & CEO, Richard Botto:

This exclusive Stage 32 Master Class comes from one of my favorite people on the planet, Stephen Follows. Stephen is not only a filmmaker, screenwriter, producer and educator, but also a master statistician. In fact, I first became aware of Stephen when I discovered (and found myself lost for hours in) his incredible blog where he chronicles the results of his extensive research into data and statistics related to the film industry. So taken was I by Stephen's work that I sought him out prior to my trip to London for the Raindance Film Festival and requested a meeting. Not only did Stephen accept, but he kept our meeting in spite of a horrible cold, ultimately spending 2 more hours than planned. That's the kind of guy Stephen is. But his mind, as you are about to discover, is another story entirely.

I'm thrilled and honored to announce that not only will Stephen be contributing a number of columns for the Stage 32 Blog, but he will be teaching the first ever Stage 32 Master Class. Stephen's Master Class will be on crowdfunding, and I promise you it will be the most inclusive, insightful and factual (backed by more stats than you could imagine) class ever taught on the subject. Stephen has analyzed over 50,000 film crowdfunding campaigns -- yes, you read that right -- and is bringing his findings to the Stage 32 community EXCLUSIVELY. Never before has this extensive of research and discovery been taught on crowdfunding for filmmakers.

It's an honor to welcome and introduce to you, the incredible Stage 32 community, my friend, Stephen Follows.

About the Stage 32 Next Level Master Class - Advanced Crowdfunding For Filmmakers:

Launching a crowdfunding campaign is easy – ensuring you actually reach your goal is not. Especially if you need to raise a large amount or you’re competing in a crowded marketplace. Rather than leaving it up to chance, or learning on-the-job, let film data expert Stephen Follows take you through the inside scoop on what works and what doesn’t.

Stephen brings his experience of teaching at some of the world’s best film schools, running a leading online video agency and as a film industry data expert. He has crunched the numbers on over 50,000 crowdfunding film campaigns from platforms including Kickstarter and Indiegogo, studied the videos on the top 5,200 film projects, interviewed over 50 filmmakers and people who work at the major crowdfunding companies.

Notes: This is an advanced course and we expect all students to have a basic knowledge of crowdfunding. Please also note that the free course Stephen discusses in the recording is no longer available and only available to students who took his course live. 

What You'll Learn

Stephen’s research is brilliant. No-one is doing data-driven analysis of the film industry quite like Stephen Follows. His detailed research and reporting about the film industry is unique and invaluable. We have syndicated some of Stephen's work and will continue to do so. It is always very popular with our audience of producers and distributors.” - Jonathan Wolf – Head of the American Film Market

Being new to the film industry Stephen guided me through all aspects of producing. I was stunned in his extensive knowledge about the industry. Stephen was always attentive on what I wanted to learn and introduced me to several industry professionals. I recommend Stephen’s classes, he is truly an expert in producing and an excellent teacher.” - Karine Pawel - Producer, M&C Saatchi

Stephen is an inspiring and creative teacher and I learned more about the real world of film production than I could ever have gleaned from a dozen books on the subject. I’d recommend anyone who’s serious about a career as a producer to spend time in Stephen’s company and listen.” - Mark Lo - Producer, Asylum Giant

 

Session 1 – Campaigns That Connect and Convert

Stephen helps you build the best possible campaign based on research into over 50,000 film crowdfunding campaigns, conversations with filmmakers and interviews with key people behind major crowdfunding companies.

  • Picking your platform based on your needs
  • Crafting a powerful campaign
  • Inspiring action in your audience and turning viewers into backers
  • How to road-test rewards, ideas and copy before launch
  • What makes people share campaigns to their friends and family
  • A model for a $1 million crowdfunding campaign
  • Special industry expert guest
  • Recorded Q&A with Stephen

Session 2 – Video as a Professional Tool

We will study what makes the most compelling video message, what other types of videos you should be making and the results of Stephen’s research into 5,200 top performing crowdfunding videos.

  • Systematically building a high-converting video from scratch
  • How to decide on your style and approach
  • Creating the personal touch in a professional manner
  • Measuring the effectiveness of humor
  • Video adverts and seeding
  • Hard-learnt lessons from the professional online video frontline
  • Special industry expert guest
  • Recorded Q&A with Stephen

Session 3 – Marketing and Outreach

All crowdfunding filmmakers need to reach new people but if you’re going to run a big campaign then you’ve got a bigger task than most. But by using the tools of professional marketers you can reach millions of people and convert them into the backers you need.

  • Identifying your key audience groups
  • Building brand awareness with a tiny budget
  • Professional lead generation
  • Facebook marketing
  • Retargeting to follow your audience online
  • Metrics for success and benchmarks
  • Special industry expert guest
  • Recorded Q&A with Stephen

About Your Instructor

About Your Instructor: Stephen has produced over 100 short films and two features. His corporate produced video work for a wide variety of clients ranging from computer game giants (Bethesda), technology giants (Nokia Siemens Networks) and sporting giants (Jonny Wilkinson) but sadly no actual giants. He’s shot people in love, in the air, on the beach and on fire (although not at the same time) across over a dozen different countries in locations ranging from the Circle Line to the Arctic Circle.

Stephen has taught at major film schools, normal business schools and minor primary schools. His lessons range established topics such as Producing at MA and BA level, online video and the business of film producing to more adventurous topics such as measuring the unmeasurable, advanced creative thinking and the psychology of film producing. He has taught at the National Film and Television School, Met Film School, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Filmbase, and on behalf of the BFI, the BBC and the British Council.

Stephen is an established data researcher in the film industry whose work has been featured in the New York Times, The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Mirror, The Evening Standard, Newsweek, The News Statesman, AV Club and Indiewire. He acted as industry consultant and guest on the BBC Radio 4 series The Business of Film, which was topped the iTunes podcast chart, and has consulted for a wide variety of clients, including the Smithsonian in Washington.

Stephen’s scriptwriting has won Virgin Media Shorts, the Reed Film Competition and IVCA awards; has been nominated at the British Independent Film Awards, Viral Video Awards, LA Movie Awards and long-listed for a BAFTA; and has been championed by Mike Newell, James King, Stephen Fry, the Daily Telegraph and Le Monde.

When he has time he drinks tea in the office of his production company, Catsnake, in Ealing Studios. Catsnake is a leading online video agency where Stephen is the Creative Director. They specialise in brand-funded short films and their work has been seen by over 30 million people.

FAQs

Q: What is the format of a class?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Classes are typically 2 to 4 week ongoing broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.

Q: Do I have to have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online class, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the class.

Q: What are the system requirements?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the class software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The class software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live class. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer 

Q: What if I cannot attend the live class?
A: If you cannot attend a live class and purchase an On-Demand class, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A.

Q: Will I have access to the class afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand class, you will have on-demand access to the audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!

Testimonials

Testimonials:

Being new to the film industry Stephen guided me through all aspects of producing. I was stunned in his extensive knowledge about the industry. Stephen was always attentive on what I wanted to learn and introduced me to several industry professionals. I recommend Stephen’s classes, he is truly an expert in producing and an excellent teacher.” - Karine Pawel - Producer, M&C Saatchi

Stephen is an inspiring and creative teacher and I learned more about the real world of film production than I could ever have gleaned from a dozen books on the subject. I’d recommend anyone who’s serious about a career as a producer to spend time in Stephen’s company and listen.” - Mark Lo - Producer, Asylum Giant

Stephen’s research is brilliant. No-one is doing data-driven analysis of the film industry quite like Stephen Follows. His detailed research and reporting about the film industry is unique and invaluable. Every week Stephen's insights shed new light on different areas of the film business. We have syndicated some of Stephen's work and will continue to do so. It is always very popular with our audience of producers and distributors.” - Jonathan Wolf – Head of the American Film Market

Classes were a joy to attend every evening as Stephen is inspiring in his wealth of knowledge and teaches his students like colleagues and friends. He was always happy to answer questions and give advice about career paths as well as organze great guest speakers from different areas of the industry. I would highly recommend this course and Stephen as an educator. I would attend any course he offered as I feel I learned more in this course than my three year BA.” - Gina Powell - Assistant Producer, Unstoppable Entertainment

Throughout the long information packed days Stephen was never less than an engaging, super enthusiastic fountain of knowledge, and, for what I learned from it, the price was a steal! For anyone searching for a super short course that teaches them the no holds barred reality of what it takes to become a UK Independent Film Producer and get a feature film made, look no further.” - Susie Watson - Freelance Director

Stephen is one of the most gifted producers I know. His mind operates at an entirely different speed to almost everyone I know, solving problems, offering solutions and innovating new opportunities at break neck speed. I don’t know anyone his age that has the same depth of experience and insight in film making.” - Chris Jones - author of The Guerrilla Filmmakers Handbook

Stephen is one of the best informed and prepared tutors at the Met. Student feedback from his sessions is excellent and the fact that they can follow him on his invaluable industry blog is a bonus that few tutors can offer.” - Steve Pinhay - Head of Producing, Met Film School

Stephen's work is bursting with the same unstoppable creative energy as the person himself. He is driven, focused, and completely committed to utter perfection, always making sure that each detail is as polished as it can possibly be. As a producer, he's excellent at motivating and managing people and enabling everybody to give their best. As a writer, Stephen's ideas never fail to amuse, surprise, entertain and amaze: at every turn, just when you thought you knew where the story was going, an unexpected twist will take you to a completely new and exciting place. It's a delight to work with him - a Renaissance man for the 21st century.” - Roberto Trotta - Director at Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication, Imperial College London

Working with Stephen is a real pleasure - he's a great guy, highly skilled, a great problem solver and really gets under the skin of the environmental issues we are concerned with. We've now made a number of films with Stephen and have never been less than overjoyed with the results. If you need someone creative, focussed and who delivers every time, he's your man.” - Glen Colegate – Creative Director, Friends of the Earth

The national trust is re-launching its website and embracing a more content focussed approach to communications and marketing. We ran a series of workshops for headquarters teams last week and Stephen was the star turn. He evangelized for great story-telling in a witty and engaging way. He gave us the science, the mind and the heart of storytelling and backed it up with examples of great short film making. His erudition supported by his practical skills! I would happily use him again.” - Daniel Dodd – Head of Communications, The National Trust

With much enthusiasm, creativity and relentless hard work, Catsnake (Stephen's production company) gave us ‘The Secrets of Food Marketing’, a film that has attracted an amazing 7.8 million views – and counting! Catsnake are an agency who definitely promise a lot and still blow your expectations to smithereens (in a good way).” - Sophie Baden - Direct Marketing Co-ordinator, Compassion in World Farming

"The cosmological 'Theory of Everything' production was Lovestruck's first foray into the world of film, and we can thank our lucky stars that Stephen and Ed were at the helm. Straight from our initial meeting, it became clear that we were dealing with the finest exponents of their craft. Everything from the beautifully crafted – and factually correct – script, the ultra-professional organization and day of filming and the resourceful way in which they leveraged contacts for both meeting budget and seeding the film. They are fanatical in their attention to detail (possibly bordering professional OCD), the result of which will be a production you'll be proud of. Work with them." - Brett Harding - Managing Director, Lovestruck

"The lovely people at Catsnake have made some wonderful films over the years, from ‘A Love Story In Milk’ to the charming ‘Theory of Everything’. I was proud to be involved with ‘Two Words’ and can’t wait to see what they produce next." - Stephen Fry

Questions?

If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.
 

Reviews Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

  • The content is often fascinating, and offers great food for thought. I really do appreciate his enthusiasm for the subject matter. He is a little long-winded in places. My problem with this class is that Stephen is an absolutely awful presenter - every few words are followed by an "uh" "er" "um" or a combination thereof. Worst of all, his speech is punctuated by an unending sequence of "lip-smacking " sounds. It's beyond annoying and distracting. It really became unbearable.
  • This was a great course. I appreciated the insights that relied upon psychology and sociology as well as marketing and business. A couple of suggestions… The slides were not always clear when presented on display (i.e. the printing was far too small to read). Yes, we did have the handouts but these were not readily available in my instance. I hope Mr. Follows got rid of his bad cough. It sounded like a bad one having lasted all three weeks. Thank you very much! John Stopa John@interquel.com

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