Financing / Crowdfunding : Equity Crowdfunding for Film by Brad Rego

Brad Rego

Equity Crowdfunding for Film

Hello all,

I'm a filmmaker, and probably like most of you, have spent most of my career looking for money. For my most recent project I had made a few deals where I still needed to raise a 1/3 of my budget ($100k) myself in order for the rest of the money to kick in. I decided to try a new route to do it. Equity Crowdfunding through Reg CF. If you haven't heard of it, it just became legal few year ago, and it's like a Kickstarter, but instead of donations you are actually selling equity in your film, and so it is considered an investment. I loved the idea and set about learning more. Unfortunately because it has to be filed through the SEC, there is much more red tape than a Kickstarter or Indiegogo, and that makes it harder for filmmakers. So there wasn't much to go on. I only found two movies that reached their goal. A Christmas movie and a Christian movie. That's it. Two. Well, I'm happy to say, make that three. I have so far raise approximately $150k through my equity investment campaign: (www.startengine.com/cryptid)

Since that time I have been asked to speak at a couple conferences about it.

My question to the Stage32 community is, is this something that you folks would be interested in hearing about? I was considering contacting Stage32 and setting up some kind of webinar, but only if there is interest.

Let me know your thoughts.

Brad Rego

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1351636

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Willem Lodewijk Elzenga

I think you have a very strong case on financing a low-budget movie. You might want to consider first to finish the movie, so you can also point out what the project does in distribution.

Brad Rego

Hi Willem, there are a ton of people who can talk about distribution, it's done constantly. I'm thinking more about the equity crowdfunding part. That's the element where there seems to be a shortage of info.

Dan MaxXx

Probably need to discuss funding & distribution together. Hand to hand. What’s the point of borrowing money if you don’t know how to pay it back ?

Brad Rego

I think I'm not doing a good job of explaining myself. Although I do agree that you should always have a good distribution plan in place before borrowing money, I would say that is true for no matter how you raise funds, whether from friends and family, debt financing, private investors, etc... So that part isn't any different than how you would normally go about setting up your payback plan. The part I'm talking about is just the process of equity crowdfunding. Why its different, things to look for, pitfalls , etc...

Maybe I'm wrong and this isn't a topic people are interested in, and that's fine, that's why I asked. I just know when I started mine I had a tough time because there was no information out there, and I made a lot of mistakes.

Lorenzo P. Adams

Congrats Brad! I'm actually working on my first indie feature length film and would love to hear more about your journey and approach. I'm sure there are quite a few indie filmmakers from the community who would really appreciate a webinar on equity crowdfunding. There really isn't enough info out there. I'm ready dude!

Brad Rego

Thanks Lorenzo and congrats on starting to put together your first feature! I'll gauge the response I get on here and move from there, but aside from that, feel free to ping me if you are thinking about equity crowdfunding and have any questions.

Dan MaxXx

Yes, Brad, I would be interested. Perhaps a podcast or ask Stage 32 if they would do a webinar. And let us know when you’re in production. Maybe a vlog? Good Luck!

Lorenzo P. Adams

No problem Brad Rego and a vlog would be awesome too!

Brad Rego

Thanks guys, I'll reach out to Stage32 and see what they say.

Julien Klenn

Brad Rego congratulations on your success. I would also recommend you to do an AMA on reddit. It would help spread the name of your project, get more fans and maybe more investors along the way.

Brad Rego

Thanks Julien! I've never done an AMA on reddit, but since we are wrapping up the investment campaign at the end of Nov, I'm doing two Q&A/AMA broadcasts on YouTube Live Friday Nov 23rd and Sat Nov 24th at 3pm (EST).

https://bit.ly/2TirF06

Andrew Bushnell

I'm a little late to the party on this, but I am very excited about the cryptid movie and wanted to add that Martingale also raised 100k from Equity crowdfunding, I believe they shoot in 2019,

( https://wefunder.com/martingale ), so it is absolutely becoming a viable option for funding a feature-length film and not a fluke or one-off.

Jack Binder

Good to hear about your journey! Keep up the hard work. Looks good and good luck with the raise!

Chris Webb

Been following your journey on the long road of equity crowdfunding for some time now. Not sure if you ever did the webinar but I would be interested in watching you sharing your experience. By the way, have you reached your financial goal? If so, when do you begin production?

Brad Rego

Hi Chris, no I never did a webinar. I had contacted Stage32 a couple of times, but never heard back so I assumed there just wasn't much interest. I thought about doing it independently, but I don't really have the infrastructure to get the word out and make it worth it. As for the film itself, we have gotten closer to our goal, but haven't gotten all of it yet. Although, we have a few upcoming meetings set up with some additional investors, and we have a solid tax credit from the state lined up. So the hope is to close the gap sooner rather than later. In the meantime, we are still looking at a beginning of May shoot date, and have already secured the main locations, and have now begun to reach out to talent in order to cast the lead. The plan is to have everything ready to go so once we secure the last of the investors we can hit the ground running and still keep that date.

Chris Webb

Hey Brad, bummer that there wasn't enough interest. Seems like a perfect topic for a webinar given the complexities inherent to equity crowdfunding. Having read through your Cryptid investor page several times over the years it's clear that the process requires assiduous attention to detail. Glad to hear you're that you have forward momentum with some of the pre-production leading up to May. Best of luck with your investor meetings.

Brad Rego

Its funny, I have had several filmmakers reach out to me privately as they are looking at getting into the equity crowdfunding game and they have a lot of questions, because you're right, it is a lot of arduous detail that goes into the process, and I think that turns people off. For me, I'm just a filmmaker, not a business expert by any means, and so it took months of learning how to construct the campaign in the proper format to qualify it. That's hard to justify, especially when with something like Kickstarter/Indiegogo, you just need an email address to get started. I do hope we will see more and more equity campaigns pop up, but its hard, and my fear is if a few fail too quickly it will sour the option. I do really think it could be a great resource for $100k-500k productions. Thanks for the well wishes Chris. We'll continue to charge forward and get this done however we can.

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