Producing : Crowd Funding??? by Chris Drury

Chris Drury

Crowd Funding???

I will soon be at the point where I will need to bolster my funding to make my first short movie as director. I have secured 50% funding so far, but I am now considering using a crowd funding site such as Crowdfunder, Kickstarter, or the new Indie Film Fund site to name just a few. My question is; which one gets the best results for short film funding? I could do some words of wisdom and advice from anyone who has been there, seen it and learnt the lessons. Thank you in advance for taking the time to read and comment.

D Marcus

The site itself is neither best or worse. I suspect you have never donated to a short film made by people you don't know using actors you have never heard of. You are not alone - very few people do. People will donate to people more than to a project. I suspect you have donated to a couple of projects to support people you know and believe in and which site didn't really matter to you. Flip a coin to choose the site. Then comes the hard work - getting the word out to people who know you and believe in you enough to donate. Sometimes a really interesting campaign will attract complete strangers. Turn it around; what inspires YOU to give money to someone you don't know?

Chris Drury

I was thinking of what sites are best optimised, what demographics do contributors comes from, and what footfall these sites may get. I was General Manager of 8 websites with a turnover over £4,000,000 per annum so I would spend about 20% on online marketing and optimisation, if I wanted friends to contribute I know I can just ask them, I can network and drum up interest, but to maximise my campaign I wanted to see what other people thought of these crowd funding sites. Plus these sites charge you, so to part with that percentage it is only good business practise to know what you are getting and to get the best deal for you. When buying car insurance you shop around to get the best deal, the same will apply with crowd funding sites. I can and will put the legwork into research, but I just wanted other peoples experienced opinions before I make a decision. I do get what you are saying, but to base any part of my career and business on a flip of a coin doesn't seem to be a professional business approach.

D Marcus

I see now; you aren't asking which crowdfunding site gets the best results for short film funding, you are asking which of the many sites takes less of your money. I apologize for answering the wrong question. I don't know which site takes the smallest percentage. I agree with you, it's good business to know which crowdfunding site offers the best deal to fundraisers.

William Joseph Hill

I find there are pros and cons with any crowdfunding site, and you probably want to take into account which platform has the most success rate as well. The two biggies are Indiegogo and Kickstarter, of course. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. I'm currently analyzing both those platforms for a potential campaign for my feature film, so I'm kind of in the same boat as you. I think if you have a smaller budget, Indiegogo may be the best way to go, because you can elect to keep whatever funds you raise, even if you don't hit your goal. The percentage taken out would be higher in that case, but if you reach your goal, the percentage they charge is less than Kickstarter. But if you have a larger budget metric that you have to hit in order to make your film, then I think Kickstarter is the better bet, because of it's all or nothing approach.

Chris Drury

Thanks William, that makes total sense. I am unknown as a director and as such it is reasonable to assume I will not gain as much interest as someone who has a track record, so being able to bank what ever % I do gain will make a big difference, plus one of my backers has indicated they can increase their contribution if needed. Many thanks.

Chris Drury

To Marcus. My question is not 'how much does each site charge?', such a question can easily be answered with a few clicks of the mouse, I wouldn't insult anyone on here with such a question as I would only be insulting myself by asking it. I am more interested in the opinions of those who have looked at the trade offs, National rather than International sites, large well known (generic) funding sites or niche sites. Everything is a gamble I know, I have spent £30k+ so far of my own money and 10 years of my life getting to where I am now having left a very highly paid job as general manager for a large company and previously serving in the armed forces for 8 years. I know hard work is important but so is working smart. Any insight in to what works can only help and I appreciate all advice given. I just think you may have misunderstood my original question.

D Marcus

I did misunderstand and I apologized. No offense was intended. No questioning of your business experience was intended. No questioning of your military service was intended. Once again, I apologize for misunderstanding and answering what I thought was the question.

Chris Drury

I spent 3 years gaining a degree in Performing arts, then another 2 years as a professional actor (Under an equity stage name, not Chris Drury my real name) then my daughter was born so needed to be close to home so gained a post graduate diploma in teaching so I could teach drama which I did for two years, then gained a masters degree in screenwriting which I gained last year. That education which I had to pay for cost £30,000. I have worked as an actor on medium (few £million) productions and worked with some well known (internationally known) people (actors, directors), I have also, at times worked as crew on smaller projects to help friends with small (£40k +/- projects). So to get to this point has taken 10 years. Alle, I find your comments quite offensive and rude as you do not know my situation, it is people like you that dissuade the lesser confident to not even chase a dream. If all this site acts as is an opportunity for people to slag off other people then I want no part of it, I thought this would have been a site for like minded people wanting to make good movies. My mistake!

Chris Drury

Alle, your sweeping statements just reek of a frustrated, under achieving wannabe who holds on to the small successes they have had like a babies security blanket. It is one thing to criticise (which is vital to receive at all levels), it is another to just ridicule. Your arrogance makes you look pretentious bordering on obnoxious. Have you even thought that others on this site may read this and actually believe that gaining an education at high level is worthless? I would trade mediocrity (which you seem to have achieved in abundance) for the years of homing a skill and gaining academic recognition any day of the week. I am in a position where I never need to earn anther penny and can dedicate the rest of my life to making films, even if I never make any money from it. Success is measured by ones feeling of self fulfilment not the balance on ones bank account. I feel sorry for you as I would assume that such a pessimistic attitude takes years of rejection, failure and self doubt to achieve. I hope that one day you can actually inspire those around you rather that ridicule.

Susie Griswold

Hey Chris, I tried indiegogo. It was okay. You need to be active in your site, posting updates, etc to get the best value from it...as they say, you get what you put in, lol. A few of my friends just tried this site, I am not sure how well it is yet but seems great for filmmakers. seedandspark.com Good Luck with your film!!

Chris Drury

Cheers, will take a look. Totally agree, you can't substitute hard work, but every little extra detail helps. x Good advice, cheers muchly x

Chris Drury

Thank you very much. I am very active on social networking, I had a twitter account with 5k followers but closed it down due to my MA taking all of my time (twitter can get a bit addictive, procrastination is a writers worst pastime) , I enjoy that side to business. I will take a look at gofundme many thanks.

Chris Drury

that is a good idea, not thought of that. i have friends who are artists, one of whom is a very successful artist, I might steal that idea. many thanks. the brain cogs are now turning, cheers.

Stavros Georgiadis

Like any marketing campaign crowdfunding is a balance between the 'crowd' and target marketing. Looking at your film, if you can build into your campaign strong strategic alliances to promote your project it will improve your chances of success. As a past film agency head I can say campaign your socks off! Run some info sessions with organisation, even with companies about your business model, where your going with your film, who its going to be achieve these goals. I both agree and disagree that crowdfunding is all about the mass. With some insightful marketing you can engage with your local to get to key crowd supporter. Also, look at the pay exchange platforms you use. As these are added deductions to the amount of real revenue you will gain. Pay Pal charges a percentage. AND! its high. Others, if your selected crowdfunding site permits allow for lower transaction costs. But you may not have that option available to you. You can create your own crowdfunding site in addition to using a known brand. But you will instinctively know the disadvantages of doing that. Yet, you will be able to own ALL the funds, less monitory transaction costs. The good news is that by asking your question, you have already started down the road of building some--on this site--who might support your project. So engagement is key.

William Conrad

Hey. I just started my first Campaign. It's tough. Only a few days in but it really is a full time job. I'm attempting new strategies and I plan to write about what worked and what didn't. Stay tuned! What I'm finding does work is pre-securing some support. Like you said you have done. It's all about the perception of cool. So at first it all comes down to supporters, not the amount of funds gathered. Creating a buzz... so to speak. I'm dedicating my first half to doing just that. Then, working on bigger funders. We'll see how it goes.

Chris Ivan Cevic

Chris, message me off this post and I'll give you tons of info. I just successfully raised $32K in 33 days.

Frances Macaulay Forde

I'd just like to wish everyone with a goal the very best of luck!

Chris Drury

Thank you all so much for your comments. I have a meeting with Creative England tomorrow and then I'm out on location to get some footage for the promo. After all of your advice I am keen on Indiegogo, so I will let you all know how it goes. Many thanks.

Oriel Kerr

Hey Chris, I just wanted you to know, if you go the Indie gogo route, they take a significant chunk out of the money you keep if you do not meet your goal. I have a friend who is at 50% of his goal right now and just posted this update. I don't remember the percentage, but definitely look into it. Best of luck to you!

Una Love
Una Love

And you might like to check out www Filmonik.com as a means of getting some quick practice in as a director. At their summer event you could make 3 short films in a week, one could even be your crowdfunding trailer I suppose? I've been going for 4 years and have learned loads. Many film students have said they've learned more in a week than a whole year of study! ;-) Anyway, have a look. A great way to connect, build relationships and practical experience.

Chris Drury

Thank you all. Indiegogo charge 9% if unsuccessful and 4% if you get to 100% +. I have some great perks lined up for the campaign. I am getting the promo finished at this time so hope to get it launched tomorrow or Tuesday at the latest. Will keep you all posted on how it goes. many thanks for all your support.

Chris Drury

Not great with Indiegogo. I have enough to pay for this myself, but some corners will need to be cut.

Oriel Kerr

Chris, have you tried posting the link to your page on here that way everyone on here can view it and donate? I think you can only post it once so it doesn't come off as spam and I believe there is a place to post this types of announcements. Also, this is a good time to look over your script and think about what needs to be cut out of the story and what is pertinent to stay. I wish you the best!

Chris Drury

I have posted it on my timeline. No need to cut any script. But thanks for the message.

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