How to Run a Successful Film Crowdfunding Campaign
Maintaining artistic integrity is the goal of any independent film production. Avoiding the egos of private financiers and the awkward conversation of having to tell them their nephew can’t play the lead can definitely be a reason to turn to crowdfunding as a means of financing your independent film production through crowdfunding. Here are some of the key steps to making your crowdfunding campaign a success and getting the funding.
Get the right people around you
A successful crowdfunding campaign is going to take hard work and passion for the project. You will need to have people who have 100% bought into your independent film production and feel that they own it as much as you do. If they don’t they will not be driven to raise the funds and this is not something one person can do well on their own. Ensure everyone understands the benefits they will be getting by the project moving forward and also have back end percentages drawn up based on how much each person raises to incentivise how much effort they will put into the campaign.
Do your research
Our team had not done their research before they threw us into our crowdfunding campaign and we had to do a lot of rescuing to get us back on track. Whether you’re thinking Kickstarter, Greenlit, GoFundMe or IndieGoGo; when doing your research, here are things to consider:
- Is this the best platform for film financing?
- What sort of reviews have other people financing and independent film production written about this platform?
- Are there any fees?
- How long will it take for the money to get to me after the campaign is finished?
- Does the platform have any resources (ie. Blogs, Guides) to help me structure my campaign?
When you have the answer to these questions you can make an accurate decision about which platform to go with, exactly how much money to raise and start preparing your shoot dates based on when you get the money.
Take some advice
For our crowdfunding campaign for our independent film production Anonymous, we chose Indiegogo. Indiegogo actually have a lot of resources available on how to run a successful crowdfunding, however we would not recommend them for other reasons. You should be able to find guides on how to schedule content and the types of people you should be contacting as well as other pre planning workbooks to ensure you have a good idea of who you will be contacting before you even start your campaign.
I cannot stress this enough, start your campaign before you even start your campaign.
There is no rhyme or reason to the psychology of giving
While crowdfunding for our independent film production Anonymous I contacted every single person in my Facebook friends list. It took me almost 3 weeks of late nights to do but I did it. I had friends I hadn’t seen in almost 20 years contribute to our campaign while I had other friends who I have lunch with on an almost weekly basis ignore my message altogether but reply the next time I messaged them. I have to put a disclaimer on this because we did campaign during the Covid-19 lockdown so that will have also played a part on people’s willingness to contribute however, I was personally so encouraged by the messages I got even from people who were not in a financial position to help us out.
My point is, do not be afraid. These people are your friends and whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Hotmail whatever, nothing works better than that personal message. By all means have a cut and paste go to but make sure you’re personalising it for each person before you send it.
The real tell is that my own family did not contribute anything until I sent them a private message.
Keep it social
Social media is supposed to be social. Depending on your demographic you may have fallen off some of your socials. I absolutely understand but if you’re going to get the money for your independent film production you need to start wishing those happy birthdays and reaching out to your network on LinkedIn. For example, I got the most contributions for our campaign on the days when I would post a picture of my husband and I kissing on Instagram or when I’d uploaded a video reading out the names of the people who had already contributed. The post about the film and the perks were important but at the end of the day people are buying you and who you are. They want to be part of what you are doing.
So good luck with your crowdfunding campaign for your independent film production and tell your long lost friend from kindergarten I said hi!