Raising Money for Films Sucks. Here’s How to Do it.

At some point on your journey to become the next innovative filmmaker you’ve probably looked at prices for equipment and then thought “Do I really need both kidneys?” followed by about ten minutes or so reconsidering your life choices and thinking about that insurance job that might still be available.

No need to worry because I’m about to take you through the journey of what it’s like to raise the money you need for your film.

FIND YOUR PLATFORM

Okay so first thing you need to know is there’s a world of crowdfunding sites out there which are free to use and keep track of the logistics of your donations. These are really helpful if you don’t want to build your own website.

I’ve worked on two large campaigns, one for $15,000 and the other for $25,000 and both times I’ve used indiegogo.

While Indiegogo was great for the project I was working on, it doesn’t mean it will be right for you, so go out there and do some research.

When you’re looking for things  What’s the fee you’ll have to pay?

Some sites like indiegogo will charge around 5% of what you make and others like gofundme will charge around 8%.

Also watch out for sites that are all or nothing, read the fine print because you may not be able to keep anything if you don’t reach your goal.

Basically, do your research.

TELL A STORY

I can’t stress this one enough, you’re audience hasn’t seen your film, they don’t know how awesome it is. You need to let them know. Let your audience share the journey with you and be a part of the experience. It’s also smart to keep the story in line with the theme of your film. Out of the Woods is all about family, so most of the content we put out had to do with family and highlighting how important family is to us and our film.

BE CREATIVE

Filmmaking is a funny thing, it has its own language and culture. From the outside it can feel like someone’s making an inside joke that they’re not in on. Our last campaign was for post production, which is basically a foreign language to people who aren’t in the film world. In order to combat this we came up with a visual representation for our film: a caveman. The more money we got the more refined he would become, just like our film.

A friend of mine who raised $22,000 for film equipment came up with the theme of “Release the Filmmaker!” and every week he was doing something new and ridiculous to make money.

PERKS!

Perks are an essential part of any campaign, you want to come up with not just an incentive for people to give, but it’s a great way to make people feel thanked and like they’re part of something.

IT’S A FULL TIME JOB

Be prepared, crowdfunding is a full time job that’s as draining as it is rewarding. You need to make sure you’re ready to put out content every day and keep at it when things don’t feel like they’re moving. Often campaigns won’t reach their funds until the last couple of days, so it can feel like a lot of work with no reward at first.

You also need to be prepared for what happens if you don’t make the goal. The first campaign I worked on we made more than our goal, but our second we made around 50%.

The sad thing was our second campaign was miles better than our first, but sometimes the stars don’t align and that’s okay. It just means you’re going to have to get innovative and find a way to make your movie happen; good luck!

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  • While a great many would see him as a hero, there are some that would prefer the term vigilante. Gregory is an aspiring filmmaker who loves writing, directing, coffee and long walks on the beach.

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