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Crowdfunding Your Film

Lesson 7 of 13

After the Campaign and Q&A

Emily Best

Crowdfunding Your Film

Emily Best

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Lesson Info

7. After the Campaign and Q&A

Lesson Info

After the Campaign and Q&A

after the campaign. This is super important. There's really important materials to collect. You need any PK, particularly for ITunes extras, and for press kits. You're going to need all of that information. Get it on set higher your friend. Give them an extra camera, make them shoot beautiful production stills. You need good BTS if you want to be picked up in the film press, they always love that stuff. Personalized videos, clips of the finished film on set stills. This is some of the most important stuff you need for developing really beautiful distribution materials and distributors Air really gonna want that stuff. So if you do have a name for a big distributor, take good on set stills. Otherwise, you can't be mad if their key art sucks. Um, incentive fulfillment. So anything you can gather related to the fulfillment of incentives. People visiting set people being in the movie, you know, pictures. You can take photographs of the giant stack of envelopes that are getting mailed out. ...

That's all inevitability of success. That's me demonstrating. I'm doing what I promised, so that stuff is really important to gather. And that's because after the campaign you have now initiated a relationship with your audience where if you go away, it goes away, too. Crowdfunding is a commitment you're making to your audience to as Brian, So book beautifully put it, demonstrate to them that they matter that they matter to you. And you can't just cut that off after you've gotten their money, right, Because that just kind of shows you're a jerk. Oh, yeah, I got your money. Thanks. I'll see you later, right? And I'm gonna stare at my back for the next No, it's about continuing your visual and terrible progress. Updates fulfilling those incentives, being active on social media in that 9 to 1 ratio as before collecting more email addresses. Because now it's not about funding your film. It's about distributing your film. And if you think you need a lot of email addresses to get your film funded, if you really want wide distribution for your film, now is where the work really starts. And that's why inevitability of success is so important. When you go to festivals. I don't think it's nearly as important to get into a giant festival as it is to go to a zoo. Many regional festivals as you can and meet audiences in cities you would never otherwise go to and have a great Q and A and shake their hands and look them in the face and thank them for showing up. Because those are the people. First of all, at a regional film festival, those are all the people in a small town who everyone else goes to for their movie recommendations. Thes air, important people to bring to your side. Those are an incredible opportunity to grow your crowd. If you're a shorts filmmaker, this is what it's about. Take your shorts to festivals, get 100 email addresses at every festival that is such a great career builder so far above and beyond creating a calling card. It's about creating a base for your next film, and now we're talking about concentric circles that instead of from the ether into the center, we're gonna go the other direction. You start with your first crowd funded film, just with your filmmaking team in the circle of family and friends around you and through social interest groups and organizations, your alumni organizations, all that research you're doing, you're building this bigger social media network, which is a much wider circle, right? And you're constantly pushing out from the center, gathering more and more email addresses growing that center circle of audience. You hit the festival circuit and you really expand it here. And now when you move onto distribution or you go to make your next film, you're not starting here. You're starting out here, right? And maybe not the first film and maybe not the second film. But by the third film, if you really commit to this, this is where we can see filmmakers making lasting, sustainable livings, making the stuff they love. And part of that is gonna have to do with really reckoning with what is enough. Is it really important to you to make ah, Mad Max Fury Road and have your opening weekend be a $50 million opening weekend? Maybe I'm very happy about that film. That's like one of the first feminist action movies we've ever seen. I would love to be a person involved in that film, right? But those are not the films that really that I want to make her that I think I'm capable of making my films air on a much smaller scale. And for me, if I could make a living and, like feed my family on, uh, the films that I was making, that would be enough for me like That's what I want. So it's not necessarily about getting you know one filmmaker 100 million email addresses. It's 10,000 filmmakers with 10,000 email addresses, each right that is still reaches 100 million people. But in a movement that's much more personalized, much broader, much more diverse, much more exciting and active. That's why I think this opportunity is so exciting for all of us is that it can happen in all different scales, right? There are lots of places to join the conversation with other filmmakers who are pushing this forward. This kind of filmmaking requires sharing what you know and learning from others so much. And I know the Seattle phone community is incredible about that. And I imagine if there's filmmakers chatting online, they're demonstrating this in real time. Um, you can get on the film. Curious Twitter chat every other Tuesday script Chat is like a bat signal on Twitter for writers who need help on, and that's run by the editor of script magazine Jeannie Barman. Grow your community of ideas. And don't forget that when the campaign ends and the festival run ends, if you want to get into theaters, it is still your job to get butts in seats. Really, I have a couple of really good friends who've distributed their films through major distribution companies. And because their films were sort of smaller on the scale of the distributors they were with, they didn't get much attention, and it still ended up falling to them to get butts in seats for their theatrical release. Right? So just always assume it is your job to get butts in seats. If what you want is butts in seats and nobody will do it better than you can. Big questions we dio I just It's one thing I would love for you, maybe to touch on for those who haven't run a campaign before, or for those of us who Maybe it's been a little while and we're really scared at all the work. Can you talk a little bit about what is what fuels you? What do you You know what is going to be that thing that's gonna keep you going and make you excited to do all that such a great question. And the two filmmakers we have here next, we're definitely gonna put them in the hot seat about that as well. I think any of us who are making films and trying to make a living at it are probably fueled by something we can't necessarily identify. But it is a need to tell the story, right? And we each have that. And then during the campaign, you will inevitably have moments of such spectacular connection with people you didn't expect. Who will reach out to you and say, You know, I can't believe you're making this film. I didn't think I could ever see something like this on screen. Um, uh, Jason Cooper is making a film right now called Kick Started, and it's not out yet. Uh, it's about lots of different people who crowd fund things. And there are just these divine moments he manages to capture in this film about when somebody you've never met reaches out. When ah vfx artist in Italy gave $1000 to our seed and spark campaign and just like that was it He just out of nowhere. Just put the money in. And we knew that somewhere in Italy somebody cared about what we were doing. You know, there are moments along the way that air so exquisite, and I think you have to focus on those right. Focus on those moments of connection and remember why you're doing this. You're doing this to find an audience, to reach an audience. You know, we're not. We're not painters like you could paint by yourself in a room that could buy the stuff paint by yourself in a room and, like my grandmother, just leave them lined up in your studio. Was she an artist? Sure, but she was doing art for art's sake film. It just isn't that medium. We have to connect to people in order to make it a thing Nobody like shoots a bunch of reels of film and leaves it in there. Well, maybe some their student films, but like, that's not what we're doing it for, right? So I think it's seeking those moments of connection along the way. Does that answer your question? Yes. Okay, awesome. We have some questions from Green. Don't take him. Yeah, so let's start with this one? Sarah asked. How do you build a team when you have no money to pay them? So assuming it's just you, you want to build Dream Team, How do you get that going? Sure, a couple of things. You probably have some friends, right? Uh, who you can, probably who you can enlist along the way. Most films aren't being made by a single person. Sometimes it's a single person, doc, shooter and, um, those air, definitely times where I think it's really important to scale back what you're asking for. So if it's just you, like Liam. In the beginning, he had one other person helping with his crowdfunding campaign. They scaled their ask down so that they could do sort of a development campaign. They put their team in place, and then the team of people who were going to get to work on this movie that they were crowdfunding for they got involved. I don't think any longer like I wouldn't hire somebody at this point to myself. I'm a producer. I wouldn't hire someone to My said he was like, I don't get involved in the crowdfunding campaign. It's like cool do you know that it's good for everyone's career. If there's a wide audience for this film, that's good for everyone. And if you don't want to participate in WHATS good for everyone, then you don't belong on my set, right? So I think it's also really setting a standard in a tone that says, We are all in this for the betterment of the whole group. And so it might start you on a small campaign so you can get the development in place to build your team. And then the team together runs the larger campaign. I hope that was that's That's one method. Thea other thing is getting online. Joined film. Curious Twitter Tack We have tons of film makers who started collaborations from across the country just getting involved every other Tuesday 11 a.m. PST Um, and we talk about all sorts of stuff, and filmmakers end up finding the people who were aligned with their interests, and they start collaborating that way, going to networking events, chatting in a chat room and creativelive these air all actually ways to start building your team for no money. I don't think they're paying to be in the chat room. No. Okay. Yeah. Totally free. Totally free. Um, all right. So any tips on crowdfunding for introverted filmmakers who don't have millions of close friends? Yes. And what, we're gonna do that in the next segment? Because Nathan Williams is himself an introverted filmmaker. He does have a team, right? It is. Uh, this is where the internet is really going to be your friend, right? The beauty about the Internet is it doesn't know you're an introvert. So when you can get really invested in storytelling and using the medium online, So go ahead and sit behind your computer and reach out to people from there, which is what you're doing right now. So not that much of an introvert, right? Um, it's not like you're cowering in a corner. The internet is a great tool here where people from their bedrooms can do a lot of outreach. That doesn't also feel sort of, like, personally vulnerable in the same way and will press Nathan about that because he has. He has a lot is a lot to say about that

Class Description

Raising money and gathering resources is crucial for making movie dreams a production reality. In Crowdfunding Your Film, Emily Best will lay out your options for getting early support and identifying the fundraising sources that will bring your work to life. 

When her film Like the Water needed a last-minute infusion of capital, Emily was inspired to start Seed&Spark – the crowdfunding platform she runs as CEO today. In Crowdfunding Your Film, she’ll share both her front-line fundraising expertise and her years of experience helping others raise the money needed to make their films a reality. 

She’ll teach you how to: 
  • Create an effective social fundraising strategy 
  • Crowdfund your film 
  • Crowdsource gear and supplies 
  • Create incentives for the audience during every stage of production 
You’ll learn how to develop a community of contributors and supporters that ensure you have the resources you need to make your vision come to life. You will also learn to build momentum so your audience will follow your film creation from beginning to end and your film has an audience from the beginning. 

Fundraising and acquiring all the necessary filmmaking materials can be a tremendous source of pressure, but it doesn't have to be. In Crowdfunding Your Film, you’ll get real-world insights and practical approaches to funding your film without fear. 


a Creativelive Student

Excellent source of information re crowd funding for films (docs & narratives, short & long form.) THANK YOU Emily Best!!! You were great, love what you are doing with Seed & Spark. THANKS Creative Live. Love how you bring creative learning to your audience.


This was my introduction to Seed & Spark. Since I have read a number of articles on the same presented by Emily Best and her business partner. So impressed with what they are doing, I have recommended it to all of my readers--all of whom are filmmakers. Emily's approach to crowdfunding as explored in this video series is top notch. I would recommend this series to everyone whether the novice or the more experienced crowdfunder. David W. King, Michigan Movie Media 2.0


So happy to have found, AT LAST! a comprehensive approach to fundraising. Information on this subject is often contradictory and sketchy. Emily brought it all together. Thank you.