Crowdfunding Your Film


Crowdfunding Your Film


Lesson Info

Incentives with Nathan Williams and Natalie Johns

The next thing I want to get into is incentives I'd like to know kind of how how did you guys build your incentives had to do structure them how effective did you think they were? Natalie I know that you got brands involved and you had conned you had all sorts of stuff happening in your incentives how did you structure that? Well obviously it was focused on and skateboarding so I knew that myself keep organs were probably going toe love skateboarders were skateboarding in somewhere shape foreman again we had a few influences that I could reach out to and ask for support and a few brands that I could ask for support on you know, it was just figuring out different tiers of things that we could offer you know, on the high it is you know, just offering somebody an opportunity tio actually meet one of the skateboarders and skate with talent or kenny anderson was you know, a great incentive. Yeah, I did that put a lot of thought into it but I kind of remember like it's not you know where it ...

came from round was just like just has to figure it out you had to come here to come up with something creative I think that that's the thing that I learned about this and I think it's the thing that I will you know preach highly about its ah is much creativity is you put into making your film you have to put that into your your funding your promotion, your distribution, your marketing its it's all on an equal like it's all an equal need you have to be creative with everything and you actually it has to be about creative thinking with everything that you do it's not a matter of somebody else is going to do it for you with somebody else is going to come up with these ideas you have to be thinking creatively at every step of the way so I like to just ask everybody at creative live right now to pull that clip and put it on the internet everywhere that might be one of the most important things you here today and what I think is so cool about that is that means at no point or you're not a filmmaker at no point or you're not a storyteller in every single one of these elements and some of it is filmmaking and some of it is marketing and some of it is funding and some of this distribution you are applying the things that make you love filmmaking to all of this stuff toe underline some of the stuff with your s o natalie had a sponsor allergy they contributed I think they donated some like hats and shirts right? So that was an incentive there was an incredible incentive where talent and kenny anderson would come to your school right and do a skate demonstration and I think at some point you made it so that the five dollar contributors could enter into a raffle also for that which is amazing but that you know that definitely I know drove a lot of there were tons of five dollars contributions to your campaign yeah, I think that was also because we had a lot of we had a massive international amount of support, so I think south africans five dollars for south africa's that is a lot compared to what five dollars it are for an american so we had we knew we had contributors from all around the world and we wanted to make it equally as exciting for those people tio enter as it was for, you know, the people locally in america and how about you guys? Because you're I spoke a little bit about your contribution or your incentives earlier your incentives were very much a part of the story. Yeah, we think it's the challenge of a film where you don't have stuff, I mean, you have like a dvd and then you have the expanded dvd and I'm like, what what do you have after that? I don't have action figures with the really high level, you know, the one of the cast members would like give you a call and thank you and stuff like that, but we decided to kind of create a realm of expanded content and part of the movie is about privileged information so uh you would get and in the form of stuff so we have kind of like dossiers spot it's a little bit more can't be in in the expanded content world than the movie itself a little more james bond but sort of, you know, files on people or, you know, surveillance photographs or like a wiretap of their phone conversation and we did some of this free a spot of the campaign we had these little little videos wonder you mentioned is in one of them has expanded universe character um and I don't know how much that drove, uh contributing to be honest like I don't know how much the incentives made someone go up one level where they would have been it's hard to get paid on that and the the anecdotal feedback is his next the same time, you know, we've created a lot of interesting stuff that again we we think we can use to eventually market the film that to create interest of you know, we will only have one trailer, but we'll have all this like extra stuff to get people's interest when we when we put it out there so yeah, yeah and also just reading through the incentives on your campaign it gives you a sense of how thoughtful a team you are honestly like for natalee is if you read through the incentives you get a sense of what a universe of support she has you know kenny anderson is onboard allergies on board like this is legitimizing this is inevitability of success, right? These air these air signals and I feel like you're incentives are also really cool signals about the kind of team you're getting involved in I particularly shouted out the two hundred fifty dollars incentive which was like a geo cache location drop just was so drop of a prop so cool so those are the sorts of things I feel like people don't necessarily consider is that their incentives or communicating powerful message jesus well right that's also part of the story telling whether about the project and the support around the project or about the film itself so there's a really cool are we cannot keep going questions yeah let's take some questions great questions um so here's we'll start with this one when the content of the film is serious can humor be used effectively in like an update? So your films serious? You want to convey a serious message like would you tweet funny stuff about just to build that audience and there's them? There was a campaign on students park recently called the average girl's guide to suicide and it is a film about suicide right? And about somebody contending with a very, very serious depression there updates and their thank you's were a mean called hanging their cat it's sze tabby kitty kitten it's like hanging onto ah curtain or something like that and it's a mean that's become very popular and they managed tio use something very humorous you know hang in there like don't you know don't let the demons get you but it's it's ah hilarious little name and they managed to really make hang in there cat a really sweet, fun, lighthearted part of a very heavy handed film and heavy handed heavy subject matter film so I think the answer is absolutely yes, I mean because you guys definitely had really fun humorous updates and it wouldn't say it's a comedy that you're making oh not remotely coming and we had the goofiest crab I mean she's going, I'm going to shave my head at one point nobody gave enough money so I mean are our film is yeah, I did appreciate it it's not about something like teen suicide or the holocaust or something it's a serious thriller I mean, my feeling is you confined kinds of humor inappropriate for anything, especially when you're you're promoting something it's not the movie itself what were some what were some other examples of goofy stuff and we're going to get into the thunder games here in a minute the hundred games was a little goofy and very successful you know the I think you showed the star wars joke earlier I mean, jokes are get people's attention on their light and they you know when you have a relentless message you wantto mix it up and give people things fun and it isn't just like we need your money we need your money, your money because that's the story cool it's born enduring yeah yeah I think mixing it up in even in tone, right? So tone is not necessarily restricted to a single emotional tone, right tone is like approach um, so you can you can make really dark films and approach it humorously and you can approach it darkly and you can approach it sadly and you can approach it in a scary way, you know, with tension or with sarcasm or with all these things and that still fits under kind of the same banner of the the approach of a certain team I think it's also important like humor really helps humanize you to the people you're working with because ultimately they're giving you their money to make something right. This is a relationship that requires trust, and one of the ways is do I know that you're a human in the world? That doesn't mean you're not like uh a new are tom aton right where you're only thinking and sort of knew our terms and that's the only thing you're making no, you're like a human with lots of different influences, which is why I think the star wars joke played so well because it's also universally recognizable at this point right that's a joke that everyone will get and my my cat was a producer I would have like pictures of my dad or my brother I'd be like posting updated my brother had come on and they were up to me and humanizing thing he co wrote the movie too, but um yeah, I think cats you guys cats are really effective yeah just generally really re tweeted we shared a lot yeah, yeah, I mean humanizing the team as people and making a film however serious it's still like you want to see these guys are having fun? Yeah, like they love what they're doing and showing that somewhere. Yeah, definitely the message of, like it's hard to be a filmmaker people are not that into that, right? Because part of the reason they get involved with us in the first place is that weird doing something we're really passionate about and that's really compelling and getting involved with people who are passionate about what they're doing is really compelling and demonstrating that in lots of different ways is always a really important part of that messaging natalie what about you? Uh, yes, I agree being a being am some story doesn't work on dh you no way we could have gone sort of more that, you know, poor us rat what we chose, tio keep it more positive. I think throughout, I wish I was barren comedy. I'm better at lafayette myself than making good jokes and making out the people off. But we just, you know, we had we kept the the update. I think people were just rooting for talents. That was just, you know, people people just wanted to see us succeed. We were very lucky in that way, although we did have this, like, awful platter and the one thing that I did wrong and I would really like to, you know, make sure people really think about the timing off the campaign because every brand, my campaign over christmas and a very, very stupid idea because christmas and new year people want a work, people are at home with their families, people are buying the family's presence it's really not it's not an awesome time to be crowdfunding way still don't manage to succeed in spite of that, but it was definitely, I think I think we actually have to get an extension so that we could dive into a little bit more of the sort of january time when people were coming back to work, and andi, people are, you know, are still, you know, people have changed their minds about supporting the campaign. It was just, you know, they needed to get back to work and back to life and, you know, backto reality a little bit and they need a little inspiration come january time, you know, you're the general bruise, so it was just it was about positivity and really rooting for talent. You know, timing is important. We actually we learned a lot from their campaign, and we now actively discourage filmmakers from crowdfunding over christmas because no matter how good their ideas are and no matter how compelling they make their arguments, we've looked at the data and we don't we just, you know, people are distracted and they're buying stuff for other people. So it was it was it was tough not to take that one person because I really did think like the campaign was sort of tanking, but I made a remarkable comeback in january. Sure did sure did.

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.