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Crowdfunding Your Film

Lesson 5 of 13

The Good and Bad of Pitch Videos

Emily Best

Crowdfunding Your Film

Emily Best

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Lesson Info

5. The Good and Bad of Pitch Videos

Lesson Info

The Good and Bad of Pitch Videos

we're gonna talk about pitch videos and I don't know who went and disseminated the handbook about making pitch videos and that pitch videos, for some reason, have to start with you talking to the camera. Um, but I see this all the time, and it really bums me out because you are making a movie. And what did they teach us about Movies show, not tell. That's like why the entire medium exists, why we went from paper to screen on. Yet we have these pitch videos for all different for horror films that start with somebody cute, you know, and sweet talking to the screen's gonna do my best impression of somebody cute and sweet. Hi, my name is Emily Best. I am the writer, director, producer and actor of really scary thriller called Danger in Downtown Seattle. Danger in downtown Seattle is a terrifying ride through the streets of Seattle in a horror film starring a woman, which is like not totally typical. And, um, we have such an amazing casting crew, and I have no script for this video because ...

I don't know why I thought that would be important and my sound is bad and the lighting is kind of funny, so I have not demonstrated to it all that I'm capable of making a film. But I'm hoping that I'll be charming enough that you'll care. And while we're at it because I have this amazing team and I really want to demonstrate to you how amazing they are, I would like you to talk to our cinematographer, Drew, about how awesome this movie is gonna look, too. Thanks, Emily. So I, um So if you've ever had a dream to do something that you love, then you're like me because I've always dreamed of making a film that's like kind of like Dali esque a little bit and like New R and dark, but then light, like switching back and forth all the time so it keeps people on the edge of their seat. Um, I've been having trouble kind of getting actors. I landed one guy in his name's Adam Bauer, and he's he's good, but it's not that good. He hasn't really done much yet, so but basically what we need is we need your help. We need your money because we don't have a budget. Yeah, So we're independent filmmakers you are broke way Have no money and my mom's house in the basement right now because I can't afford an apartment. Your mom's house is nice. Anyway, so, um so, uh, so we need your money, We do it. It's the most important thing we need from you. And I think we've really done a good job to demonstrate What a rad film this is gonna be so good. So join us on this amazing journey into danger in downtown Seattle. Uh, thank you. That was amazing, Drew. Everyone, um so all of that was clearly wrong and terrible. But you have about 90 seconds to talk to your audience in a pitch video. That's about how long they will watch. Right? And that means you have 90 seconds to capture their attention, demonstrate to them why they should be excited about you. And then I tell them why they should get involved, right? To have 90 seconds to in the 1st 15 teach them that you know how to deal with the genre you're talking about. You better make me laugh in the 1st 15 seconds. If it's a comedy, you better make the hairs on the back of my neck Stand up. If it is a thriller or horror film, scare me for a second. Um, And if Sean Baker can make the breakout film at Sundance on to IPhone five s is you can make a decent pitch video for no money, right? Fact your filmmaker, this should be right in your wheelhouse. You don't understand what filmmakers make closing pitch video. So 90 seconds to answer the questions. Why me? Why this? Why now? And why you and you were the filmmaker? You will find the creative way to demonstrate that. And you include elements from your message testing. Right. So you found out about music. You found out about the images that work. You understand the tone which is getting more and more specific all the time. And the personal appeal is essential. And as we'll see later, we're gonna go more more deeply into pitch videos with Nathan Williams. Nathan managed to make a personal appeal without ever appearing in his pitch video. Which is why he was the brilliant mind behind Ah, wonderful article which you should all go Look up. It might be on your resource. Page called on introverts Guide to crowdfunding Natalie Johns, who will talk to later. She appears in her pitch video, and her personal appeal is very clear. Um, but these are the elements both to avoid and to consider in a pitch video. We'll go deeper in the next segment.

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.