The Crowdfunder’s Bible

UPDATED July 13!

Wouldn’t that be great if someone made that into an e-book? Right now, there are lots of articles online, but they’re spread out across many sites. And, everyone’s experience is going to differ slightly; are you raising $1,000 or $100,000? Are you using Indiegogo or Kickstarter? Or are you baking lemon bars?

A film student here in Seattle approached me last week to talk about crowdfunding. She’s writing a paper on traditional and new financial plans for films, and wanted to hear my take on things. Well, I’ve had some experience with Connect To and Summer Home, but it’s still limited to no-budget shorts. This hardly makes me an authority. But I do have a few great links I send to people every time and say, “Start here.” That’s what I did today – I sent her all my links and told her to read up before we talk in person, so we don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

I’m including them here, a comprehensive how-to of first hand experiences and tips from the crowdfunding world. Do you have a favorite article to share that I haven’t read? If so, please link it up below!

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Joke and Biagio video chat with Film Courage on their best crowdfunding tips for Dying to Do Letterman‘s Oscar nomination
http://filmcourage.com/content/joke-and-biago-talk-crowd-funding-dying-do-letterman

Joke and Biagio also guest posted for Ted Hope with this critical analysis, How To Build An Emotional Connection With Your Audience
http://blogs.indiewire.com/tedhope/archives/guest_post_joke_and_biagio_how_to_build_an_emotional_connection_with_your_a/

How To Run A Kickass Kickstarter Campaign: I follow King is a Fink on Twitter, and if you’re involved in film, you should too. But first listen to this podcast: They created whole backstories for every backer in their made-up town!
http://davecharest.com/how-to-run-a-kick-ass-kickstarter-campaign-podcast

Strategizing Your Crowdsourcing Campaign
http://www.filmmakermagazine.com/news/2010/05/strategizing-your-crowdsourcing-campaign/

The above article references this extremely important and comprehensive look at crowdfunding, The Good, Bad, and the Ugly.
http://coffeeandcelluloid.com/2010/05/18/my-kickstarter-experience-the-good-bad-and-ugly/

We could never talk about crowdfunding without pointing out Lucas McNelly’s experience on A Year Without Rent:
http://www.lucasmcnelly.com/2010/07/10-tips-for-successful-kickstarter.html

And that article references this one from Making the Movie:
http://makingthemovie.info/2011/01/kickstarter-and-rise-of-the-crowdfunded-filmmaking.html

Of course if you’re going to start anywhere, start with the down to earth how-to from Kickstarter themselves to start thinking about pitch videos:
http://blog.kickstarter.com/post/173046259/creators-guide-to-video

Speaking of which, one of the best pitch videos of all time is the one for I Am I:
http://blog.kickstarter.com/post/2731694704/best-in-show-project-video

I Am I raised $100,000, and here is how they did it:
http://iamithefilm.com/blog/2011/2/1/raising-funds-on-kickstarter.html

Enjoy some common sense found within Tax Consequences of a Successful Kickstarter campaign. Maybe you’d rather start a 501 c3 instead?
http://filmcourage.com/node/244

The Tao of Crowdfunding: Three P’s for a Successful Campaign by John Trigonis. His film went to Cannes so listen up.
http://johntrigonis.com/2011/06/27/the-tao-of-crowd-funding-three-ps-for-a-successful-film-campaign/

And new today, a fantastic post from Joke & Biagio who are raising the bar on the central piece of advice from Sheri Candler: GIVE BACK. No one likes a me-centric campaign just so you can go faff around making “art.” Follow all their updates on DYING TO DO LETTERMAN on their Kickstarter page, pledge to the project, and watch the masters at work. Start with this article:
http://www.indiewire.com/article/2011/07/11/the_21_secrets_to_the_success_of_the_kickstarter_oscar_campaign

More from the inspiring Joke & Biagio (follow them on Twitter), their must-read list: 14 Blog Posts That Helped Us Launch Our Kickstarter Campaign
http://www.jokeandbiagio.com/ten-posts-that-helped-us-launch-our-kickstarter-campaign

David Branin of FILM COURAGE provides a fantastic Crowd-Funding Cheat Sheet here:
http://filmcourage.blogspot.com/2010/05/david-branins-crowd-funding-cheat-sheet.html

Adam Chapnick, CEO of Distribber, on The Revolutionary Benefit to Crowd-Funding That No One Knows :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHJNeQ4I4ZY&feature=youtu.be

Filmmaker Oklahoma Ward talks using Kickstarter for his films on Hard Core Indie [vide0]:
http://filmcourage.com/content/oklahoma-ward-talks-kickstarter

Filmmaker Gregory Bayne successfully crowdfunded the Jens Pulver documentary DRIVEN, and it was written up by Kickstarter themselves:
http://www.kickstarter.com/blog/success-story-jens-pulver-driven

Gregory Bayne (follow him on Twitter here) also wrote about his experience in THE CROWD:
http://workbookproject.com/newbreed/2010/03/16/the-crowd/

11 Filmmakers give their best advice on Rooftop Film’s Top Kickstarter Tips:
http://rooftopfilms.com/blog/2010/07/10-crowdfunding-tips-from-kickstarter-filmmakers.html

Filmmaker Gary King has run several successful Kickstarter campaigns in the $30k + range and shares with you in Lessons Learned in the Land of Crowdfunding
http://grking.com/2010/06/11/lessons-learned-in-the-land-of-crowdfunding-2/

Gary is also interviewed by CINEFIST about crowdfunding in Conversations About Crowdfunding [vide0]:
http://cinefist.com/category/videos/

Deeply insightful and helpful, Jennifer Fox has a 3 part post on Hope for Film about her successful six figure record-breaking Kickstarter experience on  MY REINCARNATION:
PART I
PART II
PART III

Actor Gary Ploski shares his experiences running the campaign for Rising Star the Movie Kickstarter Campaign Review:
http://garyploski.com/rising-star-the-movie-kickstarter-campaign-review

Fantastic post from Meg Pinsonneault, aka Thirsty Girl Films (and the only one about Indiegogo so far), Networking Novice to Social Media Maven: How Crowd Funding and Social Media Made Me a Better Filmmaker:
http://filmcourage.com/content/networking-novice-social-maven-how-crowd-funding-and-social-networking-made-me-better

Crowdfunding: Think Like a Marketer and Increase Conversions on CineSpin:
http://cinespin.com/indie-film-funding-crowdfunding/crowdfunding-think-like-a-marketer-increase-conversions/

Jeanie Finlay from across the pond shares her experiences crowdfunding a documentary on Indiegogo in Sound It Out: Adventures in Crowdfunding
http://www.directorsnotes.com/2010/11/14/sound-it-out-adventures-in-crowd-funding/

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So much hard-won advice from the filmmakers themselves. Have a story you think should be included here? Add it below! And consider supporting THE SUMMER HOME!

Cheers,
Wonder

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About Wonder Russell

Actress, writer, filmmaker, Falcor guardian, lover of wine and reading in bed

Posted on July 11, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Thanks for including my podcast with King is a Fink. They shared some really great stuff!

  2. Wonder, you never cease to amaze! Thank you for doing all this hard work and putting together this fantastic bible. You are a true indy star!!

  3. Hey Wonder!

    I didn’t see you list this awesome link about creating a successful Kickstarter project – they raised $24,000 in 30 days for a publishing project.

    http://craigmod.com/journal/kickstartup/

    I found it helpful since some of what they did was counter traditional “crowdfunding wisdom”, such as the minimum pledge being $25. But they had compelling statistics for that choice and it was interesting to read an alternative and thoughtful point of view on pricing strategy.

    Cheers!

    ~Aria

  4. This is a really useful resource on the ins and outs of crowd sourcing. Last August, “Anyone But Me” raised $33,000 to help finance our third season. There are various articles written about our experience doing something no other webseries had ever done. We put on a webathon. If you like, I can send you the links.

  5. Thanks, Bella. You got me to finish our kickstarter success writeup on TRIUMPH67. Here it is: http://www.triumph67film.com/2011/07/26/kickstarting-triumph/

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