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I did a thing - and you can too!

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  1. My last post was all about the develop, prep and shooting of my short film. For Heads/Tails process, the next phase has been our crowdfunding campaign. For most creatives, this is without a doubt, raising money can be the most nerve wracking aspect of the project. In my case, I know exactly how much money I need to re-coup after putting the project rentals and purchases on a credit card and budgeting a fair deal for my crew and post-production staff.

    Which is why I'm writing this post right now. We did a soft launch of our campaign over the weekend and as my fellow filmschool.org members, I consider you all to be part of my internet family and want to include you in the process before we go wide on all of social media.

    I'll cut to the chase. Here's a link to the campaign and to a secret reward for any early contributors.
    Heads-Tails Short Film

    The pitch material covers a lot of the hows and the why we are crowdfunding, so I won't get into that. If you have read my other blog posts about the process of getting my short film Heads/Tails made, you'll likely already be familiar with my decision to crowdfund. If not, you might want to check out my previous post.

    We have 30 days to raise our $8,000 goal with the option to extend to 45 days if we want to. IndieGoGo now also offers a 'OnDemand' system where contributions can be made after the initial funding is ended. I chose IndieGoGo for these more flexible options as well as the option to choose 'Flexible Funding' where we keep our money if we do not reach or goal for whatever reason. They take roughly 8% of the money raised in fees. I have had previous positive experiences with IndieGoGo and like the organization of their platform as well as their fees so that's why we chose this particular crowdfunding site, but there are so many more available now than ever before. It's really important to do your diligence and choose the site that makes the most sense for your project.

    At the time of my writing, 4/19 which is 4 days after soft launch, we are about 10% funded. So far most contributions have been people I know in real life. There have been two contributions through over crew members or cast members. And quite a few verbal acknowledgments and plans to contribute. Why are we doing a soft launch? The soft launch is intended to get money into our campaign through the personal and close relationships, such as parents, who are essentially guaranteed to make a contribution before promoting the campaign on social media platforms. I'm using this strategy to reassure any potential supporter that we 1) are serious about the project and actively seeking funding and 2) there's enough support in our immediate circles of contact that the project has support and will be successfully made and finished. The concept of a soft launch is written about across the board when you look for advice in running a successful crowdfunding campaign and I have high hopes that it will work out for us.

    Other important strategies we have decided to implement include launching YouTube, Facebook, and Instragram accounts for the film and my newly formed production company. (If anyone is interested in that process, let me know and it can be a future post). Facebook has been the most successful in terms of it's ability to reach a wide number of people, so far. We currently have almost 300 followers and I plan to include them in this soft launch today as well as a sign of appreciation for their early support. The YouTube is hosting the pitch video and will also be the host for our exclusive video content for our campaign supporters. I have an associate producer who is managing our Instagram and while it doesn't have a lot of followers yet, we are hoping that it will continue to grow.

    We designed our pitch video and rewards based on watching successful crowdfunding campaigns and then tailoring ideas we liked from them to the needs of our production. I'm really proud of the video that was shot and edited for it. And I really enjoyed putting together all the rewards too.

    At some point, I'll follow up with more information and any big updates on our crowdfunding campaign. I think it's an interesting and an incredibly intimidating process, but it doesn't need to be. I hope some of my advice can be useful for screenwriters who are unfamiliar with the production process but want to shoot their projects.

    As always, if you have any questions or comments, I love hearing from everyone!

    About Author

    IndecisiveElle
    Miraculously graduated from The University of Michigan in 2012 with a degree in Journalism and Screen Studies while working full time as a production assistant, then an Assistant Director during the former Michigan Tax Incentive on some movies you've heard of and even more you haven't.

    At present, applying for MFA in screenwriting for the second time while working as an educator at U of M in the department TV studio.
    BadouBoy, YMK, Kira and 1 other person like this.

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