I know you have always wanted to own a nintendo-themed italian restaurant called ‘Mario & Linguini’ and you may of heard of an awesome site called Kickstarter where charitable people go and fund your extravagant desires.
Alas this blog is here to you that this might not actually be the case, especially in my line of work (filmmaking). For every Iron Sky there are hundred of film failures, mostly featuring Zombies or topless women (and probably both). Previous success stories will not help you either. Mario Tapio Kines is a filmmaker who has feature length films to his resume, both funded through online crowdsourcing, the first from way back in the previous century before it was easy and cool. His third feature never even got to the half way point on Kickstarter, Luckily for us he has written an article on his failures here.
I will deviate from my usual filmmaking/photography interests and talk about all form of creativity. So here it is, the 5 ways to win at kickstarter:
1. TELL US WHY IT’S WORTH IT: Unless you have a cure for all types of cancer, or a non pyramid scheme than can make all your backers uber-rich it is likely you will have to Sell your idea. This means a fun, informative and memorable video, not just you mumbling into your webcam. This may take time and effort but get it wrong and deal breaker. Pitching skills can be found here:
2. WORTHWHILE REWARDS: Some where outraged when that rich guy off of that medical comedy on TV asked us poor people to fund his film. I was not, what I was outraged by was the complete lack of worthwhile rewards (eg. $10 would get you a link to the Vlog!). Zack Braff made his money even with his stinking rewards but you will not. People want to feel special, what there getting is something actually worthwhile. Don’t charge £30 for a crappy DVD, ask for £30 and in return the sponsored will get a picnic on the set (travel costs not included). For £100 why not offer an advert for there business/band/wedding whatever. If your a graphic designer why not do some nice “limited posters.” There is a reason table top games and figurines do so well, people want to treat kickstarter not as a charity but as a shop of unique oddities. You have to do the same.
3. ADVERTISE YOUR PROJECT. Simples.
4. ADVERTISE YOUR PROJECT….WELL. Dear @twitterfollower please would you back my project” or “hey @Facebookbuddy back my project, yoy” will piss people off. Sure use social media but don’t whine and bitch to people, be selective. My friends will be bribed by a pint, and once they have put money down get them to share it to their friends using the same tactics. The Mario Kines article linked above gives more information. No one created a meme by shouting, just be nice.
5. DON’T SET YOUR SIGHTS TOO HIGH. We all want to be millionaires but unless you want to re-create the Oculus Rift (and a tardis so you can go back and take it) you won’t get it. Budget as cheaply as possible. Your photography book will cost £50,000 will it? Or your dream short film will cost no less than £15,000. Give up. Start a little at a time, you won’t get the money unless you reach the targets. Ak for smaller funds. so £500 and then work with what you got. As a large stripy supermarket says “every little helps.”
So now you have the information, go and conquer kickstarter!