You Are the 30% – How to Set Your Crowdfunding Goal

One of the more difficult things in crowdfunding seems to be choosing the right crowdufing goal amount for your project. For me, it’s all about what you can commit to raise, but not everybody subscribes to that (yet).

You Are the 30% –– How to Set Your Crowdfunding Goal

So, I’ll give you two very simple questions to ask yourselves:

  1. Do you know where the first 30% of your funding goal will come from?
  2. Are you confident you can get that 30% within the first two to three days of your campaign?

JOHN T. TRIGONISBased on your answers to these two questions, you’ll know exactly how much to go for in your crowdfunding campaign.

There are plenty of other factors, like the size of your current network (email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) and how much time you actually have to devote to crowdfunding, which will ultimately become your campaign’s duration.

So say you want to raise $50,000 but you only know where 30% of, say, $20,000 is coming from, set your goal at $20,000. Then, strive to raise 30% of that within the first two or three days so you build up enough momentum to sustain your campaign for the forty-five days.

Doing it this way, you’ll be more likely to hit your external goal of $20,000 in half the time and, by setting proper stretch goals, you may be able to raise that internal goal of $50,000 you need. And who knows?

Maybe you’ll end up raising even more!

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John T. Trigonis is the Vertical Manager of Film at Indiegogo, a published poet, writer and storyteller, DIY filmmaker, freelance professor, and author of Crowdfunding for Filmmakers: The Way to a Successful Film Campaign. Additionally he is a cat lover, coffee aficionado, wine enthusiast, and comic book geek.

Send Digital Movie Files After Crowdfunding

Picture this! As a filmmaker, you just finished a successful crowdfunding campaign. You not only hit your goal, but exceeded your own expectations. While this is truly a time to celebrate, there is still one nagging thought is in the back of your mind.

How will you send digital downloads of your movie to all your supporters?

I mean, fulfilling physical crowdfunding perks is easy. You put stuff in a box and ship it on one of those big brown trucks. But oddly, even in an era where movies can be viewed on your phone, finding ways to send digital movie files after crowdfunding to dozens of supporters can be a royal pain in the butt. Movie file sizes are often too large for email. And if you aren’t nerdy, utilizing a large file delivery service can be frustrating.

I have an easy solution for you.

At Chill you now have the option to offer redemption codes to fulfill your Kickstarter and Indiegogo backers and also offer promotions. To find out more about this awesomeness, goto www.Chill.com/creators

—> Click to Tweet (so you can tell your filmmaker friends) <—

Also, in full disclosure – I currently serve as the manager of Film Acquisitions at Chill.

Crowdfunding Field Guide

Crowdfunding is a great way to get word out about your project, test your marketing concept and hone your skills as an entrepreneurial filmmaker. But what most filmmakers don’t realize is, a successful crowdfunding campaing takes work. And you should view your campaign as a full time job.

With that said, there are many things you can do to ensure success. And the good folks at Indiegogo have put together a very comprehensive crowdfunding guide. Based on tons of research, the Indiegogo Crowdfunding Field Guide outlines what to do and thankfully, what not to do.

The important thing to remember is this – You are responsible for getting your movie made. So after reading the guide, your next step is to take action.

 

 

How To Overcome Doubt And Make Your Movie

As a filmmaker, sometimes the biggest obstacle to overcome is your own negative self-talk. In today’s guest filmmaking article, independent filmmaker Dimitri Morantus provides tips for ignoring naysayers and pushing forward to make your movie.

Making Movies In An LA Minute

My father once told me that he wanted to be an actor and that he didn’t pursue it because his father didn’t help him. It took me some time to find the flaw in his statement. And then I decided that I too wanted to pursue entertainment. Realizing a choice I made, probably just to make him proud – I went to him and told him my goal was to make movies that will make people laugh.

My father turned to me and said “Your not funny enough.” I told him that I could do it. He smirked and sarcastically responded by saying “Good Luck” and just walked away.

I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

I shook this off and decided to pursue my goal. I was 10 years old and my father never really understood how that statement affected me. It haunted me and created so much doubt. I mean if your own flesh and blood didn’t believe that you could do it, then why would anyone else? And what would make me believe I could?

I’m not sharing this story to put my father down, because it is not his fault. And while it is true that he hasn’t won any father of the year awards, at least I have my father in my life. He wasn’t born in this country. And back then African Americans did not become successful filmmakers.

Now years later, I am excited for the opportunity to prove to my father, and more importantly, myself that I can follow my passion and be successful. I am not saying that making movies is going to be easy. I’m saying that I have accepted the consequences of seriously pursuing this goal and I am ready for the challenges.

I am now working on my first feature film, called “L.A. Minute.” The only obstacle that will stop me from completing my film is my death. It’s reassuring to know that is an obstacle we all have to face.

The biggest piece of advice I can give to aspiring filmmakers, is to TRY and keep on trying.

Thankfully, there are several crowd-funding platforms like indiegogo and Kickstarter. It is important to build your network and fan base prior to launching a campaign. That is a must! In addition you want to make yourself and your project stick out from the rest. I feel like my campaign does that. Yet only time will tell the outcome.

Here is more about our movie: L.A. Minute.

– –
Dimitri Morantus is a Brooklyn born guerrilla filmmaker. His first short film “Charlie” won the prestigious “Audience Choice” award in the Santa Monica College Film Festival, with his second short “The Power Of Elle” taking home “The Official Best of Fest” award. He studies film at UCLA, and is currently in production for his first feature film “L.A. Minute.”

How to Crowdfund an Oscar Winning Movie

Crowdfunding has become a successful strategy for filmmakers to raise money to make their movies. If you were paying attention, you probably noticed that the 2013 Oscar ceremony awarded two films that benefited from Crowdfunding. With this I believe we can finally say that Hollywood has jumped on the crowdfunding bandwagon.

In March 2011, Andrew Napier co-produced a short film with his friend Shawn Christensen titled Curfew. Needing to cover post-production costs, they turned to crowdfunding site Indiegogo to help offset impending bills. At the time, crowdfunding had not gained traction and the filmmakers, knowing little of the service and its benefits, put minimal effort into their campaign.

Movie Crowdfunding – How to Crowdfund an Oscar Winner

The campaign raised over $1,200 and Curfew went on to win an Academy Award two years later in the Best Live Action Short Film category. Although they only raised 10% of their campaign goal, Napier recognized the opportunities Indiegogo could provide. He returned to the site to finish post-production on a documentary titled Mad as Hell: Rise of The Young Turks in the fall of 2012.

The campaign surpassed its initial goal, raising almost $70,000.

John T. Trigonis is the author of Crowdfunding For Filmmakers and he is the Vertical Manager of Film at Indiegogo. He stopped by Filmmaking Stuff to share some exciting tips on how filmmakers can raise movie money with a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Jason Brubaker
What is Crowdfunding?

John T. Trigonis
Crowdfunding is a revolution in the way films are funded. It’s pooling together funds for a film you want to make directly from the people who want to see it.

Jason Brubaker
How many followers and contacts on various platforms are needed to reach a reasonable fund goal?

John T. Trigonis
Of course, this depends on various factors, including the target amount. But in general, a crowdfunding is possible primarily because of social media, so you need to have a strong following of committed individuals before you even launch.

Jason Brubaker
What about email marketing? Is that better than just social media?

John T. Trigonis
Statistically, email is where most contributions tend to come from, though filmmakers need to have a solid following on Facebook (either friends on their personal pages or “Likes” on their film’s page) and followers on Twitter. Google Plus is coming in at a close third, followed by LinkedIn.

Jason Brubaker
Are there any metrics that say: I’m a filmmakers with 10,000 people on my mailing list. How much money should I go for? What are reasonable fundraising goals?

John T. Trigonis
The fact is that it’s not about metrics or how many people you have on your mailing list and social media sites as it is about engagement with those people. The more engaged your audience is before you launch, the more likely they’ll be to contribute to fund your next film.

Jason Brubaker
Like any business, you have to start somewhere.

John T. Trigonis
It’s about building your foundation so you can construct an amazing crowdfunding and film experience on top of their current level of engagement.

Jason Brubaker
What is the best way to acquire contributors?

John T. Trigonis
I always suggest what I call my “Three Ps of crowdfunding.” That is, your Pitch, Perks, and Promotion. Each is enhanced by a high level of Personalization.

Jason Brubaker
Talking about promotion, which works best for creating interest in your project, a trailer of your movie, or an informational video or both?

John T. Trigonis
People give to people, not to projects. The bottom line is a trailer for your film does not work. A trailer is a sales tool, not a pitch tool.

Jason Brubaker
So what do you feel is most essential in a pitch video?

John T. Trigonis
A pitch video is the thing that will endear someone to contribute to your campaign. Sometimes the contributor doesn’t necessarily like the project, but they like the person behind the project.

Jason Brubaker
Someone can see that you’re serious about your project.

John T. Trigonis
And in this case, the filmmaker is looking the prospective contributor directly in the eyes in his or her pitch video and shows so much passion and drive for the project, that someone simply can’t not contribute.

Jason Brubaker
What are examples of great perks filmmakers can offer their audience?

John T. Trigonis
A great perk, by my definition from my book Crowdfunding for Filmmakers, is one that is geared toward the audience and is relevant to the film project at hand.

Jason Brubaker
What are some perks that are memorable to you?

John T. Trigonis
The Indiegogo campaigner behind the short film Sync gave each of his funders at the $33 level a record from his own personal collection –– the film is about vinyl. Other great perks include a certificate of e-marriage (Hello, Harto!) and personalized choose-your-own-adventure stories (Twenty Million People). A great perk is one that stands out in terms of creativity and innovation.

Jason Brubaker
I have heard that all campaigns should have a one-dollar perk. Why?

John T. Trigonis
The real question why would anyone want to limit that person who truly loves the project but only has a single dollar to offer? If you start at $25, you’re expecting only a certain level of contributor to give to your campaign.

Jason Brubaker
What are your tips on how to properly manage a crowdfunding campaign?

John T. Trigonis
First and foremost, research. This is something which no one truly does. Second, be realistic with your goal. If no one knows who you are and this is your first film and it’s a feature and you absolutely need $100,000 to make your movie, well, no one’s gonna give you a dime.

Jason Brubaker
This is further indication filmmakers need to start building an audience with short films.

John T. Trigonis
If you’ve been making films for ten years, have screened at film festivals worldwide, and need some additional funds to make your next short film even better than your last ones, and you’re only asking your contacts, Facebook friends and Twitter followers for $5,000 or $10,000, then you’ll be more likely to make over your goal, as was the case with me and my short film Cerise.

Jason Brubaker
So you should probably plan your campaign based on realistic expectations.

John T. Trigonis
I recommend that filmmakers have a strategy from beginning to end, and leave room for innovation and creativity. Without those two elements in place, your campaign will simply get lost in the oceans of other campaigns out there.

Jason Brubaker
How do you feel the Jobs Act will impact the campaigns?

John T. Trigonis
Once equity crowdfunding comes into play, the entire landscape of film financing and funding will shift for the better, allowing not only those of us who want to contribute to a film campaign for a DVD or a role in the movie to contribute, but also allowing investors put larger sums of money into projects for a return on their investment and a piece of the film.

Jason Brubaker
I think this development is exciting for indie filmmakers.

John T. Trigonis
I predict we’ll see a major power shift in the industry, giving rise to a whole new breed of filmmaker who can make a sustainable living raising funds and shooting films.

Jason Brubaker
What are some differences between Kickstarter and Indiegogo – and why should filmmakers choose Indiegogo?

John T. Trigonis
The prime difference between Indiegogo and Kickstarter is that Kickstarter offers an all-or-nothing fundraising model. And Indiegogo offers flexible fundraising model, in which filmmakers keep whatever amount they raise whether or not they hit their target goal.

Jason Brubaker
What if you are not based in the US? Can you still utilize Indiegogo?

John T. Trigonis
Indiegogo is also a truly global crowdfunding platform. Anyone, anywhere in the world can contribute to a project via Indiegogo. Our platform has no gatekeepers who say yes or no to projects like Roman senators; we believe in democratizing fundraising for everyone, and it’ll never be up to us to say what should or shouldn’t be crowdfunded on Indiegogo –– that’s up to the crowd to decide.

Jason Brubaker
What should filmmakers do if they want to find out more? Is there someone they can talk to?

John T. Trigonis
We have a cut-rate Customer Happiness Team that is there to answer any questions campaigners may have, as well as what we call vertical leads who active aid in helping campaigners craft a winning campaign, which is something that no other platform offers except Indiegogo.

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John T. Trigonis is the Vertical Manager of Film at Indiegogo, a published poet, writer and storyteller, DIY filmmaker, freelance professor, and author of Crowdfunding for Filmmakers: The Way to a Successful Film Campaign. Additionally he is a cat lover, coffee aficionado, wine enthusiast, and comic book geek.