You have probably watched crowdfunding videos where filmmakers talk about the film they are going to make without showing what they are capable of. Talking about a film is one thing, but creating and finishing it is another.
If you’re a first time director, how do you create trust and communicate your vision clearly with words alone? How do you garner support for your film outside of your friends and family?
How to Take Charge of Your Crowdfunding Videos
The rule of “show, don’t tell” doesn’t just apply in improvisation. It’s vital in crowdfunding videos. Those outside of your inner circle who consider contributing to your campaign want to know what they are contributing to exactly.
One way you can share what the audience can expect to see is by showing footage from previous work. This is especially important for your Director, DP and Editor. Granted, the crowdfunding video itself can be a glimpse into the work you do together if your team is involved in the campaign.
Another way to showcase your project effectively in crowdfunding videos is by filming some of your project in advance. There are some advantages and disadvantages to this approach.
Why Not Shoot Some Of Your Project Now?
When you shoot some of your project in advance, even if it is one scene, you are showing your audience exactly what they can expect. This conveys a cohesive team. It shows the director’s style, DP’s aesthetic, editor’s skill and the acting work.
Approaching your crowdfunding videos this way signals a strong sense of commitment within your team and ripples out to your potential audience. You’re also taking on some of the risk associated with filming the project. This demonstrates that the project is indeed happening and you want them along for the ride.
A disadvantage to this approach is the risk associated with it. You are taking a leap and hoping the campaign will be your net. It’s also feasible the audience will see what you’ve created and misunderstand your request for additional funds.
What Is The Risk Involved?
It’s important to acknowledge the possibility that your campaign may end up a part of the large percentage that fail to raise the money needed. Having a plan for all end results is essential.
A comedy pilot I am working on currently, The Stop Boys, has an active campaign on Kickstarter. We chose to shoot half of the pilot, including the scene with the highest production value (translation: most expensive) before launching our campaign. It was important to us to give a strong sense of the project’s end result.
Our director, Ryan Homchick, has extensive writing and performance experience, but is directing for the first time. What better way to demonstrate competence than to have half of the pilot in the can? We acquired a loan from a confident fan who we intend to pay back with the funds raised by our Kickstarter campaign.
Final Thoughts On Crowdfunding Videos
With two thirds of our campaign remaining, we can’t say for certain whether shooting part of your project first is worth the risk. However, we do know that the campaign has been shared in large numbers outside of our family and friends.
I know a “talking head” video wouldn’t have the same number of shares. If our campaign fails, we now have enough footage to pitch investors should we decide to go that route. We also know we have built a larger fan base because of our decision.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what you want to walk away with at the end of your campaign. In my opinion, it’s not just about the money. If you’re curious how to incorporate footage from your project into your crowdfunding videos, you can check out our campaign:
Kristina Teschner is an actor, director and producer. She is currently producing the comedy pilot “The Stop Boys” Connect with her at www.kristinateschner.com and @KTesch32