How To Crowdfund A Movie

Lights, Camera, Crowdfund!

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An active film set with crew and camera

Pretty much everyone loves movies, but it wasn’t until fairly recently that filmmaking became more accessible to those outside the industry. It used to be a pursuit mainly for people with money and connections, but now technology is affordable enough that anyone can break into the industry.

While it may be more affordable and accessible, you will still need money to fund your dream film. Crowdfunding has become one of the most viable ways to finance a film and set it up for success, but it can be tough to know where to start.

In this article, we will cover the basics of how to crowdfund a movie so that you can make your mark on film history.

Key Takeaways

  • Crowdfunding is an effective method to finance your film with Kickstarter and Indiegogo being the best options.
  • Indie filmmaking has become easier and more accessible thanks to how affordable technology has become.
  • LaunchBoom can help you optimize your campaign.

How Does Crowdfunding Work For Films?

Crowdfunding can take many different forms depending on the service you use, but the process will more or less be the same. Of course, you’ll need a screenplay for your film, but you’ll also need to come up with an estimate of what you will need for production costs.

Then, you will need to create a compelling page that shows off a bit of what you have in mind. This is to inform backers as to why they want to invest in your film’s success, so this process is quite vital.

Once people are interested, they will pledge an amount of their choice towards the budget of your film. If you reach your goal, then that money will be available to you. It’s also common to offer incentives for people to donate more, such as exclusive rewards.

We have covered how crowdfunding has its pros and cons in the past, but it can overall be one of the most viable ways to make your film a reality if you’re new to the industry.


How Has Crowdfunding For Film Changed Over The Years?

The process for film crowdfunding hasn’t changed much since crowdfunding became a concept. But while the process may not have changed, the ease of access to filmmaking has increased dramatically.

Ten years ago you had to spend $10k-$100k+ for an indie film. You would need sound, lighting, and other equipment and a film crew to operate it all. This was just not something that the average person could afford.

In recent years, quality cameras and equipment have become much more affordable. Some smartphones even have cameras that are good enough to make a film on, so there is much less of a barrier to everyday aspiring filmmakers.


How To Successfully Crowdfund A Film

With more accessibility to the indie film industry comes more competition, so you’ll really need to stand out. Let’s cover a few things you’ll need to have in place to successfully crowdfund your film.

Select The Right Platform That Matches Your Needs

When it comes to crowdfunding, there are a few different platforms that you can choose from, but there are only two that we would recommend: Kickstarter and Indiegogo. We’ve covered these in an overview comparing Kickstarter and Indiegogo so that you can decide which of these would be right for you. But to save you some time, when it comes to film, Kickstarter reigns supreme with $546M raised for films since it started. This is a bit ironic, since Indiegogo started off as a platform for films, but since its inception Kickstarter has just done a better job in this category, while Indiegogo has shifted its focus to other categories like tech.

Have A Reasonable Budget In Mind

When it comes to filmmaking, the budget will be a factor no matter how small the production is. Big names like Steven Spielberg or Quentin Tarantino can easily get gigantic budgets in the millions for their films.

However, when you’re getting started you may want to keep your budget more realistic. If you shoot for a blockbuster goal of $50,000,000, it’s very unlikely you will reach it.

Try to work out a production cost that is as low as possible, as you will have a much better chance of reaching that goal. Keep in mind that indie filmmakers have been able to make incredible films on relatively small budgets, so you don’t need Marvel-sized budgets to make your movie. You may just need to consider how you can get the most value out of things like shooting locations, props, etc.

This article we created shows you some of the ways you can increase your budget realistically for your campaign.

Consider A Shorter Campaign To Generate Urgency

When you’re essentially asking strangers to fund your dream project, that’s actually a huge ask. People might be on the fence as to where they should invest their hard-earned money, and that’s why a shorter campaign may be a good strategy.

We recommend 30 days to keep urgency high the whole time. If your campaign is too long, backers may think they have plenty of time and put off supporting your project. If they have to make a decision that feels urgent, they may be more likely to back to avoid missing out.

Get Backers to Feel Like They Are Part of the Production

When it comes to writing a campaign pitch, we always recommend you focus on how your product is going to change your backers lives for the better, rather than showing your passion for the project and telling your personal story. The same can be said for crowdfunded films. When you’re crowdfunding a film you’re essentially preselling your movie and part of that process is getting people to feel like they are part of the production.

You can include a personal story if it ties in directly to the film, but in the end it’s all about the movie and what it means for the backer. Your authenticity and passion is a way to gain their trust – not sell them on you.

The only exception to this rule is if you already have a large following and sphere of influence. If people know who you are, then they are buying you and your personal brand.

Offer Thoughtful Tiered Incentives For Your Backers And Pledges

While there is an element of goodwill to this kind of backing, people will still want something in return for their contribution to your film crowdfunding. That’s where incentives come into play.

Usually, the base reward will be access to the film when it’s done. However, there should be an extra incentive for people who pledge more. Someone who pledges $1000 should get more than someone who pledges $60.

You could add many cool rewards, such as signed copies, film merch, a seat at the premier, and even a Zoom call with yourself to discuss the project as it’s being filmed. Some filmmakers will even offer the chance for a backer to cameo in the film.

It’s up to you to decide what you’re going to offer, but people may be willing to pledge more if they feel they’re receiving something unique.

Limit The Physical Rewards- Keep It Digital Where Possible

When it comes to rewarding incentives, you want to walk a fine line between them being worthwhile yet not becoming too much of an expense. Digital rewards can be a great way to cut costs, as you don’t have to worry about production and distribution costs.

We recommend keeping any physical rewards you want to offer to the higher tiers of backers.

Stay Active And Update Backers

Anyone backing a project will be wary of being scammed or ripped off. For that reason, transparency is key, and you should keep updates regular.

If there is a production delay, rather keep backers in the loop instead of hoping they won’t notice. Delays are always disappointing, but people will be more understanding if you give an explanation and keep them informed.

Promote- Execute Launch And Advertising Strategy

Your campaign will require careful planning and strategies to succeed. You don’t want to make it up as you go along, as that can make you seem sloppy.

Remember, you may think you have a huge hit on your hands, but you’re competing against other aspiring filmmakers. You need to stand out and look professional if you want to succeed.

In the past, we have also covered how getting influencers to help promote your project can be a huge help. You should definitely choose who you work with carefully, as you want to create a positive image for backers.

Luckily, there are services you can use to help make it much easier to make the right choices.


How To Boost Your Audience When Crowdfunding For Film

LaunchBoom can take out much of the guesswork when crowdfunding your film. We provide detailed analytics and statistics to help you create your campaign effectively.

We will also show you how to optimize your launch on Kickstarter or Indiegogo to help you reach your goal much faster. Promotion is key with this kind of endeavor, and you’ll want a proven strategy that has crowdfunded millions.

We have also covered how services like Kickbooster can be immensely helpful when setting up your campaign.

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