Make Your Film A Reality With These 4 Fundraising Tips

By: Hitesh & Chiara

Published On: January 12, 2021

These days, an alternate financing option for many filmmakers is film crowdfunding. If traditional production houses are unable to finance a project, online crowdfunding can step in instead. In fact, filmmakers globally have used and are using crowdfunding to either start or complete their film projects. A film crowdfunding project, however, needs to appeal to the people, and connect with the donors. Here are some tips which can help you do exactly that.  

Give an idea about your project

Use your fundraiser appeal to describe your project, its status, and why you are turning to crowdfunding. But also, don’t do just that; is it possible to make a trailer of your film? Maybe make a certain scene of the film? For reference, you can even use snippets from your previous projects - even if it is a student short film - if it reflects what you are trying to do now. Another approach was illustrated by Charlie Kaufman’s Anomalisa pitch video; in this, the stop-motion animation of the film was depicted, along with a behind-the-scenes look at the making of it. People may come to your fundraiser to read, but a smartly-done video can make them stay.

Create incentives & rewards

Donating for a project is a rather selfless act; true, donors get to see and support art they like, but this incentive works for only the selectively close die-hard fans. What will be your pitch to an ordinary woman or man, probably scrolling on social media during work hours? What will make them donate, even if it is just Rs. 100 or 500? Some makers offer tickets to the film’s premiere; other incentives range from having Skype discussions with the makers of the film, to being an extra on the film set, to having a character named after you, to being able to watch a rough cut of the film. Some donors, especially those contributing large sums - are even offered a share in the profits the film makes!

Offer your donors incentives like branded mugs, but only if it is an economical proposition

Look at other successful campaigns

There are many features and articles online which attempt to summarize what made other film crowdfunding campaigns successful. You can have a look at those; you can also however look at those campaigns yourself. Documentaries to short films, Australian to Assamese; a wide range of films have used online fundraising successfully. All of them have tapped different demographics; a documentary on a fictional detective appealed to childhood nostalgia, while an Australian horror film pitched itself to citizens as being among the first horror films made in the country. Listen to others, look at as many other fundraisers as possible, and do your own research too.

Choose an appropriate crowdfunding platform

An online fundraiser’s success depends on the number of people who are intrigued by your pitch. But to intrigue them, your campaign has to reach them first. Your friends, family, and well-wishers will contribute to your campaign; to reach strangers though, you need a good crowdfunding platform. There are platforms solely dedicated to creative projects; there are also platforms that support all types of fundraisers. Depending on your film’s potential audience, you can choose the appropriate platform. For example, in the case of the fictional detective’s documentary, working professionals - who read the detective’s exploits in their childhood, and had never used online crowdfunding before - were among the donors. 

Just as important: do not forget to understand and compare the services offered by each platform. Compare platform fees, the ability to check and access funds, and the convenience of getting in touch with them.

These tips can help you get started with your crowdfunding project. You can also visit our film crowdfunding page and learn more.

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