This year I’m making my first short as Screenwriter and Co-Producer. Our film is called In Wonderland and it’s part of Film London’s 2017 London Calling slate. So we’ve received partial funding through that scheme, but to make this film we knew we’d need other revenue streams. This is where crowd funding has come in – another first for me.
Amazingly we made our target of £3500 in just 14 days! So then we created a three ‘stretch goals’ - £4000, £4500 and £5000 – letting people know what each would mean for us as a production.
Two key parts of the campaign were the video and saying thank you to people. Making a funding video of 2-3 mins is really important for your campaign - make it look and sound as good and true to what you’re doing as possible. It doesn’t need to be expensive but it needs to make people interested and think that giving their cash to you is going to be worth it. Saying thank you sounds like a basic, but it’s funny how lots of campaigns can leave it till the end. If you do rolling thank you’s on social media it keeps your campaign alive and vocal, without constantly asking people to give (which can get really irritating for your friends and followers). Also if people are name-checked and appreciated it means they’re more likely to spread the word for you.
Lastly, the first thing we did was to look into the pros and cons of different sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Crowd Funder – it’s really important to think about what you want from your crowd funding campaign. We went with Indiegogo because it allows you to run a flexible, rather than an all-or-nothing campaign. This means people weren’t just pledging they were actually donating up-front. This has been perfect for us and means that even now our 30-day sprint is complete people can still continue to donate.
I’ve been developing another short called Martha with B3 first through the TalentLab and now through the Catalyst Fund – this has been a really supportive and exciting experience so far, and the journey’s ongoing.
By Iona Firouzabadi