CROWDFUNDING WITH FILM THREAT: WORRIED YET?

I’m getting this question quite a bit now. Friends and colleagues look at the crowdfunding status (2% on IndieGoGo and 5% on Kickstarter) and ask me if I’m worried. When I reply that I’m still confident in the campaigns, that we’ve still got the manic push of the last two weeks ahead of us, they look at me with incredulity. With only 3 weeks left, and the vast majority of funds not even close to being raised, how can I remain positive?

I’VE SEEN THIS ALL BEFORE
I’m seen many successful crowdfunding campaigns look dead in the water heading into the final push. Some have made miraculous gains in the final day to reach their goal, others have surpassed it. In a number of those instances, I’ve talked said filmmakers through the doldrums, telling them the same things I keep reminding myself: it ain’t over until it’s over, it’s a marathon not a sprint, the last two weeks are crunch time. Like the NBA, every crowdfunding campaign makes a run. And when it’s time for that run, I’m at least planning on making it interesting.

YEAH, BUT YOU HAVE TO BE A LITTLE CONCERNED…
Still, am I second-guessing myself a little? Yeah. Not about the project, but about this aspect of it. I mean, had I just picked one platform and gone all out, instead of going with both in an effort to make a case study out of this whole affair, I strongly believe this would be in better shape. Part of me wants to select a platform “winner” and just go all out in the final weeks; what’s more important, sticking to this case study or succeeding in the funding? Since the writers getting paid is the biggest part of this entire project, I owe it to them to put this in the best spot for success. But it ain’t that easy:

If I go all out for Kickstarter, to make sure we hit the goal over there, there’s still the major possibility of getting nothing. And with IndieGoGo, even if I don’t hit the goal, I can still give the writers something. If I focus solely on KS and don’t succeed, I limit the amount I bring in on IGG. At the same time, even staying with two platforms, KS has to get the focus because, if it doesn’t meet the goal, we get nothing.

If I focus solely on IGG, I start at a disadvantage. The KS campaign has already earned more than twice as much. At the same time, the amounts are still low enough to where IGG could catch up. But could we reach our goal and more on IGG? What about those who already pledged at KS, would they come over and pledge at IGG to replace their KS donations?

And folks have thrown the “go big or go home” sentiment at me before, and even felt my continuing careful consideration of all the decisions to be a weakness, or a lack of commitment, but I ask you: if you make a mistake, what’s the value in the staying committed to it? So you look unwavering? A mistake is a mistake, and life is about evolution and adjustments. If, however, there is still something to be had in the current course of action, why leave before all options are exhausted? So…

I’m sticking with two campaigns, and we’re going to be successful on both fronts. In the end, I’ll have a platform of choice, but we’re rocketing ahead as planned. Nothing is going to stop the overall projects, so, again, this more about making sure the writers get paid what they’re worth, and hopefully more. For the people who lament about how no one wants to pay writers anymore, this is an opportunity to put your money where your mouth is. Show your support!

When this is all said and done, I think one of the main messages will be KEEP IT SIMPLE!

EDITED ON JUNE 11, 2011 TO ADD: After writing this post, and enduring some obnoxious trolling comments that seem invested in the failure of all of this, I thought about the end decision to keep two simultaneous campaigns running. I emailed the writers, and got their take. As I said above, a case study or even the bravado of keeping two campaigns alive cannot be justified if I don’t do right by the writers. Despite my confidence in the two campaigns, it’s not about the grand show right now, and I believe that going 100% with IndieGoGo over the remaining weeks is the best shot this has. I eat a little crow, get egg on the face or whatever, and the trolls get to mock me for a while, but as long as the writers get paid and the projects move forward… mock me all you want.




Posted on June 9, 2011 in Blogs, Crowdfunding with Film Threat by
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8 Comments on "CROWDFUNDING WITH FILM THREAT: WORRIED YET?"

  1. Mike on Thu, 9th Jun 2011 1:03 pm 

    I like how you are approaching this making it a teachable moment and gaining awareness for your campaign at the same time.

    I recently have been inundated with requests to support a kickstarter campaign for a filmmaker site and they pushed too hard, too often and were almost insulting in the manner that they indicated that I had not even donated a dollar yet. This was all in their first week which I received at least 3 emails. There is definitely a way to go about raising awareness for a campaign and how donations work in relation to time and the type of project it is.

    Thanks for updating your progress.


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  2. Kholi H on Thu, 9th Jun 2011 2:15 pm 

    I agree, crowdfunding is a weird beast in that the final push is what really sees the most pledges coming through. We had about four days to go to reach our goal of 17.5K on Kickstarter and were at 8K. On the surface, we were cool and just biding our time, but on the inside?

    Didn’t think we’d hit it.

    Then the final surge came through with three days left, people were sharing the link after we got a new video up and at two days left, we were over 17.5K.

    I’ve been warning other kickstarters and crowdfunders that you need to prepare for the big push. Following other campaigns, the majority of them get boosted when the clock’s almost run out, and people are frantically sharing.


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  3. Mike on Thu, 9th Jun 2011 3:42 pm 

    @Kholi I think a lot of people are either procrastinators or they are waiting to see if others are in it as well. The campaigns that I see go big before they get close to their deadlines are products. Especially those that are some form of gadget, case, stylus etc…


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  4. Mark Bell on Fri, 10th Jun 2011 3:09 pm 

    These pipes are clean! Sorry for the trolls everyone…


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  5. Killian on Fri, 10th Jun 2011 10:14 pm 

    My question has to do with the fundraising.
    Are you going to need both to succeed?
    Really successful IndieGoGo campaigns are rare to find.
    Kickstarter, on the other hand, is more common.

    By trying both does that help or hurt?
    Every campaign seems unique in this way.
    Look at the success indie filmmakers have.
    Luck has nothing to do with it.

    So why not stick to one and then try the other?
    Unless there’s a reason to rush this.
    Can’t see why you can’t do IndieGoGo first.
    Kickstarter is next if the first one succeeds.
    Success is then inevitable at that point.


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  6. Mark Bell on Sat, 11th Jun 2011 11:36 am 

    Killian, you are absolutely correct in your questions and ideas. Over the last week I contacted a number of filmmakers and friends who had run successful crowdfunding campaigns, and the majority said the same thing, which I’ve known for a while: two campaigns is splitting the focus; one campaign is the way to go.

    And I did express, early on, that having just one campaign succeed would go miles for the projects, and that having both was like having the ideal budget.

    After writing this post, and enduring some obnoxious trolling comments that seem invested in the failure of all of this, I thought about the end decision to keep two simultaneous campaigns running. I emailed the writers, and got their take. As I said above, a case study or even the bravado of keeping two campaigns alive cannot be justified if I don’t do right by the writers. I believe that going 100% with IndieGoGo over the remaining weeks is the best shot this has. I eat a little crow, get egg on the face or whatever, and the trolls get to mock me for a while, but as long as the writers get paid and the projects move forward… mock me all you want.


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  7. Jessica on Sun, 12th Jun 2011 2:44 pm 

    Uh, Mark. Not to burst your bubble or anything but I think that “Killian” post you responded to is a derogatory joke. Read the Killian post carefully and look at the first ‘letter’ of every sentence and see what it spells. I think you’ve been had.

    Good luck with your campaign btw.


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  8. Mark Bell on Sun, 12th Jun 2011 2:48 pm 

    Joke or no, good points were made so… yeah, whatever. Don’t know what I did to piss people off, but at this stage just going to do what I do, how I do it and let karma sort out the haters.

    EDITED TO ADD: Some folks in Wyoming or Colorado apparently hate me, or someone is impersonating various email addresses and IPs from a certain family. Again, whatever. Over it.


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