Before I embarked on my 2nd crowdfunding campaign, I knew I needed a much simpler, compact script that was going to fit the non — to low budget model. That left me with two choices; either to re-write one of my scripts, which after many attempts I found really impossible to do, or to come up with another story that would be a better fit for a lower budget film. I chose the latter.
Around the same time, I started reading a lot about sex and human trafficking, which led me to do more research about the subject.
I quickly realized that I wanted to make a short film about sex trafficking.
However, as it often happens with writing, I wrote way too much than a short film required. With a bit of adjustment, I turned my short script into a feature screenplay, which I decided to crowdfund the budget for.
In March 2012, I began my 2nd IndieGoGo campaign. My target was $12500, which was only going to cover the production. I managed to crowdfund $14100. I gave $100 away to other projects that were along the same subject line (human trafficking) as my film “Anna and Modern Day Slavery”. After the IndieGoGo and bank transfer fees, we ended up with a $12500 production budget (just what I asked for).
Thanks to the crowdfunding campaign my project attracted cast and crew from 4 different continents and seven different countries who came to Poland for the shoot.
The campaign was fast-paced and required almost 24/7 attention from my small team (my hubby was helping with scheduling tweets, and one more person was helping with FB emails, and I did all the rest).
I feel (this is only my personal opinion) that shooting a film at the same time as running a crowdfunding campaign is too challenging (if not impossible), especially if you are the main or the only person in charge of both.
Of course, it’s a different scenario if you have a team of people running the campaign for you. You can delegate responsibilities amongst your team members and coordinate their efforts.
But if you’re on your own, I would recommend dedicating yourself to one (either the shooting or the campaign) at a time.
You need advocates, angel investors/supporters to make your campaign successful. The human potential behind your campaign is what is going to make it or break it for you.
Hence invest time into building and maintaining your own online community is priceless. If you aren’t a people’s person, this can be a bit overwhelming at first but doable and, in time, enjoyable.
From the start of your campaign, you need to realize that you have to be the face of your project and no one else, regardless of how much you are willing to pay them, will care, promote and support your project as much as you will.
Your campaign doesn’t have to be perfect as long as it’s honest and your audience can see the real you and can connect to you and your project.
Once you have established your social media presence and are surrounded by a vibrant and supportive community ready to help, it’s time for you to sit down and analyse your script or project.
Social Media Recap
As I said before, and I will keep banging on about this if you aren’t present on any social media/networking outlets/websites, your first task is to join a few. Choose 3 or 4 at most, not to spread yourself too thinly. You may find that you prefer one site over all the others and if you can see positive results using just one, go for it. Simply stick with that one and forget about the other websites for the time being.
If you are a filmmaker, like me, you can join the number of filmmaking networking websites, forums or communities. However, do keep in mind that most filmmakers will be in a similar position as you are, that is looking for money for their projects. I would advise building your community beyond the filmmaking community to give yourself a better chance of succeeding.