Crowdfunding is something that really excites me about independent filmmaking. It involves interacting and connecting with your audience well before your film begins production, and is a great way to gauge interest in your film, practice selling your idea, and of course help raise funds for essential expenses. It’s a relatively new way to fund a film, starting with Indiegogo in 2008, and Kickstarter in 2009, and New Zealand’s first crowdfunding platform PledgeMe in 2011.
Crowdfunding invites fans, family and friends to help fund a project by pledging an amount in exchange for various ‘rewards’. Filmmakers explain what their film is about, who is making it, and how they plan to do it on a micro-budget. And almost all films made in New Zealand are made with budgets that would have Hollywood producers rolling in the plushly carpeted aisles of their private screening rooms.
Rewards range in value from a digital download or a postcard from the set, to a DVD of the finished movie, a role in the film, or even Executive Producer listing in the movie’s credits (which of course includes the thrill of seeing your name up on the big screen).
Crowdfunding is not an easy way to raise money. It’s hard to ask people to take a leap of faith for a movie they haven’t even seen. With no guarantee of turning a profit on a project filmmakers must cut their budget as tightly as possible, and find companies and individuals who are as excited about supporting film projects as you and I.
Keep an eye out for Penny Black’s listing on PledgeMe shortly. It’s been fun to think of interesting rewards to offer, we hope you’ll like them 🙂
ps. If you are a filmmaker have a look at 15 Steps for a successful Kickstarter Project for useful tips on how to approach crowdfunding.