How to Kickstarter Your Dreams

As a Sundance alumnus, I received an email back in January about a new Sundance-Kickstarter intiative that my lab project is eligible for.

If you haven’t heard of Kickstarter before or aren’t quite sure how it works, some of the basics are covered here. I’ve been following the site for some time now, mystified by the insane success stories like the TikTok Nano Watch that raised nearly a million dollars or the Diaspora social network that exceeded their funding goals by 2000%.

Encouraged by those projects I’ve been offering my help to fellow filmmakers in creating a funding campaign tailored to their project and funding needs.

About a month ago I finally found someone brave enough to take my advice: Sasha Collington, a fellow Binger FilmLab alumnus. She decided to try a Kickstarter campaign to finance her next short film Lunch Date:

I originally planned to write this post as a way to help her get the word out about her campaign. But then she reached her funding goal of $2,100 in less than 48 hours! Since that initial success, Kickstarter featured the project on their homepage which helped skyrocket funding to $5,600!

So instead I’ve decided to write this up as a short case-study to encourage you to try the funding resource yourself and some tips on designing a strong campaign.

I attribute her Kickstarter success to the following reasons:

  1. Even though she is an emerging filmmaker, she has a track record as a storyteller.
  2. The project has a strong team of crew members she’ll be working with whose bio/work she highlights.
  3. A unique pitch video that gives you a sense of the film’s tone and author’s humor in a way that a written description can’t.
  4. A unique set of rewards tailored again for the film’s tone and irony. Some of these rewards, like ebooks, actually extend the story-world of the short film in a crossmedia manner (check my earlier post on crossmedia).
  5. Adequate amount of time for the funding requested.
  6. The campaign was advertised to potential patrons in email-waves: first to her family & friends, and then to her larger network of Facebook contacts as well as those of her fellow crew members.
  7. Original campaign goal wasn’t too greedy, rather the bare minimum that she needs to get the film made. And she honestly spelled out how the money will be spent.
  8. Most importantly, she’s viewing this as one step towards building an audience of patrons who might want to support future projects.
Again, take a look at her page, you might find her example useful and there’s still 3 days to pledge if you’d like to be a part of this unique gem (campaign ended: she raised $5,871!).
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3 thoughts on “How to Kickstarter Your Dreams

  1. Pingback: POETRY UPDATE: 50 done, 50 to go | Words versus Images

  2. Pingback: 2011 in Review | words vs pictures

  3. Pingback: This Week’s Gems – Sept 2nd 2012 | words vs. pictures

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