FOLLOW THE CROWD! – CROWDFUNDING FOR FILMS
A number of organisations will bring together filmmakers and interested investors. The investors will generally have a preference for the choice of film in which they are interested and this may be based on:
• Genre of films;
• topics of films;
• scoring range;
• films packaged in a certain way or through a particular agent; or
• sales targets.
Films still get made when only a percentage of funding has been secured. The funding calls are often made only at the point when there is a need for additional cash, or as a marketing exercise. Preparation for the launch of a round of funding will typically take 3-4 weeks and ideally, should include a period of coaching by the crowdfund organisers which has been shown to increase the chances of success.
The preparation period will include making videos to publicise the film, developing a strategy of how to make the world aware of the project and the crowdfunding is also an opportunity to market the film being made. The success of a film depends on good execution and delivery to the market so investors will be attracted to those producers, writers and directors who maximise budgets, attract top talent, build industry anticipation and make films attractive to audiences. This may include signing the optimal sales agent or securing a distribution deal but in reality will be a balance of all these aspects.
Investors are not always driven by the expected financial return and may invest for other reasons such as a cause relevant to them or the emotional reward of winning awards. They may be high net worth individuals, large financial institutions or seasoned film financiers. It will be attractive to the filmmaker to offer rewards other than financial ones to the prospective investor. There are many forms a non-financial reward may take which are generally “experiences” including:
• The opportunity of working as a film extra;
• an interview with the filmmaker by Skype to understand the work;
• attending the premiere
• free online viewings or DVDs
• free film posters
Crowdfunding is all about the film community and typically, features are more difficult to finance than documentaries. This is partly because features are more expensive and crowdfunding is often just a cash top up. Animation takes much longer to produce and although regular updates are always necessary with crowdfunding, it is even more important with animation to ensure that expectation is properly managed. Timing of the placement is also important for success because investors are generally uncomfortable with small raises early on in a project.
If you would like further information on crowdfunding opportunities for films, please get in touch.