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Tim Wilson
Crowdfunding success stories? (Since nothing is off topic here)
on Jul 10, 2014 at 9:28:53 pm

Hey gang.

I wonder if I can hear about your experiences with Kickstarter and Indiegogo, or other crowdfunding platforms. (Are there even any others? I really don't know.)

I ask because I'm getting a number of questions sent to me about this, and I'd like to think about what we at the COW can do to help shine a light on some of your fundraising efforts.

Thoughts?

Thanks!

Tim Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW


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Darren Roark
Re: Crowdfunding success stories? (Since nothing is off topic here)
on Jul 10, 2014 at 10:40:45 pm

My wife is a bit of a Kickstarter genius. She has consulted a few projects that get funding, and has funded both of the docs she is currently working on.

She just made it look easy until I looked at the ratio of those who get funded vs those who don't.

The least amount she raised was 11K for this doc she is producing:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/darleystreetdisco/roller-dreams

Her take on Indiegogo vs Kickstarter is that Indiegogo primarily dips into your own well, as in friends, relatives, etc. Kickstarter is for when you have something that relates to a broader built in audience.

If you are doing a doc that raises awareness of the dangers of fracking, tap into the online groups who hate fracking. Making a doc that thinks fracking is great? Well shame on you, but you probably would already know where to look for support.

In the case of Rollerdreams, there are still folks out there who are passionate about skate dancing, it was about getting enough people talking about the project to get the word out. There were enough social media outlets where they could get the word out to roller skaters.

One reason her track record is so good is that she is picky about which projects are a good candidate. She specializes in docs, so by the time she does a Kickstarter, the filmmakers already have a trailer or a sample scene, something exciting enough that if the film existed already, people would pay for a digital download.

The other reason is cool bribes (I mean gifts). She is working on a doc about the WWE hall of famer 'The Baron Von Raschke'. They offered custom posters signed by the man himself, t-shirts and for a bigger donation you could have a steak dinner with the Baron at the same restaurant all the wrestlers hung out at during the Andre the Giant days. (Someone got that one I believe.)

It sounds like an oversimplification, but it's just like anything, it's all comes down to the content and the audience. Even then, you still never know.


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Don Scioli
Re: Crowdfunding success stories? (Since nothing is off topic here)
on Jul 10, 2014 at 11:47:01 pm

Does she have to pay tax on the money raised? I heard that the IRS comes after you for that one.


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Darren Roark
Re: Crowdfunding success stories? (Since nothing is off topic here)
on Jul 11, 2014 at 1:19:26 am

One of the films the producer did pay taxes, but I believe will be entitled to a refund as the cost of making the film far outweighed the Kickstarter funding.

With the new "Jobs Act", this is going to have to become more clear with the IRS. This is from the Kickstarter site, they have a full disclaimer that they cannot offer tax advice, but yet they still did.

"In general, in the US, funds raised on Kickstarter are considered income.

In general, a creator can offset the income from their Kickstarter project with deductible expenses that are related to the project and accounted for in the same tax year. For example, if a creator receives $1,000 in funding and spends $1,000 on their project in the same tax year, then their expenses could fully offset their Kickstarter funding for federal income tax purposes. If a creator receives funding in one year and spends money on their project in a later year, consider whether their expenses can still offset their Kickstarter funding using the accrual method of accounting.

Beyond deductions, a creator may be able to classify certain funds raised on Kickstarter as a nontaxable gift, and not income. A gift is something given out of “detached and disinterested generosity” for personal reasons and without the expectation of getting something in return."


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Crowdfunding success stories? (Since nothing is off topic here)
on Jul 11, 2014 at 7:29:49 pm
Last Edited By Aindreas Gallagher on Jul 12, 2014 at 1:25:45 am

editor mate and team successfully raised a decent sum for an unusual doco on kickstarter:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/795622630/were-going-back-to-the-arcti...

it can be good to land people willing to get involved - also having a really broad social media presence and a ton of potential people allied with your goal - say ecology - does no harm? As said above - a highly identifiable audience for the pitch is the thing.

also a barmily evocative pitch video does no harm.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Darren Roark
Re: Crowdfunding success stories? (Since nothing is off topic here)
on Jul 11, 2014 at 8:37:25 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "also a barmily evocative pitch video does no harm."

Couldn't have said it better. Creating confidence in the abilities of the filmmakers to make something good is important.

I think the boom times for straight up entertainment funding on Kickstarter is going to be winding down as there is so much to weed through. That and the backlash of otherwise connected filmmakers and stars 'abusing' it like "Veronica Mars" and the Zach Braff project.

I helped out on a horror feature recently that was originally a short. The fans of the short started to pester the filmmakers to do a Kickstarter and championed it to be funded. The film got in to SXSW this year, so there will be exceptions. *

like the project Aindreas posted, cause based projects are going to flourish. Before it was private investor and grant funding, now people can vote with their wallets.

* (Shot on Red Epic and cut on FCP X by the co-directors just to be back on topic :)


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Crowdfunding success stories? (Since nothing is off topic here)
on Jul 11, 2014 at 11:55:45 pm

[Darren Roark] "Before it was private investor and grant funding, now people can vote with their wallets. "

http://dobraszczyk.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/1.jpg

same old same old mind you.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Charlie Austin
Re: Crowdfunding success stories? (Since nothing is off topic here)
on Jul 12, 2014 at 12:56:07 am

[Aindreas Gallagher] "http://dobraszczyk.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/1.jpg"

Intriguing... I'm interested in seeing, and funding, the industrious fleas.

-------------------------------------------------------------

~ My FCPX Babbling blog ~
~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Crowdfunding success stories? (Since nothing is off topic here)
on Jul 12, 2014 at 6:47:08 am

An indie doc I worked on as an assistant editor had a successful KS (as well as unsuccessful ones too). https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1158154396/american-winter-a-documenta...

It's mostly been touched on already, but I think successful crowd sourcing of films/shows usually fall into one of three buckets:

1. Existing fan base. You are either an existing celeb/personality (ex. Zach Braff) or you are tapping into an existing IP (ex. Veronica Mars) or culture (ex. Video Game High School/Freddie W. and gamer culture).

2. It's a social/activist film, which is kinda the same as tapping into an existing culture (ex. the doc I was a part of "American Winter" about the crumbling middle class in America).

3. The person helming the project comes off as likable, knowledgable and driven so you want to see him/her succeed. Many of the KS campaigns I've given to isn't because I thought the project was great it's because I thought the person behind it was great and I wanted to see them succeed.


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