A blog about movies and filmmaking.

Crowdfunding For You And Me

In filmmaking on May 8, 2013 at 10:20 am
braff-ks

Full Disclosure: As you might see from the image, I am indeed a backer of Braff’s Kickstarter campaign. I have excuses and reasons. But, I also have to say, I did not back the Veronica Mars one. And have contributed to other campaigns as well.

It’s amazing how many Facebook posts I’m seeing today talking about Kickstarter. And how people believe famous – or established professionals – shouldn’t be using it. And it’s getting a little bothersome. So, naturally, I have to weigh in, because… I want to.

This source of funding wasn’t founded solely to help nobodies get money for whatever hair-brain scheme they can come up with. If Kickstarter could have had Zach Braff and Rob Thomas as their first campaigns, they would have. It was created for the purpose of helping anyone with any kind of artistic/technological/utilitarian idea that could possibly be of interest to another group of people. It doesn’t matter if you’re bone broke or have millions in the bank. If you’ve got something of interest to others, then Kickstarter is a place to help finance it without risk to you or your finances.

And let’s be honest, there have been plenty of potential projects that have failed on the website long before these famous people came along. And the bottom-line isn’t that it matters WHO you are, or possibly even WHAT you are proposing. It’s the way it’s presented and how many people you can actually get to see it. Just posting something on Kickstarter – or Indiegogo – isn’t enough. You need to be able to do the work and get visibility. That’s where Veronica Mars and Braff have you (and me) beat. They’ve got millions of people that know their work, recognize their name, and are anticipating anything they do. (Quality be-damned.) Me, with my paltry couple hundred friends on here and three hundred followers on Twitter, doesn’t compete with famous people.

There are many well-known social media and crowdfunding “gurus” that speak about how it’s not how big your audience is. It’s how many of them you can get to contribute, share, and get excited about your project. Looking at Zach Braff – he has 1.1 million followers on Twitter. 1.3 million likes on his page on Facebook. How many people have contributed to his Kickstarter? 35,000.

Granted, that’s a lot of people. But, it’s only 3% of his followers. That falls about right in line with the recognized philosophy of how this crowdfunding thing works.

But that’s looking at this whole thing reasonably. And who wants to do that? No one… Except for reasonable people, I guess. So what about all the, “they’re stealing the money that I (or other nobodies) could have gotten.” In-fact, it’s also been shown that not only would the people that give to these celebrities not have given you their cash (in the fact that, well, they hadn’t), but now that they have funded Veronica Mars, they’re more willing to help out other projects. So, it can actually HELP get you and your projects funded. Though, again, it comes back to the fact that you have to have a project that people WANT to contribute to.

“Yeah, but they’ve got enough money to just make their project,” you might still be arguing. My answer to that would be, “so? I have the ingredients to make spaghetti for dinner every night, but I still order pizza.” They also have enough money to finance it themselves without going to other funding options. Spielberg could fund EVERY INDIE MOVIE for the next ten years, but that’s putting all the risk on himself. The key to financing is to minimize risk to yourself. That’s why people look for other people to invest in their projects. Yes, this is why the rich stay rich. But, it goes to show that there’s a reason they’re rich to begin with!

So, summing it all up. STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT FAMOUS PEOPLE USING KICKSTARTER AND FOCUS ON MAKING PROJECTS THAT WILL GET PEOPLE TO HELP YOU!

I was going to include some other crowdfunding campaigns that people I know are running, but they were all too slow in responding. So, instead, just head over to those sites and help something out that you want to. No matter who’s running it.

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