So, the $15K target is what I need to complete a 10-15 minute sample, which is what I’ll need to pitch non-profit grants of $50-$150K a piece. This is pretty common practice in the documentary world, since people need prove that you can actually pull off your vision in terms of access, field production, editing, and look and feel of the film.
This also actually isn’t a crowdfunding effort, though people can easily donate For development, I’ve been focused entirely on friends+family+professional network, asking for donations of $200-$2,000 to get through this critical first stage of production. I’ve also gotten a fiscal sponsor because that helps people understand immediately that this is about social impact, and if they give a lot, they can write that off their taxes (but ugh, thanks for nothing, Republicans). Most importantly, having a fiscal sponsor opens up matching donations from corporations like Google, which effectively doubles the donations I’ve gotten from several people who work in tech.
I will definitely crowdfund closer to the release of the film, but I think of that more as community building, pre-sales, and marketing for a film that DEFINITELY is being completed and will be delivered to people who pitch in $10+ because they want to see it. I hope this all makes sense!