Best move for Crowdfunding

(Alex Pires and Stephanie Windland ) #1

Hi all! Alex Pires here, Co-Creator of P’s in a Pod- a comedy web series in the making.

We’re editing our pilot now and we want to crowdfund for the rest of the season. Is the move to release the pilot and use that to hopefully get the money or should we just release a trailer and use that and screen grabs within the campaign?

Looking forward to connecting with you all!

(Bri Castellini) #2

@Craia9 @crystalarnette @Monica_West @EmilyBest @avincie @alwaysafilmgeek

(Meg Carroway) #3

Personally if you have a full pilot shot, I want to see it before giving money! Treat it like a TV pilot season almost, and shop that pilot around! Only in this case specifically for crowdfunding pledges instead of a network. Seems like that’s the strongest case you have in terms of why people should give you money- they will want to know what happens next

(Alex Pires and Stephanie Windland ) #4

Hey Meg! That’s interesting. Have you been in this position? If so, how did it play out?

(Meg Carroway) #5

I’m just thinking from the perspective of myself as someone who sometimes donates to crowdfunding campaigns- the more of the actual thing I’m helping make there is available, the more likely I am to help, you know? Like, there’s less guesswork or leap of faith from me- I can see with my own eyes you’ve made an episode that I enjoyed and want more of. Sometimes trailers/teasers can be misleading (not to say that I wouldn’t donate with that being the only thing you had) but since you HAVE a full episode, what’s the benefit in holding it back?

(sam lockie-waring) #6

you could also make access to the full pilot a stretch goal perhaps, if you wanted to hold it back. or make it a perk level- you can see the full pilot right now, months ahead of anyone else, if you donate $x

(Meg Carroway) #7

Ooo that’s interesting. That could be something!

(Bri Castellini) #8

Yeah on this, I’ll say from my experience it’s ALWAYS an easier sell doing season 2 campaigns versus season 1, because there’s existing content you can point people to. Do you have other filmmaking projects available to showcase your vibe/experience?

(also- I’d browse through this category for more crowdfunding-specific advice that might be relevant here!)

(Bri Castellini) #9

If you are going to release your pilot (if that’s what you go with, I mean), I would release it ahead of your campaign by at least a month or so- give it a chance to collect fans first, get people excited, and let them know you’re going to start funding for more soon. But first, you gotta build your audience as best you can with the content you’ve already managed to make.

(Alex Pires and Stephanie Windland ) #10

This is all great peeps! Does releasing the pilot ahead of crowdfunding and ultimately the release of the rest of the season screw us with festivals?

(Bri Castellini) #11

Not for web series festivals, pretty much across the board. Web series festivals (and most festivals I know of with a web series category) understand that web series… exist on the web. So premiere status is rarely considered. There are those who think you should do a festival run before fully releasing your series (blog below) but I think only having a pilot online can still allow you to do a run before releasing the full series. There are tons of examples of TV shows releasing pilots, waiting for a response, and then deciding whether or not to greenlight/release the rest of the series. Basically I don’t think releasing your pilot and holding back the rest of the season to do a festival run first (if you so choose) are mutually exclusive

(Arthur Vincie) #12

Let’s see the pilot! You can still put together a pitch video but having the pilot up and watchable can only help. It shows me as a prospective donor that you’re serious and this is going to happen.

Also, congratulations on making the pilot and good luck!

(Alex Pires and Stephanie Windland ) #13

These are all great insights peeps! Thank you for taking the time to give your input. Seems like the consensus is to maybe release the pilot first and send it to festivals before releasing the whole season. This will give ample time to build an audience, gauge reactions and work out any kinks. Does that sound about right? Also, are most people submitting just the pilot of their web series to festivals or the whole season?

(Marc Unger) #14

We filmed the first two episodes of and then put together a trailer but we also offered anyone who contributed the opportunity to watch those first two episodes. We raised nearly $10,000 on Indiegogo in mostly small contributions (no rich relatives) although we did get $1000 from a guy in my fantasy baseball league. I think he must’ve been drunk at the time. We messaged everyone we knew on Facebook and asked them for small contributions. The interesting thing is I thought we’d do well in $10s and 20s but it seemed like those people who did want to contribute, felt that was too little so I would say our average contribution was more like $25 to $50. If you go to our website I think you can still watch our original pitch video. Hope this helps.


(Bri Castellini) #15

So this is less what people submit and more what festivals A. ask for and B. watch, generally depending on how much they’re wanting to screen. As someone who’s helped program a web series festival, my advice is to submit a playlist if possible, and make sure the first episode on that playlist (ie the first thing the programmer sees) is your strongest episode. If it’s your pilot, great! If it’s a mid-season episode, make sure that’s clear but also make sure it shows up first. That might be all they watch.

What crowdfunding platform are you guys looking to use?

(Alex Pires and Stephanie Windland ) #16

Interesting… based on some research and that episode on FORGET THE BOX we were thinking Seed & Spark.

(Bri Castellini) #17

I’m definitely biased, but I cannot recommend them highly enough. Best of luck- keep us posted and let us know if you need help workshopping your pitch or marketing plan or anything else!

(Alex Pires and Stephanie Windland ) #18

For sure! Thank you very much Bri. And thanks to everyone else here who shared some valuable information. We’re really working to make a show we’re proud of and that you’ll all enjoy!

(Emma Drewry) #19

I would definitely release a pilot-- we struggled to hit our crowdfunding goal (we raised half our budget via crowdfunding & then the show was bought and that fulfilled our needs) with only a trailer. I think it’s hard to introduce characters, plot, and show off the quality of your filmmaking without an actual episode/content for people to see. We’re wrestling with that right now as we prep to air, honestly. If you shoot a straight up pitch video, that’s something different, but also something we struggled with, since we didn’t have a great idea of who our target demographic for funding was-- our demo for AUDIENCE is young & broke, so it was a bit harder.

I’d show what you can without ruining the show-- even an abridged version of the pilot is better than nothing.