Seed&Spark founder and CEO Emily Best, AMA!


(Emily Kelleher-Best) #24

Oh I’m so happy to hear that and I’ll be excited to see it launch!


(Emily Kelleher-Best) #25

Well, I have a one year old son, so I typically eat whatever he refused for breakfast. Like, half a fried egg, some yogurt off the top of his high chair tray. And coffee, of course.

I would say 1-17 cups of coffee is totally fine, depending on how close to production you are. IN production, all bets are off.


(Meg Carroway) #26

Do you think there’s a significant difference in strategy if you’re crowdfunding a series, versus a short film or feature? How should all of us in the Stareable forums think about our campaigns differently to increase our chances of success?


(Bri Castellini) #27

What have you noticed are some of the common pitfalls of new/inexperienced crowdfunders?


(Emily Kelleher-Best) #28

Oh man WE ARE TRYING! It’s tricky for a number of reasons as regulations differ from country to country but I am meeting with some really official banker types next week to try to move it forward. We would LOVE to have an excuse to visit all the glorious filmmakers in Europe…


(Jaime Lancaster) #29

Thank you!! How do you engage with an audience before you have anything to show for yourself, though? Before you have a show or a film, I mean!


(Markus Viehauser) #30

Thanks! Let me know if you need any help! :wink:


(Ollie R) #31

Hey Emily! Thanks for joining us today! What is the most important section of a crowdfunding campaign’s page, in your opinion? The pitch video? The “story” section? The perks/incentives?


(Emily Kelleher-Best) #32

Projects that are successful are:
Clear about who their audiences are
Clear about what they want to get out of crowdfunding and why
Able to effectively communicate that to their audiences

Crowdfunding is a GREAT way to get smaller projects off the ground and really start engaging your audience. Most importantly, it’s a great way to get essential data you need from your audiences to make smart marketing and distribution decisions. We gather a lot of that data for you as a part of our value at Seed&Spark.


(Emily Kelleher-Best) #33

The same way we engage every day. If you know the logline of what you’re making, you can start figuring out who the audience is for that project and start engaging with them online. You can ask them about locations, post questions when you get stuck as a writer, maybe poll people to contribute experiences that could end up in the script. Generally you just want to be a part of the community who is going to watch your film.


(Emily Kelleher-Best) #34

If you’re crowdfunding for a movie or show, it’s the pitch video 1000%. You’re making a small movie to ask people to contribute cash so you can make a longer movie. You gotta make it good.

After that, incentives and then story.


(Emily Kelleher-Best) #35

Asking for funding before they have done any work to grow the crowd. The actual crowdfunding campaign is NOT the first step, it’s about the 10th step in your audience engagement campaign.


(Ollie R) #36

What are the most popular incentives that you’ve seen? And what donation amounts are generally attached to them? I never know how to price things


(Bri Castellini) #37

On the subject of pitch videos, should series crowdfunders already have a pilot or sizzle reel before seeking funding, or is a pitch video with the creators enough?


(Emily Kelleher-Best) #39

This is a great question. I would say that when you’re funding a series you sort of have more options available to you. Are you funding the pilot as a proof of concept? Are you leveraging the popularity of the first season to fund the second? (That’s what we did with F*ck Yes!) Are you releasing episodes as incentives for people to fund on a certain timeline? All of these things are available to you, depending on the stage you’re in and your goals.

Crowdfunding strategy is most driven by your goals for a project. If your goal is to raise money to make something you plan to take to festivals and try to sell to a distributor, that’s somewhat different than if you’re planning to release for free online, for example. If your plan is to crowdfund a proof of concept you will then use to pitch, you have to make sure there is still enough of a payoff for the audiences involved.


(Meg Carroway) #40

Should we be making a social media account for the show to do all this outreach, or should we be doing it from our personal accounts first? Also: what is the best social media site for filmmakers, in your opinion?


(Emily Kelleher-Best) #41

We always encourage filmmakers to show the filmmaking skills they’ll need to make the movie or show they’re pitching. That could mean a LOT of things. It could be test footage, it could be previous films, it could even be a sizzle. In any case, you have to show your audience you’re capable of making the thing you’re promising. If you can do that cleverly without money, that gives audiences confidence about what you will do when you have money to spend.


(Jane) #42

This is all so amazing!! Thank you so much for being here, Emily! My question: how can more indie creators with limited networks (networks of people they know) champion diversity with their projects? Without tokenism or tactlessness?


(Ron Valderrama) #43

This is a great question.


(Emily Kelleher-Best) #44

The most common contribution is $25, but the average contribution size is around $100. We think your $25 incentives should be personalized, visual, sharable, and immediate. A lot more on that here: https://www.seedandspark.com/education/crowdfunding-class#Creating-Incentives-for-Your-Audience