Seed&Spark Head of Education, Julie Keck


(Julie Keck) #1

Hi, friends!

I’m Julie Keck, Head of Education & Outreach for Seed&Spark, a crowdfunding and streaming company that puts filmmakers first. Our platform is dedicated to empowering filmmakers with the tools they need to succeed, which includes education and tools for audience building, crowdfunding, and distribution, then giving audiences the chance to watch what’s streaming now AND support new projects coming down the pipeline.

Fun facts:

  • Seed&Spark has the highest crowdfunding success rate in the business! Stephen Follows on S&S.

  • Seed&Spark is a streaming destination for web series! We offer marketing support, a fair share of revenue, and data transparency. Distro on S&S

Why do I care about all of this? I’ve been making film for the past 15 years, and most recently I’ve produced over 20 web series. Distro options for web series are limited, and I get frustrated when people think the only place for the series you just poured all of your blood sweat and tears into is YouTube. YouTube is fine…but we have to also have other options. That’s where S&S comes in.

What can you ask me about? Anything related to crowdfunding, distributing, producing, writing, or being nutty over web series.


(Bri Castellini) #4

Hi Julie! Thanks for being here today! How did you get involved at Seed & Spark?


(Julie Keck) #5

Hey, there! Thanks so much for having me! I’ve been at Seed&Spark for almost two years. Back when Emily Best started Seed&Spark, we met while teaching workshops on the film fest circuit. Then, when the time was right, she brought me onto the team as the Community Manager. My role has been evolving ever since.


(Bri Castellini) #6

Had you had any experience in crowdfunding beforehand?


(Pablo Andreu) #7

Hi Julie, thank you for answering our questions today. Please disabuse me of the following perception:

S&S is for “serious” filmmakers, not silly buddy comedy web series riddled with blue language like mine.


(Julie Keck) #8

I had! I crowdfunded my first feature in 2010, raising about $15k. And IT WAS HARD! But It turned out I had a knack for it, and I eventually went on to consult on other campaigns that raised about $300k total. My last campaign was on Seed&Spark last fall for a series I produced with a group of 8 other women called Fck Yes, a sexy, adult sex ed series about consent. Crowdfunding hasn’t gotten easier…but it definitely helps to have built an engaged audience to enjoy each project.


(Amen J.) #9

Hi Julie, ok I love what you said there - can you provide examples of these other options for distribution?


(Julie Keck) #10

Hi Pablo! S&S is for ALL filmmakers. We do not judge campaigns submitted based on genre or content. We do, of course, hope that people are bringing us their BEST. So show us what you got!


(Pia) #11

Hi Julie!! What are the best (and worst) “perks” or incentives you’ve seen?


(Joseph Steven Heath) #12

What kind of web series intrigue you? What kind of web series are you looking for?


(Julie Keck) #13

Hey, there! Great question. You know, options for distro are limited for web series makers. Sadly we just saw the demise of Seeso, a comedy hub that featured several great original comedy series. This is why it was important for me, when I joined Seed&Spark, to encourage them on the tech side to support series on the distribution side…which we now do. And for filmmakers who’ve made a great series and built their audience, S&S is a great platform to intro your audience to. They get to see your great work AND great work by others, with new titles being added each week.


(Pablo Andreu) #14

S&S “puts filmmakers first.” Sounds great. What exactly does that mean?


(Meg Carroway) #15

Isn’t there a requirement for increasing diversity or something though? I remember seeing that when I was making a mock campaign on your site just to see how it all worked/what went into it.


(Julie Keck) #16

Ooo, great question. We’re looking for great series (and great stories and characters) we’ve never seen before. We’re not looking for a re-tread of friends…that’s already been done. Put YOUR spin on it. There are hungry, underserved audiences our there looking to see themselves on screen. What are you making, Joseph?


(Julie Keck) #17

Good eye, Meg! Yes, we do encourage all filmmakers to keep an eye on diversity. This doesn’t mean that every project needs to feature or be by a person from an underrepresented group, but we DO ask every filmmaker, whether submitting a series for distro or a project for crowdfunding, what they’re doing to boost inclusivity on their sets and on camera to make sure their projects reflect the world around us.


(Pablo Andreu) #18

“Seed&Spark has the highest crowdfunding success rate in the business!”

What do you attribute to this?


(Meg Carroway) #19

What does inclusivity mean in that context, exactly?


(Sunny Larkson) #20

Thank you so much for being here Julie!!! Do you have any tips for crowdfunders who are afraid to annoy their friends and family??? (I am VERY worried about this! But I know you have to start with friends and family first!)


(Julie Keck) #21

Good question!

We’re the only crowdfunding platform built BY and FOR filmmakers, so how your campaign is presented on our site really helps your potential supporters get an idea about what you’re creating. Additionally, we’re very focused on sharing data with filmmakers so that they can make informed decisions about their careers.

So, for example, when you run a campaign on S&S, you can see who’s contributing and from where, see how you’re progressing toward your goal, etc, so that you can decide if your communication strategy is working or if you have to pivot.

Similarly, if you distribute with us, you can see who’s watching your work and when, how many minutes have been watched, how much you’re earning. This way, you can adjust your promotional strategy to boost views.

Here’s a little more info about that data I’m talking about - meet our Filmmaker Dashboard.


(Meg Carroway) #22

Would you recommend running multiple crowdfunding campaigns? How much time is appropriate between campaigns, assuming the first project is completed (proving you have what it takes to follow through)?