Seed&Spark Head of Education, Julie Keck


(Julie Keck) #43

Good question!

I’ll say the most successful campaigns have these things in common:

  • their pitch video is very short and very clear
  • their goal is reasonable
  • they are VERY communicative with their supporters during the campaign, activating them to spread the word
  • they show constant, public gratitude

Here’s a blog post from our head of crowdfunding about what the CF team looks for after filmmakers submit their crowdfunding projects.


(Julie Keck) #44

First, congrats on your fest success so far!
Second, I think I saw something at one of the fests I mentioned that had monsters hanging out like friends, but not like yours. Hope you get it out there!


(Jane) #45

Any advice on social media/updates? Like, what kinds of content works best? Should you withhold your cast list and reveal as you go? Should you already have filmed something (other than the pitch)? Should you have a schedule, or play it by ear?


(Pia) #46

Thanks! :star_struck:


(Pablo Andreu) #47

I’ve seen asks run the gamut. What constitutes “reasonable”?


(Erik Urtz) #48

Hi Julie!

Q: What do you guys do to drive viewers from outside of the filmmaking community to your platform?


(Meg Carroway) #49

Piggy-backing on this, re: perks: What are the biggest mistakes first-time crowdfunders make? (OTHER than physical perks, which here in the Stareable community we talk about as being a bad idea a LOT lol)
(I would also like to know about the best and worst perks/incentives you’ve ever seen! Seconded!)


(Julie Keck) #50

OH THANK YOU, Bri! And hi, Pia!

In my mind, BEST perks are always unique to the project AND free for the filmmaker to share. For example, when I ran a campaign in 2010, I offered a $15 perk where each backer at that level for a fanciful bio on a Google map I made set in the setting of the film. By the end of the campaign, we had over 200 ‘townspeople’ on the map with interwoven bios AND their real life websites and twitter handles so that they could network. It cost me nothing (except time), it allowed me to show my writing skills, and it gave backers something to show off and share to others (thus sharing my project with others.)

Other thoughts: keep perks digital, sharable, and free (to you.)

What you should stay away from:

  • t-shirts (you’re a filmmaker, not a t-shirt factory, and you don’t want to end up with boxes of expensive, leftover t-shirts in your attic)
  • signed scripts (unless you’re famous already, WHY?)
  • big promises (you’re already making a big promise…you’re making a movie. so don’t promise trips to Sundance or Cannes or red carpet at the Oscars.)

More tips here.


Crowdfunding perks?
(Meg Carroway) #51

Oh cool Pia’s question was answered! Restating my new question then: What are the biggest mistakes first-time crowdfunders make? (OTHER than physical perks, which here in the Stareable community we talk about as being a bad idea a LOT lol)


(Julie Keck) #52

I assume you’re asking about monetary goal for campaign. Your goal is determined by two things: what you NEED in order to make your series and what your current network can support.

This means that before you pick your crowdfunding goal, you have to make an actual budget. Why? Because if you raise $10k and then realize you really needed $20k…that’d suck.

This also means you have to be honest about what your current network can support. So - if I need $20k, but I have 4 Twitter followers and no email list and no rich aunt to call, the likelihood of success is low.

More tips on picking a goal here.


(Bri Castellini) #53

Ooo question related to this- when SHOULDN’T someone crowdfund? Given that they have a script and at least some of their team assembled.


(Julie Keck) #54

I see you, Meg! :slight_smile:

Biggest mistakes:
Not planning your campaign and campaign communication strategy prior to launching. You’d never walk onto set without a script and a shot list. So do yourself a favor - do campaign pre-prod!
Not having a team. Crowdfunding is HARD, so you need a little help. If you hate social media, ask a friend who loves twitter to help. Do you suck at making images to share? Grab your graphics-inclined friend.
Not reaching out to people to spread the word. It’s not just contributions that make a campaign a success - it’s people spreading the word about your campaign. So in advance of a campaign, it’s important to take stock of the relationships you have, ask for help. Perhaps there’s another filmmaker whose campaign you contributed to and shared - would they do the same for you? Do you have a friend with a big Twitter following? Ask in advance if they’ll tweet out your campaign a few times.


(Julie Keck) #55

There’s no specifically good or bad time. The most important thing is that someone has invested the time in growing their community, prepping for their campaign, is ready for the month-long slog.

I WILL say that many people realize they need to crowdfund late in the stage and tend to plan to do so RIGHT before shooting. While many people do this successfully, it’s super difficult, as then you’re crowdfunding and in pre-production at the same time. Two full-time jobs in themselves (no to mention that you might have, you know, a family or a day-job.)


(Bri Castellini) #56

Signal boost in our final five minutes :slight_smile: Someone tag me if I missed any others!


(Bri Castellini) #57

Whoop signal boost here too! TOO MANY QUESTIONS! (thanks Julie for being a champ and a half!!)


(Julie Keck) #58

Hi, Snobby Robot! I know you!

We work hard with out media and promotional partners to get eyes on S&S, but I will be honest: we feel that the success of films on our crowdfunding side AND on our streaming side is a shared responsibility with the filmmakers.

We let people know we have stellar projects seeking funding, stellar projects in our streaming library, but it’s the hard work of filmmakers to gather their specific audiences for their show that will ensure views.

The GOOD NEWS is that, with a big community of filmmakers using S&S all driving their individual audiences to our site, those looking to support and watch great work have a lot to choose from.


(Pablo Andreu) #59

@Bri_Castellini signal boost please


(Bri Castellini) #60

Signal boost!


(Meg Carroway) #61

Thank you so much, Julie!! Please come back always!


(Bri Castellini) #62

We’ve got a few more outstanding questions, but it’s officially the end of today’s event! HUGE big thanks to @JulieK for her patience and graciousness and knowledge and also all the great links! We’re honored to have hosted you today.