Teach Me Tuesday: Funding other than crowdfunding

(Bri Castellini) #1

Welcome to Teach Me Tuesday! Today’s topic:

What are funding options that you’ve seen or tried that AREN’T crowdfunding?

This could cover anything from grants to a Paypal button on your website to becoming a part-time busker reciting lines from your show in the streets with a hat outstretched.

(not a topic about how to cut back on your budget, mind. I’m talking specifically getting cold card cash, not cutting down on the cash you’ll be spending)

(Bri Castellini) #2

I haven’t tried funding options that aren’t crowdfunding, but obviously our friends up in Canada have a lot of great grant options available. (@rjlackie and @LaurenEvansTV and @hermdelica can probably speak to that)

I’ve seen people do mini fundraisers, like yard sales or bake sales, to raise money in the past, though those are obviously harder when you’re in a city, but as always money is the greatest mystery in my life. I fund my projects via volunteers, strategically asking for props and wardrobe for holidays and birthdays, and what little I have leftover from my day jobs and side hustles.

(Katie Adele Nazim Hunter) #3

I just got an offer to feature some rideshare driver accessories in the next season – nothing’s finalized, but if it works out we might be doing some “product placement” in exchange for cash to fund a few episodes.

(Gordon McAlpin) #4

Aren’t yard sales and bake sales technically crowdfunding? :smiley:

I’m mulling over getting sponsorships for the Multiplex 10 web series: like for background posters (or the calendar), or even reviewing movies. But I think I need a few episodes of it under my belt before I go approaching people.

(Bri Castellini) #5

That’s awesome!! Did they contact you, or did you reach out?

(Bri Castellini) #6

Makes sense. I completely forgot about branding in my examples haha. “other people would give you money over $20 each?? what???”

I would argue an in-person exchange of free goods (baked or used stuff) is different from what we consider crowdfunding… but also POINT TAKEN GORDON

(Anna Bateman) #7

I might be in the minority (though I bet that’s changing) but I don’t actually mind product placement in shows, ESPECIALLY indie shows or YouTube channels. Like, I feel like we’re somewhat getting away from the “selling out” negative mindset around accepting money for your art, which is great. Wish there was a better way to find and contact sponsors though.

(Bri Castellini) #8

@Monica_West might have thoughts on this!

(Bri Castellini) #9

Curious to hear from @HackettKate @Monica_Quinn @barbaramcthomas @Angela_Gulner @Yuri_Baranovsky @hbnuss @SecretLivesPS @lauriestark and @Jessi_Almstead !

(Gordon McAlpin) #10

I was just teasing. Yeah, an in-person, immediate exchange is definitely different front crowdfunding, but it’s… similar. :slight_smile:

(Bri Castellini) #11

FWIW I bet you could totally leverage your previous webcomic (and the success of your two crowdfunding campaigns) to at least get a call or email with different movie chains for sponsorships of the eventual series. Presented by, branded webisodes for upcoming releases where Jason is… slightly less grumpy? And things like that.

(Jonathan Hardesty) #12

I’d agree with this, @gmcalpin that the webcomic itself would be a good leverage. It’s a solid archive of regular content at a consistent quality (awesome) and output.

(Bri Castellini) #13

And a pretty provable/sizeable audience, which is mostly what brands are looking for.

(Hillary Nussbaum) #14

@Bri_Castellini I don’t have any great wisdom here, since we crowdfunded Keep Me Posted. I’m not planning to crowdfund my next project, so I’ll hopefully have some knowledge to share in a few months!

That said, we did do a $300 product placement “deal” for KMP - it kind of came up by accident, but it’s definitely something I’ll be looking into more for future projects. I think the creators of Soon By You (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuMGWHFZ2BmJmjisxc4WoLw) have covered most of their costs via product placement, so it’s definitely possible.

(Bri Castellini) #15

Nice! Yeah I figured this thread would mostly be “what have you seen other people doing that we all might be able to try out”? And nice on the product placement!

(Amen J.) #16

I know of a cruise web series that gets some funding via episode sponsors. They get a lot of views and were able to leverage that. Haven’t figured this one out myself! I always keep an eye out for grants, especially ones with a simple application process. For my first film I would have been eligible for one of those “Awesome” grants if I didn’t already have most of the equipment…those seem like a good option and they are global: https://www.awesomefoundation.org/en

(Monica West) #17

Thanks for looping me in @Bri_Castellini!

I couldn’t agree with you more Anna. When Insecure features Oreos or House of Cards/PopChips, it doesn’t bother me. And it especially doesn’t bother me to see product placement in indie projects. (Within reason), I think pp is a wonderful way for businesses to support artists!

Are you thinking of working with a sponsor for one of your projects?

(Blair Hunter) #18

I actually am! I just don’t have anyone who would be willing to donate to a campaign… we’re all in the same broke boat and even with $5 from everyone it would only be like $100 haha. So I’m looking to try and pitch an idea to literally anyone. We will put anything in our show! Trying to stick to youth-y brands because it’s a college show but not really sure how to actually go about contacting people

(Monica West) #19

Good for you! I’d start by looking for some shows that have sponsors which are comparable to the show you want to make. You could then target other sponsors who are comparable those brands for your project.

  • Write a badass one-sheet (check out @Alex_LeMay twitter feed for directions on how to do this) and then if you can shoot a very short high-quality trailer or sizzle for your project.

  • Then, start reaching out to the sponsors you want to work with, who are in line with your project (make sure to do research before, and target the people you really want to work with, rather than a blanket ask – even brands want to be special!) with your one sheet and a link to the footage.

  • How do you figure out who to email? Once you choose the brands you want to go after, leverage your network – if you’re in college, whose parent or sibling, or alumn of your shcool knows someone or has someone’s email at the company. LinkedIn and Facebook are great tools to see how people are connected. Once you get a contact, send them your slick one-sheet and beautiful footage and ask them to get it to the right contact.

I hope this helps a little, and good luck!

(Anna Bateman) #20

Do you think having a sizzle reel is equally important to a one sheet? Or is past work (that’s good quality) enough, do you think?