Web Series Creator. Crowdsourcing Survivor. Passionate Collaborator!

(Dorothy Bliss) #1

I just realized the title of my dating site profiles are less engaging! I’m Dorothy (DBliss) and I’m new here. I have created 2 failed web series. What I mean by failed is that I made them and nobody saw them. I was just about to start crowdfunding my 3rd attempt when I attended AFM’s workshops and heard Rich Botto speak. He’s the creator of Stage 32 and had written this book called Crowdsourcing for Filmmakers. His talk made me stop and realize I was just doing things blind. My first two web series didn’t fail because of content, but because I had no idea how to get anyone to watch it.

I bought his book and have pretty much destroyed it with earmarks. My next web series is about a vegan girl who ends up in a world where there are no plants. I know, sounds odd, but I promise it’s funny. What I’ve done for the last 6 months is target certain audiences including the vegan community. I’ve even spoken at some events live and on Skype, which has been super cool. Plus, without boring people, a couple of my characters are animal lovers, so I’ve targeted groups in that realm and asked people to contribute ideas to episodes and story lines. My goal is to crowdsource my audience so that when I crowdfund they will want to jump on board. Exciting news so far, I haven’t launched my campaign and I have already received commitments of over $3,000 from those I’ve been engaging with.

So my first question to the community is to ask if there are others here that would talk to me about how they sourced an audience for their projects. There didn’t have to be a crowdfunding aspect to this, but I just want to know how you created support for your projects before you launched. How did you target? How did you engage? I would love to hear your creativity.

Second is not a question, but a hope of bringing value for welcoming me. I just attended a Women in Film event in Hollywood and Rich Botto was speaking again. His book is now on audiobook on Audible and can be had for free. This tome literally changed my life. So I’m recommending it here with a link to the free version

Thank you for having me here! Can’t wait to hear your stories!

(Kris Dyson) #2

Hi Dorothy -

I’m just venturing into a webseries with a writing partner who has done one. We need to crowdfund in the very near future, so thanks for sharing the link to this resource. I have the benefit of having spent the last several years as a co-producer on a feature doc where we raised a TON of money using strategic sponsorships, partnerships, a crowdfunding campaign and community engagement connections and screenings.

It sounds like Rich Botto has suggestions for how to successfully fund a series that are similar to what we’ve just been doing for the doc. I’m in the development stage now, and we’re writing scripts and planning to film in December. It’s probably going to be tough for us without a pilot or trailer completed as proof of concept, but I def. agree that you need to think about building audience & community from the very beginning in order to get your series out there and making waves.

Look at it this way - you learned what not to do with your first two series, and you also now have a portfolio to show as proof of concept that you can deliver a series. I think these are selling points as you move forward with your crowdsourcing/fundraising.

Kris

(Dan McNamara) #3

Hi! I’m just in the beginning of finding my audience too. I created a new series and only just started posting it and screening it live. Having entered into several festivals and been accepted into specific niche ones, I’ve noticed a pattern that adult nerdy, gay, game-loving, puppet-loving, scifi/fantasy fans all love my project and that their kids love my series so it can be a family-friendly audience too. People who watch adult swim or remember the muppets or like japanese 90s saturday morning shows like Power Rangers or Pokemon.

I have screened at festivals and after the festival each time a few people have come up and talked to me about how they loved the show and why and what it reminded them of. That’s my audience. The people that reach out after a live screening. They also then look into future screenings to show friends, where they can find it online, or start following the facebook page or instagram account. I gave out magnets, enamel pins, and postcards and they all wanted one. I brought the main character, who is a puppet, to the screenings and they all want their photos taken with him. It’s the reaction and it’s in person. I’ve shared it online and gotten some responses from folks, mainly positive but the internet will not react as well as a live interaction and the connection that comes with a live screening. Word of mouth is so powerful and having these people who are passionate and want to share it have the been the strongest fan base thus far.