Over the past few years I've watched lots of crowdfunds fail. One of them was mine (my first) though I raised enough to build an audience and just kept going from there with my second crowdfund. But it made me sit down and work out how to get a campaign off the ground that will hit the spot. Which voices to listen to for advice and how to develop an instinct for what sells your story and converts the vision to cash.
Most of the campaigns I saw fail had pitch videos which didn't engage.You just couldn't get past the bad pitch. Actually, you didn't want to get past it. You just switched it off and searched for another campaign. Something with a bit of a voice, some sizzle, a personality. But mainly something that showed me what I was dealing with.
One of these failed crowdfunds was niche in concept, but the team had a recognisable track record so should have been fine. But for the pitch they let the wrong person on the team do the talking. And talking. And talking. And this was a campaign that was receiving the help of a specialist crowdfunding advisor. It was such a basic mistake I was a bit flabbergasted. Other campaigns used the classic it-means-everything-to-us-to-do-this-but-we-haven't-got-any-money-so-can-we-have-your-money-please approach. And then smiled winningly. A lot. Still others point out that they're female (as a female even I get a bit bored of that), they're passionate, they're the first person to do this (they probably aren't) or they're so excited they just can't hide it. Others are just lazy, so I'm guessing their filmmaking is lazy, too. Which is probably what the people-who-didn't-give-them-any-money thought when they watched the pitch.
It's not about shooting it on a sexy camera (though that helps) it's about understanding what an audience needs to see in order to want to support your project. The aforementioned campaigns all talked about the wrong things and they didn't show enough of the sexy stuff. If it's a drama I want to see if your actors are any good.
This actor showreel (of our male lead George Taylor) went a long to way to funding my short film:
I want to see your DP's showreel, your director's showreel, your composer's work. Don't just tell people it's going to be awesome. Show them why it's going to be awesome.
So - here's my go-to girl for all things crowdfunding, Emily Best. She really, really, really knows what she's talking about.
Watch this video because she puts it better than anyone.
Now - shoot that pitch!