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Indie Filmmakers: Tips for a Successful Kickstarter Project


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Kickstarter gives hope to indie filmmakers who have no cash to spare for their passion. You just pitch your concept and ask funds from people around the globe who see the potential of your film. But it’s not that easy. First, Kickstarter has a deadline for every project and second, there are lots of interesting projects in Kickstarter.

So you want to know the formula to get your project funded? There is no formula but a successful Kickstarter project requires a very important ingredient. Here it is: A very good story told in a very good way. So first of all, you have to believe in your project because you need this to sell your idea better. After that, everything’s easy. You just need to market your idea. Here are some ways to do this:

Make a website for your film. Before anything else, you have to have a website for your film. If you can’t make a website with your own domain name, then a blogspot will do. You do not have to fill it with 20 blogposts right away. The important thing is you let people know more about your story, about your cast, about your filming progress,etc. Just the basics. Some interested people might not back-up your project simply because they are not convinced enough. They want to know more but then you have no website, so they close your tab and look for another interesting project. Poof!

Find your niche and reach out to them first. Are you making a B-movie film about 2 zombies falling in love? Then search high and low for these zombie-loving geeks because they are the ones who will likely give a damn about your film. Doing this online is quite easy but time-consuming. If your hands are full, let your assistant do it. Search for the B-movie community, go to forums, blogs, products, related to zombie movies and list the URLs in an excel file. People in this list are your number one priority. You should also make a list for those who MIGHT be interested. These may be the people who love horror films in general or those who are avid fans of your actors,or the people in the locations you will use, etc. Afterward, you have to contact each and lead them to your kickstarter page.

Your title and thumbnail photo should grab attention. There are those people who find happiness in funding good projects so they browse Kickstarter and donate a few dollars to the ones they really like. How do you get their attention and possibly their loose change? In order for complete strangers to care, first you have to make them curious. Before they get curious, their eyes should at least land on your thumbnail photo and title. Be meticulous in choosing your words. Do not use difficult words that are hard to understand or read. Do not use empty words like ‘cool’ or ‘awesome’, either. And your title should not be too lengthy. The thumbnail photo should be visually appealing. This is a very broad topic and I suggest you just read on the basics of aesthetics and advertising. But reading books in not necessary. Just browse the other projects in Kickstarter and look for the ones that get your attention. What are the elements present there? What makes them interesting? Then apply what you’ll learn to your project.

Give rewards aside from DVD and tees. Some give postcards. Some give their sponsors a chance to extra in their movie or get credited as ‘producer’. Some visit the houses of their sponsors to have a screening in their own living room.

Ask help from famous bloggers. Take out the list you made from the first advice above and contact the top bloggers. You have to give them something substantial with lots of photos so they have a good material to work on. Tell them about your campaign, about your bio, why you want to make the film. Submit some photos ( maybe a storyboard or some Behind the Scenes photos, a teaser of your film. So they’d be motivated to publish something about your project, make sure you give them something in return.

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