There are 15 days left on the fundraising campaign for the documentary I am working on. This one:
About these cats:
At this rate we’ll fall well short of the fundrasing goal. It happens. Happened last time too, even though we got just what we needed the last go around. It’s disheartening I have to admit. I’ve been given advice on how to make a crowdsourcing campaign work better, and while it was always sound enough advice, it was the kind not well applicable to filmmakers in my position.
The advice was usually as follows –
1. Spend hours a day pushing it! Which would be fine, if I didn’t have a 9-5 that has an insane busy pace, and a family to take care of and all the things that go with that, and actual work on the film to do (transcribing interviews, getting releases and legal docs signed, hell creating said docs in and of itself, putting the puzzle pieces together so the film can actually make sense, this is going on a whole different post there’s so much). There also comes a point when I simply am sick of looking at a screen, be it TV, computer, phone, I don’t care. It brings on a down swing emotionally for me. Bad enough how many people live more of their lives looking at some glowing screen rather than actual life. But I understand the need to escape actual life and call that living instead.
2. If you don’t have time, then hire someone to put it out there for you, buy sponsored ads on FB, Twitter, and the like. Which sounds neat, now if only that elusive “money” thing were to be found to hire someone, much less someone who’s commission (let’s just call it what it is) makes the fees taken by whatever funding platform seem miniscule.
3. Tap into your “fanbase” and “core audience”! The fanbase thing only works if you have actual fans. It works great for celebs like Spike Lee and Zach Braff of course. Not to mentions popular musicians who now think they want to make movies. Once one has tapped into the celebrity vein of this culture you can practically film yourself shitting in a bucket and there would still be a few thousand folks willing to throw some bread in to see it. As far as core audience goes, it’s a bit of a different thing to look at metrics for a documentary than say some horror or comedy film. The core audience is everyone. It isn’t an advocacy documentary nor is it a tear jerker telling the tragic, yet inspiring tale of some village of crippled children or some such shit, so drumming up a more impassioned line of support is tricky. I went to a networking event not long ago, and when talking about my documentary to someone there I described it as light hearted, funny, and an unusual slice of New Orleans culture. His response: “Did anyone die, go to jail, or did anything controversial/sexy/tension raising happen? Not really? Then I don’t care. People who watch docs to feel better about life need self help books, not films.” This from a film executive. Sigh. I know, one person’s opinion and all that, but stil.
4. Offer great perks/gifts for donating! Well, I am, and have. I’ve even put out there an even less expensive perk of a digital download of the film for just an $11 donation.
Truth is, just as I am learning about filmmaking as I go, it’s the same for crowdfunding. I haven’t done this all too well or perfectly I readily admit. Matter of fact I’ve never met anyone who has done it successfully, at least for a film project. If I ever do such a thing as crowdfunding again, I like to think I’ll go about it smarter next time around.
That said, there is simply no giving up on this film. I just can’t. I know it will make the world a better place for being made and seen. Now, how exactly we’ll get it finished and out there, well, still figuring that out.