Launching a Crowdfunding Platform for Filmmakers
Movies and series are among the largest recipients of crowdfunding services since the time when alternative financing means came into existence. The main reason for this is that such projects need a lot of money at different production stages.
There is not such a thing as a single financing source for a film, and this principle applies to crowdfunding for filmmakers. The way filmmakers raise funds on different platforms differ one from another significantly:
- Payments made by co-producers
- Funds earned from advertising
- Public sponsoring
Fundraisers might pick the “all-or-nothing” or “keep-it-all” model, and similarly, they can opt for a general crowdfunding platform or choose the one that specializes in creative industries. The entire film production may be fully funded via crowdfunding or raised funds might represent only a part of the filmmaking funding.
In reward-based crowdfunding, contributors receive branded items, T-shirts, can be acknowledged in the credit titles, or even get an opportunity to play in a part of the film.
Let’s have a closer look at existing marketplaces to help you decide whether you should start a crowdfunding website for filmmakers.
What you will learn in this post:
Details to consider when launching a crowdfunding platform for filmmakers
Film industry has its specifics which you should consider when launching a crowdfunding platform for filmmakers.
A reward-based crowdfunding model is more reasonable for film creators to choose because it gives investors only predetermined rewards.
Among the main challenges that filmmakers face when they opt for raising funds from a crowd is the complexity of the filmmaking process. Filmmaking has the following stages:
- Script creation
Most platforms normally enable raising funds for the production stage, when some work has been already done regarding the film, so there’s a certain level of confidence that the film will, at least, make it to the screens.
For fundraisers though, it’s best to ensure the project success by having the model that would enable the filmmakers to raise funds at all 4 stages.
On the one hand, the platform would assist to back financially not only a movie but its cause, and it can happen only if the cause is supported by the society.
By creating a model that ensures consistent support for filmmaking at all 4 stages, a crowdfunding platform helps to create a community of supporters around the film and thus, ensures the success of a crowdfunding campaign.
On the other hand, it’s very risky for the platform to work with early-stage filmmakers because they may be too vague about their message, audience and everything else. The idea itself doesn’t make a good movie.
The most popular crowdfunding platforms for filmmakers
Among the most popular fundraising platforms for filmmakers, you can find those that offer all types of crowdfunding campaigns for any project, and those that specialize exclusively in art and video project’s crowdfunding.
Kickstarter supports all types of crowdfunding campaigns, including those specializing in film production. The platform runs campaigns on an “all-or-nothing” basis which means that if the project doesn’t reach the funding goal, all funds are returned to investors.
The platform charges from 5 to 10% from the raised funds for its services.
Indiegogo is among the first platforms that started offering crowdfunding services. It runs on a reward-based model, therefore, contributors can donate in return to receiving a gift or acknowledgement instead of getting a share in a company or receiving a part of the profit earned by the project in the future.
The company is considering adding the equity-based funding model in the future to expand its services to a wider audience.
Seed&Spark is a film crowdfunding and online distribution platform. Contributors earn “sparks” for their contributions. Crowdfunding campaigns are launched in a platform area called studio. Once the campaign is over, sparks can be redeemed by requesting to watch the film in another platform area called “cinema”.
Films that are distributed on the platform must not be distributed for free elsewhere.
The platform charges 5% from successfully funded campaigns.
The Most Popular Crowdfunded Movies
In most cases, crowdfunding enables the creation of movies that raise various sensitive topics such as gender equality, the need for intercultural dialogue, and similar. Radical documentaries that deal with social concerns were also made mostly thanks to crowdfunding. Among the most prominent examples of crowdfunded movies, the following deserve special attention.
The documentary Inocente, funded on Kickstarter, raised $52,527 which is incomparably low compared to the leaders in their crowdfunding ventures. But it was the first crowdfunded film to win the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2013.
Veronica Mars is a teen noir crime series whose ratings didn’t translate commercially for Warner Brothers, and thus, it had to stop with season three. Screenwriter left the finale open with plenty of unanswered questions that created a perfect base for a successful crowdfunding campaign.
To this day, the series boasts with one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns launched on Kickstarter by raising the rather of $2 mln within the first 10 hours, and the total funds raised amounted to $5,702,153
Super Troopers 2
Sooper Troopers 2 is the brainchild of Broken Lizard, a US comedy troupe. Sooper Troopers was a hit but further, the funding was withdrawn which prevented a sequel. In 2015, the troupe set a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo with a target to raise $2 mln. The target was reached within 25 hours, and the campaign is among the most successful ones launched on Indiegogo until now. Since then, the movie has raised over $4.5 mln by the time of writing this article.
Crowdfunding software to help you start a crowdfunding website for filmmakers
Instead of developing the platform from scratch, you can choose a suitable set of themes for your website and save time on design and launch your platform faster. An extensive set of out-of-the-box features satisfies most needs of any crowdfunding platform and can be customized for your business needs.