How a Crowdfunding Strategy Can Help Find Your Film’s AudienceFarms, ice cream, computers, ideas, independent films and blockbusters… what do they have in common? They can all be crowdsourced and crowdfunded. A few weeks ago, I covered seven diverse crowdsourcing campaigns with the hope of dispelling the false belief that crowdsourcing/-funding is only for non-profits.
In reality, a smart crowdfunding strategy can be applied to virtually any endeavor, though few creatives have more opportunity for crowdfunding campaign success than the filmmaker. Movies enjoy several clear advantages over other art forms in the digital sphere:
- Highly visual. Book trailers may be creeping into the mainstream, but they come nowhere near competing with the visual power of a well-executed film trailer.
- Wider audience. The average film is going to have a wider audience than the average book. (e.g. How many times have you blindly read a friend’s book recommendation? Now, how many times have you blindly gone into a movie theater with a friend?)
- Less audience investment. Most movie tickets are cheaper than most books. Plus, the audience is required to invest less time in a movie than a 200+ page book.
But let’s start at the beginning. How can crowdfunding help you find your film’s audience?
People Know What They Want
A strong crowdfunding strategy operates with the belief that people know what they want, and they don’t have to be “sold” – or worse, force-fed your product. The current problem with the film industry (from the independent’s perspective) is that audiences in many areas – especially outside of major metropolitan areas – have limited selection.
Though it does happen, it’s nearly impossible for low-budget, independent films to break into the Cinemark/AMC Entertainments/Regal Cinema-type complexes. Independent film supporters outside of metropolitan areas have to settle for online viewing or rentals if they want to see these types of films.
Seatzy: Empowering Audiences
A crowdfunding campaign (post-production) is one of the most effective ways to get your independent film in front of audiences. While Kickstarter and IndieGoGo are awesome for raising money throughout the production stage, they don’t offer a solution to the financial challenges of distribution.
Here’s where Seatzy comes in. Seatzy is a totally unique platform that gives audiences the power to bring a film they want to see to their local theater. Films that appear on Seatzy are 100% finished and ready to go, so this platform is purely about distribution. As any independent filmmaker can tell you, booking a theater and hoping that the audience shows up is a huge risk that can drain a film’s entire distribution budget.
Seatzy gives producers an opportunity to mitigate that risk by showing their film in theaters where audiences have already purchased tickets. Plus, the film doesn’t just show one night; ideally, most showings crowdfunded through Seatzy last at least one week. Finding an audience can be the filmmaker’s biggest challenge; with Seatzy, it doesn’t have to be.
So, Why Does It Work?
In a nutshell:
- Audiences know what they want.
- Filmmakers and passionate fans campaign together to sell a minimum number of tickets at a particular theater.
- The film screens before a full house, several nights in a row.
- Momentum builds following the crowdfunding campaign, carrying the film onwards and upwards!
Have you created a crowdfunding campaign to get your film in front of the right audience? If so, what lessons did you learn? What resources do you wish were available to you?
(Image courtesy of Rocío Lara.)
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