Crowdfunding for Filmmakers
4.2 (7 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
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Crowdfunding for Filmmakers

This course will guide you through every stage of planning, creating and running your film crowdfunding campaign.
4.2 (7 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
42 students enrolled
Created by Stephen Follows
Last updated 12/2015
English
Current price: $10 Original price: $65 Discount: 85% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Includes:
  • 4 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • build a film crowdfunding campaign from scratch, and do everything you need to ensure you raise the money you need
  • understand the different types of crowdfunding and know how to pick the most appropriate platform for their project
  • know how to create their entire campaign, from first idea through top the tiny details
  • budget and schedule your entire campaign to ensure you're prepared and can afford any outcome
  • write and make a campaign video which drives people to donate and support the campaign
  • build and execute a marketing plan which will gain press attention, build an audience and convert those people into backers
View Curriculum
Requirements
  • I am presuming you are a filmmaker whose only barrier to making your film is the money you need to spend making it.
  • No prior knowledge of crowdfunding is needed
  • I will take you through the entire journey from first principles right through to the complex tasks involved in campaign creation and promotion
Description

This course will guide you through every stage of planning, creating and running your film crowdfunding campaign. Crowdfunding is the only method of film finance open to all filmmakers, anywhere in the world and over $250 million has already been raised for films on Kickstarter.

The course has been created by Stephen Follows, who brings his experience of teaching at some of the world’s best film schools, running a leading online video agency and as a film industry data expert to the topic of crowdfunding.

It’s based on Stephen’s data research on over 50,000 film crowdfunding campaigns, interviews with over 50 filmmakers who have run a crowdfunding campaign and interviews with some of the top people at major crowdfunding platforms and services.

Topics covered by the course include…

  • An introduction to crowdfunding
  • Guided tour of the major crowdfunding sites for filmmakers
  • How to build a film crowdfunding campaign from scratch
  • Budgeting and scheduling your campaign
  • Marketing and outreach to build an audience
  • Building and managing a crowdfunding team
  • How to run the actual campaign and what to do afterwards

It also includes examples and templates of key documents as well as interviews with filmmakers and representatives from major crowdfunding companies and services.

Who is the target audience?
  • The course is aimed at filmmakers who are seeking finance for their next film
  • The lessons and concepts also apply to all creatives thinking of using crowdfunding to fund their next project.
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Curriculum For This Course
30 Lectures
03:48:13
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An introduction to crowdfunding
5 Lectures 27:01

Hello from Stephen and how the course is structured

Preview 01:49

An overview to give you an understanding of what crowdfunding is and how it compares with other forms of film finacing. I'll cover the five types of crowdfunding, why you may choose to use each of them and some example sites for each. Later in the cousre we'll go through soe fo the sites in far more detail.

Preview 06:30

Now that you understand the different types of crowdfunding I will focus on the one most people use when raising money for films - rewards-based crowdfunding. This is the type used by Kickstarter, Indiegogo and many others.

Preview 02:27

Before starting a crowdfunding campaign, it’s important for you to know all the aspects of crowdfunding and to understand the best and worst sides of it. I've put together a list of 20 pros and 20 cons of crowdfunding structured into categories, including Creativity, Risks, Financial, Marketing, Audience and Process. This lesson makes you aware of where the opportunities and challenges lie in crowdfunding and helps you to avoid pitfalls and benefit from your campaign.

The pros and cons of crowdfunding
13:11

Independent filmmakers had always to look for new and innovative ways to fund their films. When online crowdfunding started to become more organized it quickly grow into a major source of independent film finance. In this lesson, we will have a quick look at the key dates behind the online crowdfunding for films. What is the oldest example of a filmmaker who used an online crowdfunding source? When started the large platforms for online crowdfunding that enabled everyone to set up an online crowdfunding campaign just in a few minutes? What are the trends?

The history and success of crowdfunding
03:04
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Hosting your campaign
4 Lectures 19:08

I'll go through the basic elements to all crowdfunding projects, to give you the foundation of knowledge with which to build your entire campaign.

Key elements to a crowdfunding campaign
02:48

Kickstarter is the big crowdfunding platform. Kickstarter was launched in 2009, is based in New York and 10 million people have backed on of their projects so far. They run an all or nothing funding model. What are the ethics of Kickstarter? What types of project are allowed on Kickstarter and what are the criteria? We’ll also look at the conditions for becoming a Kickstarter. What are the fees and financial considerations?

Introduction to Kickstarter
04:32

Indiegogo was the first crowdfunding major site and was founded a year before Kickstarter. They’re based in San Francisco and they say, they have about 15 million visitors every month. Indiegogo’s criteria for a campaign are a little bit looser than Kickstarter and we’ll see what they are. We also look at their two funding models, namely fixed funding and flexible funding. We’ll also learn how Indiegogo’s fees work and compare them to Kickstarter.

Introduction to Indiegogo
02:48

An introduction to other crowdfunding platforms. For each platform, I'll show you their overall performance, some of the major features that are unique to that particular site are highlighted and mainstream aspects like fees are explained in comparison with typical standards. These platforms include, Seed&Spark, Ulule, Tubestart, Pozible, FundRazr, FundAnything, RocketHub, Slated, Seedr, Crowdcube.

Other crowdfunding sites you may use
09:00
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Planning your campaign
6 Lectures 44:08

Before starting a crowdfunding campaign, you are going to need a strategy. You should consider whether crowdfunding is right for you or not. In this lesson, I've put what you’ve learned in the previous ones to work and come up with a right strategy. You’ll learn the 5 “Ps” that need to be done in the pre-launch phase: The pitch, the people, the plan, the process and how to promote. I’ll also look at what an ideal campaign is, the reasons why people spend on crowdfunding.

Create your crowdfunding strategy
10:18

One of the important things that has to be decided in the pre-launch phase is the ideal length of you campaign. In this lesson I’ll go through the different options available to you on several major platforms. You’ll also learn how long typical campaigns are and how long people normally expect them to be.

Calculating your ideal campaign length
02:24

One the most important things when planning you campaign is the budget. In fact, there are two budgets to create: One for the eventual film and one for the crowdfunding campaign. In this lesson you’ll get to know the different aspect that need to be covered for a successful budget plan. The costs are grouped into 4 categories: Set-up, Marketing, Process fees, Rewards. Then we’ll come up with an example of how the math works in Kickstarter and try some scenarios.

Budgeting your campaign
09:07

In this lesson, you’ll learn who your audience is going to be and how to define them. According to my recent research into recent Kickstarter film projects, we don’t necessarily need many backers to reach our goal. We’ll also learn ways to research our audience, how to reach them, how to convert them into a community and how to empower them to promote us.

Defining your audience
09:26

Planning ahead and having a timetable at the start of a campaign is critical. It takes a lot of time and energy to put together a campaign. Therefore, it’s really essential to foresee the upcoming events, instead of just reacting to them. In this lesson, I'll walk you through a break up of a typical 30 day campaign. We’ll also learn what we should take into account when planning the most important dates of your campaign: The launch and the deadline dates.

Scheduling your campaign
06:49

It’s very hard to run an effective crowdfunding campaign on your own. Every area of your campaign needs to be loved by someone. In this lesson, you’ll learn what you have to take into account, when it comes to deciding what tasks need to be farmed out. You’ll also learn the types of people that we need in every crowdfunding campaign. They are divided into three categories: Your experts, your helpers and your champions.

Preview 06:04
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Crafting your campaign
5 Lectures 48:36

The main concept behind your whole crowdfunding campaign is the pitch. Everything you do, from text, images, conversations and marketing, should echo this central idea. You'll have to shape your messaging around our main story. In this lesson, you’ll learn in detail what we have to include in your pitch and how to do it. You’ll also learn how they could benefit or damage your campaign.

Writing your pitch
12:05

Crowdfunding campaigns for films need to be visually interesting. Both because you attract people’s attention, but also because you need to convince them, you are able to make a beautiful final film. In this lesson, I’ll go through some of the type of imagery you probably are going to create for your campaign and we’ll take a look at real examples from crowdfunding campaigns. You’ll learn all about the hero image, the logo, the poster, production stills, illustrations for the pitch, the mood board, pictures of the team and more.

Campaign imagery
05:22

As a filmmaker who has decided to raise money for a film project, you surely can imagine how critical the video at the top of your crowdfunding page is. In this lesson, you’ll learn the importance of the main campaign video and go into details about what to consider when making one, how to approach it, and how to deliver the main video message best, the sound, the length and more.

Creating a campaign video
08:09

Most sites require you to offer something in return for contributions. In this lesson you’ll learn how to build our rewards. How to come up with exciting surprises that delight your audience? How many rewards should you offer? In this lesson you’ll learn the connection between the reasons why people give to crowdfunding and the rewards. We also look at the rewards levels form the financial point of view, how to budget them and the shipping cost calculation. Finally, we’ll to through some ideas for rewards.

Setting your rewards
16:23

If you want to raise a lot of money you are going to need some third party services. In this lesson, you’ll learn the benefits of these services, like solving the problem of having a small team or filling any skill gaps. Even if you don’t plan to use some of these services, it’s worth to look at the options that are open to you and use them as a last resort in your campaign, if you need. In this lesson we’ll take a look at some of these services, including fiverr, People Per Hour, Backer Kit, Amplifier, Green Inbox and CrowdFund Buzz

Services to help your campaign
06:37
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Marketing and promotion
3 Lectures 18:04

Marketing really is key to the success of your crowdfunding campaign. Because of the huge quantity of Kickstarter campaigns, you can’t just rely on your friends and family in your marketing strategy. According to Kickstarter, only 5% of traffic to campaigns are people browsing the site and Indiegogo says 30% of money raised, comes from the creators own networks. In this lesson, you’ll learn the importance of building a marketing schedule and how to do it. We’ll look at marketing opportunities, like Email, Social Media, Outreach and Paid Advertising. I’ll go through the first two in this lesson and in the following lessons, I’ll cover the other two topics.

Creating your marketing strategy
08:04

One of the marketing methods is called outreach. This is where you spend time and energy to try and reach influential people who have an audience. You don’t pay this people but it may cost you money and time to reach them. In this lesson, you’ll learn who to reach out to and how and when to do it. I’ll also go through how to reach out to news sites and how to use online and offline live events for your promotion purposes.

Reaching influential people
05:37

Paid marketing is another option that you may consider and this lesson is designed to be an introduction to the idea. I’ll go through the importance of paid marketing, especially for larger campaigns, and take a look at different platforms, including Facebook adverts, YouTube pre-roll adverts, Google AdWords, Reddit ads and their options. I’ll also go over some thought through tips for paid marketing.

Paid marketing
04:23
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Running your campaign
3 Lectures 13:08

OK, so your campaign is now live. The first few days are going to be critical and here you need to gain momentum. In this lesson, I’ll go through the different phases of a launched campaign, structured into different categories, including the first week, during the campaign, updates, dealing with success, tracking your success, stretch goals and towards the end.

While the campaign is live
05:37

Now, after planning your strategy and putting together your elements, you are days away from launching. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to line everything up and get some last minute tips before we start. I’ll also go through the process of launching our campaign on Kickstarter and how to get approval for your project. And then we’ll review your final checklist before the launch. So take a deep breath, and get ready to launch.

Just before you launch
03:52

Now that your campaign has finished, hopefully you’ve reached your goal. But even if you haven't, the madness is over. In this lesson, I’ll go through all the things that you need to do after your campaign ends. I’ll go over some of the things that are crucial, but are often forgotten or ignored. Whether it was a successful campaign, or an unfortunate failure, there are things that you have to take care of. You will also learn the importance of long-term relationships and communities and how to keep our audience engaged.

After the campaign is over
03:39
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Interviews and inspiration
4 Lectures 58:08

Filmmaker and bestselling author of The Guerilla Filmmakers Handbook, Chris Jones, talks about crowdfunding his film "Gone Fishin'" and it's journey to the Oscars.

Note: Udemy doesn't allow videos longer than 20 minutes so this is part one of two. The second part is the next lesson

Chris Jones – Crowdfunding his way to the Oscars PART 1
16:10

Filmmaker and bestselling author of The Guerilla Filmmakers Handbook, Chris Jones, talks about crowdfunding his film "Gone Fishin'" and it's journey to the Oscars.

Note: Udemy doesn't allow videos longer than 20 minutes so this is part two of two. The first part is the previous lesson

Chris Jones – Crowdfunding his way to the Oscars PART 2
13:23

Interview with Mark Kines, who has the honour of being the first filmmaker to use online crowdfunding to raise the money he needed to complete his feature film.

Note: Udemy doesn't allow videos longer than 20 minutes so this is part one of two. The second part is the next lesson

Mark Kines – The first online crowdfunding filmmaker PART 1
16:14

Interview with Mark Kines, who has the honour of being the first filmmaker to use online crowdfunding to raise the money he needed to complete his feature film.

Note: Udemy doesn't allow videos longer than 20 minutes so this is part two of two. The first part is the previous lesson

Mark Kines – The first online crowdfunding filmmaker PART 2
12:21
About the Instructor
Stephen Follows
4.2 Average rating
7 Reviews
42 Students
1 Course
Writer, Producer and data researcher in the film industry

Stephen has produced over 100 short films and two features. He has produced corporate video work for a wide variety of clients ranging from computer game giants (Bethesda), technology giants (Nokia Siemens Networks) and sporting giants (Jonny Wilkinson) but sadly no actual giants. He’s shot people in love, in the air, on the beach and on fire (although not at the same time) across over a dozen different countries in locations ranging from the Circle Line to the Arctic Circle.

Stephen has taught at major film schools, normal business schools and minor primary schools. His lessons range established topics from Producing at MA and BA level, online video and the business of film producing to more adventurous topics such as measuring the unmeasurable, advanced creative thinking and the psychology of film producing. He has taught at the National Film and Television School (NFTS), Met Film School, NYU, Filmbase, and on behalf of the BFI, the BBC and the British Council.

Stephen is an established data researcher in the film industry whose work has been featured in the New York Times, The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Mirror, The Evening Standard, Newsweek, The News Statesman, AV Club and Indiewire. He acted as industry consultant and guest on the BBC Radio 4 series The Business of Film, which was topped the iTunes podcast chart, and has consulted for a wide variety of clients, including the Smithsonian in Washington.

Stephen’s scriptwriting has won Virgin Media Shorts, the Reed Film Competition and IVCA awards; has been nominated at the British Independent Film Awards, Viral Video Awards, LA Movie Awards and long-listed for a BAFTA; and has been championed by Mike Newell, James King, Stephen Fry, the Daily Telegraph and Le Monde.

When he has time he drinks tea in the office of his production company, Catsnake, in Ealing Studios. Catsnake is a leading online video agency where Stephen is the Creative Director. They specialise in brand-funded short films and their work has been seen by over 30 million people.