The (Probable) Mistakes of a Kickstarter Starterer - Making the decision

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In my last FilmAnnex blog, I wrote about the possibility of starting a Kickstarter campaign to fund my new short film. I finished the second script of Secret Santa last week - a film set three years after the criminalisation of Christmas which follows a policeman whose career is at risk after his dad, Father Christmas, returns from hiding.

After looking back at the script and making a rough estimate of the budget, I realised I wouldn't be able to fund it myself. I'd been thinking of starting a Kickstarter for a while now, so i think now is the right time to give it a go.

Over the next few weeks I'll post a weekly blog on how I find the process. A bit of research told me how much work goes into a successful campaign. It needs to be treated like a full time job, which says everything. I scratched my head wondering why people invest in Kickstarter campaigns - it is either because they're fans of the filmmaker, family or friends with the filmmaker, or they love the idea. We'll, I don't really have what one would call a fanbase yet, I doubt I could raise the required amount through family and friends, so I'm going to really have to sell the idea to raise the money.

I got pretty optimistic after looking at a couple of campaigns which raised the amount. They released lots of updates, had a great video pitch and unique incentives. But then I came across a campaign which looked pretty good, but only raised 5% of the required amount. Scary.

The FAQ page on the website states that of the projects that reached 20% of their funding goal, 81% were successfully funded. 44% of all projects reached their target.

The wrong thing right now would be go straight into it. Like every part of filmmaking, this needs research and detailed planning. So this week, I'll be writing up an action plan of what I need to do, based on what I find looking through past successful campaigns. 

From all the typical filmmakery philosophical quotes out there, there's one that can be applied to the Kickstarter process:

Filmmakers don't fail. They only fail if they quit.

Actually, I don't know if you can apply that to crowd funding. If I put my blood, sweat and tears into this campaign, and only raise £10 (which would either come from my parents, or from me in desperation) I will admit I was wrong/delete this blog.

By no means will this be a guide. It's more likely going to be a series of blogs detailing the mistakes I make. Here goes.


About the author


Andy Salamonczyk is a short film director from South-East England. He graduated with a first class honours in Media Production from Staffordshire University, and has had films screened at Empire Leicester Square, the BFI and BAFTA HQ, and picking up several awards including Shooting People's Film of the Month award…

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