“Make ’em laugh, make ’em cry” Crowdfunding videos – tips

In the future, everybody is going to be a director. Somebody’s got to live a real life so we have something to make a movie about. Cameron Crowe

IndieGoGo says that A good video campaign will earn 122% more than a non-video campaign. The better your video the more likely it is that you’ll get funding.

It is therefore surprising that many campaigns do not have a video on their landing page. 

You are asking for people’s help, so you need to show them that you take your project serious and how much you care. 

Crowdfunding donors are in the main giving to an individual who is passionate about something that interests them 

Before you produce your own spend time researching successful (and unsuccessful) campaigns.

Pick up a camera. Shoot something. No matter how small, no matter how cheesy, no matter whether your friends and your sister star in it. Put your name on it as director. Now you’re a director. Everything after that you’re just negotiating your budget and your fee. James Cameron

General points

Be careful with copyright and ask permission to use photos of people.

Make it under 5 minutes. If you want to show different aspects of your project add these as updates.

Write a storyboard, rehearse, ask for comments and reshoot if necessary.

Make it interesting and engaging. Have a strong beginning and ask for support at the end.

sure it has a good hook.

Using a webcam is a bit limited try a camcorder better. 

Upload to YouTube or Vimeo (better quality) or then link to site. Embed on your blog, website and ask others to do the same

Anybody can direct a picture once they know the fundamentals. Directing is not a mystery, it’s not an art. The main thing about directing is: photograph the people’s eyes. John Ford

Tips illustrated with current campaigns

Involve different people: your customers or service users, their children and pets, people in the street .. FoodCycle Station House Community Cafe  on PeopleFund.it involves customers and volunteers in the pitch. Note: be careful that a video for a community or social impact venture is not dull. It can still have a light touch around the serious issues you wish to raise.

 Tell them what you are doing – show it if you can. If it does not exist then show what you can. Trust Mico, pitching for £50K on Crowdcube, for a customer review site does so by a cartoon.  The pitch for  Uncle Tacko’s Imaginarium, on PleaseFundUs, shows Uncle Tacko and his puppets in role – so you can believe in him.

 A story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end… but not necessarily in that order. Jean-Luc Godard

Target your audience . Bands may want to use humour as well as their music. IndieGoGo’s funniest video of 2011 Dillon Ain’t Playin raised $2390 of a £1500 target raised from 72 funders.

Show your rewards if you can. Borneo Soundscape Project on Fundageek aiming to map the sounds of the rainforest shows this with images and sounds from the area.

Quality – if you are a filmmaker or photographer then your pitch must be of exceptional visual quality. Ludmilla’s pitch video  on Crowdfunder, for a book on Gypsies from Postarka, combines music, photography and quotes and is effective though she is not seen. The more money you ask for – the more professional your video.

Show yourself – be human. Anna and Christine’s face to video pitch for CanRehab on BloomVC is descriptive and informative (perhaps too much so). It could be more varied with use of other images. Henry and Sam’s video pitch The Mongol Rally on Sponsume is human, funny and well produced with the pitchers as true eccentric characters in the story.

And – I love libraries and I love this lady! Saving our public libraries (US)

  I steal from every movie ever made. Quentin Tarantino


Join me on an introduction to crowdfunding workshop

Middlesbrough 14 June  10.00 15.30

Workshop in partnership with Funding Information North East and Middlesbrough Voluntary Development Agency

Central Middlesbrough venue

Rochdale 26 June 09.30-13.00

Workshop in partnership with CVS Rochdale

Venue: CVS Rochdale, Partnership House, Sparrow Hill, Rochdale OL16 1QT

Crewe 3 July  10.00 – 15.30

Workshop in partnership with CVS Cheshire East

Venue:The Exercise Studio, Belong, Brookhouse Drive, Crewe

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