Crowdfunding videos – tips

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.

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 aboutCameron Crowe

It is therefore surprising that many campaigns do not have a video on their landing page. Crowdfunding donors are in the main giving to an individual who is passionate about something that interests them. A video shows you and your passion. Be genuine. You are asking for people’s help, so you need to show them that you take your project serious and how much you care. Before you produce your own spend time researching successful (and unsuccessful) campaigns. Which bore you? Which do you like? 

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, music and images, and ask permission to use photos of people.
  • Make it under 3 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. Tips on storyboarding here and a YouTube video here and here.
  • Make it interesting and engaging. Have a strong beginning and ask for support at the end.
  • Ensure it has a good hook at the start – some people won’t watch to the end.
  • Good films can be made on mobile phones or digital cameras. 
  • Upload to YouTube or Vimeo (better quality) 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

Show yourself – be human – show your passion or tell your story  Is Daddy coming back in a minute raised over £11,000 of an £8,000 target by the family telling its moving and brave story.

Involve different people: your customers or service users, their children and pets, people in the street .. Fashion-able from Manchester People First uses the people who will benefit. They are using signs so they don’t have to speak. 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.

And reverse the warning given to actors of working with children and animals – Perranporth School campaign to renovate its outdoor pool has the children making the pitch before giving the “grown-up bit”.

Tell them what you are doing – show it if you can. If it does not exist then show what you can – I had to include the Warwick Rowing Naked Calendar , for all the puns and innuendoes possible, who have raised their target before the deadline with a variety of relevant rewards. Fundraising for a film of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain’s first ever tour of Australia shows the band with the right amount of humour. The campaign raised over $40K.

 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. If the rewards are relevant to the final product show mockups (design) or examples (food, photographs).

Low cost – a slide show with voice over can be effective. Ogunte a campaign on Buzzbnk has a slide show featuring female entrepreneurs with one voice over.

Quality – if you are a filmmaker or photographer then your pitch must either show your skill or tell your story. The Elder campaign is intriguing – a film based on an ill-received concept album by Kiss.

The more money you ask for – the more professional your video.

  I steal from every movie ever made. Quentin Tarantino

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