Well, the Kickstarter film experiment is over for Travel Warning, so now would be a good time to reflect on some of the lessons I’ve learnt. The first being about you and your own profile.
You need one. Every time I read articles regarding success stories about films being kickstarted, it was always about someone already established easily getting millions.
Had Zach Braff not been a TV star from years ago, would he have gathered that much support?
If Spike Lee was trying to kickstart his first film, again, would he have raised a million dollars?
If you’re making a revolutionary product, fine. You can get away with no profile. Heck, if the product is good, I’ll donate to you.
Furthermore, many Kickstarter articles and blogs seem to recommend starting to build your following 3 months prior to launch. Good in theory. But again, why does someone want to follow updates on making your first film? What is exciting about that?
If you are a first time filmmaker on Kickstarter you are already climbing a mountain…without a profile, that mountain is covered in snow with Donkey Kong throwing barrels at you.
Without a profile, you’re relying on a revolutionary product, paid advertising, family and friends, or press coverage, which I’ll delve into more on another articles.
You need to be doing something now that people like. Whether that be YouTube videos, a website, blog or whatever. You need people to like you and your other work, before you announce your Kickstarter.
As a first time filmmaker, people are not are not going to follow updates on the making of your film, as exciting it is for you. Why would they? Your film is not reinventing the wheel. You are not Star Wars, or any other already established franchise.
If you want to start building your profile, do it now. But you need to question yourself all the time. What am I offering to others? Is it unique? Do they like it? Why are they liking it?
Stick with that until you start building a substantial following. Only then should you put your film on Kickstarter. Otherwise you’re just going to need to grab your ice pick and keep climbing that mountain, where the chances of climbing to the top is very slim.
See our all of our Kickstarter articles for more information on how to get the best from your project.