How much planning should go into your film’s Indiegogo campaign?
Are the perks you picked going to attract donors?
Have you created a plan to share interesting, relevant content?
To get answers on these questions and how to create a successful crowdfunding campaign, Carole Dean interviewed Indiegogo’s New York-based Manager of Film, Kristen Konvitz.
About The Art of Film Funding Podcast
From the Heart is a partner with Indiegogo and has raised over $1.7 million to date for filmmakers. Hosted by the president of From The Heart and author of “The Art of Film Funding”, Carole Dean, the weekly podcast focusing on bringing to filmmakers the best advice, knowledge, and expertise on film funding and filmmaking.
In this latest podcast, she interviews Indiegogo’s Kristen Konvitz. Her role at Indiegogo includes acquiring projects in varying stages and overseeing them through all stages of their campaigns. She is instrumental in building relationships between both established and up and coming talent.
Kristen reveals the three top tips to a successful crowdfunding campaign as well as details on Indiegogo’s new partnership with Vimeo.
You can listen to the entire podcast here
Three Top Tips for Success on Indiegogo
Kristen draws on the success of the Indiegogo campaign for Iron Sky for her 3 tips. Iron Sky has run two very successful campaigns on Indiegogo. The first raised over $160,000 while the second raised over $480,000.
Iron Sky called their three tips the “trifecta” (although, maybe after realizing its importance to their success, they now call it “The Holy Trinity”).
To stand out, you can’t just offer hats or t-shirts. Those are standard items and won’t really generate any excitement or buzz about your project. Offer perks that are very personal to the film, filmmaker, or story. Think of what would tie in to the film that you could not get any were else.
Some perks that are experiential will create interest in your project. Iron Sky offered a part in the film where you would be chased by a dinosaur. Even if you did not choose that perk and donate, it was shared by many on the internet creating awareness for the project.
Prepare yourself as much as possible for the campaign. That includes mapping out a campaign strategy for the content you will share. Plan out different photos, videos, interviews, as well as new perks that you will release during the campaign.
The content you plan and share for your project can’t be spam. It can’t be “support my campaign” or “donate now” over and over. It can include that every so often, but the content should be interesting and make people want to share it. It can include stories about the cast and crew. Photos of the project in pre-production. Also, include articles about events or news related to your project (Doing a documentary on fashion? Include related stories on fashion industry)
Iron Sky prepared videos in advance featuring a character for their film. It was like a mini trailer, but each was unique and increased interest in the project which lead to increased donations.
Indiegogo’s Partnership with Vimeo
Announced in January, this partnership was created to give filmmakers who raise funds on Indiegogo a chance to be seen. Indiegogo realizes that most films will not get a traditional theatrical or VOD distribution. This partnership allows eligible films to shown on Vimeo and get needed exposure.
Vimeo’s new Creator Fund will commit up to a million dollars in matching funds for select Indiegogo film campaigns in 2015. Vimeo will contribute digital marketing spend and social promotion for campaigns in the matching funds program and other selected Indiegogo film campaigns.
For these funds, Vimeo will get a 60 day digital exclusive for that film. It does not preclude the film later getting a theartrical release, for example, at a film festival.
The partnership is off go a great start. It has received 166 submissions so date. You can read more about the partnership at Indiegogo and Vimeo Partnership.
“Not The Same: Families After War” addresses the emotional challenges faced by those who care for their loved ones wounded in the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan. It is about military men and women who must now rely on their families to heal and to function.
The goal of this documentary is to create awareness of what it is like to care for our wounded, illuminate their “new normal” and celebrate the unsung heroes of war
“Stephanie is a passionate and very talented filmmaker who cares deeply about the subject of her documentary” commented Carole Dean, president of From The Heart Productions. “It is wonderful to honor her work and assist her in getting this important project to the screen”
The Roy W. Dean Grant is awarded to films that are unique and make a contribution to society. The grant offers cash as well as discounted production services and goods to help filmmakers get their projects started or completed. Over 200 filmmakers applied for the Roy W. Dean Fall Film Grant. The yearly deadline for submissions was September 30th, 2014. Projects submitted included documentaries, narrative features, and short films.
“Carole Dean and From the Heart Productions have been my fiscal sponsor for my documentary. In that time, Carole has gone above and beyond to guide me through the documentary process and has always been there for advice… and some great “cheerleading.” said winner Stephanie Howard.
Stephanie is a co-producer of the award-winning documentary “Refusenik”. She is a television news producer and writer based in Los Angeles and has worked at local television stations as well as the L.A. bureaus of Fox News Channel, CNN, NBC News and Reuters. Stephanie is winner of a commemorative Los Angeles Area Emmy for her work as associate producer of the news magazine program “L.A. Roundtable”. She has also been nominated for Emmy awards as a segment producer at KTTV News and KNBC-TV.
About the Roy W. Dean Grant
Now in its 23rd year, the Roy W. Dean Grant awards filmmakers with great stories, told with passion, the funding to get their projects started or completed. Films submitted to the grant can be short films, documentaries or features from early stages of pre-production to those needing help in post.
The grant has been integral in making sure that talented artists with great stories get their films produced. Recent past winners of the grant include the award winning “Heist: Who Stole the American Dream”, “The Winding Stream: An Oral History of the Carter and Cash Family” which was featured at film festivals in , and “Mia: A Dancer’s Journey” which just premiered in New York this February.
About From The Heart Productions
From The Heart Productions is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to helping filmmakers get their projects made. Besides providing funding through the grant, they are also a fiscal sponsor which allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible. From The Heart has raised over $1.6 million for crowdfunding films as a partner with Indiegogo. President Carole Dean is the best-selling author of “The Art of Film Funding” which is now in its second edition.
Front Row Insurance is a Leader in Film Production Insurance
The Preferred Pricing Program for E&O insurance offers exceptional rates and service from of the leading providers of insurance in the entertainment industry.
E&O, Errors and Omissions, insurance covers legal liability and defense for the production company against lawsuits alleging unauthorized use of titles, formats, ideas, characters, plots, plagiarism, unfair competition or privacy, breach of contract.
It also protects against alleged libel, slander, defamation of character or invasion of privacy. This coverage will usually be required by a distributor, broadcaster or financier prior to the release of any theatrical or television production. Production financing will usually not flow until E&O coverage is in force.
“Getting this program has been a dream of mine for some time.” said Carole Dean, President of From the Heart Productions, “With tight budgets, independent filmmakers a need a break on the cost of essential insurance.”
“Thanks to Kent Hamilton of Front Row Insurance and the tremendous work he put in to make this program a reality. It shows his dedication to these filmmakers and to helping them out however possible.”
To get more information on preferred pricing and to get a quote, qualified filmmakers need to email Carole Dean of From The Heart Productions at .
About Front Row Insurance
Front Row is an Entertainment Insurance Broker specializing in: The Film industry, The Music Industry, Fairs and Festivals with offices in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Los Angeles. Front Row negotiates to obtain the best coverage at the lowest premium from the insurance companies. They are a top choice for: filmmakers, musicians, photographers and festival organizers.
About Kent Hamilton
As Executive Vice President of the Truman Van Dyke Company for over 25 years, Kent Hamilton insured thousands of films, commercials and television productions. Joining Front Row Insurance Brokers LLC as President, Kent helps producers solve problems and obtain the proper insurance coverage for the best price.
About From The Heart Productions
From The Heart Productions is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to helping filmmakers get their projects made. Besides providing funding through the grant, they are also a fiscal sponsor which allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible. President Carole Dean is the best-selling author of “The Art of Film Funding” which is now in its second edition.
Winners of Summer and Fall Grant to receive 40% discount on editing for trailers
From The Heart Productions welcomes video editor Aaron Garcia as a donor for the Roy W. Dean Grant for Summer and Fall. Aaron brings 15 years of experience as a video editor to the grant. The winner of those grants will receive a 40% discount off his services for editing their trailers.
Aaron has worked with companies such as Apple Computers, Comcast, HGTV, and The Recording Academy. He is comfortable in Avid, Final Cut Pro 7 and X, Premiere, Motion, After Effects, and Photoshop. Besides trailers, Aaron also edits narrative, reality, documentary, and corporate videos.
Currently, Aaron is the director, editor, writer, and cinematographer of the web series “We are Angels”. It’s a web based fantasy series with a unique blend of storytelling, surreal imagery, and dramatic performance. It offers a new modern take on the world of Angels and Demons. The series was an official selection Marseille Web Festival 2012 and winner of best cinematography at Hollyweb Festival in 2014.
For over 23 years, the Roy W. Dean Grant seeks films that are unique and make a contribution to society. Submissions for the Summer and Fall Roy W. Dean Grant begin May 1st, 2015. Submissions are now being accepted for the Roy W. Dean Spring Grant. Deadline is April 30th, 2015.
Winning documentary explores director’s search for the mother she never knew through their shared love of photography.
From The Heart Productions, the film funding non-profit that oversees the Roy W. Dean Film Grant, has awarded the 2014 Summer Film Grant to director Rachel Seed for her documentary “A Photographic Memory”. Rachel will receive nearly $30,000 in film services and cash to help her complete her project.
Contact Sheet by Sheila Turner-Seed
Thirty years after the death of her mother, Sheila Turner-Seed, photographer Rachel Elizabeth Seed discovers her work—interviews with some of the greatest photographers of the 20th Century, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Lisette Model and W. Eugene Smith—in her father’s garage. When she threads the audio reels and presses play, she hears her mother’s voice for the first time since she was a baby. Rachel finds it familiar and comforting, and is transformed by the experience.
Wanting to know more about her mother and to revitalize and honor her work, Rachel revisits the photographers, as well as her mother’s friends and family, to learn who she was while also looking at how photography can help preserve memory and reconnect us with those we have lost.
Rachel Seed and Mother
Through this process, Rachel reconnects to her mother by discovering how much they have in common: their looks, ambition, career paths, and desire to settle down and have a family. However, in order to move on with her own life, Rachel comes to realize she must set herself apart from Sheila, and to do that must find out if she has the same genetic predisposition to early death that took her mother’s life. Rachel’s ability to forge her own path hinges on these medical results.our country.
“In A Photographic Memory, I go on a journey to learn – through our shared profession – about the mother I never knew but whom I so desperately need to know.” Rachel explained on her Kickstarter campaign page for her film.
“I am blending my mother’s 1970s interviews with my own footage, creating a posthumous mother-daughter collaboration that connects me to my mother while re-examining the course of the careers of some of the most influential photographers in the history of the medium.”
Growing up surrounded by photography, Rachel Seed became a photographer nearly 20 years ago and has run a successful freelance business for the past few years, while also earning an MFA from Indiana University (in progress since 2009). Since 2006, she has conducted 35 video interviews internationally of women and men whose mothers died when they were young, also photographing them.
This work has been supported by several grants including the Artist Enrichment Grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, The Yarka Vendrinska Memorial Award at the Maine Media Workshops, and a World Affairs Council Association grant for international travel, and exhibited in Russia and the United States. She was also named a Top 25 Artist at 3rd Ward Brooklyn’s annual contest in 2010.
About the Roy W. Dean Grant
Now in its 23rd year, the Roy W. Dean Grant funds unique films that make a contribution to society. It gives filmmakers with great stories, told with passion, the funding to get their projects started or completed. Films submitted to the grant can be short films, documentaries or features from early stages of pre-production to those needing help in post.
The grant has been integral in making sure that talented artists with great stories get their films produced. Recent past winners of the grant that have been completed include the award winning “Heist: Who Stole the American Dream” and “The Winding Stream: An Oral History of the Carter and Cash Family” which is now showing in film festivals around North America.
About From The Heart Productions
From The Heart Productions is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to helping filmmakers get their projects made. Besides providing funding through the grant, they are also a fiscal sponsor which allows donations made to films they sponsor to be tax deductible. From The Heart has raised over $1.5 million for crowdfunding films as a partner with Indiegogo. President Carole Dean is the best-selling author of “The Art of Film Funding” which is now in its second edition.
The 2015 Roy W. Dean Spring Grant is now accepting submissions. Cash value has increased this year to $3,500. If you’d like to submit your project, please go to the Roy W. Dean Grant Application Page and follow instructions. The deadline for submissions is April 30th 2015.
As filmmaker, Jen Senko, tries to understand the transformation of her father from a non political, life-long Democrat to an angry, Right-Wing fanatic, she uncovers the forces behind the media that changed him completely: a plan by Roger Ailes under Nixon for a media takeover by the GOP, The Powell Memo urging business leaders to influence institutions of public opinion, especially the universities, the media and the courts, and under Reagan, the dismantling of the Fairness Doctrine. As her journey continues, we discover that her father is part of a much broader demographic, and that the story is one that affects us all. Through interviews with media luminaries, cognitive linguists, grassroots activist groups such as: such as Noam Chomsky, Steve Rendall, Jeff Cohen, Eric Boehlert, George Lakoff, STOP RUSH, HearYourselfThink and others, “Brainwashing” unravels the plan to shift the country to the Right over the last 30 years, largely through media manipulation. The result has lead to fewer voices, less diversity of opinion, massive intentional misinformation and greater division of our country. This documentary will shine a light on how it happened (and is still happening) and lead to questions about who owns the airwaves, what rights we have as listeners/watchers and what responsibility does our government have to keep the airwaves truly fair, accurate and accountable to the truth.
2008 Fall Grant Winner “Red Dust” documented dangers faced by China factory workers to Red Cadium Dust
The Roy W. Dean Grant funds films that are unique and make a contribution to society. Films submitted are in various stages of production that range from just a proposal to those needing help to complete post-production. All have provocative, affecting stories that without the grant’s help may never be told.
The grant consists of $2,500 in cash contributed by From The Heart Productions as well as free and discounted services and film products from heartfelt donors. These donations include a film score, animation, legal fees, photography and more that will aid the winner in getting their film finished. A complete list of donors can be found at http://fromtheheartproductions.com/donors/
Finalists for the 2014 Roy W. Dean Film Grant include short films, documentaries, and features. They cover a wide range of subjects and tone. Out of these 22 projects, a top group of 5 will be selected by From The Heart. These 5 will be sent to the final judges. The winner will be announced in December. A complete list of finalists, their projects, as well as contact information can be found at http://fromtheheartproductions.com/finalist-fall-grant/
“We’ve got short films that make you laugh and documentaries that will make you think and break your heart” said Carole Dean, President of From The Heart Productions which oversees the grant. “The exceptional quality of the work and variety makes the judges task all that more difficult.”
For some finalists, this is their second or third attempt to win the Grant. Those that have applied 3 times have the opportunity to be considered for the Jury Prize. The Jury Prize is a $500 cash prize awarded for courageous filmmaking by filmmakers with great heart who, through their devotion and dedication, are staying the course creating a unique film that contributes to society.
Britt Penrod Audience Award
All finalists are also eligible to compete for the Britt Penrod Audience Award. Finalists for each grant can post trailers or clips from their films on the Britt Penrod Audience Award Facebook Contest Page to compete for a $250 prize. Anyone can vote on the films posted. The contest runs from November 10th to November 30th.
So impressive was the quality of work and the passion for so many of the projects over the years, that a new “Special Mention” category was created in 2014. It honors exceptional work that may not be quite ready for the finals…but not by much. A list of those projects receiving special mention can be viewed at http://fromtheheartproductions.com/roy-w-dean-grant-special-mention/
Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart… Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
Reading film proposals for indie features, documentaries, and short films is a passion of mine. That’s a good thing since I read over five hundred proposals and view over a thousand trailers a year for my Roy W. Dean Film Grants. Filmmakers frequently ask me how they can improve their applications.
Film Grantors or investors are usually under a deadline to read and make a decision on something that should never be judged: your art. Your potential funder is probably reviewing hundreds of proposals, one right after the other, so you need to find a way to make your proposal unique.
The Right Introduction
The introduction or synopsis is the most critical element in the proposal. It is the first thing I read when I pick up a new film proposal. It tells me how compelling the project is and reveals how passionate the filmmaker is about it.
It should tell me a visual story of the film. Sponsors use the synopsis during the selection process as a way of categorizing and separating one type of film from another. If your synopsis is dynamic and is strategically placed on your application, it will remain active in the sponsor’s mind.
This is where your sticky story works for you. It’s important to have a concise overview of the film that gives us that visual description and tells a story with emotion, surprise, concrete information, credibility, etc. I can pitch you films that entered my grants over 10 years ago because I can remember a sticky story.
Let a Picture Help Tell Your Story
This is a visual industry, yet only 10% of the applications I receive include pictures. That always amazes me. Since the person reading your proposal is probably very visual, consider dropping a few pictures or graphics into your proposal.
Roy W. Dean Grant Winner “Mosaic of Life”
Or, how about submitting a picture of yourself with your application? Include a photograph taken during your last film shoot –something that shows you in action, behind the camera or giving direction. Even if it’s just your student ID, put that shining smile on the page and let us see who you are! Passion, perseverance, and personalization are what you need to win grants, so don’t be afraid to put your heart on your sleeve to win that grant!
Have You Been There Before?
How many grants have you entered? Tell us about them so we can see how determined you are to make this film. Do you really want this grant? Are you willing to dedicate the next three years of your life to produce this film?
Make it Personal
Find a way to communicate your dedication in your proposal. Include a personal film statement. Tell us what is driving you to make this specific film. That tells us you are in for the long haul. No matter if things get tough, this film is so important that you will not give up. I must feel that in your words.
Founder of the Roy W. Dean Film Grant and author of “The Art of Film Funding: 2nd Edition”, Carole Dean has guided filmmakers to get their projects funded and completed for over 23 years. A new session of her Intentional Filmmaking Class, which teaches filmmakers how to get funding, starts February 2015