Do It Yourself (DIY) filmmaking not your style? Why not try Do It With Others? Or DIWO.
DIWO is the acronym adopted by IndieGogo, an online social marketplace designed to connect filmmakers, artists, or projects with fans and utilize the power of crowd-sourcing for project funding, recruiting, and promotion.
IndieGogo founder Slava Rubin describes the process this way: for filmmakers it’s “Post, Promote, Produce”, for fans it’s “Discover, Support, Get Perks.” The VIP perks to incentivize donations being things like film credits, premiere parties, film extra, set visits etc.
While it may not be the answer to every independent film’s financing woes, it may be a worth considering as a viable addition to your financing plan.
Tidings talks with two Atlantic filmmakers who are currently IndieGoGoing.
- Millefiore Clarkes (PEI) is in the post-production stages of a feature documentary and web series entitled ‘The Telling’. She is raising completion funds through ‘crowd sourcing’ and has currently raised $1,155 of her $2500 goal.
- Allison White (NL) is the inaugural winner of the RBC Michelle Jackson Emerging Filmmaker Award, a St. John’s International Women’s Film festival event. She has just started to raise money via indieGogo for her short film Decoloured.
Tidings: What made you take the crowd-sourcing plunge?
MilleFiore: Crowd-sourcing is a fantastic new way to micro-finance a project by appealing directly to its future audience online. I first heard about IndieGoGo about a year ago. A former boss of mine, a producer, mentioned it to me. He’s excited, as I am, about new funding structures and light-weight productions.
I was planning to post the pitch for my documentary and web series ‘The Telling’ a while back, I wanted to be the first in PEI to use this new approach. When I saw that a rock band with PEI-roots had started a campaign for their album recording it was the incentive I needed to give it a go myself.
Allison: With Decoloured already having secured the majority of its funding through the Michelle Jackson Award, it’s perfect for me. I just need a little more cash in order to make the film a reality.
Fundraising is a difficult process for any project, no matter the medium. When you’re making a film, you put your heart into it. Your life revolves around it. If you want people to help, you need to reach out to them, and tell them about your project.
The web is a great way to do this, because it exposes what you’re trying to do to such a large audience. If people believe in your project, they’ll help. Whether it’s with some money, some services, some sandwiches. It all counts.
Tidings: What’s your IndieGoGo strategy?
Allison: My strategy with Indiegogo is pretty simple. I’m just honest about what I’m trying to do with the film – the story, who’s behind it and what it means to me. The film is a labour of love. Expressing that is, I feel, the best approach.
MilleFiore: I’m no expert, but I believe that projects with an identifiable niche audience are best for this sort of fundraising. If you know who your talking to its easier to identify and communicate with them. People donate to causes they believe in, so make sure your project speaks directly to a specific audience.
My only tips would be the obvious ones… use any means necessary (within reason) to get the word out there. Family, friends, co-workers, organizations – appeal to them through all forms of social networking and remind folks that if they can’t donate themselves, simply passing word along of your project is a major help.
It might also be helpful to put a shorter end date on your campaign. I used the maximum number of days to fundraise, and if I had to do it again, I might limit the length of the campaign… to increase the urgency of the call.
Tidings: Kickstarter vs IndieGoGo. Any comments?
MilleFiore: Funny you should ask. A filmmaker friend of mine asked the same thing and the reason that I gave him is that I like Indiegogo’s logo better. How superficial of me! The other difference (a big one) is that with IndieGogo you receive however much money that you have raised (minus a fee) even if you don’t reach your goal (the fee increases if you don’t reach your goal, but you still get most of it). Whereas with Kickstarter you only access the funds you raised if you reach your funding goal.
Tidings: Thanks for your info and Good Luck!
Millefiore’s first documentary Stalking Love screened at festivals across Canada and the US and played on CBC’s documentary! for three years. Her experimental video work has screened at film festivals and galleries across Canada and the US. She has also produced one on-line documentary web series, Faces and Hands.
The Telling, is a feature documentary and web series about the stories of a place and its people. That place is Prince Edward Island. The money raised will go toward the development of a website and the completion of the film.
Born and raised in Bonavista, NL, Allison White directed her first film, Peephole, in 2004, and has since worked in a variety of roles on and off set. This year marks her television directorial debut with Best Boy Entertainment’s ‘Mickey’, airing on the Pet Network.
Decoloured is a short film about Albert, a man who’s completely colourblind until he meets Amber, and starts seeing in colour. Decoloured will be shot over three days in mid February on 35 mm film.
Read Allison’s blog as she documents her personal accounts of her progress, obstacles, people that help me, experiences on the RBC Michelle Jackson Emerging Filmmaker Award Web Site.