Washington Filmworks continues to follow the proliferation of crowdfunding in our local filmmaking community with our second post in our three-part “Crowdfunding Conversation” series, where we discuss how instrumental crowdfunding is on an indie filmmaker’s road to production. You can read our first entry with Douglas Horn here.
If you’re a Seattleite or avid filmgoer (or both), you’re likely to know Alycia Delmore. This local actress has given memorable turns in Humpday, Touchy Feely, and Filmworks Innovation Lab funding recipient Rocketmen. The latter is Delmore’s first venture as a producer and she helped orchestrate the Kickstarter campaign – through crowdfunding, Rocketmen exceeded its $30,000 goal with $33,039 in Kickstarter support. It was also featured in USA Today‘s “Kickstart Some Art: Cool-Sounding Ideas that Need Cash” piece as a project to support.
Rocketmen is an original adventure combining live-action with stop-motion animation, and tells the story of several rocketmen who attempt to save our city from peril. It’s now in post-production and is expected to premiere in early 2015!
Delmore was kind enough to share her insight and thoughts on the crowdfunding climate and her Kickstarter campaign for Rocketmen in our latest “Crowdfunding Conversation.”
Washington Filmworks: Why was Rocketmen successful on Kickstarter?
Alycia Delmore: Rocketmen is ambitious for Seattle – it’s an action-adventure with a ton of special effects, stop-motion animation, and rocket-packs. It’s unlike other projects I’ve seen in town so I think it caught the eye of a lot of people. Also, we had really fun prizes, which is important if you are aiming for funders you don’t already know.
WF: What role do you think Kickstarter and crowdfunding have in the Washington film community?
AD: A lot of projects have been fully or partially funded through crowdsourcing campaigns locally. It’s a mixed blessing – there is fatigue on Facebook (“another Kickstarter?”) and some people are either annoyingly aggressive about promoting them (which I certainly was – it’s the only way to keep momentum going!) or lazy, and then shocked when they fail. A friend told me that of the six campaigns she’d donated to last year, ours was the only one she received her prize from. So I think some people are doing a disservice to the filmmakers trying to raise money this way, in not fulfilling their backer’s prizes.
WF: What advice do you have for filmmakers embarking on crowdfunding campaigns?
AD: For the time period you are running your campaign, it is a full-time job. You need to be responding to every donation, constantly posting new photos or video, and updating and reaching out to media outlets hoping for some coverage. Plan as much as you can in advance. Have stretch goals already planned, if you’re lucky enough to hit your goal early. Enlist help. Don’t have everyone on your team blast news of your project at once – chances are, your social circles overlap so your friends will be bombarded. Instead, assign everyone on your team a day to be in charge of shamelessly promoting the project. Work other channels for donations, as well. If you’re trying to raise $20K and you get to $15K, it’s better to have someone lined up to be your emergency ringer than trying to scrape that money together yourself, so you hit your goal. I think it’s important to be in your pitch video – people want to know who they’re giving money to, as well as what they’re giving it for.
And stay tuned for our third post in our “Crowdfunding Conversation” series as we interview local filmmakers who share their own experience and advice.