Thursday, May 15, 2014

5 CROWDFUNDING MISTAKES THAT ARE KILLING YOUR CAMPAIGN

You're a filmmaker. You need money for your next film. Where do you get it? For many, crowd funding has become a de facto part of the financial equation. If done right, crowdfunding can become a financial windfall... if done wrong, a disappointing nightmare. Here's 5 mistakes that are killing your campaign, and how to fix them.

1. Failure to Plan. The battle is won before it is fought - a dictum from the ancient Chinese master of strategy, Sun Tzu. You can't just post your campaign, spam your friends, and expect the green to come rolling in.  Treat your crowd funding launch with as much care and consideration as you would your actual film release.

The first step is to make a list of people who are likely to support your cause. Pitch these potential contributors your project just like you would pitch any other business to a potential investor. That means that you have a business plan in place, with a realistic budget, and realistic numbers for ROI.  Hint: Using the ROI from the Blair Witch or Paranormal Activity is not realistic.

Perhaps you may want to offer very specific sponsorship opportunities: A pre-production sponsor, a location sponsor, a lighting sponsor, a camera sponsor, etc. That way people know exactly where their money is going.

Most importantly, get their feedback. Create real engagement. People support what they create, so get them involved in the funding process. I'm not saying you should give your investors creative input into the filmmaking process - that's a recipe for disaster. But you should pull them in and make them feel part of the team. Perhaps they know other potential contributors? Maybe they want to become involved in outreach? Maybe they have marketing and PR assets, or other connections that may be helpful to the production?

Once you've garnered your initial support base, coordinate the crowd funding launch, so that all of your donors contribute the first day. Start strong out of the gate. People like to bet on a winner, so make your project look like a winner from day one.

Coordinate all of your marketing, press and social media around this launch date so there is an initial spike of traffic to your campaign. This enhances your chance of gaining more exposure on the funding platform, and therefore drawing in more contributors.

2. Targeting the Wrong Demographic. You are filmmaker looking for money. You are likely friends with lots of other filmmakers. They are also looking for money for their project. Your filmmaker friends are not likely to make any meaningful contributions to your project. So stop trying to squeeze blood out of a turnip. Focus on people who are not part of the film community. With the amount of data and analytics out there, it's easy to find groups of fans that have interests similar to your film. Reach out, and get them involved.

3. Not Creating a Value Exchange. This is a concept lost on so many people. "I'm making a movie. It's going to be awesome. Give me money" is not a value exchange. Contributors to your project are taking a risk... there's no guarantee you will finish the film. There's no oversight that prevents you from pocketing the money. And if you do finish the film, it could suck. For this risk, give them some value. If your are going to essentially pre-sell merchandise, then give your contributors a great deal for betting on you early. People love to see their name in lights, so make the special thanks credits extremely affordable - it will boost your film's star meter ranking in the long run (and remember, people support what they create). Try to come up with as many unique perks as possible, especially one's where contributors can really feel like part of the project.

4. Harassing Potential Contributors. If you've never met someone... never supported anything they've done... never interacted with them in a meaningful way... Don't spam them on social media asking for money -  it's probably bad form. I personally delete those types of requests. And they are frequent. Honestly, if spam didn't work, people wouldn't do it... but it's a numbers game, and in my opinion you burn far more bridges in the process than if you took a targeted approach, and used pull marketing instead of push. Create opportunities for involvement.

Keeping your contributors updated is one thing... going back to the well over and over again asking for more is annoying. Each contact with your support base should provide value to them in some way. We all have enough junk to filter out in our daily lives, don't make someone regret they supported you.

5. Not Clearly Defining Your "Why." Why are you doing what you are doing? Why is this film important to you? Why is it important to audiences? Contributors are not only supporting your film,  they are supporting you as well... and they want to know what your motivations are and what you believe in. As Simon Sinek discusses in his excellent book "Start With Why," companies that clearly define why they are doing what they are doing generate far more support and brand loyalty.

Hope these tips help, and break a leg with your funding campaign.

Have you had a successful campaign, please comment below and share your insight!

Kerry Beyer is a semi-finalist in the Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, and winner of the Slamdance Anarchy Film Showcase. His photography has been published in Vogue, Lucky, Allure, the NY Times and more. His latest film, Rogue Strike, starring Academy Award Nominee Eric Roberts is coming soon.
Read more ...

Thursday, May 1, 2014

TEXAS FRIGHTMARE WEEKEND 2014

Come see us at Texas Frightmare Weekend 2014 - We'll be in the Made in Texas room, booth #175! We'll be screening World Premiere Trailers, making new friends, and promoting upcoming releases.
Read more ...

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

ROBERT DOWNEY JR. LEAVING IRON MAN?

Iron Man without Robert Downey Jr.? RDJ is Tony Stark...  but we may have to face facts - he's not going to do it forever.  A time will come when someone else plays the billionaire hero.  When that sad day comes, the question isn't who will replace him...  The question is, will you, the audience, accept the change?

In this era of remakes, re-boots, sequels, and adaptations, scarcely little new original content is created - instead, massive amounts of money are poured into remakes that cater to a pre-existing fan base. No movie franchise is complete without a Hollywood A-lister, commanding enormous salaries, driving budgets even higher. But is the "movie star" a necessary component for success in the market place? Or do audience just want a great story?

Back in the golden age of cinema, Hollywood studios sought out, discovered and curated movie "stars". And audiences loved them. But today the general sentiment seems to be that "Hollywood has run out of original ideas." And we keep seeing the same people over and over. Re-make after re-make. Sequel after sequel.  Certainly there is no lack of new talent to help these stories come to life. The independent film scene is flush with outstanding up and comers. But what the indy scene lacks is an audience. 

Independents lack an audience partly due to limited marketing budgets, limited distribution infrastructure, and limited press opportunities. Press opportunities are limited because bloggers know that a story about Iron Man will generate more hits that a story about an unknown indie. More hits = more ad revenue.

Ultimately, the trend of remakes and sequels will continue as long as audiences support those types of films. The bigger the budget, the more the studio will attempt to minimize risk... but typically the greatest creative achievements result from taking the biggest risks.  Will you, the audience support the risk takers? Next time you're out Redboxing or Netflixing, check out something with people you've never seen or heard of before. Then come back here and say what you liked or didn't like about it. Would Iron Man live on with a no name actor? Can content be king? Or will the star system, always, reign supreme?

Chad Thackston is an actor/producer living in Houston and can be seen in the upcoming Pickaxe Murders III, Dawn of the Crescent Moon and Killing Mr. Right.

Read more ...

Saturday, March 8, 2014

BLAIR WITCH Director Edward Sanchez's BIGFOOT feature EXISTS, Starring SPIRIT CAMP's Denise Williamson, Picked Up by LIONSGATE at SXSW

One of the first sales to come out of SXSW is Eduard Sanchez's Bigfoot feature EXISTS, starring our very own Denise Williamson of SPIRIT CAMP! Lionsgate has acquired the North American rights to the new horror film that focuses on five friends struggling to survive this terrifying predator.

Director Sanchez says he's excited "to reboot Bigfoot for a new generation."

source: Deadline
Read more ...

Saturday, October 12, 2013

ENTERTAINMENT MERCHANTS ASSOCIATION: DIGITAL MEDIA PIPELINE

Kerosene Films will be attending the Entertainment Merchant Association's Digital Media Pipeline Sept. 24 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Please contact us at sales [at] kerosenefilms.com to setup a meeting during the conference, and see how we can better serve your genre content needs.

What We Do:

-We build audiences for great genre content. Action, Sci-Fi, Horror. Our most recent title is a submarine action/thriller starring Eric Roberts.

-We support all of our titles with limited theatrical releases.

-We aggressively market via social media and online campaigns typically generating over 7 million online impressions.

-Our strategic partnership with SplatterFest (One of MovieMaker's top coolest horror festivals), provides content, community engagement, and national media coverage.

-We provide more personalized attention to both films and fans; constantly building community.

-We can deliver high quality mezzanine files encoded to EMA specs for digital distribution.

Who We Are:

-A company that loves to produce and distribute high concept genre content - Passionate about engaging  fans, building long term relationships and maximizing the convergence of entertainment and technology.

What We Want:

-To continually expand our digital output platforms, giving audiences the content they want, the way that they want it. 






Read more ...

Friday, October 11, 2013

DEEP TERROR

What if a weapon the size of a clock radio could take out an entire continent? What if that weapon was lost?

Deep Terror is a submarine action/thriller revolving around a crew of marine biologists battling a terrorist plot to recover the ultimate weapon of mass destruction - forced to choose between saving the ones they love, or saving mankind.

Currently filming!

IMDB

Official Site





Read more ...