I want to talk directly to other filmmakers in this post.
Here is the “chicken and egg dilemma” of crowd funding. You know the power of the moving picture, you’re a filmmaker, so the idea of sitting around talking about your film just seems lame. You really want to just show them. But you can’t. Because you haven’t made it yet. Because you don’t have the money. Which is why you’re crowd funding. What the hell are you supposed to do?
You could make a short film first. You could shoot a trailer by getting key scenes captured on tape. You could just get on camera with the cast and crew and shoot the shit.
Here is why all those ideas suck:
- Talking about it will just put an analytical spin and remove people from the tonal effect you’re aiming to create.
- Shooting a trailer is very likely to end up being a shittier version of what you plan to actually do and cause more harm then good.
- The short film will either suffer from the same problem or it will end up costing so much you need to do a crowd funding campaign just for that and be back at square one.
So here is an amazing solution these guys have employed. Make something that stirs people in the same way your film will but in much less time and very affordable production means. Don’t try to be the thing. Just have the same effect as the thing.
It’s a counter intuitive solution and maybe not adaptable to your own projects but worth stopping to look at because it’s undeniably effective. They interview old people about being old. A simple idea but the effect is we experience a micro version of the movie they want to make. And they pull it off without having to give away the movies storyline or talk about everyone’s resume and do a bunch of other boring things we feel like we’ve seen a million times now that crowd funding has been around for a while.
While they interview these old people we get to see the guy who will be the lead actor of the movie interact and ask the questions. I’ve never seen anything the actor has been in but by the time the video was done I pretty much had faith in him to do a good job acting in the film they want to make. Just from a couple funny moments and from a demonstration of his presence. That’s a lot better than actors sitting around talking about how they loved the script after they read it. Because here we see this guy in real conversations with real people. Talking to old people about their love lives. That’s amazing!
I also gained faith in the director. You might not have seen anything he’s ever created but you’re watching something he’s created now and you’re seeing his sense of timing, framing, lighting, cinematography, the sentiment, concepts and whether you understand filmmaking or not you can buy into what it is he’s doing.
The final point is that the result is spreadable content. You can easily post this to twitter or Facebook and probably rack up a few likes and retweets because it’s got value as content in it of itself. Yes it’s a crowd funding campaign but it’s also stand alone entertainment worth sharing with people. Their movie is likely about many more things then just growing old but they took one of the most universal aspects of what they are doing, turned that into the doorway and built an inviting entry way. Pro.
Check out the I’ll See You In My Dreams KickStarter page for more details on their project and to follow what they’re doing.