Learning from Kickstarter

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Learning from KickstarterOne of the key strands of the Boom! movie project is a Kickstarter project I will be running later this year.

The aim of this Kickstarter will be to crowd fund around £5,000 in order to pay for a professional narrator, an original soundtrack, some post-production work (colour correction, sound editing and titles) and some screenings.

I wanted to crowd fund an element of the documentary process not only to share the cost of production with a wider audience (it has been solely funded from my own savings and some company sponsorship to date) but more importantly to involve a larger group of people.

The aim of the Kickstarter, in addition to raising money to turn a good project into an excellent project, is to build Team Boom!; a group of friends and strangers who are an integral part of the movie and have a stake in its long-term success.

To ensure that the Kickstarter is successful when launched, I’ve been spending some time reviewing other Kickstarter projects and have backed three to date, all documentaries.

This is helping me to understand what works (and what doesn’t work) in terms of pitching a Kickstarter to the wider world, particularly in terms of project aims, descriptions and incentives.

Here are the three projects I’ve backed to date, all of which have been successfully funded:

Zoe Goes Running – The Film: Running The Tour De France

Canary in a Coal Mine

Zoochosis – A short documentary

I found all three projects very interesting, the incentives were reasonably priced and the trailers were very well made.

Zoochosis is a particularly interesting example. When I funded it earlier in the week, it had attracted about £90. It has already smashed its fundraising target of £500 (standing at £639 as I type this), which will no doubt allow the student filmmaker behind the project to expand the movie beyond original plans.

There is of course always a risk that any Kickstarter campaign will fail to reach its target. It’s an ‘all or nothing’ system, so if I set a target of £5,000 and only raise pledges of £4,950, I wouldn’t get a single penny.

I’ve got a Plan B in place for this eventuality, allowing me to complete the movie to a high standard without the crowdfunding.

What do you look for in a Kickstarter project? What incentives would you want to see from the Boom! Kickstarter?