Trying to raise money to ﬁnish the post-production on your independent ﬁlm can be both exhilarating and challenging. On one hand you know have the momentum of your feature in the can and possibly have begun the edit but the work is not over until it’s screened and distributed. At this point it’s easy to conﬁdently talk to a crowd of supporters, family and friends and sell the sizzle on what you’ve achieved to date but without careful planning the extra bucks you need to raise may allude you. Here are some thoughts on how best to plan and deliver a private fundraiser with maximum success for securing extra ﬁnance and growing your audience for the ﬁlm without paying online crowd fund commissions.
1. Hire the best venue you can without breaking the bank. Atmosphere, candles, lighting and a place suitable for the kind of ﬁlm you have made all go to show you have put time, thought and effort in to the event. This is the ﬁrst thing that impresses people when they walk in.
2. Make people comfortable, provide good seating, wine, snacks and appropriate music so people feel they are part of something special. Then set up the biggest screen you can get and try and stage a cinema experience not forgetting great sound. This will add to the excitement of your presentation, pitch and any visual materials you screen. Quality control is important and you should know that as a ﬁlmmaker! Dodgy microphones and a cold room will not endear people to you and they will leave early before writing cheques.
3. Know your audience. Who are you speaking to? What kind of language will engage your attendees? If it’s a local crowd talk about any beneﬁts to the community the ﬁlm has achieved or could bring. If it’s a more urban crowd change your language suitably and talk about working with actors, selling the ﬁlm globally or whatever gets these people enthused.
4. Be humble. Arrogance can distance people from you emotionally (after all, people fund people they like). However, also be conﬁdent and direct in order to inspire people’s conﬁdence in you as the person who can pull this project off. Honesty works well – answer how much have you raised so far and how much you need to complete the ﬁlm? Don’t leave people with a vale of mystery over the money side of things.
5. Finally give away great perks for different amounts of donations. Be innovative and creative. Think original artwork, holidays, days out and things that people actually want, not just signed posters with little ﬁnancial value or ﬁlm credits. Self deprecating humour works well as people know the perks can never reach the value of what you’re asking but that’s ok as you need to raise money and not give it all away, and people get that. With these tips in mind, plan your event, present your ﬁlm well and give people a great night out and you’ll be surprised how much you can raise with this direct approach. It’s amazing how people will give more in person when they get swept up in the excitement of the event and can’t hide behind a computer screen.