Kickstarter is for People!

A filmmaker asked me, “Do you think I can raise $400,000 on Kickstarter?” I told her that that sounded like a lot. Start-up technology companies using Kickstarter as, essentially, a customer-financed pre-buy platform, are raising in the seven figures. But $400,000 would be on the high-end of a feature film raise. Blue Like Jazz raised about $350,000, and that was based on a New York Times best-seller. Koo did great with Man-Child, scoring about $125,000, but he spent a couple years seeding his campaign by building an audience at No Film School.

But as I was talking, I realized the question really is, how big is your network? After all, Kickstarter is not a funder, an entity; to borrow a line from Soylent Green, “Kickstarter is people!”

So, how many people do you know? How many friends, and then how many friends of friends? When you send out a fundraising plea, how far will it ripple? How many times will it be posted, and reposted, and forwarded? And how many people can your film meet on its own once it’s exposed on Kickstarter? I was at the Maryland Film Festival this weekend and a director introduced me to a guy at a party. “He’s one of my Kickstarter supporters,” the director said. The guy smiled and shook my hand. I asked, “How did you decide to back this project?” The guy told me he had just moved to the area, came across the film on Kickstarter and thought it would be cool to contribute to something made in his own neighborhood. He had just introduced himself to the director for the first time only moments before.

Kickstarter is people!

We’ve added some people to our curated Kickstarter page, including the latest project from Jessica Oreck as well as a new feature by Paul Schrader based on a script by Bret Easton Ellis. Check them all out below.