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The Top 7 Kickstarter Films (and 3 Secrets to Crowdfunding Success)

The Top 7 Kickstarter Films (and 3 Secrets to Crowdfunding Success)

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Published by: Crowdsourcing.org on Jun 24, 2011
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02/03/2013

 
The Top 7 Kickstarter Films (and 3 Secrets toCrowdfunding Success)
by Anthony Kaufman (June 2, 2011)
While almost any projectcan be crowdsourced, fewhave the capacity tocapture a wide audience.
We’ve listed the top seven
.And here’s how
Jennifer Fox made thesystem work for her.
1. Identify your targetaudience
 — 
preferably,audiences.
 Fox had two built-in niche audiences to target; fans and followers of her primarysubject Tibetan Buddhist Master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, of which there aremany worldwide, and the estimated 7,000 people that Fox cultivated during the
grassroots release of her last film, 2006’s “Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman.”
2. Give your backers plenty to see.
 
The fact that “My Reincarnation” was essentially complete and already showing at
select international film festivals also helped. While Fox was initiallyuncomfortable asking for money for a project that appeared complete, she stillneeded some $100,000 to cover the costs of music rights, post-production sound,subtitling and additional editing for broadcast. But she used the existing film to heradvantage, touting the Kickstarter campaign at public screenings and teasing themovie with multiple video clips on the web.
 
“So our campaign didn’t just have a Web 2.0 aspect, it had screenings and it hadvideo,” says Fox, who worked with a team of filmmakers Stefanie Diaz, Katherine
Nolfi and Lisa Duva, to make the effort work. (Nolfi and Duva took a percentage
of the proceeds. Kickstarter takes 5% of every project’s donations.)
 
3. Get creative with incentives. (Hint: Hats and T-
shirts probably won’t do the
trick.)
Like most Kickstarter participants, Fox also offered special incentives to donors
 — 
and not just posters or DVDs, but limited-edition prints of paintings by a famous
Buddhist teacher, original art and artifacts from Fox’s personal collection (“Iraided my home,” she admits) and a gold ring and Tibetan statue donated by the
father and son shown in the film, which went for $5,000 and $7,000, respectively.
“Those two donations tipped everything,” says Fox. “We probably raised $50,000in four days.” In the future, Fox suggests, to bolster the value of incentives, “I’d
ask people who believe in the project to donate precious objects. You have to know
who is your target market and what do they want.”
 
Kickstarter’s Hall of Fame movie projects
 
1. “Blue Like Jazz” by Steve Taylor
 
A feature film based on Donald Miller’s New York Times bestselling
memoir,directed by Steve Taylor and starring Marshall Allman.Pledged: $345,9924,495 backers
2. Minecraft: The Story of Mojang by 2 Player Productions
A feature-length documentary on the first year of Mojang, the studio built upon therunaway success of indie computer game Minecraft.Pledged: $210,2973,631 backers

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