Posted By Anna
How We Raised $2,000+ For Local Film

I was out in the twitter-sphere, and saw a comment about PledgeMe and film, which was linked to an AWESOME blog post. So being my normal content hungry self, I asked if I could re-blog it, and thankfully @lewisbostock said yes. Here it is for your reading pleasure.

I’ve been helping my friends at Candlelit Pictures raise money (via Pledge Me) to turn their 35mm film into a digital format so it can play at the prestigious AFI fest.

How I Got Involved

I met with producer (and friend) Alix Whittaker for coffee and catch up.

“How’s the Pledge Me campaign going?” I asked.

“Good” replied Alix. “We’ve raised $600!” ”That’s great” I said. “How much more do you need to raise?” “$1725” Alix said. My heart sank with the possiblity that the filmmakers wouldn’t raise the amount.

As per Pledge Me’s Terms & Conditions, if the filmmakers didn’t raise their asking amount within the timeframe, the pledges are refunded and the filmmakers get nothing.

“Why the hell are you wasting time having coffee with me?” I said

The filmmakers needed to raise another $1125 in just 6 days if they were to get the film to AFI fest in the digital format the festival demands.

“OK. Here’s what we need to do” I said trying hard to appear like I know exactly what I’m doing. In my head, I’m trying to convince myself that I can do this, I can raise $1725 online.

Challenge accepted.

We then devised a plan of attack to ensure the Pledge Me campaign would be a success. I’m proud to report that our strategy paid off.

We raised a total of $2065 or $330 above our asking amount exactly 48 hours after I committed to the film.

What We Did Exactly

  • Sent highly targeted press releases and high quality stills to media, which resulted in articles in the NZ Herald, Flicks, North Harbour News and The Central Leader.
  • Sent highly targeted press releases, trailers and behind-the-scenes footage to TV3 who ran a news story on their nightly bulletin.
  • Reshot the filmmakers’ pitch video. We improved it by including: clips from the trailer, behind-the-scenes footage and really sold the film.
  • Prepped the filmmakers with likely interview questions for all the publications (mentioned above) and in case anybody asked.
  • Listed all the people in their networks who could support the film. We first phoned each person to get them excited about the film. We then emailed each person immediately after with instructions on how they could support us e.g. donate, share on Facebook etc.
  • Wrote a blog post with 9 Good Reasons To Support The Film.
  • Created a Facebook-friendly post with a high quality still and a lengthy, but passionate explanation of why my friends should support it.
  • Timed the Facebook post for when people were most active online. The post received several shares from film bloggers with large networks.
  • Asked film bloggers to write a post about the film with the film’s trailer.
  • A journalist commented on the Facebook post showing interest in writing a news story on the film. We followed up.
  • All links to news articles were posted on Twitter, and retweeted.

Of course we couldn’t do it without the generous help and support of our 45 pledgers. Some giving $5. Some giving over $100. Every little bit helped. We thank you for your support.

What I hope to do with this hands-on, practical experience is take it into the classroom, and teach a whole Crowdfunding unit next year hopefully.

Here's Lewis's original blog post: tmblr.co/ZfS1byW1LwuG

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