Iron Sky sequel The Coming Race reached the crowd funding goal of $150000 yesterday, after a 55-day crowd funding campaign on IndieGoGo. I must admit I was a bit worried at many points, but we managed to prove again and again that the fans are out there, willing to help and support, and that there’s a lot of love for Iron Sky out there.
The campaign started out in Cannes 2013 this year with a simple plea video shot by Blind Spot team, starring me as a North Korean prisoner. We thought we’ll have some fun with the recent North Korean threats, and knew that producing a “lo-fi” -style video would be possible, although at that point we had zero budget to begin with. The plea video turned out quite fun, I was a bit nervous if it would work but am happy to see that at least people didn’t hate it.
The campaign started off nicely, but then died quite quickly because — well, we are almost first-timers on this, platform-based crowd funding. First, we were a bit baffled on what happened, why did the great beginning died out so abruptly, but realized soon enough that you actually need to work for every dollar. You need to be re-inventing yourself every two days to keep the campaign running; whether it’s a new perk, a cool new way to promote, a new video, piece of graphic… there needs to be something new every day.
You also need to communicate with the supporters. Updating them via IndieGoGo is crucial, but also doing the legwork in Facebook – updating the main fanbase at Iron Sky Facebook Page is important, but you don’t want to go all the way spammy there. Not everyone wants to join. So we created a specific Iron Sky The Coming Race Crowd Funding -page on Facebook, which is a zone merely devoted to updating and discussing the crowd funding campaign.
Yet, our original time limit, 47 days, wasn’t enough. We ended up with little over $10000, but then in came IndieGoGo, offering us an extension of 10 days, which we gratefully took. The suggested time for a campaign on IGG is 60 days, especially with bigger productions – we should’ve taken the heed from the beginning, but it’s good IndieGoGo was out there to help us out.
Altogether, working with IndieGoGo was a pleasure. The idea was originally brought up by someone at IndieGoGo, and our case was handed over to John Trigonis of IndieGoGo who did amazing work helping us out whenever we needed, and giving us advice along the way.
The campaign wasn’t an easy one, and not everyone believed in it. We did hear from several critics and bloggers some grumbling along the way, but we have learned that it’s part of the game when you do something that’s against the norm. Some were also surprised of the “slow” pace of the campaign, being all blinded by the Hollywood-backed crowd funding campaign successes of Veronica Mars and Zach Braff, but it’s good to remember that although Iron Sky is no son of yesterday’s grouse when it comes to Internet, it’s still a small fish in a big pond, and the Hollywood stardom still gets the biggest splashes, and we smaller players just have to soldier on. But we made it, and we can be proud of what we achieved.
With the extremely hard 60-days work, help of IndieGoGo — and the enthusiasm of our fans, first and foremost — we were able to reach the goal of $150000. But the game is not over yet. We still have some 50 hours left in the campaign, and we are hoping to push the sum to as high as possible.
I will be writing a detailed “guidebook” to crowd funding here in Iron Sky blog based on our experiences, hoping to share what we learned along the way, and hoping to spark up some more interesting crowd funding campaigns and help those in process of one. I’ll also do a Reddit AMA now to answer some questions.
There’s a lot of people to thank to for the success, but just to name few, I want to thank first and foremost Essi Suomela, my companion and co-conspirator in the campaign, who with I pushed through the campaign high and lows. Another huge thanks goes to producer Tero Kaukomaa who initiated the whole campaign and stood firm on our side. And of course Samuli Torssonen and Jarmo Puskala, without whom we would’ve botched the whole campaign before it was even born. But then, one of the most important part was our amazing team at Blind Spot Pictures; Iiris Juutilainen, Emma Ilves and the rest of the wonderful people there, who still have a huge work ahead of them to tie the loose ends of the campaign.
Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the campaign!