Crowdfunding is a hot topic nowadays. I’m about to embark on a journey to find out just how deep a succesful crowdfunding campaign can go, using available crowdfunding platforms. I’ve launched Iron Sky on 9 different crowdfunding platforms, and my goal is to race them to 50000€ each! Timeframe is tight – I’m giving 60 days (until 31.5.) to reach the goal, and in the end we can all see which of the platforms has raised the most money.
And as a rabbit in the race, we’re simultaneously benchmarking the results with Iron Sky’s own crowdfunding sources – the Store, the War Bonds, the Sneak Peek and the Investments – in the same timeframe.
The reason for launching The 300k Race is very simple: we need to fill a gap in our funding, I’m really interested on crowdfunding. I’ve been following with constant amazement how the topic – which I was very dismissive at first – is growing bigger and bigger. The first completely crowd-financed film is already out, and it’s only a matter of time when crowdfunding becomes one of the de facto tools for funding independent films.
Because of this, I’m eager to write a comparative article about crowd funding, combining our succesful experiences with our community (we’ve managed to raise about 500000€ through our community, through various different sources), and the lessons I learn leading The Race. The idea is to make the first-ever first hand experience -based article available, using a project that’s very “crowdfundable” – already community-minded, already succesful in crowd funding and quite well-known around the world.
As said, we also do need the money to fill the gap. The problem is that we went over budget during the shoot because of weather conditions – we were struck down for two shooting days in Frankfurt because of a huge snowstorm, and the floods and cyclones in Queensland affected our shoot so that we were forced to move several locations indoors and build expensive studio sets because we couldn’t shoot things on location. The problem with exceeding the budget is that we need to be able to prove our financiers by the end of May that we’ve come up with the money. We’re of course working on it on our fronts, but we really need your help to really succeed in this. The biggest fear is that the missing money will be chopped from our post production, which is a big blow to our CGI team, music and sound and … all that that makes the film as cool as it really should be.
The Race begins on 1.4. and ends on 31.5., giving it two full months of time to succeed. It’s an extremely tight schedule for raising 300000€, but we’re certain that with the help of our community – that means you – we will succeed!
I gathered a good bunch of almost 20 services through our Facebook page, and narrowed it down to 10 services, out of which one dropped out – leaving us with top 9 crowd funding platforms we will use. The platforms are:
Flattr is quite different from any other services, but I deliberately wanted to put it up here; it’s more like a Digg/Reddit, where you can “flatter” articles and items on the Web, and you’ll get a small sum of money for every flattering you’ll get. The best way to support Iron Sky is to click the Flattr button on items we release – blog posts, videos and so on. Flattr built by Peter Sunde of The Pirate Bay fame. Flattr doesn’t have perks of any kind attached to it.The biggest amounts of Flatterings, 2014, so far has been received by Firefox tool NoScript. Click here to find my profile on Flattr to see what are the submissions to Flattr by Iron Sky team.
IndieGoGo is one of the biggest crowdfunding platforms; they’ve succesfully funded numerous projects, and they’ve been very tightly developing their service ever since 2008, when Slava Rubin, Danae Ringelmann and Eric Schell set up the platform. So far, the most succesful campaign has been the one of a film called Happy New Year, where the filmmakers managed to raise $26380. IndieGoGo operates in US Dollars. IndieGoGo operates on the perks, meaning that for each contribution, you’ll get something cool – thank you in Iron Sky Signal, or a War Bond, or even an Associate Producer title, if you happen to have extra $13000 in your back pocket. IndieGoGo operates on Keep-It-All -basis, meaning all the money pledged to the production goes to the production, no matter if the production reaches it’s goal. Click here to find Iron Sky on IndieGoGo.
Crowdfunding from down under! Pozible is a nice Australian crowdfunding platform, not only for films, but for anyone from amateur photographers to journalists, musicians and so on. Pozible operates in Australian Dollars, in the all-or-nothing -basis, where if we don’t reach the goal by the given schedule, all of the money already pledged will be returned to the supporters. The biggest success in Pozible is New Matilda Relaunch, which raised A$175838 (A$ is quite close to $) of it’s goal of A$175000. Perks included. Click here to find Iron Sky on Pozible!
Rockethub is an US-based crowdfunding platform that looks quite nice, and has a bit more focus on music than film itself, but is still completely feasible on film as well. They have also an interesting possibility for submitting projects and receive Launchpad Opportunities, which are special opportunities for promising projects – say, a Gibson Music Retreat in New York and so on. It’s a nice and professional crowd funding plaform. The biggest success so far has been Bobby Belfry & The David Budway Trio album One Lucky Day, which received $10296, which was over 250% of the goal they were aiming for! The system works on All & More -basis, meaning the creatives get to keep the money pledged for them, and if they reach the goals they’ve set, they also get additional perks. Perks included. Click here to find Iron Sky on Rockethub!
A German crowdfunding platform, focusing on creative projects like films and music, and also things like products and inventions. The site is in German, which is great because I believe that local is the new global in the Internet. Startnext has perks like other services, and it uses a new system called FidorPay for support. FidorPay is sort of like PayPal, but German, and apparently a bit easier and more flexible to use. It’s great to have Iron Sky localized on a German platform. Really happy about this, and looking forward how well it goes down here! Biggest success on Startnext is a 50s-style detective radio drama Richard Diamond Private Detective, which raised 6254.60€ of its’ goal of 5000€! Click here to find Iron Sky on Startnext!
Verkami is one of the most delightful crowd funding platforms I’ve come across. It’s a private initiative born in Mataró (Barcelona) from a father and his two sons: Joan, Adrià and Jonàs Sala, a biologist, an art historian and a physicist. The platform operates tight schedule, which is an excellent thing in crowdfunding – the time limit is exactly 40 days, and if during that time one doesn’t reach the goal, the submissions are cancelled. Because of tighter limit, we’ve pimped up the perks for Verkami – everyone supporting Iron Sky via Verkami will get a frame from the film in digital format, and those who put up a bit bigger support take part in a draw for an ORIGINAL MOON NAZI HELMET & GAS MASK (as seen here), a costume part you’ll be able to get from nowhere else! Click here to find Iron Sky on Verkami!
Sponsume is a UK-based crowd funding platform. It operates on the Keep-It-All -basis, and has perks, too. So far, the biggest success of Sponsume is 4915 UK Pounds for Il Maestro, a ten minut dark comedy about competetiveness of calssical musicians. There’s a lot of great things in Sponsume, and the variety of projects there is great! They’ve also released a nice article – the Seven Deadly Sins of Crowdfunding. Based on this, I’m going to be burning in crowdfunding hell! Click here to find Iron Sky on Sponsume!
Interactor is a rather new site with only two projects, but a very nice interface, very clear and very film-oriented platform for crowd financing. Created by filmmakers working on a film called Errors of the Human Body – directed by Xavier Gens (Frontiere(s), Hitman and The Divide). The service is not officially open for other film submissions so far, but will be later on – Iron Sky got a special treatment and got added thanks to awesome folk at Interactor. Perks included. Click here to find Iron Sky on Interactor!
There’s a bunch of services we’re about to use, but it takes a while to set things up there. The services are:
The big Kickstarter is probably the best known crowd funding platform out there. It’s not focused solely on films, but there’s a lot of different kind of things it’s supporting – music, products and so on. Kickstarter is US-based, and uses Amazon Payments for the reimbursements – which makes it impossible for companies and projects outside of US to register. But there are ways around it, and I’m working currently on a way to get Iron Sky also up on Kickstarter! Hope we’ll succeed, it’d be great to be there, too! The most succesful project on Kickstarter so far is TikTok+LunaTik Multi-Touch Watch Kits, basically a wristwatch with Apple iPod Nano attached to it. They’ve raised $941,718, which was more than 6000% more of which they originally set a goal for! Kickstarter operates on the basis of all-or-nothing, meaning if you don’t reach the goal by the end of the time, all the money is returned back to the supporters. Perks included.
You’ll be able to follow the whole race, from start to finish, on our website, in a specifically designed area for The Race. I’ll be blogging every week about the progress to our blog. And most importantly, I’m simultaneously gathering information to write a comprehensive study on crowd financing using the Internet communities and available platforms, which I will publish later this year for all the filmmakers out there interested on crowdfunding to read!
I’m also interested in your experiences. If you decide to support Iron Sky using one (or many) of these platforms, I’d be happy to hear about how the process went from your point of view. Feel free to drop me an email on your experiences at timo
WHAT CAN I DO?
Of course, best thing to do is to support us, using one or many of the platforms – whichever you prefer the most. But in addition to that, spread the word – to your friends on Twitter, Facebook and wherever you’re in contact with them. And of course, all ideas, thoughts and comments are more than welcome.
So let’s rock! Enjoy the race!