To be frank, I had never heard of crowdfunding until I came across this book. However, the word means essentially what it says. Crowdfunding is a way of reaching out to the general public via social media in order to acquire funds for a project (in this case, for filmmaking). For other readers like myself who do not know much about making films, let alone funding them, John T. Trigonis presents clear and sequential instructions on crowdfunding for those seeking tips.
Funding films can be a major challenge, especially independent films. For starters, the book helps to distinguish whether or not funding is necessary for filmmakers looking to launch their work given the extensive time and effort it requires. Crowdfunding allows for immediate personal outreach to the public in order to generate the financial needs. Starting from his own experience with the anecdote about his short film Cerise, Trigonis has successfully funded eight of his own short films without the help of “rich aunts” or “lucky lottery numbers,” proving the success of his methodology, and providing useful insight on the ins and outs of crowdfunding.
While fundraising existed before the Internet, Trigonis emphasizes the use of social media as a strong tool for means of reaching large groups of people. However, the book suggests to avoid overusing social media, but to take more of a “everything in moderation” approach. The advancement of 21st century technology and social media saves filmmakers from wasting money on making flyers. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media portals are great platforms for crowdfunding. The book teaches you that the best strategy via social media is to capture the audience’s attention quickly. As Trigonis says, “Creativity is King.” Whether you use hashtags or humor, filmmakers must keep in mind that relevancy is important in order to obtain funds.
While the book goes on to list further strategies for fundraising, it never strays from a concise and informative path. While some filmmakers may already be aware of crowdfunding techniques, the book is a useful guide for those seeking a starting point, or needing a simple refresher on the subject.
Overall, this book is a great guide for filmmakers who want to understand the right way to go about funding their film. The book stresses that crowdfunding is so much more than making money. With such a diverse audience it is impossible to know whose attention you are attracting. Trigonis, also referred to as the “Zen Master” of crowdfunding, reminds the readers that without the crowd there is no one to watch the film. Therefore, the book is not so much about the money as it is about connecting with a community to spark their interest in something that affects our daily lives and perceptions, that is, the power of film.
Crowd Funding for Filmmakers: The Way to A Successful Film Campaign 2nd Edition by John T. Trigonis