Online Courses for Filmmakers

Stephen has taught in some of the best film schools around the world and creates online courses designed to educate and inspire filmmakers.

Course Description

This course will guide you through every stage of planning, creating and running your film crowdfunding campaign. Crowdfunding is the only method of film finance open to all filmmakers, anywhere in the world and over $250 million has already been raised for films on Kickstarter.  

The course has been created by Stephen Follows, who brings his experience of teaching at some of the world’s best film schools, running a leading online video agency and as a film industry data expert to the topic of crowdfunding. 

It’s based on Stephen’s data research on over 50,000 film crowdfunding campaigns, interviews with over 50 filmmakers who have run a crowdfunding campaign and interviews with some of the top people at major crowdfunding platforms and services.

What the course covers

Topics covered by the course include…

  • An introduction to crowdfunding
  • Guided tour of the major crowdfunding sites for filmmakers
  • How to build a film crowdfunding campaign from scratch
  • Budgeting and scheduling your campaign
  • Marketing and outreach to build an audience
  • Building and managing a crowdfunding team
  • How to run the actual campaign and what to do afterwards

It also includes examples and templates of key documents as well as interviews with filmmakers and representatives from major crowdfunding companies and services.

100% money back guarantee

If once you’ve completed the course you don’t think it’s value for money then I’ll give you your money back.  All of it.  No questions asked. 

About Stephen

Stephen FollowsStephen has produced over 100 short films and two features. He has produced corporate video work for a wide variety of clients ranging from computer game giants (Bethesda), technology giants (Nokia Siemens Networks) and sporting giants (Jonny Wilkinson) but sadly no actual giants. He’s shot people in love, in the air, on the beach and on fire (although not at the same time) across over a dozen different countries in locations ranging from the Circle Line to the Arctic Circle.

Stephen has taught at major film schools, normal business schools and minor primary schools. His lessons range established topics from Producing at MA and BA level, online video and the business of film producing to more adventurous topics such as measuring the unmeasurable, advanced creative thinking and the psychology of film producing. He has taught at the National Film and Television School (NFTS), Met Film School, NYU, Filmbase, and on behalf of the BFI, the BBC and the British Council.

Stephen is an established data researcher in the film industry whose work has been featured in the New York Times, The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Mirror, The Evening Standard, Newsweek, The News Statesman, AV Club and Indiewire. He acted as industry consultant and guest on the BBC Radio 4 series The Business of Film, which was topped the iTunes podcast chart, and has consulted for a wide variety of clients, including the Smithsonian in Washington.

Stephen’s scriptwriting has won Virgin Media Shorts, the Reed Film Competition and IVCA awards; has been nominated at the British Independent Film Awards, Viral Video Awards, LA Movie Awards and long-listed for a BAFTA; and has been championed by Mike Newell, James King, Stephen Fry, the Daily Telegraph and Le Monde.

When he has time he drinks tea in the office of his production company, Catsnake, in Ealing Studios. Catsnake is a leading online video agency where Stephen is the Creative Director. They specialise in brand-funded short films and their work has been seen by over 30 million people.

Feedback on previous courses

“Being new to the film industry Stephen guided me through all aspects of producing. I was stunned in his extensive knowledge about the industry. Stephen was always attentive on what I wanted to learn and introduced me to several industry professionals – I recommend Stephen’s classes, he is truly an expert in producing and an excellent teacher”
Karine Pawel – Producer, M&C Saatchi

“Stephen is an inspiring and creative teacher and I learned more about the real world of film production than I could ever have gleaned from a dozen books on the subject. I’d recommend anyone who’s serious about a career as a producer to spend time in Stephen’s company and listen”
Mark Lo – Producer, Asylum Giant

“Classes were a joy to attend every evening as Stephen is inspiring in his wealth of knowledge and teaches his students like colleagues and friends. He was always happy to answer questions and give advice about career paths as well as organise great guest speakers from different areas of the industry. I would highly recommend this course and Stephen as an educator. I would attend any course he offered as I feel I learnt more in this course than my three year BA”
Gina Powell – Assistant Producer, Unstoppable Entertainment

“Throughout the long information packed days Stephen was never less than an engaging, super enthusiastic fountain of knowledge, and, for what I learnt from it, the price was a steal! For anyone searching for a super short course that teaches them the no holds barred reality of what it takes to become a UK Independent Film Producer and get a feature film made, look no further”
Susie Watson – Freelance Director

“Stephen is one of the most gifted producers I know. His mind operates at an entirely different speed to almost everyone I know, solving problems, offering solutions and innovating new opportunities at break neck speed. I don’t know anyone his age that has the same depth of experience and insight in film making”
Chris Jones – author of The Guerrilla Filmmakers Handbook

“Stephen is one of the best informed and prepared tutors at the Met. Student feedback from his sessions is excellent and the fact that they can follow him on his invaluable industry blog is a bonus that few tutors can offer”
Steve Pinhay – Head of Producing, Met Film School

“Stephen’s research is brilliant. No-one is doing data-driven analysis of the film industry quite like Stephen Follows. His detailed research and reporting about the film industry is unique and invaluable. Every week Stephen’s insights shed new light on different areas of the film business. We have syndicated some of Stephen’s work and will continue to do so. It is always very popular with our audience of producers and distributors”
Jonathan Wolf – Head of the American Film Market

Read more
3 Hours 28 Lessons

Recent articles on the Film Data Blog

Each week I look at a different topic around the film industry, focusing on the data and statistics which reveal what's going on.

How much do Kickstarter film projects aim to raise?

This is part two of a multi-part series on the statistics behind crowdfunded film projects.  Last week, I shared when and where Kickstarter film projects are launched and today I’m addressing the target amount they are trying to raise.

This is the result of a data-crunching research project into the 47,809 film crowdfunding campaigns launched on Kickstarter between its inception in April 2009 and October 2015. In summary…

  • Half of all Kickstarter film projects are trying to raise under $7,000
  • In 2009, the average film project was trying to raise $12,800 whereas in 2015 it’s $143,007
  • Action films have an average target goal of $406,669, making them the most expensive subcategory
  • The projects asking for the least were music videos ($17,387), short films ($22,088) and webseries ($23,003)
  • 53% of projects seeking under $1,000 succeed, compared …
Read full article

The statistics behind film crowdfunding: Part 1

Over the past few months I’ve been running a number of research projects into film crowdfunding and now I’m ready to start sharing what I’ve found.  

The research has two outcomes.  Firstly, blog articles sharing the results of my data research into film projects on Kickstarter, Indiegogo and other crowdfunding platforms.  It’s going to take a few weeks to publish it all as there’s so much but eventually it will all end up on here for free.

Secondly, a short online course called ‘A Crash Course In Crowdfunding for Filmmakers‘. This is everything you need to know to get started running a crowdfunding campaign for your film. Click here to find out more and for free previews of the lessons.  

Up first, here are the top-line stats …

Read full article

What percentage of directors are writer-directors?

On the face of it, writing and directing a feature film are two very different jobs.  The clichés are of the introverted writer squirrelling themselves away in a quiet room while the loud, bombastic director strides confidently on set and orders hundreds of people around.  However, when you look a little closer you see that there is plenty of overlap. Both involve the creation of worlds and characters, both require creative imagination to craft stories and both require communicating your vision to the team around you.  

Hollywood is awash with writer-directors, including Peter Jackson, Christopher Nolan, James Cameron, Wes Anderson, Joss Whedon and Alfonso Cuarón to name just half a dozen.  But how often is the director of a film also one of the writers? …

Read full article

How many people attend the American Film Market?

In a few days, the 36th annual American Film Market (AFM) opens for business, which will be followed by eight days of furious buying and selling film rights, workshops, screenings and industry gossiping networking.  The AFM is one of the three biggest dates in the annual calendar of film business professionals, alongside the Cannes Marche (hosted in France in May) and the European Film Market (hosted in Berlin in February).  

I took a look at the numbers behind the AFM.  In summary…

  • In 2014, 7,946 people attended the American Film Market
  • The year with the AFM’s highest attendance was 2007, with 8,343 people
  • In 2014, the AFM accredited 1,670 official buyers
  • ‘Accredited buyers’  must have bought at least three feature films (or TV shows) from IFTA members in the past three years
  • In the past ten years, the number of …
Read full article