A dive into the data behind film crowdfunding rewards

This week, I’m celebrating the launch of my new book ‘How To Crowdfund Your Film‘.  It’s published by Creative Essentials in physical and Kindle editions. To coincide with the launch, I thought I would tackle a related question from a reader who got in touch to ask about the rewards offered on crowdfunding sites.  In the past, I have looked at the number of rewards offered but this reader was specifically asking about the success of different types of rewards.  i.e. not what filmmakers want to offer but rather what backers want to accept. So I gathered data on rewards for all Kickstarter film projects launched between April 2009 and May 2018 – that’s 466,998 rewards in total – and set to work.

A quick primer on crowdfunding

Let’s start …

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Is Seed & Spark’s high crowdfunding success rate for real?

In our industry, it’s not uncommon to hear people making bold claims.  They declare that their film is going to make a fortune, that they will soon collect an Oscar and that their new start-up is better than anything else on the market.

Normally I just ignore this hyperbole, but once in a while, I ask for proof.  Few people reply and even fewer can back up their claims.  Today’s article is about one company that can and did defend their bold claim.

Seed & Spark is a crowdfunding platform aimed at the film industry which claims to have “the highest success rate in the crowdfunding business”.  As regular readers will know, I have studied the world of film crowdfunding for a while, including …

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The film financing of a £660k feature film

Last year, I shared the full costs and income of a £850k feature film called Papadopoulos & Sons.  The article remains popular and has led to a number of people asking me to share similar details of other films.  It’s a tricky ask, as the film industry is normally a closed shop and withholds numbers even when there is no obvious reason to do so.

However, every now and then I meet filmmakers who are committed to helping the film community by sharing their journey.

Today’s article covers the film financing of a new feature called Alleycats. The film’s director Ian Bonhôte and its producer Andee Ryder have been kind enough to share with me how they raised two-thirds of a million pounds.

Alleycats is an …

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How many filmmakers run multiple crowdfunding campaigns?

Crowdfunding provides filmmakers with a much better form of financing than investment or loans.  There’s nothing to repay, no one controls the creative process and you own 100% of your film. However, some people question how sustainable crowdfunding is as a repeating funding source. Can you really go back and raise more money on Kickstarter for a second film?

Today’s research was sparked by a reader question. James Heath emailed to ask “Do you happen to know many campaign owners who have gone from running smaller Kickstarter campaigns to returning later to do larger ones?”

In order to work this out, we need a lot of data. Fortunately, last year I performed an extensive study of all Kickstarter film projects which had run since …

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Film crowdfunding tips – What the data says you should do

I’m continuing my investigation into crowdfunding and today I’m sharing some practical film crowdfunding tips. In previous articles I’ve looked at the number of projects, where they’re based, how much money they’re asking for and the day and time they’re launched. We’ve seen a few correlations with success, some predictable (projects which ask for less money do better) and some less so (projects which end on a Sunday fare poorest).

For this article, I thought I would use the data to give some specific film crowdfunding tips and nuggets of advice to help you create a successful film crowdfunding campaign. This is the result of a data-crunching research project into the 47,809 film crowdfunding campaigns launched on Kickstarter between its inception …

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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 …
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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.

Up first, here are the top-line stats on the 47,809 film crowdfunding campaigns launched on Kickstarter between their inception in April 2009 and …

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Data on improving your crowd-funding campaign

I spent the weekend at the London Screenwriters’ Festival. In previous years I’ve helped run the festival (including being Festival Producer in 2011) but this year my duties were light; just moderating sessions and drinking tea. This meant that I was fortunate enough to chat to many emerging and established screenwriters. A common theme that came up in conversation was opportunities for screenwriters to raise a little bit of money via crowd-funding and produce their own scripts. The festival’s creative director, Chris Jones, is a master in making everyone feel empowered to make their projects a reality. So I thought I would chip in and add some data to the dreams. I looked at Kickstarter, the largest and pre-eminent crowd-funding site, …

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