Friday, August 17, 2012

Crowdfunding – Anything is Pozible

On Wednesday I went to a briefing by Pozible co-founder Rick Chen and ScreenWest re the 3 to 1 Crowdfunding Initiative which is an Australian first. In brief, if you raise a minimum of $5,000 in pledges up to a maximum of $50,000, ScreenWest will tip in $3 for every $1 (of your target NOT the total pledged). This is for narrative film projects such as short films, web series, documentaries and only available to Western Australian creative teams.

It’s a fabulous idea and very encouraging to see the local funding body take such an entrepreneurial approach to encouraging new content. Basically, you have to show there is an audience for your project with a minimum of 40 contributors (maximum $2000 per pledge per person) to meet the minimum dollar requirement. ScreenWest will vet all the submitted projects to ensure the budgets are realistic and include components for the rewards offered; and Pozible’s percentage take and credit card fees (allow 6-7% of your budget).

Other than that, if the project meets the minimum requirements of narrative, screen-based, West Australian and doesn’t breach SW’s charter, then it’s basically up to the market to decide. It appears SW won’t assess the creative merits of each project.

There is a total pot of $250,000 available from SW to be accessed on a ‘first past the post’ basis. So, as an example, if you have a target of $15,000 and get pledges to the value of $16, 250 then SW will tip in $45,000.

As you might guess, there was a large turnout of local filmmakers with plenty of questions after the presentations which included two creative teams that have successfully used Pozible. Natalie Lewis and Werzel Montague were representing ‘Super Dingo’, a comedy web series whose first episode generated over 1 million hits on YouTube; while Alice Ross and Sam Field talked about 'Hunter: The Documentary' which currently holds the ‘record’ for most dollars ($20,360) pledged for a WA originated project.

It was great to see the two teams openly sharing their experiences and being forthright about both the positives and the negatives. It also demonstrated the diversity of projects that find support through Pozible.

I jotted down plenty of notes but to summarise some key messages about what works when using crowdfunding:

A personal touch is important.
It requires a lot of work… every day!
Be creative with the rewards.
A social media presence is essential – facebook page and twitter account in particular.
Set a realistic budget.
ASK people to share and contribute.
But DON’T spam or beg!
Keep people updated and thank them individually and publicly for their support.
Deliver the project!
Deliver the rewards!
Understand your audience and research similar film projects on Pozible.

The key date at this stage is 12 November when the initial submission to ScreenWest is due. So get your creative team and ideas together and check out the guidelines. It really is a great opportunity to test the viability of your project and source the dollars to make it happen.

If you need a screenwriter to help bring your story to life or to give feedback on your script(s) then send me an email at

No comments:

Post a Comment