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The Director’s Chair Issue #155 – July 15, 2014 (Crowd Funding Tips from an Indie Filmmaker)

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July 15, 2014                Scene 15 – Take 7

Published once a month.

Publisher: Peter D. Marshall
Email: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com
Website: http://actioncutprint.com
Blog: http://filmdirectingtips.com


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Ezine Contents

1. Introduction
2. Bonuses for Subscribing to The Director’s Chair
3. Advanced Blocking Workshop – Toronto, August 9 & 10
4. FEATURE ARTICLE: Crowd Funding Tips from an Indie Filmmaker
5. Film Directing Coach Services
6. Subscriber Shameless Self-Promotion
7. Filmmaking Links of Interest
8. Product Promotion and Film Workshops
9. Subscribe and Unsubscribe Information
10. Copyright Information

1. Introduction

Welcome to Issue #155 of The Director’s Chair, July 15, 2014

1. The Feature Article this month is called: Crowd Funding Tips
from an Indie Filmmaker by David Noel Bourke. “More and more
filmmakers are trying their hand at crowd-funding. As an indie
filmmaker, I have tried it with some success and with some
lessons learned along the way. Overall, it’s well worth it and a
great, intense experience and I wish to share some of the
experience. It’s good to know what you getting youself into
before you jump in with max enthusiasm and not to be left
scratching your head on what went wrong if you don’t achieve your
goal.” (Read the rest of this article below.)

2. Please send any comments, suggestions, questions or advice to:

2. Two Bonuses For Subscribing To The Director’s Chair

Thank you very much for subscribing to this ezine.

BONUS #1 – Here is the link to download Day One (41 pages) of
“The Art and Craft of the Director Audio Seminar.”

BONUS #2 – Here is the link to download the first 30 pages of the
“Script Breakdown and Film Scheduling Online Course.”

IMPORTANT: Once the pdf file has opened on your browser, go to
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3. Advanced Blocking Workshop – Toronto, August 9 & 10

When you first start directing, blocking actors in a scene can be
one of the hardest (and most embarrassing) parts of your job. If
you get it wrong here, you could waste valuable shooting time
trying to get out of the mess you created!

“Advanced Blocking” is a 2 day hands-on workshop with Peter D.
Marshall and concentrates on constructing shots and blocking
actors in a scene.

This workshop is designed for directors and actors who want to
better understand the complicated process of scene analysis and
blocking actors on set.

VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8p1Qkv7DoIM

For more info about this workshop, please vist Raindance Toronto:

4. Feature Article: Crowd Funding Tips from an Indie Filmmaker

“Crowd Funding Tips from an Indie Filmmaker” by David Noel Bourke.

More and more filmmakers are trying their hand at crowd-funding.
As an indie filmmaker, I have tried it with some success and with
some lessons learned along the way. Overall, it’s well worth it
and a great, intense experience and I wish to share some of the
experience. It’s good to know what you getting youself into
before you jump in with max enthusiasm and not to be left
scratching your head on what went wrong if you don’t achieve your

Firstly, crowd-funding takes up 100% of your time, energy and
creativity, so be prepared to be in full on mode with for the 1-3
months when you are “live” with it. It’s really a full on
experience and also very personal but more on that later!

So you may have googled around and read a lot of success stories
with film campaigns that got a lot of money via crowd-funding –
you are inspired to give it go, every one else is doing it, so
why can’t we… Indeed, there are a lot good inspirational
campaigns but you must also be realistic as many go no where and
for a good reason but don’t let that put you off .

You need to plan in advance before you go live, this is so
important. Work on your front page, synopsis and video – get it
crystal clear summary and try to make it snappy and to the point.
It may sound obvious but be clear and concise on what you are
asking your backers to back. Is it production costs for the
shoot? Is it script development? Is it post production? When will
you shoot? What will the funds be used for, cameras, costumes,
actors? Be as honest, precise concrete as possible …and open –
a lot of folk don’t know the filmmaking process/terminology as we
do, so spell it out to them.

Get a TEAM on your campaign, the bigger the team the better. I
had a producer, cinematographer and actors and a production
designer – it all helps to solidify the project. Timeframe-wise,
the longer the time the more value in my experience, I even
requested extra time at the end – it takes time like everything
else to get to know how to optimize your campaign, especially for
your first, I would advise 3 months.

The video intro on your campaign is mandatory. I did one
introducing myself and the project with some stills and
background,  an actual real footage teaser of the movie is a
bigger boost. So if you can, go shoot some test footage –
anything. Also concept posters, production designs help –
anything that gives a feel to what the project is about. Put them
all up there and your inspirations too.

One of the other big things that can be overlooked is to set a
realistic target goal for the amount of funds you want to
achieve. Sounds simple, right? But it can be tricky to gauge that
number, some campaigns pull in more than others (bigger fan
base/celebrity actor etc) ..and it’s tempting to raise it higher
because you feel you have nothing to lose – and you think to
yourself “you never know”.

This is a mistake. Keep it low! For my campaign with the feature
film “White Pig” we did not reach our set target goal but still
got a lot of funds and backers – which for us was great –  but
perspective wise it’s seen as a target not reached – so in
hindsight we should of took a lower target and voila SUCCESS!
Keeping it low helps too when you get to around 70-80% more
people want to back you as generally everyone wants to see you go
over the line, it’s human nature.

Remember, the money you get can help to shoot some scenes and can
be used for the next campaigns (trailers/teasers) and to get more
producers on board. These positive and well planned steps ensures
you don’t falter and lose confidence and lets your project build
and grow and gain an audience.

What about Perks? What’s in it for the backers? I won’t
specifically go into what kind of perks is best but one thing
surprised me is a lot of potential backers got back to me saying
why are you offering a DVD, nobody buys DVDs anymore! I added
perks of downloads from my previous movies and also also
opportunities to be bit actors and in a producer role with IMDB
credit. Don’t go overkill with the perks and try keep them fun
and simple.

Platforms, I used Indiegogo at the time because Kickstarter back
then was limited to US. Also we wanted to use whatever funds we
collected, Kickstarter is all or nothing – again for a filmmaker
it’s important to explain the concept.

When backers come in, use the power of social media. Facebook,
twitter and LinkedIn – thank people, tag them and share. This
will get the word out on your campaign and people love to see
this sort of thing, it’s fun and also very inspiring to everyone
involved. Although, it’s a balancing act as they are many
campaigns out there – so easy does it. Also you have to remember
not everyone is into the crowd-funding scene, so don’t take
personally if friends or others say, no thanks, it’s not that
they don’t like you or the project, it’s just not everyone’s cup
of tea, so smile and move on.

On Indiegogo, there is a page with campaign updates – use video
and comments to keep all your backers updated and don’t push them
too much to “spread the word” – see it as an open project that
folk can participate or not.  Maybe next time they will chip in,
so keep it positive.

When the campaign is finished keep the dialogue flowing with your
backers and let them know how things are going – they are your
producers after all, if things are going slower than expected –
inform them why and let them know the work in progress and the
updated plans. When you have something to show them, ask them for
feedback and comments. They generally love being involved.

Remember again, crowd-funding is not a magical way to fund your
movie but see it as stepping stone and it gets your movie some
exposure and gives it a helping hand to move it forward.

I hope my crowd-funding experience can help you. I’ve already had
several filmmakers get in touch with me after they saw my
campaign and they were inspired. If I can inspire you too, that’s
fantastic…I say go for it!

Best of luck and happy crowd-funding!

David Noel Bourke.

White Pig feature film campaign: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/white-pig-feature-film-help-us-make-a-classic-nordic-noir
Facebook page of campaign: https://www.facebook.com/pages/WHITE-PIG-feature-film-help-us-make-a-classic-Nordic-Noir/471539052930298
Film teasers shot with help of funds from campaign:

David Noel Bourke is a Denmark-based, Irish-born indie filmmaker.
He made his debut movie “Last Exit”, a low budget underground
movie in 2003 which was officially released in the US and Europe.

In 2009, he wrote, directed and edited a more funded ambitious,
retro-thriller called “No Right Turn.” It officially premiered at
the CPH:PIX film festival 2009, where the film was nominated to
screen twice in the new Danish Talent category. It was as
officially released in the US in 2009 and released in Denmark and
Sweden in 2010.

David is currently working on a third feature film project,
“White Pig”, a psychological thriller loosely based on the Anders
Behring Breivik murders.

His films are typically atmospheric, moody with dark humour. He
is married with two children.
Twitter: www.twitter.com/DavidNoelBourke
lep studios: http://www.lastexitproductions.dk/

5. Film Directing Coach – Peter D. Marshall

Actors, Singers and Athletes Have Private Coaches. So Why Not
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Hilary Swank used an acting coach to prepare for her role in Boys
Don’t Cry. She won her first Academy Award.

Singer Renee Fleming has always used a vocal coach. She has won
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Rafael Nadal’s coach urged him on from the sidelines during his
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So if these top professionals in their respective fields use
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So why hire me as your film directing coach?

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6. Subscriber Shameless Self-Promotion (Free Advertising)

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7. Filmmaking Links of Interest

1. Here’s What You Need to Know Before Casting Your Film

2. How To Crowdfund Like Humphrey Bogart

3. Steven Soderbergh Talks Filmmaking In Extensive Chats With
Mark Romanek & Neil LaBute http://bit.ly/Twlzcc

4. Seth Rogen’s Advice To Aspiring Filmmakers

5. 3 Producers On The Challenges of Short Filmmaking (and How
They Overcame Them) http://bit.ly/1kGNeNV

6) 10 Most Shamefully Lazy Plot Resolutions In Movie History

7) VIDEO: The Digital Revolution is Changing Filmmaking

8) 6 Filmmaking Tips from William Friedkin

9) How To Achieve Your Filmmaking Goals Fast

10) Low-budget films rely on shortcuts

8. Product Promotion And Film Workshops

From time to time, I will contact you to inform you of film
workshops, filmmaking products or Online courses that I feel are
beneficial to filmmakers like yourself. Of course, you are under
no obligation to purchase anything – I only offer this
information as a service to subscribers of this free ezine.

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10. Copyright Information

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