GADZOOK FILMS Producing independent film in Seattle, Los Angeles and beyond.


Social Media Fundraising?

EDIT: Since I wrote this more research has revealed some specifics. I'm sharing that now. Thanks!

Lots of exciting things going on here at GadZook Films. First off I started a Twitter account. You can follow me and the GadZook crew by clicking the little icon in my sidebar.

GadZook Films is also on Myspace and Facebook, so add us to your friends and group lists! You'll feel so smug when all of your friends marvel at how GadZook Films was your friend months before we accepted their friend request. There's a link in the sidebar to the Facebook group as well, if, ya know, you just like to watch.

But here's the real issue: can independent filmmakers, like us here at GadZook Films, raise money using the internet's vast social networking resources? The folks at IndieGoGo believe we can. They have an interesting, albeit not new, business model. You, as Joe Filmmaker, set up a project on their site, establishing a specific fundraising goal. You e-mail friends, family, fans and let them know about what you're doing and how they can help. Theoretically the whole 6 degrees of separation should nab you more fans and more potential donors.

With regards to the fundraising aspect of IndieGoGo, it's a pledge system. Donors may pledge money to your cause using Amazon Payments (a filmmaker must setup an Amazon Merchant account). Money is not taken out of the donor's account, however, until the project meets its goal. IndieGoGo charges a 9% administration fee against all the money you end up actually raising. If you don't get any of the money then you don't pay. 9% is pretty high, more than some of the film-related non-profit umbrellas I've worked with in the past charge anyway.

For the record,, another web-based fundraising tool for filmmakers, charges a 10% admin fee. They use PayPal instead of Amazon to delivery payments.

It's basically a method of leveraging any sort of social network you've constructed for yourself to help raise money for film projects. And I'm going to be a guinea pig and try it out. Head over to my IndieGoGo site, become a fan of GadZook Films and stay tuned. I'll be uploading a project in the next week and try to raise some financing for it. Help me out and you'll see first hand how it'll help! Questions, comments?

In next week's column I'll discuss paying for online video content.