Maximising the potential of crowdfunding in the production process
by Ernesto Leotta
- CANNES NEXT: Cineuropa brought out five crowdfunding veterans to answer questions and share tips about today’s most popular form of online financing
Sunday mornings are usually devoted to lying in bed, but not if you're at Cannes and you're eager to hear the latest on crowdfunding.
On 17 May, Cineuropa proudly presented a round table featuring the world's leading crowdfunding executives from the most popular platforms, moderated by editor-in-chief Domenico La Porta and held at the K Hall of the Palais des Festivals.
The first subject to be addressed by the speakers was the importance of recognising the quality of a project and the talent of its creator from the beginning. "At Kickstarter, we're always trying to be present in every community in order to find quality projects," began Dan Schoenbrun, film outreach lead at one of the world’s most renowned crowdfunding platforms. "We recommend three to four weeks to prepare; then creators are helped through the shaping of their communication strategy and the building of their audience, which should be completed before the launch of the campaign."
La Porta then moved on, asking Colin Brown – Slated's editorial director – about legal responsibility. "Slated is an introduction platform, so the legal responsibility is on the producer. We are in-between crowdfunding and the marketplace itself, enabling introductions to projects, talent, financing and sales."
As the session went on, the audience started to engage in a more and more gripping debate, the speakers' hints and suggestions constituting a fair reward for getting up early on a spring Sunday morning.
"Do you also take care of distribution?" someone asked Touscoprod's director of partnerships, Sophie Kuno, who replied, "It would be great to rely on communities when it comes to distribution, in order to make them the real promoters of the film. They would also be able to buy broadcasting rights instead of getting posters or DVDs – thus being part of the project even after its completion."
Speaking of rewards, La Porta then asked Marc Hofstatter, Indiegogo's head of film, what prizes were the most appealing to crowdfunders. "The film itself is the most rewarding compensation people can get, if they truly want it to be made. We also encourage experiences with the film, such as Skype sessions with filmmakers or personalised T-shirts and sweaters, like the ones we gave out for Dario Argento's The Sandman."
In conclusion, La Porta asked his guests whether they believed that any kind of film was suitable for crowdfunding or not. Mathieu Maire du Poset, Ulule's deputy managing director, wrapped up the debate: "It's easier to crowdfund a non-independent project, preferably with big stars who have established communities, but I believe it's a matter of time. You might have a huge project, but if you don't spend time building a relationship with your community, failure's around the corner."
You can check out the whole round table here: