Indies Worth Getting to Know (Pt. 3)
One of the best friends an indie filmmaker can have is IndieGoGo (http://www.indiegogo.com/), which provides tools for fundraising and promotion, and is developing a solid reputation for helping creative projects get produced. The platform enables filmmakers, musicians, video game programmers, writers and creative production companies to showcase their work, mobilize fans and DIWO (Do-It-With-Others).
Launched in 2008, IndieGoGo’s goal is to address fundraising challenges and marketing inefficiencies that affect independent media. It provides people with an open platform, where they can pitch their projects and offer fans the means to experience, influence and drive forward the ones they are interested in. Online resources help to build and engage a devoted fan base, while money and awareness are being raised. As for the fans, they gain influence and access to the projects being produced that they choose to support.
IndieGoGo’s resources can be used in several ways including: fund raising, finding cast and crew or gaining credibility for a project. Sign up on the site is free and once a password and account has been issued, a member can establish a project profile, allowing a work-in-progress or completed project to be showcased. This includes featuring a pitch clip and information about the project, the team producing it and its community. A live feed of fresh content such as videos, images, announcements, Twitter comments and any DIWO activity (contributions, shares, comments, etc.) is displayed along with an interface allowing fans to take action. Projects, ranging from ideas to completed productions, can be posted, edited and updated by any individual, organization or company.
Fundraising is facilitated using an Amazon payments option, providing the project administrator has a U.S. bank account and qualifies for an IndieGoGo Merchant Account, otherwise, a direct credit/debit card payment option can also be utilized. Fundraising contributions are recorded by IndieGoGo and displayed on the project’s profile. Once funds are raised, VIP perks, including credits, party invites, “extra” roles and characters named after contributors are distributed and the project moves ahead to the next phase. VIP perks vary and have been found to be a great way to engage fans by allowing them to feel like true patrons supporting the production process. If a project has a 501c-3 non-profit status or fiscal sponsorship, contributions may be tax deductible, but there are no refunds and IndieGoGo doesn’t offer equity investments. Sign up and most core activities involving fundraising are free to use, however, a 9% marketplace fee is charged on all funds raised and projects are responsible for 3rd party payment processing and disbursement fees.
IndieGoGo offers an effective vehicle for developers of independent media content to share and register their projects and the means to fund, promote and build a fan base for them, resulting in a win-win for everyone. For more information, watch Infinicine’s recent interview with IndieGoGo’s founder, Steve Rubin.