Dan Holden's Blog

Screenwriting, Film-Making and Web TV

Successful Crowdfunding for Filmmakers


For many in the entertainment industry, it’s no longer acceptable to wait around to be discovered for their writing, acting or directing talents. Today, crowdfunding provides creative types with the ability to make their own films, which they can then show at film festivals around the world.

Still, crowdfunding adds a challenging layer of complexity to an already overwhelming film-making task. And producers or directors who try to jump on the crowdfunding bandwagon without first investigating how it works are likely to learn the hard way.

Nevertheless, says award-winning filmmaker and producer Dawn Fields, founder of Palm Street Films and the Los Angeles Film Collective, there’s really no other way to do it.

“I love it. I think it is the most fun and exciting way to raise money,” says Fields (pictured above, with laptop on knees). “It’s a lot of work, but for me the work has been worth it.”

Fields is credited with having produced or directed eight indie films, including FOUND, which recently won the Best Short Film and Best Director awards at the Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema. The film was also nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Original Score.

“My first experience was development money for the feature film Zombie Elves,” said Fields. “I didn’t have a fan base yet and was asking for too much money, so that campaign only raised enough money to pay for the video and the perks. I learned a great deal from that one.”

Fields has tested a variety of funding platforms, including Indiegogo and Kickstarter and has strong opinions about the advantages and disadvantages of each.

She says crowdfunding is “also a great way to test your concept and start building an audience for your work,” something angel investors find particularly intriguing. In fact, private investors and studios alike have been known to join the funding for indie projects that enjoy a viral crowdfunding following.

While not every crowdfunding experience will be that successful, the money raised can play an important role in producing a high quality product, said Fields, who has used crowdfunding to pay for a variety of post-production services that require expert skills, such as editing, music and colorization.

“Eighty to 90 percent of the short films I see in festivals have been crowdfunded,” said Fields. “It’s really the only way that most people can get their short films made.”

Dawn Fields will present a crowdfunding seminar in Los Angeles on Saturday March 21 at 10am Pacific. It can be viewed on the Internet at http://www.film411.com/crowdfunding-seminar/ using the discount code Friends01. For more information, see “Successful Crowdfunding For Filmmakers” – LIVE WEBINAR! at www.film411.com.


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This entry was posted on March 25, 2015 by in Uncategorized.
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