The one piece of advice that I am not qualified to give would be in the crowdfunding arena. Since the only crowdfunding campaign, I ever did failed to reach its goal. What I can do is talk about my own experience with crowdfunding and what I think I did wrong. I’ll start by saying that many people get their movies funded via crowdfunding and that it is, by far, one of the most approachable methods of movie funding available to indie filmmakers today. I couldn’t approve of it more. My mistakes with crowdfunding had more to do with the producer I trusted to run the campaign than anything else. When the script for Pickings was complete, I recruited an “Executive Producer” who had no prior experience but had a lot of heart and a lot of passion for my film. She believed that she could raise upwards of $350,000 to make the movie. I trusted her word and asked her to sign an Executive Producer contract. She’d raise the money and get a percentage of everything she brought to the table, and if she were to raise more than $500K, she’d get a 5% stake in the movie itself. It seemed like a fair deal to me, so I gave her the “go ahead.” She worked tirelessly for a few days, setting up the Indiegogo campaign; we produced a two-minute pitch trailer for the movie, which kicked ass, by the way!
Less than four days after the campaign had launched online, my producer decided to leave the country, stranding myself and my entire production with an Indiegogo campaign we couldn’t market or make changes to. The fundraising effort died, and the movie almost died with it. I guess there are plenty of lessons to be learned from this situation, but for me, the most important lesson should be to hire an Executive Producer with a track record. Had I hired someone seriously, had I not accepted the first offer that came my way by a willing, yet inexperienced producer, it would have been a completely different story.
I had a vision of what I wanted my first feature to be and I'm glad that I was able to not only accomplish it within my budget but also met some incredibly talented people along the way.