Journal – Crowd Funding Second Meeting – Rewards & Timeframes

This afternoon we had our second meeting with Lydia and Hannah about crowdfunding for our short film ‘Behind Closed Doors’. Last week we met and they initially described the process to us and what we needed to do to make it successful including rewards, info and updates.


Over the past week we’ve come up with a selection of rewards which will help us hopefully to raise the £1000 we think we need to create the film.

Lowest Reward – £5 Massive Thanks and A Digital Download and Name in the credits

(40 – £200)

Low Reward – £10 – Half hour live Q&A online (google hangouts) After film release + Digital Download & Name in Credits (20 – £200)

Mid Reward – £20 – Signed Movie Poster or Signed Printed Production Still (your choice) + Live Q&A, Download and Credit (10 –  £200)

Mid Reward – £30 Both Signed poster and print plus Q&A, Download, Credit (5 – £150)

High Reward – £40 ‘Pick a Prop’ Donate a prop to be included in the film (from list) + Signed Poster, Q&A, Digital Download (3 – £120)

£50 – Thank you you’ve helped fund our festivals. Receive all rewards and Exec Producer

Total £970

In the meeting today we went over these rewards. Myself and Sinead were under the impression that we had to limit the rewards so that we could only make the amount required. Lydia said we did not have to limit the rewards so we decided that all rewards except the most expensive Two (Exec-Producer & Submit a prop) would be unlimited, We could then hopefully use any extra money towards improving our production.

After pricing up Posters at around £6 for creation and despatch to the backer Hannah suggested we offer handwritten postcards as an alternative to Posters and prints. These would be cheaper to send out in the post, offer a personal touch and maybe more useful as people don’t tend to display posters anymore. Hannah also suggested that they should be more original than normal movie posters so that they are more exclusive and fan orientated.

We have tried to focus on rewards that don’t cost us anything to produce like the google hangouts video chat and movie download & credit. With this in mind we decided to replace the £30 poster and Print option with a signed script.

We decided that the incremental rewards would include all previous rewards, this way there is an incentive for backers to move up a level as they will not loose any of the previous rewards and a small step may mean they are prepared to offer more money to move up a level.


Initially we were looking at launching Crowdfunding in December but after some discussions about peoples willingness to give during this time we have decided to kick off the crowdfunding at the end of January. As we will not have to pay our actors until after filming this will suit our production schedule; this timescale will also be beneficial because we will be able to see how our funding is coming along before production and determine if we need to make any changes to the budget.

In order to make the crowdfunding successful Lydia and Hannah have advised us on the importance of good social media, essentially building an audience for the crowdfunding before it begins. We are looking at using Twitter and Facebook for more official updates such as the trailers and posters promotion, this will begin at the start in December to give enough time to build an audience before the January crowd fund launch. We will be using Instagram for more ‘Behind the scenes’ style updates, these can begin sooner with photos of production meetings, filming of sizzler and more genera updates.

Lydia and Hannah will set up our social media sites for us using images we will provide when finalised. They agreed that we will provide them with media such as treatments and more in depth posts but they will offer day to day general updates to help promote the film.


Stock Images For Sizzler Pond 5

This Monday we will be filming our ‘Sizzler’ film for ‘Behind Closed Doors’. A Sizzler is a term I first came across while doing work experience for the Wild Screen Wildlife Film Festival in Bristol. When presenting new programme ideas, producers were showing us a ‘Sizzler’ of their next project, These were short highlight videos of programmed that act as a little teaser of what to expect when watching the final product. Sizzler’s are used as part of a pitching process to wet the audiences appetite.

We will be using our Sizzler to help us during the pitch and we have also planned to use it through our social media campaign and in our crowd funding programme to help attract and audience and gain funding.

Our Sizzler will be a number of key object shots which help tell the story in the final film, these shots will be shot cinematically and have a lot of focus on diegetic sound, the aim is to create a visual and audio pice that will cement the tone of the film with the audience and make them interested to see the final story. We chose to use objects as these raise questions, give great options for diegetic sound and also will save us having to show characters who haven’t been cast yet.

One of the shots we are filming on Monday is a family photograph being tossed into an open fire. As casting has not started yet we needed to get a suitable photograph to use for this scene, Looking through my own and other peoples family photographs I couldn’t find anything suitable with a couple and a young baby so I looked to the internet instead.

As the Sizzler will be viewed online it was important to consider copyright, I couldn’t just download an image form the internet. I’ve been using a stock site Pond 5 for a number of video and audio requirements in the past so I decided to check there for stock photographs. There were a number of suitable options for purchase and after contacting our Director we agreed on a photograph/Family to be our stand in characters for the scene.

The 2 images i purchased cost £3 each. I then took these to a photo-lab to get them professionally printed. I could have printed them out cheaper at home but I felt as this was a very cinematic close up shot we needed to see this was a real photograph and it needed to also burn the way a real photograph would when placed on a fire.


Developing the photographs was an easy process, it took less than 5 minutes and cost under £4 for 8 photographs. I printed 4 of each photograph to allow for any mess ups.


Abigails Producing Workshop

Abigail Producing Workshop

Today I attended a workshop with Abigail where we went into detail some of the tasks that are generally completed by a Producer in a project. The producers role in pre-production is vital to the project being completed on time.

This session focused on the process of making a viable production using softeware such as movie magics to create schedules and budgets as well as using traditional techniques to complete the process. One of the most important things to focus on was that the project is constantly evolving and the producers role is to balance three key areas in order to create a viable product.

Script – The script is the main blueprint for the production, all decisions are initial based around the script and what the writer/director want to achieve. The first step of scheduling and budgeting is to go through the script and highlight all areas that will have an impact on the schedule and budget. These will include Scene length, Location, characters, Props, Special effects set dressing and camera moves at the very least. Having an idea of all of these elements will enable the producer to budget effectively and schedule efficiently.

Schedule – The schedule is important in ensuring a project is delivered on time, there is an overall schedule for the project which should be started from the delivery date and work backwards, this will include post production, production and pre-production. Abigail noted that post production is often overlooked particularly in student films and it can take a lot longer than we imagine, she also reminded us that post-production elements such as sound, soundtrack and particularly titles play very important roles in the final look and feel of a film so they should be given enough time for completion just as the main filming element is.

Budget – With an idea of the script and schedule budgeting can now take shape, budgeting is a balancing act between saving as much money as possible while ensuring all the HoD creative ideas can be realised. The budget sets out how much a production is going to cost and takes into account talent and crew costs, travel accommodation, equipment and grip hire along with many post production elements such as copyright, soundtrack, marketing and distribution. Abigail noted that not all of the money will come at once and that backers will often pay in installments so this is an important to remember when budgeting,

All three of the elements above are working together to create a project, if any one changes then the other two will need adjusting and there should be constant checks and adjustments to the script, budget and schedule throughout the process to keep the project running on time for delivery and within the agreed budget.

For my role as Producer on Sineads drama ‘Behind closed Doors’ I have begun using a free software called Celtx. The software allows the imputing of a script in an industry format and allows the producer to highlight all areas relevant to scheduling and from this i can create strip schedules, scene schedules and effectually plan the overall production phase of the project. using the information from celtx I can also then include this in the budget and get an overall cost for the creation of the project.

I’ve used Celtx successfully in the past and have found it very useful for scheduling. It requires a lot of work initially ensuring all items are cataloged and in the correct format but the initial work pays off in the production phase as you are able to schedule days with ease and ensure that all the team are aware of what needs to be done on a particular day.