All Alone on This Yellow Brick Road: The Trials of Crowdfunding Part 1

All Alone on This Yellow Brick Road: The Trials of Crowdfunding Part 1

Here is a guest post by Anthony Williams who has raising funds for his film Absolutely Positive. Here he talks about the realities of crowdfunding. When you are done (or before) check out his campaign on Kickstarter


I knew the walk down the yellow brick road of crowdfunding was going to be a long and tough one, but I didn’t know how much until I put my foot to the pavement. But still, in the midst of it all, my eyes are set on the Emerald City.

I started a Kickstarter campaign for the post-production needs of my film, Absolutely Positive. Absolutely Positive is a film about four characters who decide to get tested for HIV. The film follows them and shows why they decide to get tested, the thoughts that go through their minds while waiting to get their results, and how they decide to live their lives after finding out their results. It displays a truthful insight into the many worlds and faces of HIV and sheds light on the importance of personal accountability as well as lack of discrimination, showing that HIV has no limits and knows no bounds. It only takes one person, and it only takes one time.

Before production, there was crazy enthusiasm that had been building throughout the community around the film. Friends and fans were excited; buzz continued to generate; all was swell. After completing the film and hosting a few screenings, I did my research about effective crowdfunding, took a lot of advice, and seemed to have a good grasp on the whole crowdfunding thing in the beginning. So when it began, the momentum was pretty decent.

As expected, running the Kickstarter is a full time job (and a lonely one at that), and with me working a regular full time job already, one can only imagine how much stress and pressure started to build. I set the campaign for 60 days and each one of those days so far has been filled with me constantly being logged onto social media sites, talking face-to-face about the film with every person I come in contact with, contacting organizations around the community and the country in hopes of gaining their support in spreading the Kickstarter link and word about the film—all of which became too much too fast for just me to handle. Although the plan to make this campaign is a surefire success, it’s pretty large, and I’m finding I am the only one executing it, in turn finding there aren’t enough hours in the day to do all I need to make the campaign soar like I want.

Read the rest in Part 2.

  • Jake

    Apparently “doing your research about crowdfunding” didn’t include looking at any of the top 10 kickstarter projects*, and following in their stead. You’ll note that for all of them, the pledge rewards are more-or-less in line with the cost: Example: “I’m looking to get a book printed. A copy of the book will cost $20, with 3 dollar shipping and kickstarter taking 15%, so a pledge of $30 will get you the book if this succeeds (and net me only 2.50, but I’m certain that copy has sold)”.

    Your kickstarter project is pure profit; the rewards are of basically no value and the movie is already made; so people have no incentive to fund your project. Why pledge $35 for a 0.99 song download, when the movie and song are already made? Spending the extra $34.01 for “Feeling good and giving people profit” will never be commong, whereas the previous example’s extra $7 for “feeling good and helping a book get published” will get a decent turnout.

    *http://www.kickstarter.com/discover/most-funded?ref=sidebar