Here is a continuation of Anthony Williams’ guest post on the trials of crowdfunding. Here you get a look into the thoughts that go through the mind while embarking on this journey. Read Part 1 here.
Even though this film is a creation of my own, I felt that everyone who was a part of it would be eager to campaign for it as well out of pride for their work. Some people have stepped up, doing what they can when they can, but the level of help that’s needed is still lacking. Naturally, midway through the campaign, the stress and discouragement set in deeper as the days continued on. Contributions are less and less even though the “LIKES” on the Facebook and Twitter posts as well as my work efforts become more and more. I’m becoming more and more burnt out. Everything was and still is somewhat stuck in standstill mode, and I still don’t know how to get out of it.
Now I’m not going to lie—I expected such challenge and opposition frankly because of the content of the film. I’m a ballsy writer and filmmaker. I like to make films about things people don’t like to talk about and on subjects people don’t like to touch. I like to make films that tell the truth with no holds barred, leaving no one out, and with Absolutely Positive being that type of film, it’s obvious that’s a prime reason for the campaign’s current struggle. The pitch video was long and over-informative so I thought that may have been a main factor. I actually even received a few comments that the pitch video was a little…liberal, if you will, and that approach may have also been a deciding factor for those who may have wanted to share the video with others but didn’t. So…I set out to change, in the middle of the campaign. New video, new approach, everything.
It’s seeming to get a better generation of shares, but the donations are still limited. Of course, my mind can’t help but think:
Am I setting myself up for failure with the film’s content and subject matter, or is it unique?
Am I starting to wear people out by constantly talking about it and borderline begging for contributions?
Can I really make this as successful as a lot of the other Kickstarter campaigns are? How do I reach that level if I’m doing all I can already? Am I doing something wrong or did I forget a crucial step in my planning phase?
All of these thoughts still loom in my mind each day I log on to the computer to start another day of campaigning. Eventually, I try to knock them out with these constant reassurances:
I’m not setting myself up for failure because a lot of other campaigns are reaching their goals while asking for more money than we are. The content may be unique and risqué, but it’s a story worth telling and can’t be told any other way.
I may be starting to wear people out with constantly talking about the campaign, but they see the dedication toward what I love to do. They know I’m working myself to the ground to get where I need to be. And at most, if they keep hearing about it, the buzz stays in their ear and they’ll be encouraged to donate, whether it’s because they want to, or whether it’s to get me to STOP talking about it so much. Either way, it’s a win-win!
Yes, I can make it as successful as any other campaign on that website! Thinking outside the box, being bold in my endeavors, and taking chances is what will get me the results needed. If I don’t have enough faith in my project, then no one else will.
I’m sure I’m not the only one faced with the same problems and self-daunting questions. It comes with the territory of the business. Even though there are still a few days left remaining to reach our goal in our campaign, it’s a lonely road to walk. But we as filmmakers have to ask ourselves if it’s one worth walking. I’m not the type to quit midway through, so I’m in it until the end as any filmmaker should be. Know that you are a good filmmaker. Know and believe that your project is worth what you’re asking and worth all of the effort you’re putting into it. Speaking from continual personal experience, I know the journey is long, arduous, and lonely, but it’s one that has to be walked in order to get where we need to be. I know, without a doubt, that I am a ballsy filmmaker, and others know it as well. I know that my films are not for everyone and actually may not set well with quite a bit of people, but the confidence within me tells me that it’s something that will work out for the best in the end. I imagine all of my projects causing noise and raising ruckus, but they’re projects that will always leave people talking and thinking and creating dialogue about things that people are too afraid to talk about otherwise. That’s exactly what Absolutely Positive was meant to do and has already done with those who have seen it. That in itself frightens people (myself included), but I wouldn’t have it any other way and definitely wouldn’t change it for anything. The hurdles in our way may seem too large to jump and will require everything we have. I just have to keep my head up and keep trucking until the last second falls off of the campaign clock. I encourage you to do the same, even when you feel that you can’t.
There are no colorful, magic bubbles to take you to the end; it takes more than just a hop, skip, and a jump to get to the Emerald City, and there may not always be help along the way. If you have all of that, then great (maybe you should give me a call and point me in a few directions). But just in case you don’t, be prepared to travel it on your own. Either way, you’ll come out on the other side alive and all the wiser from the experience.