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Need advice on how to raise money for documentary  RSS feed

 
Brett Hammond
Posts: 76
Location: Maryland, USA
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solar tiny house woodworking
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Next week I start filming a documentary to potentially create recurring income and am looking for advice on how to raise money to fund expenses during shooting for the next 30 days.

I have access to video cameras, audio equipment and editors via my local public access channel, and have access to GoPro cameras and aerial drones via other avenues, so I don't need to raise a huge sum, but cash is very tight for me right now and $1000 or $2000 to cover expenses like gas, food for volunteers, extra usb drive/hard disk, lighting and backdrop, an occasional hotel room, and missed work would be a big help.

The subject of the documentary is a popular tourist beach lifeguard training academy, following recruits from right off the street to experienced surf rescuer in a few weeks. I know this is not Permies related, but hope it is ok to discuss non-Permies recurring income opportunities here too, so I can one day own my own little plot somewhere.

I have produced, directed, edited and/or written a half dozen shows for public access TV, but have no established track record for the type documentary I am producing now. After completion, I was thinking about pitching it to PBS (I am familiar with PBS standards) and some local broadcast stations to raise some money for the next project, but I can't approach them now because I don't have an established track record and they won't take me seriously. Likewise for advertisers/sponsors.

I have heard about kickstart.com and gofundme.com and heard there was one for filmmakers as well, but don't have any experience with any of these. I have no problem shipping a finished one hour documentary (actually about 45 min) on DVD to funders.

How much should I ask for the DVD?

How much time is reasonable between fundraising and shipping the DVD? I anticipate 3 or 4 months. Is that too long?

What is the incentive for someone to fund me now, rather than just wait until the documentary is completed? I suppose I could list them in the credits for donations over, say, $100?

Which would be better for me, gofundme, kickstart, or a filmmaker fundraiser web site? I have heard it is impossible to raise money for documentaries because there is so much competition. Or can I list on multiple sites?

Is there any downside to using these web sites? Lessons learned?

Any other creative ways to raise money?

Thank you very much for advice!

Brett
 
Tyler Ludens
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Posts: 9741
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I've found Gofundme the easiest to fund projects because you are not obligated to give any premiums as you are with Kickstarter.

Patreon is another that people use for projects, but I have not used it.

 
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