If you’re a filmmaker you probably have a lot of friends that are also filmmakers. And if you have a lot of friends that are filmmakers, you probably see a lot of kickstarter projects in your Facebook news feed. I’m a big cheapskate but as a rule I try and donate to my friend’s projects whenever I can. Here are three reasons why you should do the same:
1. It’s nice: Running a Kickstarter can be stressful. If it doesn’t go well the director might feel like their family and friends are ignoring them in their time of need. Your donation (even if it’s only a few bucks) will mean a lot. A lot of people will donate when a campaign is first launched or in the final hours before the deadline. So I recommend that you make your donation in the middle of a campaign. Your friend will probably be a little freaked out if a few days go by and they don”t get any donations. So your $25 will help keep their spirits up.
2. Wedding Reception Rules apply: Imagine you go to a wedding reception and give the bride and groom $100. Then a year later it’s your turn to get married. Etiquette (and common sense) dictates that the other couple should at least match the gift that you gave them. It’s an unspoken quid pro quo. So if you ever plan on running a kickstarter of your own, you sure as hell better start funding your other people’s projects now. As I said, I’m happy to donate to my friends’ campaigns. But if see a Kickstarter that was launched by someone who has never backed any other projects, I’m not going to be sending that person a donation. Remember, you should only try and raise money via kickstarter if you have a track record of donating money via kickstarter.
3. Your risk is low: Only 38% of Kickstarter projects actually reach their funding goal. Your credit card only gets charged if a campaign is successful so there’s a good chance you’ll never have to donate real money. If a project fails, the sponsor will be bummed but at least they’ll know that you care about their work. And I guarantee that they’ll never forget you were ready and willing to help make their dream a reality. So it’s a nice, low-risk way to let someone know that you have their back.
As it happens, one of my old friends from film school is running a kickstarter right now and if this post has put you in a generous mood, maybe you should check out her plans and consider giving her a few bucks. Maria wants to make a surreal short film about a “missed connection” from 1961. The script is based on a true story that our old writing teacher once told her. Here’s an expert of his story:
I think it’s going to be a cool little short. I’m picturing a cross between Mad Men, This American Life and a Michel Gondry film. For more info, head here: