Australian crowdfunding platform Pozible has been around for almost 3 years, but my first personal experience with it has happened as a backer for my friend Christy Dena’s cross media project AUTHENTIC IN ALL CAPS. I asked Christy to give me some feedback from her experience as a creator using it to raise $15,000 AUD in hopes that she might help other Australian filmmakers who are considering crowdfunding.
What made you choose to crowdfund on Pozible? Is the majority of your creative team Australian? Where are the majority of your donors located so far?
CD: “It is a predominately Australian team. In the beginning, I was keen to have an international team. But it just became too difficult over distance and there is nothing better than sitting around a table talking about things. I’ve had international people involved – like Juliana Loh from Canada who is doing the art side of things for the iPad prototype.
I investigated going through Kickstarter first– either in the USA or UK. I had family and colleagues who were willing to let me use their bank account (because Amazon Payments requires a local bank account). But Amazon Payments reports earnings over a certain amount to the tax office, and so we couldn’t risk that happening with family and colleagues.
Kickstarter is news. Press are less inclined to talk about a project on some lesser-known platform. There is also the brand-association that comes with Kickstarter – you use Kickstarter if you’re truly international and serious. I think that is what some people think. But Pozible has been going for a few years now, and the Australian public is getting behind it more and more – though not to the degree of Kickstarter. We’re used to buying things overseas, and aren’t good at supporting our own all the time.
That being said, the response internationally has been phenomenal. We have backers from over 14 countries! These backers didn’t care about the platform, they wanted to support the project, support me, support the team. And so that is wonderful. It certainly is easy to use, and doesn’t have the obstacle of Amazon Payments (backers can use credit card and Paypal). So it is more accessible.”
What kind of perks did you choose to offer? I think many filmmakers have a difficult time deciding what to offer outside of DVDs, tshirts, digital downloads etc.
CD: “I spent a long time researching other campaigns and what was offered and therefore what is expected. This was tempered with statistics about what price-points are the most popular. I also figured into the equation production time. While I love tangible products, I didn’t want to spend 1 to 2 months creating and shipping rewards when we needed to get down to work.
I researched buyer psychology around pricing too – the effects of early-bird deals, price points, urgency, and limited offers. And so that is why there is the early-bird pack for instance – though I got the volumes wrong on that one (they should be more limited). In the end it was a mix of all of what I found in my research, production constraints, and just what I enjoy making too.
We have the basic $1 Kudos, $7 App Pack, $25 Soundtrack Pack, $50 Special Creator Pack (which includes the Creator’s Log I will be writing about how we created the whole project) and the Early-Bird $39 version of the Creator’s Pack, $79 Prologue Pack (which gives a specially-created audio prologue), $90 Tester Pack (in which you can be involved in user-testing the next version), $100 In-World Pack (in which people can get an Artist Assassin Profile or A Philosophy Game included in the release); $130 I Want It All Pack (which includes all of the previous); $250 Sponsor Pack (which gives a sponsor branding in the app, as well as 3 apps); and a $350 Consulting Pack (which gives a 2 hour meeting with myself and a crew or cast member). The packs provide a mix of all of the rewards.”
Your pitch video includes some animation which isn’t often used. Who made the animation? How did you decide on this component for your pitch? Will animation be a component of the finished project?
CD: “The animation was created by a talented new member of the team: Simon Howe. He did a fantastic job. I had the issue of needing a good strong video for the campaign, but we don’t have any final art for the websites and I didn’t want to show our prototypes. I needed to get across the concept of what we’re doing, but I didn’t want to just talk to the camera. I personally love animation and thought this would be the most entertaining and effective way to communicate the concept of a web audio adventure.
One of the things I’ve discovered through research and testing is that audio and animation or just audio and drawn imagery is really a perfect marriage. As soon as you have some level of abstraction, the audio and imagery just fold into each other effortlessly. In the project, there will be drawn imagery and some moving elements, but it isn’t an animation project.
I’ll most likely release a de-brief of my crowdfunding experience – the strategies and insights – afterwards. And of course, the Creator’s Log included in our perks will give tons of juicy information about the various influences and creative decisions I’ve made for the project along the way.”
Thanks to Christy Dena and her team for sharing their experience with Pozible so far. I can’t wait to hear how the project turns out!
Sheri Candler February 25th, 2013
Here is the second interview from Park City co sponsored by The Film Collaborative. This is actually Slamdance (not Sundance) director J. R. Hughto discussing his new film Diamond on Vinyl, his entry into filmmaking from being a photographer and graphic novelist starting with making short films, and how he views the sacrifices filmmakers have to make in order to work within a certain budget level.
Sheri Candler February 6th, 2013
Posted In: Uncategorized
We co-sponsored these segments in tandem with Microfilmmaker Magazine during this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Check out this first one with director Andrew Bujalski on the red carpet for his premiere of Computer Chess. More to follow during the month of February.
Sheri Candler February 4th, 2013
Posted In: Uncategorized