How The Millennials Do It

How The Millennials Do It

Crowdfunding Pt. 2

By Steven Pressfield | Published: July 17, 2014

The big question for any creative project, whether it’s a novel, a film, whatever: How do you get the word out?

Today Jeff explains to me how Indiegogo works as a marketing platform as well as a crowdfunding platform, and how he and his team use YouTube to draw further attention. And Jeff starts to talk about scouting (he was a Boy Scout for sixteen years, an Eagle Scout) and how the experience helped shape his character—and planted the seed for the web series he’s now developing, Camp Abercorn.

(The transcript for today’s video is below.)



Steve: Where does the Indiegogo campaign stand right now?

Jeffrey: We’re filming right now, so we haven’t launched it yet, but by the time these videos air, hopefully it will be going well!

S: How does that work? How do you get people to write a check?

J: They have a homepage for your project that starts with a video, so we filmed a trailer, which you saw earlier, and we actually filmed a whole bunch of other videos as well that we’re going to use as a viral video campaign. So usually when you are pitching a show, or in the studio system you’d make a pilot, you’d take that pilot around and say, “we want to make this into a real show.” But there were, I dunno…120 pilots made last year and very few of them were made into real shows. We knew we weren’t going to make a pilot. That doesn’t make sense for us. We want to film the whole show, but we also need to get our ideas across, so we thought, “we’ve got all of these characters that we’ve written that have this backstory that doesn’t even necessarily come across in every episode, so why don’t we make little short videos about each of the characters as sort of a viral video advertisement.”

S: And this will be on Indiegogo?

J: This will be happening simultaneously to Indiegogo. So Indiegogo has our main video, our trailer, and we’ll explain what we’re using the money for and how we plan on doing it. The videos are going to run on YouTube simultaneously and point people to Indiegogo. Indiegogo by itself doesn’t have that much of an audience. You can’t just put something up there and pray and hope that $500,000 will just magically come. So we have twenty-one 2-3 minute videos that we’re releasing every day during a month long campaign.

S: How do you let people know that it’s out there?

J: The honest answer is, you don’t know. It’s different for every project. Indiegogo is interesting because not only is it a fundraising platform, it’s also a marketing platform. So even if somebody was like, “here’s $500,000. Go make the show right now,” I would rather have an Indiegogo campaign and raise money from people individually because you build your audience. So if we had, ya know, 10,000 people each give $50 or whatever it would work out to be, then we know that all 10,000 of those people are invested in a little way in the project and love the project before we’ve actually filmed it.

S: And they’ll be telling their friends. What does somebody get when they contribute to Indiegogo?

J: We have fun things! We have patches, of course. It’s a camp show so neckerchiefs and T-shirts, that sort of thing, but most of the money goes into the filming.

S: Well, that’s good. That’s where it should be- up on the screen. Let’s get back to the subject for a second, Jeff, of getting the word out. So you’ve got 21, 22, short videos, right? So we can show a few of them here in this video infact.

J: Yes. So this first one is Willy. He has 4 little videos that he made called, Willy’s Wild Wednesdays. They’re him filming himself as if he were a do-it-yourself Compass Guide teaching skills.

EXCERPT from Willy’s Wild Wednesdays: Songs of the Birds

Willy: Watch out, ladies! Especially if you’re a lady mouse or rodent! It’s the Great Horned Owl. He has a heart-shaped face and loves the night life. When he takes the stage and toots his horn, it sounds a little something like this: HOOOT. HOOOOT. HOOOOOT. HOOT. HOOT.

NEXT TIME…

J: I was a Boy Scout for 16 years, and then the big, life changing event for me was working at camp. I was away from my parents.

S: Sort of a coming of age process?

J: Yeah. It was a place where I got to figure out who I was.

Posted in How The Millennials Do It

2 Responses to “Crowdfunding Pt. 2”

  1. July 17, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    Steve/Jeff,
    Just saw the blog at 2120, long day. I must agree that Camp is a life changing event. 30-some years later, I don’t know if all of those changes took–but it was a profound experience. Some changes undoubtedly took, and did change my perspective forever.

    I think it was the first time in my life that I was removed from the constant chatter, prattle, noise of everyday life. No television, radio, newspapers. Two hot showers that were available about once a week, the only flush toilets in the nurse’s cabin and director’s cabin.

    Camp staff always arrived a week early, which always coincided with the last week of the NBA finals. These were the heyday of the NBA, the Magic/Bird rivalries. I always left pining to know the outcome, but returned 10 weeks later indifferent.

    I learned the difference of ‘city dirt’ and natural dirt. I’d only get one hot shower a week, but swam in the river, washed my hair with freezing cold water, and wore clothes that were almost always covered in some manner of grime.

    It is also where I met the first person in my life that, about 3/4 the way through the summer I learned, was gay. This was the guy that was my ‘rag counselor’, the one spiritual component of camp. Essentially he was my mentor. He truly embodied camp. He was hilarious, bereft of the usual hangups/neuroses I had come to expect from people.

    I admired him. I guess I loved him. I wanted to learn from him…and he was GAY?!?!?!?!? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?! We frequently used the word that refers to cigarettes in London to describe THEM.

    I remember sitting alone–I was 15, and went to camp trying to look as much as a blend of Sonny Crocket, Jeff Spicoli, and Jake Ryan from 16 Candles as possible. I wasn’t truly sure what version of ‘cool’ I was or wanted to be–but hanging out with GAY MEN did not fit into any category of ‘cool’ I understood.

    I was an athlete and an academic, a pot-smoking punk, and a rebel (for central California…it is truly sad, and funny at the same time). So I sat and started doing the math:
    1. So Randy is the funniest guy at camp (funny or big laugh always have been and always will be near the top in my ‘must have’ characteristics of friends).
    2. He’s the smartest guy here.
    3. He’s the coolest guy here.
    4. He’s the best at capture the flag (the single most important athletic event at camp each week).
    5. He’s nice to everyone, all the kids love him–the youngest to the oldest. (some counselors kind of stuck with particular age groups.)
    6. He plays the guitar, and knows all the best songs.
    7. He treats me like an adult.
    8. I really like him. I admire him. I want to get the counseling from him for my rag.
    …shit, does his sexuality change any of these facts?
    …shit, what will my friends back at school say?
    …does it really matter?

    …I guess it doesn’t really matter. I guess he’s the same dude. I guess that premise is wrong. In fact, the more I think about it, would anyone actually choose a lifestyle that puts them at odds with so many people? Maybe it is more like being left-handed. My brother is a south-paw…would I exclude him for that? He’s absolutely untouchable in Wiffle Ball! He’s got the sweetest swing in the neighborhood.

    That lesson took. I never saw homosexuality the same. I did, for the longest time, feel pity for the entire community–which is also arrogant I now understand.

    Camp experiences matter. This has just opened a new topic for me to ponder & about which to journal.

    I look forward to it all.
    bsn

  2. July 18, 2014 at 1:48 am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjZ812ASdn4

    I know how innovative crowdsourcing is supposed to be –

    ♫♬ but I think it stinks, it still smells just like BEGGING… to me!! ♫♬