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crowd funded studio? can it be done?

Share your views on the state of the Animation Industry.

crowd funded studio? can it be done?

Postby Jquinn » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:21 pm

Something that I have been thinking about for a long time is if some one could be successful, with an entirely crowd/ fan supported budget create a movie or series. But here is the catch! No hollywood, no theatrical releases, just straight to the internet. Now I know that people do this alot as fan short films or short films. But I am talking about major productions.
Now this is how I would think it would work from a funding stand point:
1st: come to the public with at least 2-3 ideas with concept art. Then let them choose the project they want to see developed the most.
2nd: take it to a crowd funding site. This would be kickstarter and other similar sites. These sites also help keep track of who has supported you so they can get their kickbacks.
3rd: keep your audience involved in the production. The people that funded your project get access to video blogs, and other goodies through out production.
4th: advertise like hell on the web or other media. There would be a lot of social marketing, and maybe a few TV spots if the budget can support it, but mostly the advertising will be on forums, sites like Deviant Art, Youtube, and Vimeo. This money would have to come from the crowdfunding.
5th: Publish your film/series on Youtube or Vimeo Monetize your videos. This can be done with either commercials or required payment before viewing. People who paid to support your project get free access. Also, merchandise out the product to help generate more income.
6th: get your product on DVD and Bluray and set for sell Allow people to purchase your product, but not only hard copies, but on multiple platforms. This would only be done after the project has had a long enough run. Almost like being in a theater, before coming out on video.
Now all the funding that is generated from the monetizing and purchases of videos can be used for future projects to make them bigger and better, to get the initial funding needed for initial development.
I have been tossing this idea around in my head for a while, but I am sure that I am not considering something, or maybe multiple things, and wanted to get the communities opinion of it. Do you think this is doable? how would you do it? and is this something that you could get excited about?
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Re: crowd funded studio? can it be done?

Postby Charles » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:44 am

Do you think this is doable? how would you do it? and is this something that you could get excited about?


Hello there Jquinn!

Is it doable? Absolutely!

Here's what I've observed after a couple of years of studying crowdfunding campaigns and promoting them on AN...

Just because you get something together and put it up on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, it doesn't mean you'll automatically be successful with it. There's several key factors involved.

First, it's very helpful and very advisable to spend plenty of time building your community. Having an audience that you can go to with a campaign is vital. Case in point... Homestuck which had huge success in 2012. They raised $2,485,506 from more than 24,000 backers. The online comic had been going on for some time and had an extensive fan base to appeal to. Even though few if any in the animation biz had heard of this property, they had an extensive fan base that supported them with dramatic results.

Second, be realistic with what you're attempting to achieve through crowdfunding. Don't shoot for a huge amount of money that is beyond what your base can provide. Go to the modest side of things. That will improve your chances of realizing your financial goal. If you exceed it, it will make your campaign look that much stronger and more importantly, you'll have money to work with.

Third, have a project that will compel people to join in and back you. That includes good rewards that you can provide for those that do support your campaign.

Also, don't hesitate to promote! Get the word out there! Build your network, your online presence, email database, social media outlets, etc. The more people are aware of what you're doing the better your chances of crowdfunding success.

These are a few suggestions based upon what I've observed.

Crowdfunding is the way of the future. Anyone thinking in terms of creative independence should by all means be incorporating the option of a campaign into their plans.

Be patient and productive. Develop your property and your audience. Get a quality project together than can migrate to a rewards based system and you'll be in business.

All of my long term plans involve crowdfunding. I'm getting projects together which I'll be launching soon and they all include a crowdfunding aspect to them. A lot of people have been very positively affected by this new system. For years I've discussed the idea of an Independent Economy for artists and this is it! Crowdfunding is here to stay. Make the most of it and have fun.

Good luck and Keep Creating! :)
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Re: crowd funded studio? can it be done?

Postby Jquinn » Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:36 pm

I agree. Most,if not all, I plan on doing. I am curious to see how people would react to such a business model. It would give the audience so much more input, and involvement with the process.

There are so many situations where fans get mad that a movie is getting made a way that it is, or that some studio is taking a IP and trying to convert it to the big screen. Studios push through this of course, and try to make the film any ways. There is also, a lot of really bad films coming out recently that have no originality. Of course, what I have explained beforehand will not prevent that. But I hope that the community will be able to drive the production towards the idea that they would be the most excited to see. I am going to have to start small and see how it works with the online community reacts to it.

I just need to rally the support for it.
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Re: crowd funded studio? can it be done?

Postby Charles » Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:11 pm

This is an unprecedented time in the history of entertainment. We're emerging into an era in which Hollywood becomes increasingly obsolete as to whether a project succeeds or moves forward.

It's all up to you and to me and to each of us as individuals and collectively. If you're set upon becoming a creative force this is your chance.

This isn't a cake walk or a sure thing. It's a chance to show the world what you've got and what you've got to say. If you get something together and communicate effectively as to what you're trying to achieve you'll find success through crowdfunding.

A lot of independent artists and studios are getting financed by their fans. There's no reason why you can't do the same thing.
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Re: crowd funded studio? can it be done?

Postby Jquinn » Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:18 pm

I would love to hear more from the community on this idea. What do you think about tuning in every week for a series on Youtube or Vimeo? both can stream to your mobile devices or have apps for Tvs. Would you watch something like this? You are probably saying: "it depends of the content. I am not watching a 'clueless' TV series". I won't judge you. What kind of series would you watch?
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Re: crowd funded studio? can it be done?

Postby Charles » Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:37 pm

What kind of series would you watch?


What do you want to create? What can you have fun with and can get into. If you're enjoying what you're creating it will show and people will be attracted to your content.

If you go to a seminar about what executives in animation are looking for you'll get their formula. For example Disney would want teenager high school based shows. Cartoon Network has their range and so does Nick.

The era we're in is about going beyond the mainstream. Create something that will make you happy and you can get excited about. Then share it and keep creating and sharing.
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Re: crowd funded studio? can it be done?

Postby Jquinn » Sat Feb 01, 2014 7:00 pm

I have many projects that I would love to start working on. I have a horror series, a short kid film, a couple Sci-fi stories, and a massive fantasy/scifi epic.

I realize there is a formula, but, This would have to be a project that the community wants. I would like to start working towards creating one of these series, but want to see which one the community would be interested the most in to start there, or if they have a specific genre or something that seems to catch their eye.

I suppose, as I am writing this, that I would have to do like what I originally posted at the beginning of this thread and simply create the material to show the projects to the community and have them rally behind the idea they like the most.
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Re: crowd funded studio? can it be done?

Postby animatedco » Sun Feb 02, 2014 7:04 am

This is all interesting and good information. I think one of the main hurdles is getting a following. It seems that is done using social media. It is a daunting feat. I would be interested to know if anyone has tips for using social media to its fullest without spending hours a day.
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Re: crowd funded studio? can it be done?

Postby Jquinn » Sun Feb 02, 2014 1:12 pm

I have a friend who is the marketing director for a company, and he says to get the best results, really requires a great deal of time and effort. But, social media is such an organic thing, that it can help things explode fairly quickly, if used properly. It is my hope that this is one such thing that people can get excited about.

However, social marketing is not enough, SEO will still be required, and word of mouth. Which is another reason I say that this has to be a team effort.
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Re: crowd funded studio? can it be done?

Postby Charles » Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:27 pm

I have a friend who is the marketing director for a company, and he says to get the best results, really requires a great deal of time and effort


Your friend is right Jquinn. It takes time and a lot of work to be positioned for a successful campaign along the lines of what you're talking about.

The essential element is your content. And it starts with you. Move towards developing your creative content first. Write it out and draw it even if you're not that good at drawing. At least you've got something happening with it.

The most successful campaigns are those that have developed an audience / fan base over time. This is a long term project that you're on. Keep that in mind and stay focused on your goal and you'll be on the path.

Take intop consideration this project that's currently on KS called GaMERCat.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ce ... rcat-plush

It's made $47,000 so far in just 6 days. Surpassing its $8500 goal in just 5 hours. The comic has been online since June 2011 so that's 2 1/2 years of momentum that the author has developed that's paying off for her.

Exciting times guys!

I'm working on something that will be out soon. My plan is to move towards a KS campaign once the audience develops. The amount of content I've built up is vast and I can publish material for several months before I go to crowdfunding.

In any case, it's great to be creating in a time where we have these options! :)
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Re: crowd funded studio? can it be done?

Postby Jquinn » Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:59 pm

I agree. I don't want this project, the creation of this crowd funded studio, to be something that is rushed into. Rome was not built in a day. I know everyone wants to have that explosive growth, and amazing story of triumph. However, we must be realistic.

I am currently working to gather a team of artists together to develop some of these ideas, and to encourage the community to do the same for their ideas. the greatest thing I can think of is this Studio taking people from the community and making better artists from them while developing great content for the community to inspire more great content.

This plan has to revolve around word of mouth, social media, and a little bit of injected marketing. Organic growth is the best, since it shows how powerful your ideas is and how well it resonates with your audience.

At this point, I just need people excited about the idea, and have a passion to see it come true. I am an artist, an animator, a designer and so much more. But, I need to be a marketing expert, a social media guru, a blogger, a video blogger. To be realistic, I can't be everything that a studio will need to be successful. This project is more than just creating content, and cannot be bore on the shoulders of the content creators alone. It will need to have people who know how to get the word out, and communicate with the audience in a knowledgable way.

If you, or some one you know is interested in helping try to create something amazing. send them my way.
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Re: crowd funded studio? can it be done?

Postby Greg B » Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:29 pm

Oh indeed this is doable. It happens every day!

There's an art and science to successful crowdfunding and I have been studying. I work with marketers around the world and these people have their A Games on!

Getting those secrets takes time as many charge for tutorials and guidance, however there are just so many tricks to be played when you apply the winning procedures.

Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Go Fund Me, are the leaders in crowdfunding but they're just a small number of the global crowdfunding companies out there as new ones emerge globally every week. You can join a crowdfunding site in France, Spain, Russia, China, Japan and more.

I would love to bump heads with Charles on this to get a real 1-2-3 procedure.
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