How to launch a successful kickstarter campaign

If you are a creative individual and thinking about launching your own project on the funding platforms, this post is right for you. If you stuck in the middle of an uneasy process putting yourself on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, I’ll give you some tips. The most important thing to keep in mind is an audience is looking for your personal voice. The best way to be heard is to master the video that will tell your compelling story. By doing this, you will become noticeable and single out your campaign from other kickstarters.

How to make a hot appearance on Kickstarter or Indiegogo?

The story of your project will sound most powerful when you actually appear on the screen. Be brave. Put yourself out there.

Next thing,  you need to prepare the outline of some main ideas about your project. Structure is important. Think about your video as a three act play with a striking beginning, intriguing middle point and unpredictable or funny end.

Joke around, it is cool!

Do not forget to present yourself at the start of your video and briefly describe your project. The flow does not need to be in any certain order. It is better if you include parts detailing the progress of your campaign (what has been done and what needs to be done).

Explain clearly how you want to spend the raised money (be specific). Sometimes originality helps.

For example, I liked how Ryan Koo said in his campaign to his audience that they are actually buying the frames of his future film. This makes you feel that you’re not supporting the individual but actually buying a tiny piece of his art.

Also, you may include a part, explaining what kind of rewards are in store for your backers. I would create at least seven items with a wide range of values. If your making a movie, do not include any item worth less than 5$.

A 1$ input is too little to make it real. You can show prepared rewards in your video or do as Rick Darge.  In his video Rick points to the sidebar located next to the video in the direction of his rewards.

Lastly, you may tell your audience what is going to happen if you never reach your goal. To tie everything up, thank everyone for their support in your own way.

The rest is up to you. Just  add some creative juice to your planned outlined structure.

I would suggest to simply write a two-three minute screenplay of yourself being a starring actor/actress. Timing yourself is a very important issue here. In my opinion, the video does not need to be more than 3 minutes long otherwise you risk losing your audience’s focus. Be interactive. What do I mean by this? Just use several soundtracks (be sure about copyright), add graphic design here and there, put some nice sequences of B-roll or present new crew members and let them speak for themselves.

Sometimes it is important to switch your viewer’s attention to someone else – male/female/funny/serious, etc.

Write a few drafts of your screenplay and read it at loud to your friends or crew members. The feedback is extremely important. Notice the reactions and emotions on their faces. Is it what you want?

It is all about storytelling. If you picked your words and visuals just right it will provoke emotions and move not only your folks but everyone.  At the very end, listen to all arguments about your final draft, go and make the last decision by yourself. Only your own intuition knows how to make it right! When everything is ready, it’s time to run. Go and shoot it!

Below I provided some links of previous Kickstarter videos that grabbed my attention. I tried to pick projects in different stages of their performance. It is always best to ask your audience for help while in postproduction  but very often, in the real world we have to present our future movie with zero footage. At this moment, when we stay in front of our audience, we need to be credible, passionate, highly responsible, more than attractive and do not fool around. When inventing your masterpiece be more than a lovely face, my examples below might give you some extra help.

I’ll stop talking here and show you my favorite campaigns. Here is my selection:

I like Ryan’s Koo approach in this Kickstarter video. Koo – a one man band who created a story with himself having a funny dialogue.

MAN-CHILD – Feature Film by Ryan Koo

To contrast, the strength of this next video “The Happiest Place” is in finished high quality footage with nice combination of interview and b-roll.  I already want to see this movie because of its outstanding cinematography.

The Happiest Place : A Journey Across Bhutan by Ben Henretig

In her video, Jocelyn Towne, uses lots of surprises and therefore grabs the viewer’s attention. The members of the film’s crew, in my opinion, are presented in the most creative way.

I Am I – Feature Film by Jocelyn Towne

Zen Dog’s video is a little bit too long but I appreciate Rick Darge’s sense of humor. I see his personal attitude every time he appears on his video. Hope you’ll enjoy it too. By the way, Rick is still running his campaign.

ZEN DOG – A feature film shot across the United States by Rick Darge

What I like about the last one is that Mauricio Baiocchi showed his audience around his studio. We  are there, behind the scenes, which helps us explore a lot about this amazing cartoon.

Cicada Princess by Mauricio Baiocchi

I hope my input was helpful and you can create the most compelling video for your Kickstarter or Indiegogo  campaign.

Now it’s time to go and shoot!

Quick question: what other things (that I did not mention) that you think are important to consider when making your own video?


About zinasemenova

Russian filmmaker and blogger at

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