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The Elements of Style for Crowdfunding Filmmakers by John T. Trigonis

A crowdfunding campaign for an independent film should strive to be an extension of the indie film you’re looking to produce.

That means we should take the time and dress up our campaigns for success in their Sunday bests, so to speak, and here are a few style tips for setting up a dynamic campaign that sells itself with style and class.

  • Design around your story

…and not the other way around. I still see a lot of campaigns simply slapping images of varying sizes onto a campaign page and calling it design. You wouldn’t just slap on a button down shirt and go to an über formal gathering all grunged out, would you? Button up your images and other assets with the finer details, like the filmmakers behind What Lola Wants did with their recent Indiegogo success.

  • Make your look modern

…unless you’re making a period piece. Then, make it period. There’s something to be said for vintage clothing –– I mean, that’s all I wear these days –– but a crowdfunding campaign should keep up with the trends of the time. That might mean something as simple as CAPITALIZING all of the incentives in your perks or rewards column so they stand out at a quick glance, or a tad more complex like adding an anchor text to your campaign’s HTML code so your audience in France can read all about your film campaign in their own language.

  • Keep your beard trimmed

…and although this sounds like advice for a hipster, it’s pertinent to crowdfunding an indie film. We’re filmmakers for a reason, so chances are we don’t like to read that much text. Well, our audiences are the same, so be sure that you use as little black text on white background as you can, but still get the message across of what you’re film is about, who’s attached, and why you’re crowdfunding in the first place.

  • Be sure to stand out in a crowd

…so that people can easily spot you anywhere they turn. I stand out at every event I attend by wearing a blazer and a hat. With a campaign, this pertains most to social media, so make sure we can find you on Twitter and Facebook easily. If your platform of choice has a section for easily showcasing where else they can find your campaign, the way Indiegogo does, then make sure you connect your social media to them. If not, work it into the campaign text.

  • Don’t skimp on the accessories

Just how a proper pocket square or a simple pin can complete even a purposefully unkempt appearance, a proper pie chart detailing what you’ll do with the funds raised is a must have accessory in crowdfunding today. It’s easy to find a standard pie chart and fill in some details, but something standard in a campaign alive with style will only serve to dim that campaign’s shine. Get creative with your pie charts the way these filmmakers did for their horror film Found Footage 3-D.

  • Always wear the hat

…and never let the hat wear you. In crowdfunding an indie film, this means you should be proud to wear your campaign anywhere you go and be free to talk about how awesome it is with confidence. This way, when you show someone at a cocktail party your campaign page from your smart phone, or give them a campaign card so they can check it out later, all the smooth talk you’ll be spilling won’t be all hype. It’ll be an impression, and first impressions are everything.


Want to hear more from John T. Trigonis? Check out his tweets for some top tips for filmmakers!


A one-man consulting machine, John T. Trigonis has worked with numerous filmmakers worldwide to create compelling crowdfunding campaigns that not only reach, but also exceed their goals. An independent filmmaker and successful crowdfunder himself, Trigonis has literally written the book on Crowdfunding for Filmmakers, and now puts his skills to greater use with Indiegogo as the funding platform's specialist for film and video campaigns.


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