So this might be slightly cheeky on our end; as the majority of the information bellow originally appeared as a linked paged to our post “Crowdfunding: What Platform Should You Go With” which, much like the title suggests, breaks down a few of the crowdfunding platforms out there.
Through researching and compiling this blog post, we here at The Dirty Filmmaker suddenly became rather fascinated (and slightly obsessed if we’re honest) with Seed&Spark. Something about what they stood for, and what they are trying to achieve, totally registered with us, and we realised our supposedly “objective” post on crowdfunding, became more like a Shakespearian love letter (minus the iambic pentameter, or the rhyming, or poetic language if we’re frank).
Basically, we fell in love!
And with that said, we have a question to ask;
Seed&Spark, will you go to the prom with us? (You can let us know here )
Want to know how we fell head over heals so fast? Here’s why:
(WARNING: The bellow information is known to blow minds and melt cold english hearts).
Boasting a 75% crowdfunding success rate, Seed&Spark is unlike any other platform we’ve previously discussed; that’s because it’s specifically designed for filmmakers. If you’re looking to fund a production of any kind (documentary, series, etc…) Seed&Spark have the tools for you.
What we love most about them (there are many things), is that firstly it was founded by filmmakers who wanted to create a “healthier environment” in which to make movies. They see films as both an expression of art as well as a business venture. So in a nutshell, they’re level-headed, empathetic, awesome #DirtyBadass(es)! (Can you tell that we like them?).
HOW THEY WORK: These people work a smidge differently than other crowdfunding platforms. After submitting your project, you get feed back from the Seed&Spark team with notes on how you can improve your campaign. Once you’ve submitted your banking info and W-2, you go live.
Just like other platforms, contributors (or audiences as they call them) are able to make cash contributions and buy incentives, however they’re also able to donate to your “WishList”.
What the fudge is this, we hear you asking? Good question.
A “WishList” is a list compiled by you (the filmmaker) containing specific items, along with their costs, that you may need for your production. For example, you need a test dummy to blow up that costs $250? An audience member can donate either part of that money, the entire amount or even the item itself. (Okay, so the test dummy might be a stretch, but they have a bunch of companies they’ve teamed up with to help you compile your awesome WishList!).
Another exciting thing about them (and we’ll go into detail bellow), is that if your campaign gathers 1000 followers, Seed&Spark will give you guaranteed distribution, as well as some snazzy prizes (yippeeee!). Remember though, at the end of the day, you must raise at least 80% of your goal to be “Green Lit” before you get the cash (which’ll appear within 7 business days after your campaign ends)!
WHAT DO THEY CHARGE: Seed & Spark take a 5% fee from your campaign, however they also allow contributors to pay this fee for you (Are you feeling the love yet?).
WHATS UNIQUE ABOUT THEM: Warning, we have quite a list…
It’s designed for filmmakers, by filmmakers. Although not as much of a household name, it’s a great platform to gain a bit of buzz in the filmmaking community, and it can totally open loads of doors from distribution deals to filmmaking resources, which’ll help make your production process smoother than a Marvin Gaye song.
If you’re able to get over 1000 followers on your crowdfunding campaign, then Seed&Spark will send you this snazzy treat. Inside it contains the following (second warning; your mind is about to be blown)*:
- Clip Encoder (to help turn your smart device into a wireless directors monitor)
- A G-Drive EV Raw 1 TB (to store your production’s insanely amazing footage)
- 15% off KitSplit Rentals (Woop Woop!)
- 50% Off Endcrawl’s $500 service (so you can make badass end titles for your film)
- 3 month subscription to Frame.io
- 1 Year Membership to synkio (for all you music licensing needs)
- Up to $1,500 value at Simple DCP
- 30 minute consultation with Seed & Spark on distribution strategy, marketing tips and how to best move forwards.
- 30 minute consultation with “The Law Firm of Stacey A. Davis”; a firm that specialises in entertainment and intellectual property law.
- 60 minute Q&A session with SmartHouse Creative; a PR and digital strategy company.
- 60 minute consultation with “PictureMotion;” a leading marketing and advocacy firm for issue driven films.
- Tuition Scholarships for Film Festival Secrets, enabling you to access all of their online seminars released in 2016.
- 1 Year subscription to Bright Ideas Magazine (Seed & Spark’s other baby!).
- $2,500 discount on weekday rental at TCL Chinese Theater (Umm… HELLO!).
- $100 off strategic consultation at Hybrid Cinema.
- Plus free submission to a range of awesome festivals!
(We’ll say it again – We’re in love!)
For successfully crowdfunded productions, and ones with over 1000 followers, Seed&Spark will help distribute your film with their partner platforms. With links to places such as Hulu, X-Box, Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, including their own online “cinema”, as well as many others, this opportunity could be HUGE for you filmmakers.
But hey, only finding this out now, but didn’t crowdfund on Seed&Spark? No problemo! If you’ve successfully crowdfunded on other platforms with 1000 followers, or have over 1000 followers on your social media accounts, then you could be eligible to submit. For more information, checkout their guidelines here.
Just like other crowdfunding platforms, Seed&Spark offer a crowdfunding handbook to help your campaign be successful. With segments ranging from “Social Media” to “Crowdfunding as an Introvert” (WE ADORE THEM!), these rockstars have totally worked their “DirtyBadass(es)” off to give you the highest chance of success.
Seed&Spark might be geniuses. They’ve also found a way to help people who contribute to your campaign. They call them sparks! When people help fund, share or even follow your campaign, they earn sparks. This is kind of like currency on the Seed&Spark site, which can be used to watch films streaming in their cinema. Meaning, not only can these people watch your film later on (once you’ve totally hit this campaign out the park), but you’re also helping other independent filmmakers get their work seen! (karma, karma, karma, karma!)
KEEP IN MIND: This is currently only available in the U.S., therefore you must have someone on your production with a US bank account and SSN (or EIN). Also, you MUST have at least 80% of your campaign funded to get the dosh.
Also, they are geared towards filmmakers, meaning their audience is very niche. Totally awesome for the filmmaking community, however this can possibly narrow down your list of potential contributors. Plus, they aren’t as big of a household name, compared to other platforms, meaning you’re really going to have to get your PR on (but that’s a campaign necessity anyhoo).
WHAT WE RECOMMEND: Make sure to watch their Crowdfunding Class
Created by Emily Best (Founder and CEO) and Erica Anderson (head of Crowdfunding and Education, Co-Founder), their Crowdfunding Class is an online video tutorial made up of 11 short episodes, that they say will teach you “Everything you need to know to run a successful crowdfunding campaign”. The ladies claim to have taught the class at over 100 film schools and organisations around the country, and all filmmakers who have attended those classes have had a 100% success rate crowdfunding on Seed&Spark. Oh, and they still hold classes and events – how awesome is that!
*Please note that all information at time of publication is correct to our knowledge. However, companies change and grow and so if you spot something that we may have fudged up on, let us know and we’ll get right on it. And secondly, although we have mentioned many times how much we love this platform, The Dirty Filmmaker currently, at time of publication, has no connection with Seed&Spark what so ever. We quite simply just love them this much).
So, do you get it yet? Understand why we’re in love?
For those of you looking into Crowdfunding, we recommend you shopping around first. Although we love this platform and will probably use them at some point in our future, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re right for you! Do your research, but we hope, if anything, this has helped you understand what is out there and why we believe this platform will continue to created incredible things within the filmmaking community.
Thank you Seed&Spark; now corsage – red or white?
Have you crowdfunded using Seed&Spark? What was your experience like?