1. There are a few popular approaches to making a Kickstarter video. There is the little skit of the ways you have tried raising funds and failed to raise funds, and there is the basic, to the point video that explains the project and what is needed. I have seen both those approaches meet their goals and exceed them. Since it takes some work to make a video, and with how over-saturated the platform has become, it’s fun and advantageous to go an extra mile and use it as an opportunity to express your creativity. (Keeping it suited to you and your film/style.)

    Kickstarter’s I admired while planning my own:
    While I have only seen four handfuls of Kickstarter videos, one of my favorites is Jocelyn Towne’s video for I am I.Watch it here: https://www.kickstarter.com/blog/best-in-show-project-video
    The feature raised over 100,000 in a record-breaking time which I forget.
    I also really liked what my good friend Marshall made for one of his shorts: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mrim86/fishin-for-chickens?ref=nav_search
    Another friend shared this video with me as I was trying to get ideas for my own. I really appreciate the way this video actually serves as a motivational video for other filmmakers - or at least it motivated me to put that “other” voice aside: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ryanbkoo/man-child-feature-film
    Here is the first script to the Kickstarter video I had been planning a few years ago:

    I slowly realized this was way too sharoncentric, and eventually sat down to write down why I thought people would even connect with my film. Here is the next script I wrote for it:

    As you can tell by the watermark on the demo version of final draft, this filmmaker needed funding.
    The talented filmmaker Austin Tolin filmed me saying the lines inside an airplane and took some Broll out at the airport. (Forest Lemur took stills and extra video for us). The video followed the classic explanation of project, but instead of being in an editing room, I knew a plane’s interior would be
    a) more uniquely relevant
    b) proof that we had already overcome one of the film’s challenges: FINDING A PLANE!

    I sat on the footage a few months. It is funny how fear can delay so much. At the time I was working at a post house where I met Luke Bedillion. One day, I was talking to Luke about how overwhelmed I was by having to make this video that was supposed to move people enough to help me raise $5000. (This later became an $8,000 goal once fear moved aside.) Luke offered to edit it, and that got the ball rolling. Sometimes, just knowing you are not hacking away at something alone helps. We added extra voiceover, a semi-reel of work I had already done and it’s accolades, and a little bit of sharon humor, too. Taking the advice of I am I's video, I created a movie poster to include in the video. I added footage and pictures to the introduction of the video, and VERY IMPORTANT: I replaced the temp score Luke and I cut to with Public Domain music in order to avoid any trouble.
    Once I had my rewards set, I Sharon-phrased Marshall Rimmer’s explanation and graphics of how Kickstarter and it’s Rewards work. (I did this using motion keyframes in FCP7.)
    THENNNNNN…. in order to reach our spanish speaking audience, came time to subtitle the video. It went through three different translators: Marisol Medrano (coproducer) did one chunk, Francisco Garcia (nopales productions) did a few paragraphs, and my parents took over and proofread/ translated over FaceTime. (With the help of our dog noodle, we made sure doggies could read both languages.)

    Almost a year after having shot the Kickstarter, our video was ready to go!
    This is what the final product was: 

    My advice:
    1) Keep it short
    2) Keep it relevant
    Basic Elements to consider including:
    1) what the film is about (although my favorite kickstarter video of all time does not address that) and why they should even care about it
    2) who the heck you are/ what you’ve done
    3) explanation how Kickstarter works
    4) asking people to spread the word
    5) connect them to your social media (and grandma)
    6) thanks in advance
  2. My intention with this blog - like my past production blogs - was primarily to provide information that could be helpful to other filmmakers and secondarily to chronicle the journey of this little epic short film. Having been the largest scale production I have produced, I had high hopes for reporting on a continual basis on the film’s progress and lessons learned. Being spread thin before and during Principal photography, I have decided to instead do a retrospect during post-production. I hope to weave it in with updates from Post-Production, but I will be prioritizing talking about what has already happened.

    The easiest thing for me to begin with is the subject of funding through Kickstarter Campaigns.
    There is a lot of material to cover, so I am going to break it into a few parts.
    It was the Kickstarter campaign that really made this journey feel like it had finally begun. The world was now aware of this little project that had been only been talked about to a handful of people. Be it pride in completing something people now know about or be it finally having the means to start pre-production, it is an advantageous time for creatives to GET THINGS DONE! Crowdfunding sites are making what used to seem far-fetched a greater possibility.
    In this introduction, I want to give a little history of how I funded my short narratives- From my poor sounding, high-8 beginnings, to the post-film school trio of shorts I have made.
    How I funded my short films:
    1) Oh Brother, Where’s my Cow - a donation jar at church that made enough money to make a cow suit + calling up other churches for sponsored parties, lunches, and i can’t remember who paid for gas to the 3 cities we travelled to.
    2) hands. - I presented my idea and a camera test I cut into a promo to church congregations + this was my undergrad thesis, so nobody got paid, and equipment and insurance were FREE!!! (though I still have student loans i need to pay off) I raised about $500, and my mom cooked all the amazing meals at no cost. A local church did not charge us for the location, either.
    3) When I Grow Up - paid for this out of pocket. It only cost me about $300 since my parents fed us breakfast at no charge. We also had sweet meal sponsorships from Jo Cotten’s Barbecue, Rod and Rolls, and Taqueria Los Altos de Jalisco in Robstown, TX, the town where I attended school and worked as a hairdresser a lifetime ago. We shot this film in my hometown, so lodging was free, nobody knew to ask us to show proof of location insurance, and our crew consisted of 5 people. My dear friend donated his camera to my next two films, so that cut a lot of costs. Our lighting department consisted of one compact fluorescent lamp, a clamp light I bought at home depot, and a pack of daylight-balanced bulbs from Olden Lighting. We also paid a man about $40 for letting us rent his van from craigslist. 100% of the cast and crew volunteered their time and talent.
    4) Dirty Laundry - I paid for this out of pocket.I shot this inside my ex-boyfriends kitchen and laundry room, so we did not have to buy production insurance. Again, 2 of my friends let me use their cameras at no cost, lighting consisted of China balls that my mom got me at garage sales, dimmers my friend lent me, bulbs left from previous film, a $123 bill from mopac media, and a volunteer cast and crew. Crafty and Crew Meals were a good chunk of the budget. I made crew breakfast at the beginning of the day with my sweet boyfriend, sandwiches mid-day, and my sweet cousin, who was in catering, secured a food donation for dinner. We paid a few people with 6-packs of their favorite craft beer.
    5) Plane Pretend - Step 1, I put aside $500 from an award for being a Lunafest winner, Step 2, Labor-intensive Tamale Sale by co-producer’s mom (raised about $700) Step 3, The Kickstarter Campaign (raised about $8500) we had some donations made to us outside of Kickstarter during the campaign, and we did some street fundraising as well.
    Step 4, realizing we should have raised more money, I post something on Facebook, make a few phone calls, and negotiate just about everything I can. During all this time, I applied for 4-5 grants and will continue to do so. Now that we have footage to submit with our grants, our chances should increase. We are still trying to recoup costs.
    This Wednesday’s Blog: The first step to creating our Kickstarter campaign.
  3. A sneak peek at the visualization of a story… a STORYBOARD


  4. After searching far and wide, we found her! Meet Emilce Trinidad, our lead for Plane Pretend:image

  5. We reached our goal with 37 hours left - Thank you for all your support and your encouragement!!!!image

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    Thursday while paying a visit to the very helpful ladies at La Peña Latino Arts Organization, I saw Fan Fest being set up caddy corner to their building. One of the ladies said, “See… how come you cant project something on a sheet at our window when something like this happens?”
    I said, “Well can I do it this weekend?”

    I walked around Fan Fest briefly that night and saw so many people there from around the world. I also some evangelists doing their thing, and I thought, Hey we can come here, too!

    So, today, we did. I decided to skip the sheet at the window and go LARGE! We projected our film on the side of downtown Austin - I mean, why not!?

    We made a few posterboards, grabbed a slate and a bucket, and went into the world of Formula 1 Fans.

    We met some very fascinating people - from people that were filled with endorphins of watching racing in another country, to people in influential positions that loved our story so much, they immediately connected with us through their cell phones. (Some made sure we saved their phone and email on our phones before departing from us.)

    Sure some people were extremely rude to us and some were dismissive, but the people that were not, made up for them.

    We are going back there today. Find our projection at the corner of 3rd and Congress and find our Kickstarter at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/planepretend/plane-pretend-a-short-film 

  7. Plane Pretend Kickstarter Launch Party

    Our Kickstarter Launch Party was a very fun, motivating, and productive way to kick-off our 30 day campaign to raise $8,000 for Plane Pretend. Friends, new friends, and artists arrived to learn and show their support. You can find our campaign at this link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1536577412/plane-pretend-a-short-film

    PLEASE HELP US SPREAD THE WORD :) Share our video, talk about it, send us some good vibes.  Thank you!

    Special Thanks for those who helped plan the event:

    Colleen McCarthy

    Mandy Sloan

    La Peña (Cynthia, Libby)

    King Liquor

    Mi Victoria Bakery

    Esther Suket

    Benjamin, Allison, and Abby Arteaga

    Lauren Colangelo

    Marisol Medrano

    Church of God 7th Day

     Kirby Meador

    Drew Millay

    Amaris Rivas-Cook

    Forest Croft

    Daniel Treviño

    Office Max

    Ahora Si

    the Medrano Family



  9. I was told by a lady I had only telephonically known for 10 minutes, “You are on a journey, don’t resist it.”

    There is something very frustrating about having to decide whether to postpone a plan due to weather (or due to anything, really). With an 85% chance of thunderstorms, we decided to postpone our Kickstarter Launch party. A few friends of ours were doing us a favor and letting us use their residential space for the event; but when we postponed the event, we had to consider a different space. Because of what followed, I must note that I was initially disappointed in having to rethink the event that I had been prepping for weeks.

    The second phone call I made led me to a lady who owns an Latino Arts Organization in town. She filled the phone call with a whirlwind of information of people I should contact and places I should turn to, a little scolding, and a lot of motivation. She is the lady that told me, in all my disappointment, that I should not resist my journey. We agreed on me coming out to see the space the next day.

    The next day…

    I loved the space, but it took a while to be able to talk to the lady. A few hours later, she finally came down to meet me. Before I knew it, we were at her computer; and she was clicking away at the Texas Commission for the Arts webpage. She navigated me through their grant calendar while talking about resources available in town, in the state, and in the country. Any talk on the event was being put on the backburner.  I kept telling myself, “Don’t resist the journey.”

    The journey led to tacos at the bar in her venue. I got a sentence or two in about the event while pouring salsa onto my taco when suddenly she told me to wrap my taco and follow her out the door because we were going to the Hogg Library. We ran out and jumped into a car that was at a red light and drove off in time for the green light.

    At the Hogg Library - an Austin Library where you can research philanthropists, associations, scholarships, and grants - the lady introduced me to the staff. They sat and gave me undivided attention, printouts, advice, and a reassurance that this delay or detour to my party was leading me to people and places I would not have otherwise encountered this soon in the journey.

    That is what continued to happen throughout the day, from exploring local businesses on the East Side of Austin (like Spots, an office supply surprise, and Re-Store, a home improvement store that benefits the community while fighting poverty) to meeting two amazing women invited to sit with us at  our lunch table at Mr. Natural on Cesar Chavez. It was a day of detours and never getting an answer on the venue. It was actually barely tonight that we finalized the details of the event.

    It did not rain the night our event had originally been set for - the weather was actually perfect. I stood in the beautiful breeze, feeling upset, confused, and unaccomplished. I imagined how the night could have been going. In the same phone call I had with the lady the day before, she had also told me that every morning you wake up is a new chance to try again. To thank God that you are alive to give whatever you are doing another shot.

    When I woke up, I thought of all the new discoveries that the detours and delay — or let’s call it “the time the rain bought me” — had given me. With the new space, with the new contacts, with the new knowledge, we are ready to take this Kickstarter party and campaign to a further level than we originally conceived.

    Making this film has been a continual lesson of how we can restrict ourselves to only the things we can imagine. I’ve been reading alot about it in Erwin McManus book Wide Awake and Proverbs and Jeremiah. Though it is frustrating when it disrupts our plans, relishing in the journey pushes you past your limitations. Realizing what you can create after that is not at all frustrating.

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Plane Pretend

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