Last year I got totally sucked into R&B music video proj Love Can Burn for a few reasons. First 'cause of the darling, globe-trotting lead singer Anais Kane, second 'cause of the passionate artistic team backing her up. Their project video immediately hit it home that they were 100% into making this music video happen — and making it awesome. They kept backers in the loop with press updates, tracks, and behind-the-scenes videos, and about a year later the fruits of their labor hit monitors everywhere. Awesome.
Filmmaker Mitch Moore, who ran the project, was kind enough to pass along his thoughts on what it takes to run a successful music video Kickstarter. Keep in mind, these tips apply to music videos just as much as they do any Kickstarter project. Enjoy!
Align your project with the ethos of the ongoing DIY movement in music and film. Express why DIY is important to support. Our message was that we are tired of being subject to the label/production company system, and that we can make a more authentic and equally professional video on our own.
Exploit what is truly unique about your project. In our case we had a multinational group of collaborators, and the project was focused around pushing the genre of R&B. Additionally, combining creative spheres like film and music brings different communities to your project. I think a music video Kickstarter was relatively unique to the site, and that made it stand out from people trying to finish an album or produce a short film. Appeal to both crowds with your project's authentic cross-applicity.
Spend ample time creating your Kickstarter. Posting the link is a simple, but ultimately passive gesture. If the pitch is well thought out, people will respond to it, but they really have to BELIEVE. Keep that central to your design of the Kickstarter. Give potential donors a tangible understanding of what you're trying to achieve. Music videos are great for this because you have audio, video, and writing to fully express your intent.
Provide additional content as updates. Adding more videos helped us because the content gave us relevant reasons to repost and re-engage people with the project. We actually received higher donations from existing donors this way. People want to feel like there is momentum in your campaign. Potential donors want to support projects that they feel will ultimately succeed. Additional material will give your project this sense of progress.
COMMIT COMMIT COMMIT! This is the single most important element to any Kickstarter! Money is money. Doesn't matter where it comes from. Don't get your target market for your PROJECT get confused with your target market for the KICKSTARTER. You'd be surprised. Some people may not even care about your project, but will donate out of appreciation for your ambitions. Seek out every blog. Look to international sources (Anais is French, so we added French subtitles, and we received an amazing amount of international donations that way). Use your social networks. If you're in school, reach out to school newspapers and radio. As with any business endeavor, you have to constantly hustle to get what you need. Passive Kickstarters never succeed. Most importantly, you have to possess an unflinching belief in your project.