How To Harness Twitter For Your Film’s Crowdfunding Campaign

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At Film Sprites PR we have a particular fondness for Twitter. After all, it’s how we got started. We’ve seen how incredibly powerful it can be to convey a message, bring people together and grow a film’s audience.

It can also be a powerhouse when it comes to spreading the word about your film during a crowdfunding campaign. In 140 characters you can spread the word, share your vision and have contributors helping to back your creation. We’ve assisted with many crowdfunding campaigns for films, both in pre-production and post-production, and we’ve seen how well Twitter can work for crowdfunding. Most recently we assisted with the successful Kickstarter for Daphne Fisher’s Enough, helping to not only secure the $6K goal but also helping to raise an additional $945.

So how can you, as a filmmaker, harness the little blue bird to help secure the funds you need for your film? Here’s a few tips to help you make the best of Twitter during your crowdfunding campaign:

Make the most of the 140: 140 characters doesn’t seem like a lot to work with, but it can be done! The link to your crowdfunding campaign generally tends to be quite short, but if you want to Tweet things like trailers, links to interviews etc you can’t go wrong with free link shortening services like Ow.ly. Thankfully images are now no longer included in the character amount, which means you can add images to your Tweet without compromising the amount of characters you have left.

Spam is a meat product, not a crowdfunding tactic: imagine you’re staying in a small motel. It’s 6:00am in the morning and there’s a knock at the door. You open the door and immediately, without greeting, someone says: “help me crowdfund my film!”

You’re annoyed and close the door, hoping to get back to sleep, but because you’re in a small motel with no soundproofing you end up hearing every other room in the hotel being harassed by this random doorknocker, piping up with: “help me crowdfund my film!” every time the door is opened. Wouldn’t that infuriate you?

Time and again we’ve seen people who use this tactic for crowdfunding: they Tweet at every one of their followers (and often people who aren’t followers at all) one by one with the exact same message. There are problems with this tactic: 1) it takes the ‘social’ out of ‘social media’ and 2)if people are following you, they’re seeing the same Tweet over and over again, sent to various people. At best, people might mute you on their Twitter feed. At worst, they’ll block you.

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Storyteller, tell your story: you are, by nature, a storyteller. You know your film has an important story to tell. Here’s where you can use Twitter to your advantage to make your followers take notice, contribute to your campaign and spread the word themselves.

Let people know your “why”: hopefully this will come through in your pitch video, so don’t be afraid to share the pitch vid via Twitter.

Behind the scenes footage and photos are particularly effective as well- you would be amazed at how many people genuinely appreciate being shown the inner workings of a film.

People feel included if they get a glimpse into your world. Tweets with images tend to get a better response with followers, so share a range of images: concept art, a peek at the script, images of the (undoubtedly) fantastic perks available at your campaign, poster art…there are endless possibilities.

As well as sharing your own story and filmmaking journey, make sure you share the story of the film itself. Teaser trailers, storyboards, stills from your film….they all serve to tantalize your audience and bring them to your campaign to help make it a success.

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Manners are the New Black: it may be a social media platform, but don’t forget to thank your backers, re-tweeters and fans! An attitude of gratitude goes a long way with your followers. Think about really creative ways of thanking them; perhaps a quick update video on your campaign page thanking each of your contributors…get creative with your gratitude and you will see results.

Where’s the beef? Not on your timeline: a short word on Twitter trolls, but you know this already: don’t engage. Just block them and move along.

Most importantly- have fun. The crowdfunding process can be stressful at times, but it can also be incredibly rewarding and fun, especially when you’re using Twitter to assist with your campaign efforts. Using Twitter in creative ways for your campaign can help you to push that little progress bar right past the 100% mark. Happy crowdfunding!

Want sparkling publicity and digital marketing for your film? Check out what we offer HERE, or download our services pamphlet HERE.

Exciting Updates and News in the New Year

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Film Sprites PR has been back in the office from January 14th, so we wish everyone a belated Happy New Year!

We had a tremendously exciting 2016 and 2017 looks set to be just as exciting. Some of the things that are currently happening for past and current clients:

  • Mad Shelley Films (the award-winning makers of popular short film The Halloween Girl) have released their brand new supernatural webseries Under The Flowers. The series consists of 4 short episodes, each episode premiering every Sunday. The first two episodes have been released and are available to view on the official website, with the third episode premiering this coming Sunday. Already the series has attracted praise from Popcorn Horror, Movie and TV Series Geek, and Movie Critic Next Door. It was also front-page news in the Courier-Post.

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  • In case you haven’t seen it yet, writer/filmmaker Oliver Park‘s multiple award-winning horror short VICIOUS is now available to view for free on YouTube. VICIOUS is the winner of eight awards internationally, including Gold Award for Best International Film at Toronto After Dark and Platinum Award at the LA Horror Competition. It was also nominated for a further seven awards, including Melis d’Argent at Molins in Spain. We’re aiming to get VICIOUS to 1 million views by March, so if you love it, please make sure you share with other horror-loving film fans! You can see the film here. Oliver Park’s follow-up to VICIOUS, STILL, will be released in 2017.

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  • We also have exciting updates from two crowdfunding campaigns Film Sprites PR successfully assisted in reaching their campaign goals: Enough, from filmmaker Daphne Fischer and Medusa’s Kitchen, the fourth short film in the Northern Line Series, created by Jessica Burn and produced by Fall of the House Productions. Both films are in post-production! We will keep you updated with regards to release dates.
  • We’re always keen to partner with groups and individuals from all facets of the film industry, and recently we’ve partnered with FGN Inc. to support their “For A Positive Future” Campaign, aiming to change the world “one message at a time” and foster diversity, equality, solidarity and positive mental health in the film/TV industries and beyond. You can find out more about the Campaign here.

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  • And while it’s usually our role to secure media placements for our clients, sometimes we’re asked to be featured as well! Recently our founder and head publicist, Lynnaire MacDonald, chatted with Dave Bullis on his podcast about marketing of indie films and more. Click here to listen to the episode.

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  • And finally, our brand new services pamphlet is here! It contains all the information you need that is available here on the website, but in a PDF that you can take with you and read anywhere. You can download the pamphlet here.

Don’t forget, we absolutely love connecting with filmmakers, media and film fans around the world! You can catch up with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.You can also connect with our founder, Lynnaire, via LinkedIn.

What 2016 Taught Me (And How It’s Changing Things At Film Sprites PR)

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Ahhh 2016. For so many people it’s been a Pandora’s Box of…well…hideousness.

At Film Sprites PR it’s been a mixed bag but I’m pleased to say it hasn’t been horrible. In fact, it’s been a very enjoyable year with lots of learning, progress and the ability to assist filmmakers with publicity and digital marketing of films around the world.

I don’t often write deeply personal posts, but today I make the exception.

Watching world events unfolding this year led me to some massive lightning bulb moments, all of which seemingly occurred in one straight week.

Firstly, I was inspired by the momentum and passion of the #NoDAPL movement.

Then, I was deeply moved when I saw the Tragically Hip lead singer and advocate for First Nations People in Canada being honored for his work around the impact of residential schools (you can see the film portion of his Secret Path project here).

Then, Film Sprites PR assisted a young female filmmaker called Daphne Fischer with the tail-end of her Kickstarter for her short film, Enough. The film aims to shed a light on the impact of eating disorders and body issues on young women. When I watched the pitch video and the accompanying shorts (one, an interview with young women about body image and the other a social experiment with Daphne herself), I knew we had to help. By the time the campaign finished yesterday it had not only reached the $6000 goal but had also received an additional $945 in funding.

So how did these things culminate in lightning bulb moments for me?

Firstly, I had been seemingly treading water for a very long time. As much as I love what we do here at Film Sprites PR, I was itching to make even more of an impact and make even more of a difference. Thus, in addition to all of the genre films we assist with publicity and digital marketing services, we’re also looking to have more of a social impact by also assisting the wide spectrum of projects I talked about in a previous post. Part of the reason is that connection is at the heart of what we do here at Film Sprites PR, and so connecting filmmakers with these types of content to a wider audience that will support them is a huge privilege. One of the things I discovered whilst assisting with the Enough Kickstarter (albeit for a short time) was that social impact films encourage people to share their experiences. It helps create a wider dialogue around an issue or a subject. It moves people to a purpose.

Many of you will know that I am a particularly outspoken advocate when it comes to ending the stigma around mental illness. Post-earthquake I had a very rough time with PTSD and since then I have chosen to speak out about it to show others that recovery is possible and that there’s nothing to be ashamed of. And Daphne Fischer herself experienced a 6 year battle with an eating disorder and chose to be open about it and channel that experience into making a short film that will hopefully have great impact.

Our lives are built around stories and experiences, and I wanted to be sure that Film Sprites PR assisted even more filmmakers with their own unique stories, viewpoints and experiences.

2017 is going to be the biggest year yet at Film Sprites PR, and I’m excited to see what happens!

Film Sprites PR will be closed from Dec 14, 2016 until January 14, 2017 for our Holiday break.