A free storytelling workshop @ Filmschool Amsterdam

I was privileged that I could go to one of these free workshops, my second even. In a group of five people we went to work with one of the teachers of the Filmschool Amsterdam. First came a couple of notes on the theory of storytelling, especially when talking about film.

The hierarchy of scripts

I didn’t even know this, but you have a hierarchy in the writings in film. They have to be written before you start everything else.

  • Logline: this is the summary of the story in 1 to 3 sentences
  • synopsis: this is the sumary of te story in 1/2 to 4 pages
  • (mini) treatment: Summary which is 6 to 10 pages or 10 to 20 pages.
  •  The scenario: this is a description of the whole movie where is described in detail what can be seen or heard within the movie and what kind of shot it is.

Three Acts Paradigm and some other notes

After this we talked about the Three Acts Paradigm, which I already talked about in another workshop I did, read it here. The main characteristic that every protagonist in a movie has is that this is someone that wants something very deeply but has trouble to achieve that. You can have two variations of this. You can have an active person in a passive world or a passive person in an active world.

We watched the following video she recommended to watch especially since it was a subject I was working on

Conclusion

This was a fun workshop to do. Especially the part where we had to write our own piece of scenario. It since I had a couple of classes of this at the Saxion University I knew what to use in the way you describe a situation. The only thing I had a little trouble with was building up and playing with the tension within the scene. Although I learned a lot during this workshop I could not yet consciously apply the things that I had learned, because every movie that was made was almost without any form of preparation, so also no synopsis or script.

The Crowdfunding Video

In one of my previous posts I told you guys about the video which I completely detested at the moment. Well I worked at it and since we haven’t got the budget, time or connections at the moment I had to do the crowdfunding video. I have to say, it is far from perfect, but with the time I had available and the resources that I had it turned out quite nice I think. Let me know what you think!

A link will be provided when our Crowdfunding Campaign on One%club will be launched, which will be the coming week. Stay tuned!!

I’ve learned a lot from the making of this movie. I had to dive in After Effects after some time and I did some cool interviews with a couple of friends.

Conclusion

It’s better to work with what you’ve got and make it the best that you possible can, than think that you won’t succeed and give up, which in this case I luckily did not. Thanks again for the help with feedback and the finetuning Toon and Bob!

– Bas

Steve Vick: Let an expert do the talking

Steve Vick is de founder van non profitally. This is a company that helps building a non profit from the ground on up. They take you through the whole process. One of the subjects also discussed on the site in deeply, luckily, is how to successfully run a crowdfunding campaign. There are a couple of videos on this and one of them gives a very good overview of what a crowdfunding campaign in essence always needs, unregarded on what type of project you want to start a crowdfunding campaign for.

stevevick

This is him, Steve Vick. In the Youtube video: How to start a crowdfunding campaign? He lays out a couple of ground rules if you really want to launch a crowdfunding campaign. There is actually a whole lot more prep work than I initially thought. Not only man hours have to be put in to execute the things that needs to get done, but a lot more strategically think work that you need to get your head around before executing. Here are a couple of things to ponder on, that I will get into later:

  • The team
  • Set period of CFcampaign and target amount
  • The story
  • PR/marketing
  • Sollicitation
  • CF-video
  • Webpage

These are the subjects he touched upon and where very helpful to have an overview of the activities that we have to spend time and maybe money on to make it a success. So I’ll go over them step by step. First of…

The Team

Because there is so many activities to get done you really have to get a team. If you don’t find one. Defining the roles of the team is an essential part. If you define the roles and responsibilities beforehand the activities that need to get done will be so much more efficient and effective, so very important to divide the roles that need to get done. Roles that need to be divided are: Content creation, phone calls that needs to be made, managing and enlarging your network (making a crowd), the creation and maintenance of the webpage, devising a story (and creating perks and incentives). All these things have to be done and handled by the team and if you don’t have your roles and responsibilities well organised the effect will be a lot less than it can be.

Set a period for the CF-campaign and target amount

This is another essential part of running a crowdfunding campaign. The donator wants a couple of things. Before he donates any amount of money he wants to know if the campaign is for a good cause, if the amount will be reached (or if it is likely to be reached) and there has to be an urgency.

The urgency that we, as the creators of the CF-campaign, need the money ASAP. You can say we’ll run the CF-campaign for 5 months, than we’ll have plenty of time to get funded, but the research has shown that the results of this strategy is counter-intuitive. The incentive or urgency for the funding is out of the window. Most successful CF-campaigns run a period of 7 to 9 weeks.

Some people will answer to the question: “For how much would you like to get funded?”. “As much as possible”. But normally this is a bad incentive for the donator. You have to show them why you need that kind of money. You can do this with a couple of things. The most successful CF-campaigns they also have the most interesting and beautiful videos. They show you quality, beauty and most of the time the credentials that back up the quality that they already shown. Tell your audience who is going to benefit from the money that they give, most campaigns on Kickstarter have perks that they give away for a pittance price for example. So also think about how it will help the donator. Will it only make them feel good by contributing or like the projects on Kickstarter let them also buy an interesting new innovative product? So make your target amount reasonable and feasible.

PR and Marketing

There are many things that you have to and can do when it comes to PR and marketing of your CF campaign. But if we get to deep in the matter it will be gibberish for your so I thought to myself how can we make this a bit easier. To do this here are a couple of questions you should ask yourself that will keep you starting with the PR and marketing the same as we have done. Guided by this video and a couple of others. Here are the questions that you should ask yourself when you’re working on the marketing:

  • How much pre-made content has been made for every (social) media output that you are going to use? (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Whatsapp, Phonecalls, mailing)
  • What content should you spread and how should it be structured? Check this link to learn this.
  • Which tools are you going to use to systemise your media output so that you can be more efficient and effective? (think about the social media named above, but also tools like Thunderclap, Mailchimp, Hootsuite, Heroes&Friends, Nouncy, etc. Check this link if you want to know what these tools can bring.)
  • Who are we as a company, what is our mission and how are we going to convey this message?
  • When are the milestones of your campaign and how are you going to let your crowd know when these have been reached?
  • Have you written a Pitch text that is inspiring for people to listen? (max. 500 to 800 words long)
  • Which platform are you going to use?

CF Video

The crowdfunding video is also a crucial part of the campaign. This is your opportunity to shine and persuade your costumers to actually incest in your product. Here are a couple of tips on a interesting CFvideo. To really know how to make a great video I’ve compared 10 very successful Crowdfunding campaigns of Kickstarter in one of my articles. I’ve also visited a couple of events that get a little more into storytelling. Check my visit at the Campus Party, my evening on storytelling or my visit at the Filmschool Amsterdam.

CF Platform

Before you go into the platform here are also many things to consider before you choose the right one. Ponder on the following questions so that you can make a better decision on what the best platform would be for your campaign.

  • Does the platform allow multimedia (video, pictures, integrated social media functionalities, etc)
  • How much effort (amount of clicks) does a potential donator has to do before he can actually donate? This really is a huge factor in how well your campaign will go.
  • Can you import a mailing list in the platform?
  • What are the fees that are being asked? (AKA how much money keeps the owner of the platform in what situation, success or fail?)
  • Can you keep the money even if your campaign does not reaches its goal?
  • Can you place updates (e.g. about milestones) on the platform?
  • Is the page customisable?
  • Is it also a customisable url?
  • 30% of the platforms needs an approval process. How long is this process?

I hope this was a good read for you guys! If you have any questions, remarks or suggestions just let me know!

Keep you posted!

Conclusion

This was a very interesting talk. I got a way better idea how much work is in the creation of a successful crowdfunding campaign now and that frightens me a bit, because it is so much work and we are only with a small team. On the other hand, we know now that it is a lot of work so we can be better prepared for this. see here how we went about social media, here what we did to create a good story and here is the actual campaign we launched and created success.