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.

My Notebooks and what I’ve learned from keeping them

My notebooks. This is a thing. I’ve been very lavish with the use of paper these past couple of months. Acquired knowledge that has been stored in more than 10 notebooks. Half of it for the crowdfunding campaigns. I’ve learned a couple of lessons for this.

1. Categorise the subjects

This is one of the most important things to do. Else you don’t have a clue what’s inside of these books. Normally I started out by writing a title on the frontcover. Something like “Notes on Delitelabs” or “Lectures and interviews” or even “summaries on articles”. But this stays very vague on what the notebooks actually can help me with. So a couple of weeks ago I began to read them all and provide the cover with all the subjects and contents of the notes I took. It looks like the image below. The handy thing about this is that if I want to write an article now I can just search up the subject I want to write about and start typing.

My notebooks

2. Start Transfering to digital Straight away!

I started to late with transfering what I done research on to the digital. This is I think not uncommon. I hear many people not implementing what they learned or forgetting it all together. Especially when you go to lectures people often forget their notes. Now that I begin to have it all in one place it is like a database of knowledge that I can search very easily in. I really love that Idea. A literal accumulation of knowledge that, when used proper, you can have massive impact with. Or at least… I really hope for it.

3. Start implementing straight away

This is one of the biggest mistakes that I have made. I know that I’m not the only one, but that doesn’t make it less foolish of me. Put to use what you have learned straight away. This is how things are actually become intuitive after a while. There are so many things that I’ve written down on how to do certain things that this abundance of stored knowledge is sometimes like a big wave that overflows me. Overwhelms me and I forget it all. Now when I read my notes, which lately have been frequently, I’ve been starting to implement it more and this feels kind of cool. It’s like having a very big manual on how the subjects that I’ve been working on (personal development, digital marketing and crowdfunding) actually work and how you can implement it to learn and use it yourself.

4. Keep only the good

You make notes on loads on different things. What do I need to do today? What have I learned from this lecture? What do I want to get from the supermarket? All different lists on things you have to write down because otherwise you forget. What I have been doing with my notebooks is cutting down on the things that don’t have any purpose or interest for you anymore. Just rip out those pages and feel free from the irrelevant topics that lost their meaning to you. This leaves only the good stuff for you to learn from and keeps your head clean on what is really important, applicable or interesting.

So as a conclusion

I’d say keep categorising my notes, start accumulating them digitaly, or even better online so other people may also benefit from my findings, start implementing what I’ve learned and keep editing my notes. I think that sometimes it’s better to do instead of being paralysed by the thinking process. And that’s what I’ll try to do more.

The crowdfunding video: Chaos!

One of the things that I’ve noticed during my time at DL and working on the crowdfunding campaign. If you think you prepared well enough, think again.

Change of Launch Date

We prepared to launch for our company, Delitelabs, Which was to be launched at October the 19th. This because then we would have time to prepare our networks, create a crowd and create contact lists to call when the time has come. A little over two weeks ago another idea arisen. The idea that we would have two crowdfunding campaigns running at the same time. One starting in the second week of the course, this week. And the other at the set date that we had set previously, the 19th.

This would be no problem for me. In my head this would mean that we could also use the crowdfunding campaign of the participants as a experimental CFC, and we could advise them to best implement it, but that was not what happened. In the first week of the course there has made a decision that we run the crowdfunding campaign with the participants. They would have a large roll in this and could use their networks to spread the message. I think a pretty good move, but this also meant that the video has to be made in one day, because the launch was planned on that day, yesterday.

How not to create a video

The video would have been made without a team, without expertise, without a plan, a budget, a script or even the right equipment to film the video. I’ve said that I would do my best, but that the quality of the movie would be very questionable at best. At the day before I’ve asked some advice from a friend of mine in the movie business, Bob van Schaik, about what to best do. He also advice very much against it, but if we should go through with it we should have a decent camera and audio equipment.

In the morning I stretched the importance of the equipment and the lack of all the things above. But that is off course not in the entrepreneurial spirit. Go, Go, GO! I’ve tried to do it on my own, but I don’t like the outcome of the movie. It is just of too poor quality. I feel like I’ve put people down and that just sucks. This morning we have decided that we are going to do it differently. Waisted a minimum of 9 hours creating something I’m not proud of. One of the first things I’m really frustrated with since I’ve joined DL. The lack of planning and budget when you work in a startup.

We didn’t finish it, because it was just not good enough and lacked audio but here it is…

We saw that it was a mistake to create a movie on such short notice. Especially with the long list of things we needed and didn’t have. So hopefully next time we’ll chose another path to create a movie, with a little of a lot more preparation.

See the followup post on how the creation of the movie went after this.

Hope you did also enjoy my whining once in a while.

– Bas

Examination Crowdfunding platforms

Another part of the research I’ve been doing is what type of crowdfunding platform we are going to choose for our CF campaign. I didn’t know this before but there are actually quite a lot out there, even in a small country like the Netherlands there are whole bunch. I first started my investigation overall. So, I looked at a couple of comparison websites, like top10crowdfund.nl/. This website gave the overview of crowdfunding websites that are active in the Netherlands. The website estimates that there are 92 crowdfunding platforms operating in the Netherlands.

cfplatforms

What should we choose?

There are very many different crowdfunding platforms to choose from. Some very specific to a certain topic or a specific way of funding (e.g. just by lending instead of donations and rewards) and some are more generic like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. I’ve looked into most of the popular ones, but most of them looked like a saturated pool to me.

The two golden questions and a bit of myself

It was nice to have an expert, which I interviewed before this research,to give me advice on this subject. Eric Heesen, the founder of Crowdfundy, told me two golden questions I should ask myself before chosing a crowdfunding platform. First “Wat was the topic our crowdfunding would be about?”. The second question was “What type of financing system did we want to have?”. In crowdfunding there are four different kinds of funding: equity, loan, rewards and donations.

What I also saw on many crowdfunding platform that there is a certain fee that you have to pay beforehand or afterwards. These fees depend on wether or not you have successfully achieved your goal and how big your goal was. This is called “placement fee” and “success or failure fee”. I’ve put these also in the description for a more detailed overview.

Our answers

The answer that our team had answered to these questions was that: “We were a social enterprise and worked with refugees and inspired enterpreneurship.”. So three topics I could search for when looking into the “right” crowdfunding platform.

And the second answer was that we didn’t want any lending crowdfunding campaign, nor do we want convertible lends (loans that can be converted into shares). We want to go for the rewards and / or donations. Ideally a mix between the two.

So I set my two parameters to these conditions and out of these came four platforms that we are going to discuss at large on the first of September, which is this Thursday. A quick note, I’ve put the financial details of the platforms at the bottom so it is easier to compare.

The Platforms

  • OnePlanetCrowd
  • 1%club
  • Chuffed
  • Crowdaboutnow

OnePlanetCrowd

oneplanetcrowd

OnePlanetCrowd is a platform that is stationed in Amsterdam. Their main topic is social sustainable impact. So, it is ideal for our organisation to take into account, because our organisation is similarily concerned about the same topic. Their main target group is social entrepreneurs, which we also are. Further than that, everything that falls into this category is allowed. OnePlanet has a few criteria that we would have to take into account.

Conditions

  • The project has to have an positive impact on man or nature
  • There is a concrete, urgent and clear communicable spending target
  • The financial needs must be between the 1.000 and the 1.000.000 euro’s
  • The campaign has to be totally led by the one who started the campaign.
  • If you don’t get your goal, every penny is send back to the investors

Another thing to take in account is that the platform is mostly based on projects in Germany and The Netherlands.

One%Club

1%club

This is also a crowdfunding platform that is stationed in Amsterdam, but other than the previous platform, the one%club is internationally oriented. It spreads the message that the projects that are being put on the platform all do ‘something good’. This can mean anything, but is in the realm of social projects. For example there are projects in Zambia that fund a new sustainable school, support refugee employees in Greece or support a sailing school just in the Netherlands.

Conditions

  • The target amount must be between the 250,- and 1.000.000,-
  • Successful or not, you will always get your money with this platform

Chuffed

chuffed

Chuffed is an Australian platform that is internationally oriented. And it was actually interesting to see that this page was one of the few, that had a tab especially for refugees. And since our core business is helping refugees, I was compelled to look into this one. The more I read the more I liked it. To quote Chuffed:

“We only crowdfunds non-profit and social enterprise projects. That’s it. That means we know what works for social causes, and our community is only interested in projects like yours.”

The website is very suitable with a lot of information on how to promote your own campaign. Luckily One%club has the same policy, but the afore mentioned onePlanetCrowd does not have that at all. What makes it a more difficult choice is that this is the only platform that is not stationed in the Netherlands.

CrowdAboutNow

crowdaboutnow

This platform is different from the rest because it is the only platform that is completely Dutch oriented and is stationed in Utrecht. It is all about social entrepreneurship. They assume you are one, of course, and they stretch the importance of the network that you already have. They say they offer much support during the campaign. I called this company as well and they advised me to check what kind of finance system we want. If we want to go on to (convertible) loans we should look at a platform like OnePlanetCrowd. When we want to do it more based on rewards and donations it’s better to choose a platform like us, more peer-to-peer based.

Financial situation

OnePlanetCrowd

Placement campaign: €200 + 1% target amount
Transaction costs: €0.50 (only paid if campaign was a success)
Succesfee: 7%

1%club

Placement campaign: free
Succesfee: 7%
Failurefee: 5%

Chuffed

Placement campaign: –
Transaction costs: €0.50 + 2.9%
Succesfee: –

CrowdAboutNow

Placement campaign: 1% target amount
Succesfee: 6%

Conclusion

Based on these examples I have chosen 1%club. Especially since we get started sooner than expected. With one%club you get your money, either way. One%club is also Dutch, and is centered in Amsterdam. It has the same overarching mission as we do, “doing something good”. Since this is our first campaign as a company ever, and we still have a lot to learn about how to do a good crowdfunding campaign, one%club is a logical option to take. This needs only to be discussed with the team.

Keep you posted on this.

– Bas

An evening on story telling

The power of storytelling is a big one, definitely when I look at the entrepreneurs that I follow on youtube and their success. Names like Sam Ovens, Casey Neistat, Shaun Mcbride, Tai Lopez, Emilie Wapnick and many others who earn their bread with this inspiring skill. To make our course as compelling as possible Michaela Krömer went to a storytelling workshop and asked if I could come as well. Of course I decided yes. Being able to tell a good story is one of the things I could use big time in the campaign and I’d love being able to tell my stories in a more inspiring way. So off we went.

The workshop

The workshop storytelling took three hours, but there was never a dull moment. The way it was presented was entirely in the style of storytelling. It intrigued me, especially the amount of interaction Eldridge, the lecturer, had with the audience. You could stop the lecture whenever you had a burning question and this gave a great sense involvement. This gave a aura of freedom in the room. Many theories, examples and tools were discussed during the course. To name a few.

In this post we will take a look at the Drama and Winners Triangle. The other methods and theories will be explained in other posts. If you want to read them you can click on the link and you can read on what it is all about.

Drama & Winner’s Triangle

These two concepts are actually very interesting to look over and are in most forms of communication very handy to use. It is a framework on which rol you can play or to get insight in the rolls that you play unnoticed. There is a positive side and a negative side in this. Obviously the Drama Triangle is the negative counterpart of the Winner’s Triangle. I’ll start with the drama triangle.

Drama Triangle

Drama Triangle

The Drama Triangle is shown in the picture above. The Drama Triangle is a model that shows the relations between the three rolls Persecutor, Rescuer and Victim.You can see these rolls for example in movies, You have a Hero an Villain and a Victim, someone who has to be saved. But if we examine our communication and that of others we see that we also apply these rolls ourselves.

What are those roles entail?

To give an example in the Batman Series you have Batman as the Hero, The Joker as the villain or persecutor and Gotham or Rachel as the Victim that has to be saved. This model is being used in a lot of movies and therefor we see it too often as truthful. The reality is that this is most of the time a destructive way of communication for at least one of the two parties. Batman has to hide his true identity and has many problems in his social life because of this. The Joker is a crazy person and won’t be any help for the world, because he wants to watch it burn. Lastly the Victim, Gotham city, will be always dependant of his Hero, Batman.

So when something happens to him Gotham is helpless. The theory says and I think most people would agree, that these rolls are all undesirable to play. The way to solve this is to look at the Winner’s Triangle. See below.

Winner’s Triangle

WinnersTriangleThe Winner’s Triangle is the positive counterpart of the Drama Triangle. It is the realistic roll you can play that is constructive for both parties. The three parties of this Triangle are The Coach, the Challenger and the Creator. The Rescuer becomes the Coach, the Persecutor becomes the Challenger and the Victim becomes the Creator.

Coach, Challenger and Creator, what are those?

The Winner Triangle twists the negative points that the three rolls, Victim, Rescuer and Persecutor, have into positives. The Victim becomes the Creator and becomes his own rescuer by dealing and solving their own problems. They ignore the scoldings or remarks of the Persecutor. The Persecutor becomes the Challenger that instead of putting people down by their negative exclamations challenge people to make healthy choices. The Rescuer becomes the coach. Preferably they coach proactively before the people whom being coached head for trouble.

These triangles can also be very helpful in your communication. On stage, during a meeting, on social media or on your website. With this framework you can pinpoint where you stand yourself in different relationships you have or how you communicated on the web so far and see how it can be beneficially be changed in the future.

How you communicate and a pitch

For me this was an epiphany. The whole lecture was a great way to learn a bit more on how I communicate and what could be different about it, on or off stage. One thing I’m particularly proud of was when asked if anyone would give a pitch I was one of the few who would raise their hand. Actually to my own surprise, because in reality I was pretty scared to actually do it. After the break we would start with the pitches. I actually practised a couple of times on a pitch about “having a mentor to excel”, but when I got called to the stage I changed my mind. I didn’t feel the things I was going to say so I quickly came up with the subject I had absolutely my heart for: Delitelabs. The way we help people who need it most. I felt like a badass and it actually was a pretty good pitch I heard afterwords. So good that we got a couple of people interjected us afterwords. They asked if it was a real endeavour I talked about. When I said yes they immediately wanted to help. Great how things can work out when you do something you’re afraid off.

Conclusion

We can use many things that I have learned in this lecture. We can implement these learnings in the posts that we are going to put out before, during and after the crowdfunding campaign. This kind of storytelling I’d love to implement in the posts we are going to put out on Facebook, Twitter, instagram and hopefully on our blog. This lecture will only be the beginning, because in one lecture I’m not yet a storyteller. At least not a professional one at that. So a long way to go, but the beginning has been set.

Hope to talk to you guys soon. Leave a comment if you have a question or have something to share.

– Bas