By Stacey Maltin | Indiewire March 31, 2014 at 10:40AM
There are currently over 33,000 films trying to raise funds on Kickstarter alone which doesn’t include films raising money on other worthy platforms such as IndieGoGo and Seed and Spark, among others.
Facing an over-saturated market, when we were trying to decide if we should turn to crowdfunding to raise the seed money for our independent feature film "The Other Side," we knew we would have to make a big splash if we were going to have any chance at all of meeting our $50,000 goal.
Of course, this is in the post "Veronica Mars," Zach Braff, era, when celebrities from Spike Lee to Neil Young have drawn attention to the crowdfunding cause and changed the way people look at crowdfunding completely (depending on your train of thought this either good and bad).
We quickly understood that we would have to set ourselves apart using new ideas and turned to the innovative technology of interactive video to do so. We had seen a few interactive videos (most notably the Bob Dylan music video and the New Girl music video) and our director, Dani Tenenbaum, thought this medium not only could fit extremely well for our story, but could be huge for people trying to raise money through crowdfunding in general.
Interactive video lets the viewer choose his or her own path of discovery. For filmmakers, this means that it’s possible to invite people to explore different aspects of the film’s world and keep them engaged for longer than just a two-minute trailer.
Our film, which takes place between the Hasidic Jewish community in Brooklyn and the hipster community, which are two very distinct, vibrant, places, gave us the idea to film tours of each place and gives the viewer the chance to choose which tour they want to take. We also have three languages in our film so we give people the option to hear a summary in English, Hebrew, or Yiddish depending on which language they speak.
Interactive video is great for getting people involved in a deeper way because statistically people watch the video multiple times so they can see what would happen if they chose a different option. People have watched our interactive video for an average of 7 minutes and 41 seconds, which in today’s fast paced, ADD world, is huge. Now the viewer is invested in the project and is more likely to take the extra step of donating because they already spent more time getting to know not only the story, but also us as filmmakers.
Since the technology is brand new, certain kinks are still being worked out. The interactivity works really well on computers (both laptops and desktops) but some phones and tablets struggle with loading this type of video. However the team from Interlude, the company who created the interactive technology, are constantly updating their servers to give the best viewing experience possible and were super helpful as we were developing the video with great tips (they are also just really good people).
The end of the video takes you directly to our Kickstarter page where people can then choose to watch our regular pitch video or donate directly. Being the first group of filmmakers to use this technology to crowdfund has been such an exciting and rewarding experience as we have had people from all over the world watching, sharing, and donating.
We can’t wait to see others develop their own interactive crowdfunding campaigns in the near future.
Check out the video below and read more about the campaign here.
Stacey Maltin, who wrote the screenplay for "The Other Side,"
is a producer, writer, and actress based in New York. She has a BFA
from NYU Tisch with a minor in journalism and has been working
professionally in film and theater for over ten years. She has produced
in New York as well as
internationally in Israel and has found a home with WIWU Productions, a
boutique production house creating compelling independent film as well
commercial work including music videos, commercials, and PSA’s for major