To put it simply, without Kickstarter and the hundreds of backers who have supported the film, ‘The Fitzroy’ would never exist.
For a debut feature film The Fitzroy is an ambitious and unconventional film. Period, sci-fi, comedy!
In years gone by a film of this nature would struggle to get funding at the best of times, even with a team with a proven track record, but as a first feature it made it a near impossible task. However, crowd funding has changed all that…
Crowd funding platforms like Kickstarter allow projects to be brought to life through the direct support of fans, with Kickstarter alone having made 43,000 projects possible since its launch in 2009.
On Kickstarter, creators like ‘The Fitzroy’ set a funding goal and a deadline. If people like it they can pledge money in return for rewards. Kickstarter is all-or-nothing funding, so when we set a target of £60,000 we had to at least reach that target or we wouldn’t get any of the money – scary stuff yeah? Very much so, but we were confident that if we could get the concept out to enough people we could engage them enough to hit our target and do something we couldn’t do through traditional means; get the film funded. We started by making a campaign video…
Though not something our Writer & Director Andrew Harmer was 100% comfortable with, he realised we were best playing on the personal nature of the campaign and doing a direct appeal from our biggest selling point of all – the submarine.
Having backed a number of projects ourselves, we wanted to make sure we offered good value and some unique rewards. Of course there are the normal rewards that people want, like the HD download, the DVD and the soundtrack but it’s the unique rewards we feel really set our campaign apart; limited edition post-apocalyptic posters by five different artists signed and numbered, beach-survival kits and having yourself drawn and animated into the films title sequence.
On November 8th 2012 our campaign went live on Kickstarter. The campaign got off to a steady start, but not spectacular. We knew if we were going to hit our target we’d have to throw everything at the campaign including the kitchen sink! That’s exactly what we did and after…
45 days of campaigning
15,832 unique campaign video plays
233 HD downloads pledges
34 T-shirts pledges
20 Kickstarter updates
3 – 24 hour tweet-a-thons
1 Busking gig with The Green Rock River Band
1 Short Film made in 48 hours thanks to fan support and suggestions
1 Indiewire project of the day (would go on to be project of the week & month)
1 Kickstarter project of the day – 12th December
1 featured weekly Kickstarter email of “Projects we love” – 14th December
846 backers and personalised postcards
Countless sleepless nights…
…£72,171 was raised reaching 120% of our original target, the highest ever for a film project on Kickstarter UK.
We are hugely humbled and thankful to everyone who’s got behind the campaign and film. Whether it was a pledged or simply sharing across social media – it all helped make The Fitzroy possible. We owe our supporters a huge debt of gratitude that we hope to repay by making ‘The Fitzroy’ the best film possible and one we are all proud to be involved with.
…BUT In many ways Kickstarter was the beginning of this adventure, not the end. As we write this we are well into production, but we need to keep spreading The Fitzroy. We need people to hear about this little film and we want people to see it. So please help us share the word on facebook, twitter, wherever, however, and join our newsletter for lots of exciting updates and exclusive offers.
If you have more questions about our campaign or are looking for any advice about your own crowd funding campaign, please do feel free to email us direct at firstname.lastname@example.org
We do love to hear from fellow filmmakers and crowd funders!