Crowd funding case study #1 – The Tunnel

Crowd funding case study #1 – The Tunnel







Luci Temple has insightfully dissected the financing strategy for an Australian crowd funded feature film, The Tunnel. There’s two parts to the article – Part 1 and Part 2. Read both. Notice the trend. Everyone seems to raise $10-15K from supportive family and friends. And then the money seems to dry up. I was a big fan of the concept of crowd funding. However, I’m increasingly thinking that the incredible amount of time that it takes (at the sacrifice of ‘creative time’) might be better spent convincing wealthier financiers (eg West Australian mining magnates ;)) to invest in your project. Nonetheless I hope The Tunnel raises its entire budget and it’s creatively successful. After all, it’s a challenge in this current filmmaking climate. Good luck to them and congrats to Luci on her analysis.

5 Replies to “Crowd funding case study #1 – The Tunnel”

  1. Yeah, this model doesn’t seem to have much success. And THE TUNNEL, as far as I can tell, are releasing the film for free, so it’s just a donation with negligible tax benefit. Most people don’t give a fuck about your (not you specifically) film. Friends and family care to a point, but do you really want their money? They don’t understand how it works and for the next few years you have to explain to them why it isn’t playing at the multiplex, next to TOY STORY 4. There’s better ways.

  2. I think a good example of how to do it is Chris Jones’ proposal, get them a physical copy, offer them something in exchange, show them reputation, striving goals and intent. See Chris Johnes proposal for a good example of crowd funding of a short film.

    Don’t know how effective this is for a feature, I would try big wig investors.

  3. Hi Ben,

    Thanks for mention 🙂 nb though I haven’t given up on crowdfunding just yet, I think there is value it – but it depends on the film and the strategy.

    It is hard to raise the total amount for a feature film this way, and there is the valid question of whether the effort involved in maintaining crowd expectations is greater than the money gained from them. However if crowdfunding is approached as part of the ‘audience build’, then I think it can be a successful part of the overall strategy (like Age of Stupid, Iron Sky, etc).

    Unfortunately I don’t know any mining magnates as alternative 🙁

    Tho maybe I’ll find one here 😉

    Thanks, Luci

  4. Hey Ben,

    For what it’s worth, most statistics on crowdfunding say that you’ll raise most of your money in the first month, and that that amount maxes out at an average of around $12,000. Both of these have proven true in our case. Having said that, most crowdfunding sites put a one-month cap on fundraising, so the stats are skewed.

    ‘The Tunnel’ is literally in uncharted waters in that regard, with a long way to go and many plans ahead – we’re still very optimistic.

    Cheers for the shout-out. We hope to hear more from you and Luci on the project as it progresses.

  5. Thanks, Luci and Enzo, for your comments. I want crowd funding to work. I really do. And I hope The Tunnel team raise their goal of $135K.

    The problem is that many creative filmmakers, notably Writers and Directors, find themselves ‘Reluctant Producers’ in their quest to realise their ambitions. I know I have in the past. And in this era of Red cameras, DLSRs, etc, higher quality films (image, not always story) are more achievable.

    My concern is that the responsibilities of raising finance via social media adds an additional burden on filmmakers who are already time poor. Hence Jon Reiss’ suggestion that all films (not matter how big the budget) employ/beg a Producer of Marketing and Distribution (PMD). A PMD is a full crew role and it requires passion, skills and availability. I think that’s the direction we’ll go. If (a big ‘if’) we can find someone suitable. Fingers crossed!

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