Commissioned by the Crowd

Posted on: Friday 06 July 2012 1:49pm

Blogged by: Nina Koo-Seen-Lin

Commissioned by the Crowd

Introduced by:

Carlton Reeve.


Naomi Alderman, Writer

Nick Dazé, Author

Nick’s contribution on video below

Jason DaPonte, MD, The Swarm

Kevin Mclean, Co-Founder, Tinkatolli

Produced by:

Carlton Reeve, Director, Play with Learning.

There was a contest going on this morning between two sessions. A battle to see whether the commissioners or crowd-funding are the future of children’s media funding. Last year I attended the Meet the Commissioners session and that room was pretty packed. This year it seems a lot of people are looking into getting donations from the public.

Only two speakers were physically present at the session but thanks to technology, the writers Naomi Alderman and Nick Daze were able to be in the cinema room in digital spirit (pre-recorded videos).

The four speakers shared their thoughts and feelings about the experiences they went through to get crowd funding for their projects. Each showed a video campaign that they made to explain their visions and what they need to make it from an idea into reality.

Naomi co-created an app called Zombies, Run! Kevin and his team have created a virtual world for kids called Tinkatolli. Nick Daze – a book about a kid running for president. He needed 1000 people to pre-order the book and so it could be published. Jason needed funding to complete Firebrace – a film about Francis, a part Aboriginal man who travels across the land to tell stories.

So what did these guys learn? Here’s a few pointers that will help you come up with a cracking campaign to gain funds for your project.

Nick Dazé on video:

One big benefit of crowd-funding is that projects can be a little more quirky and less mainstream. Sometimes you have an idea for a project but larger companies like the BBC might shy away from the it because it’s deemed a bit too “out there.”

Naomi believed this would have happened if she’d approached the BBC with Zombies, Run! “It’s a delight to work on something for nobody but ourselves,” she says.

Networking is of course vital. You have to promote and communicate to the audience to make them understand your vision.

If kids could donate then projects would get funding immediately. You have to entice the parents too as they’re the ones who control the money.

Kids want projects to succeed and that gives energy to the project. ‘

Sometimes a whisper can cause an avalanche. Get people talking about it and passing the message on. Kevin found this to be the case when the idea of Tinkatolli reached the ears of a US blog.

Make sure your pitch is perfect. Promote your idea through videos, websites, and shout out the message that your great story idea is something truly awesome.

Expect to put in many hours before and after your kick-starter campaign. Treat it as a full time job because it will be.

Crowd-funding isn’t free money. It’s hard to get. It takes over your life and you have to be willing and show your audience that you’re dedicated to the project.

How are you going to get your message across to tug on heartstrings of people do donate money? You have to show what the reward will be.

A lesson not to be underestimated: You always need great content for campaigns – new videos, podcasts etc. Have a content schedule and know in advance what content is going out. You have to act so quickly when the campaign goes live.

Crowd-funding is an exciting idea. It’s definitely worth looking into if you want to break away from commissioners and for those who have something a bit unusual and less mainstream.

I’m excited about the four projects that were shown today, and I look forward to seeing more projects that have come by with a little help from friends and fans.

For a delegate view of the Crowdfunding session read Nicholas Lovell’s GamesBrief blog

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