By Whitney South, Best of London. 03.12.18
With more than $16.2 Billion being contributed to crowd-funding campaigns across the globe, more people are looking for backers to help make their dreams come true than ever before.
No one knows the ins and outs of the phenomenon better than local and Emmy-nominated director Rob McCallum, who has successfully bankrolled several projects, including a number of international award-winning documentaries, using the platform.
On Sunday, March 25, the filmmaker is reaching out to like-minded entrepreneurs with a Kickstarter Master Class workshop at London’s BMO Centre. More than just a way to offer information to businesses and creatives in his hometown, the filmmaker wants to make sure people are using platforms like Kickstarter to the best of their ability, giving them the head start he never had.
After introducing a slew unique subjects, which were irresistible to his target audience, it didn’t take long for the filmmaker to become known for documenting video games, heavy metal, fanboy fanatics, and more.
Creating carefully crafted, interactive pitches, which were impossible to ignore after the first visit to the web page, McCallum has raised over $350,000 across more than a dozen campaigns for titles such as Nintendo Quest, Missing Mom, and the soon to be released to DVD Kittie: Origins/Evolutions.
And it’s not just about the money, as McCallum maintains crowd-funding not only allows artists and inventors to enjoy a certain independence, but also gives them the opportunity to vet their project or idea, whether it’s a cool new watch, comic book, or a feature-length film. It’s the feedback campaigners receive, unfiltered and unbiased from the entire world instantaneously that can make a big difference.
“It’s very much like six degrees of Kevin Bacon,” he said with a laugh. “Most of your supporters aren’t going to be your friends and family, which is what a lot of people think . . . it’s usually the strangers in the world that fall in love with the project and tell their friends, who tell their friends. It gets out of your circle and your space, and that’s a huge component to being successful.”
The number of backers is essentially more important than the number of dollars earned, meaning if a project sets out to raise $100,000, but only attracts two backers, McCallum wouldn’t consider it a success.
“To me, that's just not as important as getting 10,000 people behind it,” he said. “The more people interested in contributing, the easier it is to get a sense of what works and what doesn’t.”
While the workshop is meant to help those looking to get started, McCallum suggests would-be registrants brush up on the basics before heading into the classroom, even if that means only doing a 30-second Google search to get the ball rolling.
“We’re going to take the audience through everything they need to know to evaluate their idea or project, and what it takes to set up the whole campaign before launch,” he explained. “Had I had a workshop like I’m trying to offer to other people, I would have done much better in all the experiences I’ve had . . . if it weren’t for the crowd-funding phenomenon, I wouldn’t be where I am today by any stretch.”
Kickstarter Master Class: From Idea to Execution, hosted by campaign creator and project consultant Rob McCallum, takes place Sunday, March 25 upstairs at the BMO Centre (295 Rectory St. London).
295 Rectory St.