Your Crowdsourcing Video Sucks

Writer Director Wes Anderson pitching "Isle of Dogs"
Writer Director Wes Anderson pitching “Isle of Dogs”

Wes Anderson promotes his latest stop-motion animated project Isle of Dogs via a very crafty crowdsourcing video via CrowdRise aimed at marketing and donations to Martin Scorsese’s The Film Foundation.

Anderson offers to give a lucky crowdsourcing fan a chance to voice a character and visit the set.

Pretty cool, huh?

Let’s Face It Most Crowdsourcing Videos Suck

It is safe to say as an independent filmmaker, if you have ever wondered over to Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, you have probably seen many absolutely boring videos by stakeholders.

Shhh… Yours is probably one of them. Statistically speaking.

The stakeholders/filmmakers wanting crowds to fund their film projects, just sit there on-camera, for lack of a better word – begging.

The videos relentlessly digitally panhandle what they need, which is their first mistake in promotion of their project.

Granted a whole majority of filmmakers are not very good at marketing their own projects, though they will probably argue they are the only ones who know how to market their films. Another fatal mistake.

The Filmmaker’s Value Proposition To Audiences

While typically a business marketing term used in the corporate world of ‘making widgets‘ tossed around in MBA programs, The Value Proposition is vitally important to your audience. Does not matter whether or not your audience is fans, the viewing audience, or an audience who donated to your project. Or, even a combination of those three.

In your pitch video, your value proposition to the crowdsourcing audience is what they will feel if they are to donate to your film. Whew… That’s some mighty big words.

But, are we not in the showbiz of evoking emotions from the audience with our films? You can do it.

Show your fans how to feel, how to react, how to emote. Do not tell them what you need (e.g. money, food, money, etc. etc. etc.). The audience will get you need money because your crowdsourcing page will have several buttons, calls to action, with which to donate.

If you have not watched Anderson’s Isle of Dogs pitch video above, watch it now.

And, while you’re at it, watch this very cute H&M Christmas video “Come Together” directed by Wes Anderson starring Adrien Brody. You can quickly see his style.

Wes Anderson's "Isle of Dogs" Crowdsourcing
Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs” Crowdsourcing

Pitch Video Analysis

You did watch the pitch video, didn’t you?

Notice how Anderson centers himself on the lens, talking directly to the audience. Notice the converging lines in the video. Keeps focus on him. Notice how the lines are vertical and horizontal. His visual style. Notice his selection of shirt color/style. I don’t know what that means, but it is different.

Notice how Edward Norton enters, just leaning in. Comedic relief. Notice his t-shirt is blue and contrasts with the overall scene. Notice the muted yellow 1960’s paint job. Who knows, maybe that is a room on the lot in London he noticed would work for the video.

Let’s surmise you have seen some of Wes’s films (Bottle Rocket, Fantastic Mr. FoxThe Grand Budapest Hotel). Anderson has his own style. That is clear.

Even though his setup is simple, it is carefully scripted and edited. He is not asking for money, he is offering a value proposition if you donate to The Film Foundation.

Of course, Anderson is really not crowdsourcing to fund his film as you would be, but you should be able to discern he is not asking for donations, he is offering a value proposition.

Connecting your audience to your project by offering a value proposition, instead of running with the herd which begs for money, is the best option to tap into your audience’s emotional response.

If you are not a good presenter on-camera, use your actors. No actors, yet? Get some. Create. Create. Create.

Good luck in all your fundraising efforts!

Thanks to the wonderful folks at IndieWire, Zack Sharf and Wes Anderson: Wes Anderson Officially Announces New Film ‘Isle of Dogs’ | IndieWire

– Stan

#indieproducerlife