Four weeks ago we took a look at filmmakers Gabriel Diani and Etta Devine’s latest crowdfunding campaign on the eve of their launch.
Diani and Devine had put in five months of work preparing for the Kickstarter launch of their movie project “Diani & Devine Meet The Apocalypse.” Veteran crowdfunders, they were excited and nervous since they were asking for more than they’d ever asked before: $100,000.
Now with just seven days left in the campaign, we check in with Gabe Diani and find that the duo are in the thick of it.
TURNSTYLE: Are you where you expected to be at this point in the campaign?
GABE DIANI: Not really. We thought we’d get to 30% in the first week (and be at least 75% by now) by mobilizing our fan base but we’ve experienced more problems this time around getting the word out. The changes to the Facebook algorithm for sharing posts since last time we did this have stunted our Facebook reach which is where most of our referrals came from last time around. We still mobilized our audience and have raised more money in less time with less people than we have in the past but the audience drop off from last time has been larger than we expected.
TS: What’s been the biggest single source of support traffic so far?
GD: Direct traffic with no referral information. Which means probably from our own email list. It’s twice Facebook referrals this time around…the exact opposite from what we experienced in the past. But even this has been limited by things like google tabs.
TS: Have you shifted up any of the plan?
GD: The plan has been constantly shifting. We did a great job of building pre-awareness buzz in the months leading up to the campaign but that pre-awareness was again more limited than we thought. We blew past $10,000 in the first day and there was a steep drop off much sooner and larger than we expected in the second day and we didn’t get the boost we were expecting from the viral video we made featuring Janet Varney dressed as her character from “The Legend of Korra.” So we switched to more grass roots, old school campaign methods: phone calls, asking friends to email 3 of their friends about it, and starting to individually email all of our Facebook contacts to let them know the campaign existed. We’ve also hired a publicist to help with our outreach efforts.
We’re also trying this new thing (to us at least) called Thunderclap. People sign up to send out our message through their social media platforms all at the same time and we’re hoping it can cut through some of the clutter on social media during our final push. It’s fast, easy, and a free way to help so we’re hoping people will sign up.
TS: What’s been the biggest positive surprise?
GD: The extent to which all of our friends have gone to the mat for us on this. A month is a long time to ask someone to do you a favor and there have been so many people who are pushing hard for this happen. I hope we can take it across the finish line for them.
TS: If the campaign was over today, what would be your big takeaway?
GD: We’ve run an amazing campaign that I’m proud of and feel very lucky to have so many amazing friends who volunteered their time and talents to make happen.
TS: How is this comparing to your other two campaigns?
GD: Much harder. “[Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Robotic Edition]” was stressful and crazy because we had no idea what we were doing but we blew past our goal in the first day and the rest was icing on the cake. “The Selling” was much harder than Huck because it we weren’t piggy-backing on America’s favorite dead author and didn’t have a stupid controversy we were making fun of. We knew this would be much harder than “The Selling” but it hasn’t been harder in the ways we were expecting.
Diani’s partner, Etta Devine, broke down some of the lessons they’ve already learned in her column at Ms. in the Biz, in a column entitled “The 5 Things That Will Sink Your Crowdfunding Campaign.”