Gang of Roses 2: How NOT to do a Crowdfunding Campaign

UPDATE: One of my readers informed me that the page has been removed. A cache version of it can be found here for a limited time:

I came across the IndieGogo campaign for “Gang of Roses 2” after reading on an entertainment website that Amber Rose had been added to the cast of the movie. A Google search yielded the IndieGogo page for the project, which can be found here: (inactive as of 3:18pm EST, 7/28/2011)

These are some of the issues I noticed about this campaign:
  1. The lowest donation level is $200, for a prize that’s not “guarantee.” Sounds like a gamble, not a donation.
  2. It’s for a sequel to a movie which got distribution and some notable actors, meaning that it’s not a project that would otherwise have no chance of being made. If this is in fact, not the case, tell the story.
  3. No budget/explanation of where the money is going. Any smart investor needs a budget before they make a decision.
  4. No video of the filmmaker, nothing that would endear an audience to the project.
  5. It feels like a pay-to-play movie. I can pay to have my music included? I can pay to have a cameo? The major radio conglomerate model shouldn’t be applied to indie films.
  6. Ridiculous price points. A $400 DVD? Really?
  7. $75,000 is a very large amount of money. Crowdsourcing should be a part of your fundraiser strategy, not all or even most of it.
  8. No mention of the filmmaker/ director. Crowdsourcing only works when people can connect to a person, project or cause.
  9. No following (this is related to #8): In their defense, the first “Gang of Roses” came out before the boom in social media marketing. It’s clear however that this film may have viewers, but neither the project nor the creators have a following. Most successful crowdfunding campaigns are due to a community, on and off-line, that was developed YEARS before the project launched, or at least months.
  10. No consideration for the audience. The first movie was distributed primarily via cable TV, meaning that most of the audience didn’t have to make an investment larger than what they were already paying on their cable bill. You either need to think about what will engage this group of cable TV watchers, or seek out a new, more social media savvy audience.
If you have any tips on launching a successful crowdfunding campaign, please share it with us in the comments section.
I’ll end this post with successful crowdsourcing campaigns by amazing black filmmakers.
NOTE: This post is the first in a series I call, “Not Hating, Just Saying,” where I offer a critique with the hope that we can learn and become better for it. This is also where I work hard within myself to remove all of the shade from my heart and my writing, to make sure that it’s not confused with hate. As such, posts in this series are usually edited several times.

As a creative and a person of color, I feel the “hater” phenom has stifled our artistic growth as black people. We need to learn how to accept critique, as well as how to deliver it without the snark and vitriol that prevents the receiver from processing it. Let’s start by loving each other so that words for improvement are received in the manner that they are intended.~ Freedom

What do you think?