Filmmaker Raises Boatloads of Cash Through A Clever Twitter Strategy

When working on these blogs, I’m always looking for offbeat uses of Twitter.  And being a former film student and sometimes-filmmaker, this article caught my attention:

Tweets Become Mini-Movies in Director’s Campaign to Fund Short Film

Eddy Terstall found a unique way to fund his upcoming movie, Deal, that required making lots of other movies.  Terstall needed €20,000 to fund his short movie. To achieve that, he initially turned to, a sort of Kickstarter for Dutch filmmakers like himself. But when that didn’t yield enough money, Terstall got the idea of making mini-movies called “Twitflicks” based on fans’ tweets for a fee. €10 got you 10 seconds of video and €60 or more got you a minute-plus. The videos were placed on the donors’ Facebook Walls.

Wow!  Not only did it work; it worked in spades.  I’ve long been familiar with Kickstarter, mostly through the emailed pleas of film school colleagues who I haven’t seen in nearly a decade but are hoping to raise some cash for a feature.  I haven’t used it myself for any of my projects.  But it struck me that one winning bit of strategy used by Terstall was that he gave something in return for a donation, which is something I hadn’t been offered on any of the Kickstarter solicitations.

Most people raising money for films will, at best, give you a DVD copy… if the film ever gets completed.  Sometimes you might even get a credit in the end…. if the film ever gets completed.  But in my opinion, Terstall made a brilliant move in creating a mini-movie for each donor.  That is truly unique, and it fits in line with what many of my interviewees have said about successfully using social media:  You can’t just be broadcasting your message; you have to offer something of value to them- you have to give something.

Terstall’s success makes me wonder how else Twitter might be used in fundraising ventures.  Beyond the budget of a film production, what about raising money for a start-up?  Or funding a patent, R&D work, etc?  Other companies of all different walks could use social media to raise cash, so why not do it?


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