Studio 9 is a stop motion animation studio that makes films for three purposes: explain, engage, and excite! Their recent crowdfunding project, Bovina Creamcracker Buttermilk, went above its target of €10,000 and raised 105% of its goal on Fund it. Joe Coveney and John O’Connell are the main artists at Studio 9 with over 40 years of experience combined. They use their skills to create innovative work for national and international clients, including Beatyard/Bodytonic, Veolia, RTÉ, 100 Archives. We asked them to share about their experience developing their crowdfunding campaign, along with some helpful advice for those who are thinking of using Fund it for their next project.
How did you develop your campaign plan for Fund it?
We started by really defining our project:
- What was it exactly that we wanted to make?
- How were we going to do it?
- Why was it important in the wider context?
We had a few calls with the Fund it team to clarify what was involved exactly in running a campaign and received valuable advice from a friend who had successfully crowdfunded his own album.
When we had a good sense of what was required, we made content for our campaign. It was important for us that we portrayed the potential of the film and that we gave people confidence in our ability to make it.
After making our content, we decided to try to connect with social media partners who would get behind the project and help us share it on their social channels. We also created a press release and sent it to radio stations, magazines and local newspapers.
Finally, we considered the rewards that we could realistically offer and, again, got great advice from the Fund it team and from friends who had run campaigns before.
What worked during the campaign / what didn’t work?
We made most of the content for our campaign before we launched, which was a good idea! Although it was difficult to make the videos of myself and John explaining why the piece was important (we’re usually behind the camera!), it had a big part to play in developing an audience for our campaign.
We got some really amazing people behind the campaign who took time to share it for us on social media. We made time ourselves to reply to posts and to express our gratitude to people for sharing and liking our posts. We were also fortunate to get an article about the piece in the Gay Community News Magazine.
A large part of the campaign was simply emailing friends and family and asking them to share the idea and to make a contribution if they were able to. Initially it felt awkward, but we tried to frame the emails so that we were just telling them about the project and that by sharing or contributing they will be part of this great thing!
In addition we got great support from Fund it. They were always available for a chat and offered very practical advice. They also promoted the project on their site for us which was great!
In terms of what didn’t work, I think we underestimated the amount of time it takes to run a campaign. Even though we had a big chunk of content made before launching, we still had to make a lot more as the campaign progressed.
What was the most important element when thinking about funders?
It was important that we offered realistic rewards that would also be appealing to potential funders.
We tried to think about the different types of potential funders and how best to reach different audiences. We identified different platforms:
- Social media
- Word of mouth
- Media partners
This helped get the message out to potential funders of all different ages!
It was also important that we took time to consider why the piece is relevant in a wider societal context and not solely important for us as a studio. By funding this project they are not just helping us, but collaborating to create something great and important!
We had to give the potential funders an insight into how we work and to demonstrate that we were the best people to make this piece and that the end result would be brilliant!
What were some hidden benefits from using a crowdfunding platform?
We had previously applied for funding to make the film, and, while we were shortlisted we were ultimately unsuccessful! Running the crowdfunding campaign gave us renewed excitement in the project and a fresh enthusiasm for bringing the piece to life.
The campaign really helped increase the profile of our studio and created excitement around what we do. It led on to connecting with new clients that we have since produced work for. It also helped us clarify the idea for our short film as we really had to think about how exactly we would make every aspect of it.
We had to put ourselves out there! Recording ourselves on camera was challenging but a great learning experience for us and something that we are not so shy about doing now.
What is your TOP tip for creators thinking of launching a crowdfunding campaign?
It is important to be realistic about the amount of time running a successful campaign takes. Having media partners and trying to get some press or radio time is a huge benefit. It’s also important to spend time thinking about realistic rewards that are appealing to a wide range of funders.
What’s next for your project / creative journey?
We are currently finishing off some other projects and are hoping to start production of Bovina in June.
The puppets that we will be making for the animation have an internal movable skeleton called an armature which we have ordered and is currently being manufactured.
This film will be our first full stop motion short. It’ll be the culmination of years of development – we have been constantly upskilling to learn the techniques needed for stop motion animation. It will also be the first film that is our own Intellectual Property so we will be able to take it to film festivals and use it to promote our studio and to show off what we can do!
We are very excited to start into production on this and can’t wait to bring this story to life!
Crowdfunding your project can be daunting. But with the right campaign strategy, there is sure to be success. Thanks to Joe from Studio 9 for sharing helpful tips on developing a crowdfunding campaign. You can check out Studio 9 here!
Ready to start crowdfunding your next project? Contact the Fund it team today!