Everybody, and I mean everybody, is talking about crowd-funding as if it’s the great cure-all for film and arts financing. And it could be if, and this is the catch, if, YOU have a crowd.
But, you must have a crowd that is interested in what you are doing for this to work. Because the amount of money you can raise is precisely proportional to the size and enthusiasm of the crowd you have to raise money from.
So if you are trying to raise $1,000,000 from the crowd, perhaps you need a crowd of one million people who are each willing to contribute $1.00, or a crowd of ten thousand who all want to contribute $100 each, or a crowd of ten, each at $100,000 apiece, or some combination of that.
The reason (amongst others) that the film Veronica Mars was able to raise the several million dollars to make a movie version of their TV show was that there was a sufficiently large enough existing crowd that wanted the movie made in the first place and a large enough crowd to enthusiastically support (cover) the cost of making it.
Those same people who contributed to Veronica, would not have contributed to a documentary of the history of the NYC subway – however great such a documentary would be. This is because those crowds are too different tribes, so to speak.
So, for success in crowd funding, first be sure you have an existing, enthusiastic crowd, that is energized about your idea and large enough to support its cost.
Another way of looking at this is the age old question of who is and how large is your audience?