Paul Nelson and Perri Cummings run Cinema Viscera, an award-winning production collective aiming to make defiantly different Australian genre cinema. They ran an incredibly successful fundraising campaign through the ACF, with donations supporting the post-production of their film TRENCH. We chatted all things strategy and implementation with Perri.
At a glance
Project: TRENCH – Post Production
$ raised: $13,784
ACF: Your fundraising strategy was multi-faceted, comprehensive and very successful. Tell us about your strategy and its implementation.
Perri: We knew how vital it was to have a really great social media campaign so Paul and I spent a lot of time planning a solid campaign that included photos, videos, fun cast and crew information and interesting posts about what we were doing and why it was so important to us. We had a lot of fun with this, even having a happy dance challenge one Sunday when we promised to post Paul doing a happy dance if we made over $100 in donations that day. We did and he did!
We followed up with a direct email and phone call campaign, and then we met with people and talked to them directly about what we were doing.
We had flyers made so we could leave the details with everyone we spoke to.
We had a friend in marketing volunteer to help so we got some stories in online journals and some radio interviews. We contacted businesses, starting with contacts we had made during the shoot, then businesses in our local area and businesses we thought might be interested in supporting a film right before tax time. We found our workplaces incredibly supportive, co-workers and friends really went above and beyond to support what we were doing!
We also spoke at filmmaking events to help spread the word and get people interested in Trench.
Overall Paul and I worked pretty hard on the campaign probably both spending about 20 hours a week creating posts, calling, emailing and talking to people. And we had the support of our whole cast and crew who were amazing through the whole campaign. We also found we quickly gained a bunch of loyal supporters who also really helped to get the word out.
What was the most effective approach you used, and why do you think it was so successful?
I think the most effective approach was talking to people, telling them what we were doing and why we were doing it. There is so much information now days that it’s easy to miss something. But when someone takes the time to talk to you, you are happy to listen. And they can see how passionate you are about your project, something you don’t always get in an email or a social media post.
What advice would you give to other artists about to launch their campaigns on the ACF?
Timing is everything. We really thought about the best time to launch our campaign, we decided to launch two days before our director’s birthday, inspiring friends to help us kick off the campaign and two weeks before the end of the financial year, giving people an incentive to donate before tax time.
We found the campaign wasn’t just a way to make the necessary funds but was a great way to build an audience and a community and we now have some local businesses interested in the company and our future as film makers!
The ACF are very supportive and have a wealth of information, so ask them for advice, they really helped us.
There’s a lot of legwork involved in campaigning. Give us your top tips to maximise the time and effort artists spend on their campaigns.
It takes time. We actually found everything we tried worked a bit, so we just kept trying things!
Planning. We planned our whole social media campaign before we launched so we could spend solid blocks of time creating posts and updates and we engineered the whole campaign to tell a story about who we were, our process and our project.
Get your team involved and ask people for help. We reached out to a lot of people that have blogs, websites, write for online journals, have mailing lists or lots of social media followers, and our cast and crew were incredibly supportive!
Be creative and have fun with it. It’s a lot of work but everything you do is part of the project, ultimately you are building a network of people that are interested in your work, so show them what it is that’s great and unique about what you do.