Managing your budget, once you get successful crowd funding

We recently posted an article about how to fund your film project in Australia, as well as an example of how some of our film & television students formed a film collective (Queer Film Collective) and created a crowd funding campaign for their first projects together.

Queer_film_collective2.jpgQueer Film Collective not only managed to successfully raise the funds for their 3 films in their timeframe, but they exceeded their budget by $600. But what happens next? Brodie Pyke, JMC Academy Film & Television scholarship student and member of the Queer Film Collective, spoke to us about how they achieved their goal, and how they stay on track with their budget once the funds have been received. You can find more helpful tips about tips about creating a successful crowd funding campaign here. 

How did you determine your funding target for this project?
We estimated our expenses before the campaign, making sure we'd have enough for each element. I.e. Travel, food, props, make-up, festival entries, marketing etc. We wanted each film to have an even amount each, so our target was to get at least $1000 for each film. 

As a film collective, how do you divide the budget between the group members?
The budget is shared, given that all three films are very different they'll cost different amounts each. We have set $1200 to each film, but are happy to sway the amounts if another film needs the money more desperately. We divide it between the films rather than each member. 

What do you attribute to the success of your recent campaign?
Our friends and family helped a lot, but our social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter & Instagram helped us demonstrate exactly what we needed, as well as what we are capable of doing. I also think we just engaged the right types of people to get involved.

What do you do if some costs exceed what you budgeted?
If one film needs to go over the allocated amount we just take it from another film that may not need it. An example would be for petrol and travel expenses. Two of the films need to be shot on the Central Coast, which will cost more for petrol than the other film that can be shot here in the city. If we don't have enough money for what we need, we'll have to put more of our own money towards the expenses. But thankfully that hasn't happened yet.

Are there any particular steps you take to ensure that you keep to your budget?
We have regular meetings as a team and discuss expenses. We have allocated one person to being in charge of maintaining the budget, collecting receipts and accounting for all the money. We always communicate before making a purchase. We obviously look at alternative options that may be cheaper, but mainly, we try to find things that won't cost us anything.

What are the priorities for spending once you receive funding?
We establish what shots and expenses are key for each film. We've been lucky to receive a lot of support on keeping our expenses low. Our main priority is our cast and crew. We always make sure we have enough money to cater for food and expenses. We want our films to look good, but also be fun and easy to make as a team. 

How do you attract donors & investors?
Our main process has been via Facebook. We have made various ads, videos and posts about the films and our campaign. We started with our friends and family and then messaged certain organisations to get involved. We've had organisations share our posts and even feature us on their websites. The response has been quite remarkable. It's just about building an audience and then maintaining interest through statuses, videos and photos.

Do you have any tips or tricks to get maximum bang for your buck out of the budget you’ve been allocated?
Rally your friends and family together to help. We've found a lot of venues and expenses for free just because we knew someone who had it available.
Make things yourself, build the sets and props yourself from scratch. It's a lot cheaper.
Contact organisations and groups that relate to your film. They can give you the right exposure and lead you in the right direction.
Stay organised – make sure everything has been accounted for, and money has been put aside for each expense. 
Do you have any advice for people to help stay on track with budget management?
Just make sure you communicate before making expenses and have regular meetings about what you expect to spend the money on. Make sure you have money allocated for everything and be prepared to make sacrifices if it is going to cost too much.