Learn How This Student Brought His Thesis Project To Tribeca
As an undergraduate student at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, writer and director Evan Ari Kelman founded production company LIONEYES PICTURES through which he directed and produced commercial content for multinational brands. Kelman was awarded the 2015 Undergraduate Wasserman Directing Award from NYU. Today he’s here to talk to Casting Pitt about how he brought his thesis film, Bandito, to the Tribeca Film Festival.
Casting Pitt: We talk about crowdsourcing a lot at Casting Pitt and we’re always trying to find creative ways to get the most out of a crowdfunding campaign. As someone who successfully funded your film through Kickstarter, what is your number one piece of advice to filmmakers looking to successfully crowdsource?
Evan Ari Kelman: My number one piece of advice is to craft a pitch video that is entertaining, informative and fast-paced. Your video needs to capture and hold people’s attention immediately. If you can entertain them at first impression, they’re going to walk away with the knowledge that you know what you’re doing. Unsuccessful campaigns are boring, they’re dreary. You don’t really get a sense of the filmmaker’s personality. They can be very textbook in a monotone sort of way and I don’t think that gets people excited about a project.
My Kickstarter video features me talking and walking through a multitude of spaces. I made sure there was a sense of movement throughout the entire piece. The combined elements of the fast-paced nature, the quick cuts, humor, and personality, all came together to elicit very positive responses from my backers.
CP: And as far as a budget for a crowdfunding video, can you talk a little about how much you do or don’t have to spend?
EAK: I didn’t spend a dime on my own pitch video, so I know that it’s possible to create one without any money. Of course, I had some basic video equipment, my DSLR, and some props, but the trick is all about taking advantage of what’s already available to you. For example, I shot in the Tisch building at New York University, which has some incredibly cool film facilities. Using those spaces in my pitch, I made it visually clear to an audience that we had the capabilities to create high-quality work. So it’s not about spending money to ‘wow’ an audience, it’s about intelligently using what you already have to communicate your potential. Proving energy, passion, and a commitment to quality doesn’t depend on the amount of dollars spent on a pitch.