WISH I WAS HERE Crowdfunding Project Rakes in $1,5 Million in Just Hours

written by Ivan Widjaya on April 25, 2013 in Funding with no comments

I’ve covered about how Veronica Mars movie were raising $3 million in 2 days (the project closed with the film raked in $5.7 million in funding.) Following the successfully crowdfunded film, “Wish I Was Here” proves that, once more, crowdfunding is THE way to get anything funded: The narrative film, directed by Zach Braff, rakes in $1,5 millions in just hours after it was launched. The $2 million goal is just a couple of steps away. Wow.

crowdfunded film

I personally think that Zach’s movie will be funded more than Veronica Mars. It’s due to the sheer interest of backers (crowdfunders) on the movie, backed by more than 20,000 so far (and counting, obviously) in just a few hours, raising more than $1,5 million.

Launched his project via Kickstarter, Zach did mention that he was actually inspired by how “Veronica Mars” was supported by her loyal fans. He also mentioned that when an independent film is looking for financing, it’s usually mean that the creator needs to give away certain “perks” – i.e. casting choices, location choices, script editing, and so on. With crowdfunding, those are virtually eliminated.

In fact, with crowdfunding, Zach actually OFFERS the opportunity for several backers to have major perks, such as naming a character or becoming an actual cast member (this one, by the way, is valued at $10,000 for 1 backer only – and it’s gone!) The “regulars” involves screening tickets, premier tickets and production diary.

While it’s still available (no worries – the project will be open until May 24, 2013) – check out this “Wish I Was Here” intro:

A brief about the film

“Wish I Was Here” is a film written by Zach Braff and his brother, Adam. It’s a story of Aidan Bloom (played by Zach himself,) 35, a struggling actor, father and husband who is still finding a purpose for his life. The family is making ends meet. Aidan’s little hobby is passing his time by fantasizing about being a futuristic, fantasy Space-Knight he always want to be since he was a little kid.

Quirky. Interesting. My kinda film!

Some lessons learned

I always look at a Kickstarter (or any other platforms’) crowdfunding project as an opportunity to spot new trends and learn new things. This time, I get both, in addition to those lessons I mentioned in Biz Penguin’s Veronica Mars blog post. Here’s what I have learned from “Wish I Was Here” so far:

1. “Follow the leader” or be a trend-follower works!

It seems that doing similar things to those who have made it works in business world. In app business, when a game (e.g. Angry Birds) is becoming a hit, soon there will be similar games launched – and rakes in dollars, being a trend follower. It turned out that in crowdfunding, the same strategy and tactic also works wonder.

I’ve seen smaller and (very) similar projects successfully funded on Kickstarter adopting the “follow the leader” strategy. But I have never seen it done in a bigger scale. Today, I’ve witnessed a new trend which will soon get many followers: Getting an independent film funded via crowdfunding.

Veronica Mars did it, and Wish I Was Here will do it, most definitely. The trend is acid-tested, and it seems that crowdfunding and movie-making is a match made in heaven!

2. Tell a story works!

Reading Zach’ project description is fun. He tells a story about his film and stories do sell. Not only that, watching Zach’ pitch video is also fun. “Wish I Was Here” features concept characters, soundtrack samples, strong FAQ and so on.

Indeed, story helps explaining things without dwelling too much on the technical side. The result, crowdfunders easily understand what the project is all about, what the future will look like and what kind of rewards they will get when they invest in a project.

3. Set goals and take risks work!

Zach Braff takes risks, launching a film project following up the “Veronica Mars” success. He understands that while “Veronica Mars” was already a popular TV series from 2004 to 2007, “Wish I Was Here” is truly a brand new, independent film.

The biggest challenge is distribution – “Wish I Was Here” does not have a distributor attached yet. Also one of the major challenges Zach will need to confront is for the film to debut at the Sundance Film Festival.

If you are interested in supporting the film, please visit the project page on Kickstarter!

Ivan Widjaya
Founder/Editor BizPenguin.com