How to make a successful crowdfunding pitch video for your play

Posted on 19 April, 2017 by Team Wishberry

We live fast-paced hectic lives. And this way of life mirrors our patterns and habits as consumers of all kinds of things, including media. Gone are the days when people had the time to read through extensively as well as exhaustively researched material, explaining a concept or idea. Time is money! Therefore, as someone who is planning to work on his or her crowdfunding pitch video, especially for theatre — you have to play to the gallery (and aim for a full house)!

How do you make a pitch video for your theatre crowdfunding campaign and make it work?

To begin with, there is a lot to unlearn and relearn!

Move a little ‘out-of-the-box!

There are frankly umpteen pitch videos out there that look and feel the same. It’s the same technique — the director sits in front of the camera and talks about the project! This is a visual medium people! And what can be more visual and give the audience a feeling of immediacy than theatre itself! Therefore, the first thing that you need to do when making a crowdfunding pitch video is to cash in on the opportunity to create a video that not only makes your appeal for crowdfunding clear but which also gives the intended audience a fair idea of what it is unique about it. Look at how Thespo 17 worked towards theirs. They pitched Thespo as an event for the youth, as well as ‘by the youth’. Therefore, the language used in the video was ‘young’ and the tropes were relevant (emoticons!). It worked, and Thespo 17 raised Rs. 5,31,551!

You are raising funds; not asking for charity

There is a thin but important line that demarcates charity/donation from investment. What you are doing via your crowdfunding campaign is asking people to become part of a project and receive exciting rewards. This has to come through in your pitch video as well! Not only is the experience of a theatrical piece important, what is equally important is what the audience is getting in return — and this return can be both material as well as experiential.

Take for example, the pitch video by The Crow, an immersive theatre group. They used the basis of their production i.e. immersive theatre, to pitch their idea. The trope used was simple: two people talking to you via a camera —but they also put up a show, giving you, the audience a glimpse of what is to come. By engaging the audience, they eliminated the possibility of there being an angle of charity — you are not helping them — you are now, part of Team Crow!

Ranting about lack of funds when it comes to theatre in India will most likely, manage to irritate your audience. Don’t alienate them by pointing accusatory fingers — make them a part of your team!

Frontline your accomplishments

Your pitch video has to be a package that delivers on all counts. One of the most important things that you need to focus on when creating a video campaign for theatre is to highlight the achievements of your team as well as you. Let’s be honest here — it’s a little difficult to find backers for a theatrical production because of the saturated minds of today’s audience — film rules the roost and theatre is looked at as a medium that only appeals to a select few. In such a scenario if you have a well-known name on your roster, use it.

This is exactly what Hyacinth did — because famous choreographer Sandip Soparkkar was directing it, they played it up in their pitch video and it worked! Hyacinth crowdfunded more than their target (Rs. 2,06,000)!

Think and plan in advance

This is crucial. There are so many theatre-related crowdfunding campaigns out there that didn’t even bother with creating an interesting pitch video. Shoddy videos only take away from the intended message as well as the merit of the creator. Your campaign will not succeed if you believe that only the weight of your idea will carry it through! You are a creator — create! In today’s day and age people are making full-length feature films using their smartphones. The only thing stopping you from creating an audio-visually interesting pitch video is lack of initiative.

A pitch video is a great way to send the message across. Western theatre groups quickly realized the potential of the same and maximized it to their advantage. In India, there is a chasm when it comes to wanting to stage a production and actually working for it. Surely, you can wait for a big name in the world of theatre to show interest in your play — although, wouldn’t it be better if you could simply ask your play’s actual audience to join hands and make it a reality?

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