Posted on 31 July, 2015 by Team Wishberry
Riding on a sunbeam, like almost every extraordinary documentary, takes the viewers on an unforgettable journey. What else would you expect when you have an Indian neuroscientist and an American anthropologist backpacking 8000kms through the back roads of India? Crowdfunded in October 2014, the documentary was made in March and had its very first screening at the prestigious NCPA in May 2015! We spoke to one half of the globe-trotting duo, Mauktik Kulkarni about his crowd-funding experience and what he has been up to ever since! Click HERE to view their campaign page. How has the journey so far been with the crowdfunding campaign and the documentary? Mauktik: The campaign ended a while ago (in November 2014). The documentary is finished and we had the first screening at the NCPA, Mumbai in collaboration with IDPA. We are now in negotiations for a theatrical release of the film across the top metros in India. A very small, almost negligible, percentage of documentaries ever get a theatrical release in India. We are excited about the fact that we will be getting one. We will announce the details on our FB page soon. What kind of preparation did you do before you launched your crowdfunding campaign? Mauktik: It was my second crowdfunding campaign for the same project. The first one was on Indiegogo. So, I was not completely new to the concept. However, the project was in a much more advanced stage when I launched the Wishberry campaign. With regards to the crowdfunding campaign, coming up with a catchy pitch video was the biggest challenge. I’m extremely glad to know that it worked, and how! How easy or difficult was it to get people to contribute? How did you go about it? Mauktik: I think there are only two ways to go about it. Make your video go viral or keep sending reminders. There is no formula for making a video go viral and mine didn't. So, I had to send a bunch of reminders to my friends and family. A lot of them have good intentions, but kept forgetting to contribute. Sending reminders was the key. Plus, YourStory wrote a nice article about our project during the campaign. That one article gave our campaign the boost we needed. What challenges did you face while making the documentary? Mauktik: There were no big challenges in terms of getting the film done. The money we got from the crowdfunding campaign helped us make a product that will appeal to a wide audience. However, in the world of documentaries, the real challenge is in reaching your audience. We are slowly solving that puzzle, one step at a time. Has the crowdfunding campaign changed things for you in anyway? Mauktik: The fan-base has certainly increased owing to the crowdfunding campaign. More importantly, as one of the campaign rewards promised, we sent a pre-release viewing link to all the contributors. Their feedback has been extremely encouraging and will certainly help as we zero in on our target audience. A word of advice for people who want to have their projects crowdfunded? Mauktik: It sounds like an easy thing to do, but it's a difficult process. You'll have a lot of sleepless nights during the all-or-nothing campaign. So, make sure that you are crowdfunding for a project that you are passionate about. If you try to crowdfund for a project that is not your baby, you will most likely not succeed. What has been the highlight of the journey so far? Mauktik: We had our first screening at the NCPA in Mumbai on the 13th of May, 2015. It was organized in association with Indian Documentary Producers' Association (IDPA). Getting this invitation was a big badge of honor for us. Along with the NCPA patrons, it was well attended by the general public. Among others, famous actor/writer Saurabh Shukla from Bollywood was present in the audience. The Q&A after the screening lasted for more than 30 minutes and more than half of the crowd stayed back for it. That is quite rare in the film world. Plus, at the end of the Q&A Saurabh Shukla eloquently summarized the whole sessions and said that he loved the film. Curious to know how you can raise funds for your next film like how Mauktik did? Just submit your details below and we will teach you how you can crowdfund successfully!
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