Welcome to my first blog which I’ll be publishing bi-weekly on Fanslike Agency. It’s a proud day for me to be launching the agency. We have some really amazing film campaigns lined up (information on these will be released as they are officially announced) – all with unique, active and dynamic fan bases. I’m hugely grateful to all the Fanslike Team who are supporting the new work at the agency and getting behind us and helping us build this model and company. All information on our services and our team are up today on our website www.fanslikeagency.com.
I worked for Indiegogo for 10 months after graduating with a distinction from the National Film and Television School’s Entrepreneurial Producing Diploma. My year with Indiegogo was inspiring, dynamic and hard working. I learnt more than I’d ever dreamt of learning in those months – working for a VC driven Silicon Valley company in the midst of the crowdfunding explosion in the UK industry. Such a very different experience from a previous UK film job – there was nothing to sit back and relax into. You were literally wired for communication in all the time zones, 24/7. When I signed up my contract late at night and my docusign was playing up, I asked the IT guy back in San Francisco ‘are you online?’ I knew by the moment’s silence and a mono syllabic drawl ‘yeah’ that this guy was probably rolling his eyes at this tech philistine – he was never not online. Of course.
And there are numerous fun little quirks that go on in Californian start ups. “All Hands”– where the company gets together every three months (San Francisco in Indieogogo’s case) where everyone gets to hang out for two days with your co-workers and more excitingly the tech developers. The crazy looking cool geeks and geekesses who take over the back end of the office to design the tech are put in groups with co-workers and select the best ideas which they then go off and develop and re-present 24 hours later. Amazing to see the tech getting completed and some of it taken on for good. And then the bell rings and waffles are served in the kitchen area. There was also ‘Stand up’ – the weekly google hangout linking the live offices from San Francisco to LA, NYC to London.
It struck me when I was in the elevator one day that everyone in the San Francisco office had dogs – not babies. I then realized the average age was late 20’s, early 30’s – you could feel the talent in the air. The diversity was wide, huge, exciting. And that’s another thing, no one is ‘just hired’ – there’s a tireless interview strategy. I was interviewed six times.
At Indiegogo I met one of the most inspiring people I had ever met – the young and exceptionally bright and interesting co-founder of Indiegogo, Danae Ringlemann – I had the pleasure of accompanying Danae around Dublin’s Silicon Valley tech summit, The Dublin Web Summit. I was thrown head first into the world of tech – a glorious matrix of what seemed like football stadiums view private instagram without human verification filled with inventors, tech developers in the digital tech and product market with huge stage shows of panels and interviews of some of Silicon Valley’s hottest players – Google, Facebook…They were all there. I met incredible Silicon Valley characters like Headspace’s Andy Puddicombe (who is as smooth and calm as his app) through to the women leading artificial intelligence at Google. Danae, has been integral to building her own Silicon Valley company, with the passion to democratize financing from both sides of the coin – the inventor and the investor. Danae found a way for people with ideas to get funded by everyday people en masse. No clubs or boy networks needed. An all access point to the real talent. Danae mentored me and inspired me to continue a vocation in crowdfunding.
I realized a few months back that many UK producers were indeed ready to take on the crowdfunding challenge – They were interested to find out more about how to raise alternative and IP free finance and see what audience they could find film or product online. But for many who I met, the social media side made them unconfident (I met 25 top documentary filmmakers at Sheffield and not ONE of them had a Facebook page set up for their film which was in the making). I also realized time was a big restraint – Many indie filmmakers who were making docs were all away for long periods of time and needed to focus on their stories.
In the US there are a couple of well thought out agencies who do just this – they run crowdfunding campaigns (big shout out here to Ivan Askwith who produced the Veronica Mars campaign in Los Angeles) with bespoke teams in the US. Through the job at Indiegogo I had met some great people and knew that I could put a together a new team of social media and PR experts and campaign managers. I had worked on many crowdfunding campaigns over the year with Indiegogo’s film team and also with Indiegogo’s campaign specialist John Trigonis. I was regularly part of US briefings on all the headline campaigns which gave me an incredible insight to campaigns across the board. And not only film but also tech and product. I had come to know the ingredients of successful campaigns. There was an art to this.
So I offer up Fanslike Agency. Why Fanslike? …….Because more than anything it’s about finding your fans. Not only for film. For product and tech too. Crowdfunding is starting to pop up in the mainstream in the UK and tech is already killing it. The UK films are on their way and I’m here to start them rolling. Europe’s warming to crowdfunding too as we saw with Jodorowsky’s campaign on both Kickstarter and Indiegogo in recent months.
Please share this blog on your social media if you enjoyed the read – it will help us grow and help give others knowledge in crowdfunding – we’re here to help pioneer crowdfunding for everyone, it’s democratic and we firmly believe in sharing information. We also believe in crowdsourcing – every design and developer has been crowdsourced for our site to date and took us from India to Spain to work with fantastic talented people. And follow us too if you would like, we’ve got lots more coming your way…….