We assume most people understand good internet etiquette, so we’ll be brief:
- Be cool! Our goal is to build a truly independent film community. That means the actions of one reflect on us all. You’ve come here to support and watch movies. So be supportive! Don’t use obscene, hateful, or harassing language.
- Please don't SPAM. Nobody likes it.
- There are more no-no's outlined in the Terms of Service (to which you must agree), but presumably if you're breaking those rules, you're probably not the kind of person who spends too much time doing your homework on our Community Guidelines. Sigh.
Violating the Community Guidelines means you’re at risk of having your account suspended, so these guidelines function more like rules of the road.
Funding Campaign Guidelines
Crowdfunding relies upon your audience’s trust that you will do what you say. In order to help foster this trust, we are a supportive crowdfunding platform. That means we work with every project to ensure they’re set up for success. We're genre agnostic and we're learning all the time about how to guide the decision-making process.
So, to create the greatest potential for you and your project to foster a supportive and engaged audience, we want to ensure:
- You're making a motion picture: a feature, short, documentary, or episodic. You might also be funding a festival or production company, or a project that is in service of motion pictures (like a theatre that needs to upgrade to a digital projector). Or you’re out on the edge making multi-platform or VR content. We love it!
- You have a US Bank Account and Social Security or EIN # (don't get your global panties in a twist. We have plans to be international soon!)
- You have a convincing plan to complete the project you're pitching.
- You have a convincing plan to attract an audience as you work on your movie and then deliver it to them when it's finished.
- You have at least one social media account that you will use to promote the campaign.
- You own the content outright. Don't infringe on copyright laws in any thing you post. See the Terms of Service for more on this.
- Your incentives don’t violate any of these no no’s. You are not allowed to offer equity participation, donations to non-profits, repayment, illegal substances, alcohol, or illicit services as incentives. This is not an exhaustive list and we reserve the right to amend it on a project-specific basis.
- You're not making pornography of any kind, meaning that torture porn is also not okay.
- Ok, well, food porn is ok. (You know we're talking about cooking shows now, right?)
We highly recommend you educate yourself on all of the crowdfunding best practices in our handbook. We also recommend you empower yourself with some of the great tools the internet has to offer. Some other things we look for:
- Pitch video: A pitch video is mandatory for all projects. Your pitch video should make us fall in love with you and give us a great sense of what the finished film will be like. For our money, a pitch video should showcase your filmmaking, shouldn't open with a talking head, and should be around two minutes. Remember, people will invest in you and your storytelling talent, rather than in a "concept."
- Team: The team has to fit the scope of the project. If you're asking for $2,000 and it's just you, no problem. If you need $100,000 to make a feature, we need to see that you have a team—not just to make the film, but to raise that kinda dough! You can also seek to complete your team as part of a Seed&Spark campaign. Make sure to include that information when you submit a project.
- "About this project." We ask you to tell us about this project. The most important thing for you to be able to articulate is WHY this project needs to be made. It should be personal: Why do you need to make this? What does it matter so much to you that we should all rally behind you? This is an important time to flex your storytelling muscles. There's a good story behind every movie and we want to know yours!
- A plan for success! You have thought through how to successfully complete your project and get it to an audience. This includes everything from your outreach strategy on social media to your distribution plan. Your distribution plan could range from "We're planning to apply to top festivals and get picked up by Magnolia Pictures" to "We're going to pursue direct-to-audience distribution as soon as the project is complete." Tell us about your strategy when the film is complete.
Streaming Content Guidelines
Distribute your film with Seed&Spark!
We're looking for great examples of truly independent filmmaking across all genres and budget levels to put out into the marketplace! (Save for pornography, you have the rest of the internet for that.) That means we're seeking high quality films that bend and stretch the "rules" either by subject matter, technique, fundraising method, etc.
We want filmmakers that are just as engaged in building their fanbase as they were in making your film. Bring us your project and let us help yoiu activate your audience!
For now, you must be able to say these five things about your project:
- It's not streaming for free elsewhere. (We can get down with promotional stunts and pay-what-you want on an approval basis.)
- You own the content outright.
- It's a Narrative, Documentary, Animation, or Experimental Feature, Short, or Episodic or Transmedia project.
- You have a fanbase of at least 1,000 followers through either a crowdfunding campaign or social media channels, and a plan to continue to continue to build it.
- It's a great work in whatever its genre, scope, or type.