Updated: Jan 30
Picking the right rewards can have a massive impact on a film crowdfunding campaign. The rewards are an amazing way to give friends, family and acquaintances and extra incentive to support you and encourage complete strangers to back your project.
Before I get to the list of reward ideas you should consider, let's discuss some general tips, tricks and strategies.
There are 3 main categories of rewards:
Below £100: These should all be digital rewards including a link to the film, digital poster, social media shoutout etc.
£100-500: Experience Rewards (more on that later)
£500+: Credit rewards (although they're not just credits; more on that later too!)
Usually the rewards that will end up raising you the most funds are the £50 and £100 rewards so you really want to get those right. Don't be afraid to add as much value there as possible and make them extra appealing to your potential backers.
The higher your target the more variety of rewards you should have. Most campaigns that raise under 10k have between 7-10 different rewards but for campaigns trying to raise 100k+ it's not uncommon to have 100+ different rewards.
Create scarcity to increase desire and demand. For all rewards that cost over £100, limit them to only 2 available at a time. Once the 2 are sold out recreate the reward and add 2 more. This will create a sense of urgency for people to buy and will create FOMO which is absolutely crucial. It will get backers thinking: 'If I don't get this reward today it might not be there tomorrow...'.
Add some creative names to each of your rewards to make the experience of your crowdfunding page seamless and engaging. You want buying a reward or donating to feel like part of the experience and not 'the boring step'. I added some links to campaigns that do this really well at the bottom of this blog.
As the rewards get more and more expensive it's common practice to add the perk description and write '+ all previous digital rewards'. Instead of doing that I would recommend adding bullet points summarising all the above perks in each package individually. This makes it feel like you're getting a lot more for your money. Check out the example below; if this package only said Blu-Ray and all previous rewards, wouldn't it feel far less tempting to get?
Finally I would strongly suggest getting together with your entire cast, crew and team and discuss what you can source from practical products, services and experiences! Perhaps someone has an uncle who can donate a weekend stay at their airbnb during an off-season, or a family member with a restaurant who can donate a luxurious dinner for two. Don't miss out on these kinds of rewards that a huge number of people would want just because you didn't do a brainstorming session with your team.
So let's get to it... here are just 21 reward ideas you should consider:
1. Special thank you video from the whole cast
Want to spice up the standard £10 'Thank You Social Media Shoutout'? Try a 'Special personalised thank you video from the whole cast and crew'. Get your whole team together and in about 5 minutes you can film 100 variations of everyone shouting: 'Thank you so much for your donation 'Name of backer' to the camera. You will come off as more grateful and backers will be much more likely to back again if you launch another campaign.
2. Social media shoutout
You can make this extra special for filmmakers and business owners by saying: we'll promote a link to your website across all our social media channels. Do you have an actor or team member with a high number of followers? Perhaps add that they will go live on social media and mention the backers and their businesses to their followers.
3. 4K exclusive download of the film
It's important to make each reward as appealing as possible. Instead of simply calling a reward 'Get a Download of the Film' try: 'Exclusive 4K Download of the Film Before Anyone Else Sees It'
4.Digital concept art download
This is a great addition to a download of the film reward. With all digital download rewards you can add an option: Receive a printed signed copy if you attend our premiere. That way you encourage people to come to your premiere and make the perk more appealing without adding shipping costs.
5. Zoom Q&A with Cast & Crew
A live zoom hangout and Q&A is a great way to personally thank the backers and make them feel valued. It's also an opportunity to make personal connections with people which will increase the chances of them supporting you again if you choose to launch another campaign.
6. Mystery Bag/Lucky Dip
Curiosity is a powerful driver when it comes to getting sales so why not use it here? You can add a lucky dip or mystery box reward filled with mystery vouchers and products which will spark people's curiosity and excitement. Get your whole team together and see who can pitch in what.
7. Movie Props
Got a cool prop or costume in your movie like a vintage gun or an awesome trench coat? Those always make for great rewards!
8. Audition/Script Review
Offer to review someone's short script or audition tape. This works great if you have an experienced writer to review a script or a casting director willing to watch some audition self tapes.
Got a photographer on the team or someone with a DSLR? Headshots can be relatively simple to fulfil and very expensive for actors to purchase making it an excellent film crowdfunding reward.
Get together with your whole team including cast and crew and see if you can provide any lessons or workshops as rewards. The prices usually vary from £50-150 for a one hour lesson and can be easily done over zoom. These can be anything from french lessons, filmmaking coaching, cooking classes, or anything else that people would like to learn.
11. Name a character after a backer
This is a great example of an exclusive one-off reward that only one person can get. They tend to be quite popular and in demand due to how limited they are.
12. Film equipment hire
Do you have a set of lights, a camera or any other equipment you can rent out for a day? If yes, film equipment hire is a fantastic practical reward that will get filmmakers and complete strangers backing your campaign. It's also enticing because a backer doesn't need to wait until the film is made to receive their perk. You can in theory fulfil it the day the campaign is over if you already have the kit.
13. Extra on set + mini photoshoot
An extra on set reward is a very popular reward amongst actors but you can make it even better with a small addition. Allow the actors who get the reward to pick their own characters (within reason and keeping with the style of your film). You can then add an in character photoshoot to the perk. The character photoshoot including a few headshots and full body pictures can be done by your onset photographer in between shots, costing you nothing extra to fulfil.
14. A day on set behind the camera
'Spend a full day on set shadowing the DOP and receive an assistant cameraman credit. You will be able to hold the camera and shoot one of the shots in the film.' This kind of reward works especially well if you are shooting on an impressive camera such as a RED or Arri Alexa.
15. Shadow the director on set
Spend a VIP day behind the monitor shadowing the Director and receive a production assistant credit.
16. VIP Premiere tickets
If you go with the 'Tickets to your premiere' reward make sure to add as many extras as possible! For example 2 x VIP Tickets to the premiere + 2 drinks & snack + poster of the film signed in person by the director and a photo with the lead actors. Perhaps even throw in an add-on such as an exclusive invite to the cast and crew wrap party.
If you can do a headshot photoshoot consider doing a showreel shoot as well. It's another great way to get actors backing your campaign. You can get your crew together and shoot 5-10 showreels in one day and easily charge £200 for each one. You can even offer different tiers and start with a much less expensive version: 'We'll shoot your self tape for you'.
18. Associate/Executive Producer Credit
This is a popular reward amongst filmmakers but it's often done wrong. Try to use 5-10% of the reward's price to make it more appealing. Superbackers will love this! For example if you set your reward at £1,000 use about £50-100 to offer the producer:
An Uber LUX to and from the set one day
VIP tickets to the premiere with 2 free drinks
Personalised Producer T-shirt with the backer's name
Anything else you can add on to make them feel special!
19. Product Placement
Get companies supporting your campaign once it's live by offering to put their product in the film. Alternatively you can reach out to companies before you launch and ask for products that you can use as perks during your campaign. We often do this at Cine Circle by giving out some annual membership passes to our paid events which filmmakers can sell as rewards. We get to help campaigns we love and simultaneously gather more attendees for our events. If you're looking to launch a campaign let us know and we'll consider donating some of our online products and vouchers for it.
20. Official sponsorship
Get a company to sponsor your film in exchange for various benefits such as: their logo at the end of the film, promotion on your social media and your website (and anything else the sponsor wants!). These rewards usually go for £2,000+. No company scrolls through kickstarter looking for film campaigns to support so you will have to do the leg work on this and reach out to them individually. The best way to do this is to get in touch with companies before you launch to get a sense of what exactly they would want in a sponsorship package. You can then create the most appealing perk for brands that are interested in working with you.
21. Special Promotion on Social Media + backlinks to website
Consider adding a less expensive sponsorship-type option to promote someone's business through your website and social media. For example consider this package:
Short blog post about the business/company on your website with backlink to their site
2 x tweets
1 instagram post
This actually sounds like something we'd be interested in at Cine Circle... so if you end up launching your campaign with this reward feel free to reach out to us or comment below!
Finally here are some examples of crowdfunding campaigns that have great perks which you can get inspiration from! It's always a great idea to do as much research as you can on campaigns that are similar to yours before launching.
I hope this was helpful and inspired you to think outside the box when it comes to gathering ideas for practical rewards that will entice both family and friends as well as complete strangers! If you're looking for more guidance and information on crowdfunding for filmmakers, take a look at some of our free and paid events workshops, networking events and masterclasses.