By Gregory Bayne, March 16th, 2010

As some of you know, I recently completed a successful funding campaign using to raise the initial capital needed to get my new film, Jens Pulver | Driven, an intimate documentary about legendary UFC Champion Jens Pulver, off the ground.

The end result of the campaign was $27,210 pledged, my goal was $25,000, via 410 contributors, in 20 short days.

Since the close of the campaign I have received a number queries as to how this was accomplished, especially since 72 hours out from my deadline, I was still $10,000 short of my goal.

I will attempt to explain my guiding principles, and overall approach to the campaign here. I also recommend reading the Kickstarter blog post on the project. In it they outline the ebb and flow of the funding, and I answer some specific questions in regard to the effort.

* Since what I accomplished has been commonly dubbed as ‘crowdfunding’, for clarity in this article I refer to the gracious funders of our work out there as ‘The Crowd’


When you put yourself out there in a very big, very public way, it is (in my humble opinion) key that you believe 110% in what you are doing. This seems obvious, I understand, but if you have browsed sites like or, you’ll find it is fairly easy to sniff out those that believe deeply in what they are doing, and those who are simply hoping The Crowd will magically transfer money into their bank accounts.

If you want The Crowd to invest in you, and yes they are ‘investing’ in you, then you need to be able to go to the mat for your project. That means you need to be able to explain clearly what it is you are doing, and why others should join you in your effort. You must engage and respond, consistently and reasonably, to both the positive, and the negative. And finally, you must understand that no matter what your project, you are the entry point. If The Crowd does not believe in you, they will not believe in, nor help fund, your project. Yes, you are now in the customer service business.


When approaching The Crowd, it is important to understand that there is not just one Crowd. There are innumerable Crowds, with innumerable interests. If you know what it is you have in your individual project, what inherent, stand out elements that would speak to your crowd, you will have an easier time a) locating your crowd, and b) attracting your crowd.

Again, this seems quite obvious, but if we are honest with ourselves, objectivity in regard to our own work is often hard won.

Just like in any other type of endeavor, you will not find what you are looking for if you are consistently barking up the wrong tree. So time invested ahead of time pinpointing your crowd, will save time later when approaching your crowd. That all said, The Crowd can respond in surprising ways, so it is important to remain both focused, yet open to all opportunities when reaching out to The Crowd.


Forget playing it coy, you are no longer an ‘artist’, you are an ‘artist asking for support’, and by support, we mean money, so proceed accordingly. When you receive an email, answer it. When someone says something positive, thank them. When someone says something negative, engage with them, and by engage I mean address their concern. You will do yourself no favors by starting battles with The Crowd, potential or otherwise.

The Crowd, remember, are people. They are not faceless, nameless dollar signs. They are your supporters, your new friends, your audience, and your community. By the very act of investing in you, someone they likely have not met in person, they are very deserving of your respect.


The advent of The Crowd, exciting in its creation of new opportunities for us creators, is also ushering in a new era of responsibility for us. To remain a sustainable mode of funding, we must not only engage and respond, but we must follow through.

At base, this means simply delivering on the initial promise, but I think it goes much deeper. If we want The Crowd to continue with us in our future endeavors, to become the all important fan of our work, then we must go above and beyond, and deliver to them an experience that says, with our deepest sincerity, “Thank You!”

With DRIVEN, I have had just as many, if not more, project updates since the funding period closed. I have tried at every point, as time has allowed, to check in with my crowd, to provide them with updates on what is happening with the project, and to let them know how much I appreciate that they decided to be part of this project by making them part of this project.


It’s simply not. There is no such thing as something for nothing. Say it. Out loud. Then say it again. It is work. Hard work. Dedicated work, to approach The Crowd, to ask The Crowd for their hard earned dollars, to transfer to them your belief in what you are doing, and compel them to act on that belief.

If you wish to embark in this type of endeavor, prepare yourself with the knowledge it will be a 24/7 campaign, and that the work will have just begun if you are successful in your efforts.

In closing, I would just say that my experience has been overwhelmingly positive, not just in the completion of my original goal, but in many unexpected ways. My project has been in the public eye from day one, and because of that, and my continued engagement with my incredible supporters, the form, function, and focus of my film have been shaped in very profound ways based on the immediate response I have garnered from The Crowd. I think it has made the work better, as I’ve been able to approach my production with a clear understanding as to exactly what my audience is responding to most. Also, I have been able to interact with, and exponentially build that audience from day one, which is simply incredible.

I wish all of those out there engaging The Crowd the best of luck in their endeavors. If you have questions, or further interest in DRIVEN, check out and get in touch.

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Gregory Bayne is a filmmaker and artist working in film, video, motion graphics and design. His work as has appeared in several short, feature length and documentary films that have shown theatrically, at film festivals worldwide and been broadcast nationally on PBS, ESPN and the Sundance Channel. Currently, Bayne is preparing the release of his feature directorial debut PERSON OF INTEREST, and is in production on his second film, DRIVEN, a documentary about legendary mixed martial arts fighter, Jens Pulver.

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  • Hey Gregory,
    Great advice here!
    What was it that you did different in those 72 hours?
    How did you pace yourself across the duration of the fundraising?
    I know this sounds like the answer would be obvious but I'm going to ask anyway - Is everyone that contributed a fan of Jens Pulver?

  • gregorybayne

    Thanks for reading. I didn't do anything different in those last hours, just kept up the pace all the way through, following up & following through.

    I terms of fans, many were, and many were just taken in by the trailer, knowing nothing about him prior. So, some yes, some no.

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