Emily Best, founder and CEO of Seed&Spark, an alternative crowdfunding platform to Kickstarter and Indiegogo with a decidedly different approach, has some words of wisdom about how to make the best crowdfunding video possible and avoid the mistakes so many people make (thanks to Film Courage for another fantastic interview):
Of course there is no right way to do a crowdfunding video, but by following some of Emily's tips above, you're going to be starting on a much better foot. We've seen plenty of crowdfunding videos here at NFS, and there is no question that "show/don't tell" is a much, much better approach than just talking to the camera. By making the video more interesting and including plenty of material that shows what you are trying to produce, you're going to have a better chance of getting strangers to contribute.
The other big thing is to keep the length reasonable. Just like that short film that's probably too long, there are so many crowdfunding videos that just drag on and on. These are things that live on the internet, and what works best on the internet is material that is continuously driving forward, and gets in and gets out, leaving you wanting more. Your friends might love it or they might feel obliged to contribute, but to really get strangers involved and excited you have to entice them by being brutal in your edit. Keep it short, 3-4 minutes is a pretty good goal, especially if it's more than just talking heads. If talking heads is all you've got, keep it even shorter.
By being yourself and being honest in the video, and by doing something visually interesting, you'll have a far better shot at hitting your goal. Getting your video out there is a whole different battle and certainly isn't an exact science, but making a great video will help your campaign stand on a solid foundation.
Here's the full interview with Emily Best, where she touches on more than just crowdfunding, and goes into the sustainability of independent filmmaking outside of LA and NY and why you should trust your gut and not work with people who make your skin crawl: