September 2, 2016
Straight from SeriesFest

Watch: Why to Choose Crowdfunding Over Compromising

Mary bo
Find out how series creator Mary Bonney used crowdfunding to gain independence on 'Break the Musical.'

[Editor's Note: We've invited our longtime collaborators at Seed&Spark to share videos and takeaways about crowdfunding from their filmmaker interviews at SeriesFest 2016, which we'll be posting every two weeks.]

In this week's video from SeriesFest 2016, Seed&Spark talks with Mary Bonney, creator and star of Break the Musical, an original musical series based on Bonney's experiences working in the music industry for over a decade. In order to get Break made, Bonney took meetings with producers who wanted to redefine who was in charge and who the series was for. Ultimately, Bonney decided to keep the reins in her own hands, so she crowdfunded to bring her series to life.

Below are some key takeaways:

1. Crowdfunding=Independence

When Mary Bonney started meeting with producers about her idea for Break the Musical, she was immediately told everything she needed to change about her series...and she wasn't having that. In the end, she decided that she'd rather raise the money to make the series through crowdfunding instead of handing over control of her series to someone who didn't understand the heart of it. "Everything funneled through me," said Bonney. "And without crowdfunding, I wouldn't have been able to do that."

2. Reach for your keeping it realistic.

Bonney had gathered some funds to make Break, but as they headed into production, she realized she needed to find at least $8,000 more. Rather than inflating her crowdfunding goal for a big pay off, she kept her goal small to show respect for her backers and for her craft. While you're reaching for your dream, Bonney says it's important to convey that "your goals are manageable and achievable."

3. Walk the fine line between expressing confidence and vulnerability

When you're crowdfunding, Bonney says it's essential to convey that you're passionate about your project and that you'll make it "no matter what;" however, you also have to convey that you can't do it without your backers. The key, according to Bonney: being out there and vulnerable. "As filmmakers, we have to be!"      

Your Comment


In 2014 we started a crowdfunding for our fan film. It's hard to raise for a film especially a fan film project. We raised 143% of what we needed. It was a big learning curve. We did it by providing a realistic number. Later we crowdfund for another action scifi and also over raised. It wasn't an easy job but by being realistic it makes thing a bit better.

September 2, 2016 at 9:25PM

Johnny Wu
Director, Producer, Editor

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September 4, 2016 at 6:16AM


This is so true! I really think crowdfunding is amazing!

September 4, 2016 at 4:31PM


October 15, 2016 at 9:52AM, Edited October 15, 9:52AM