I looked at your indiegogo campaign and I think that your project looks great but the one thing that is going to make your indiegogo campaign hard is your perks. I have a few suggestions to modify your perks that might be able to help out.
1. Give people more value as they pledge more instead of more things. I felt that the more people pledge the more things they get but the value of that doesn't go up at all. I feel like Veronica Mars and Zach Braff's project was able to be successful with the types of perks you offer but that is because they already had a solid fan base that wanted those things. You're not a famous filmmaker (yet) so people won't be as interested in a PDF download of the script, a private e-book, or social media skins.
2. One of the perks should be getting the DVD/BlueRay. No one wants to pay $50 to get 50% off of their DVD/BlueRay. These people are supporting your film so you shouldn't reward them by having them pay you more money. I have seen people give away their film at reward levels anywhere between $5 (digital download usually) to $50. I feel that you should price it at around the cost they would expect to pay for it normally. Treat it like they are pre-ordering the movie from you.
3. Be more specific in your rewards. At $15 we will receive a private production e-book. Is that the book of notes you took or something else? You also say that we will be able to participate in other contests and win prizes. What contests and prizes will you be doing? If I knew more about it than I would be more willing to pledge.
4. We need to see a trailer of your film or at least a teaser or at least a scene. The more we can see of your film the more likely we are to pledge. It is hard to trust someone on the internet saying, "Trust me this will be awesome." However it is really easy to trust that person when they show you a sample and you think to yourself, "Man, this is awesome!"
I think that if you make those few changes you will be golden. You listed out what the money is going to be used for which is nice because people will know exactly where their pledge is going. Also you guys have a timeline which is great because it shows people you have a plan and you are sticking to it. Good luck - hope you guys make it!
I am producing a documentary about llamas right now with two of my friends from school and we wanted to hire on a DP because we really wanted to have a beautiful cinematic feeling to this documentary. We hired on someone we knew from school and we had really liked his work.
Something else that set him apart (that we didn't realize until we were shooting) was that he worked very well with us. This was very important because we go on week long shoots where we spend every single minute together, either filming llamas, driving, or sleeping in a hotel room. I think that because of that we were able to consistently have a positive energy while filming and have everything work a lot smoother.
So I guess what I am saying is when hiring a DP for a long term project make sure that they are someone you can work with and get along with. The best way to figure that out is go out to lunch with them or do something with them that takes away the feeling of a business interview and lets them be themselves.
This really goes for anyone on the crew really, but I can work with PAs that I don't care for a lot easier than I can with a DP.
You should look into working with Indie Flix. They are like the Netflix of independent films and focus a lot on paying the filmmakers. I believe that they give 70% of the their earnings back to the filmmakers based on how long their film was watched. I have heard really good things about it but never have known anyone to go with them though.
I lived in Honduras for two years and so I understand why you think your gear will be broken or stolen. I wasn't doing any filming there but from what I learned there I have a few tips for you.
1. Don't pack your gear in pelican cases or anything else that looks nice. This is counter productive because you want to protect your gear but they also make your gear look really nice. Keeping things in inconspicuous old bags won't draw attention to you and prevent people who would look over and say - "Hey those guys have nice cases. There must be something valuable inside."
2. Try and pick one or two pieces of gear that you will use and make them work for the gear you won't bring. If you are bringing a jib don't bring a slider and use the jib for times you would want to use a slider. If you are bringing a Glidecam, don't bring a shoulder rig. Keep the camera on the Glidecam and support the Glidecam on your belt or something. I say find what you will be using the most and bring that and then pick one more piece of gear that will do something that the other thing can't do.
3. If you can afford carbon get it in carbon. Your back will thank you.
4. Audiowise - you can't go wrong with a Rode NTG2 and the Senheiser G3 mics. I would say bring an extra Rode Videomic Pro as well.
5. I don't know how low cost you were planning on going but a Canon T3i with a 24-105 is a great combination and costs about $1,500. Also - it is such a small camera that you can pack it away easily and won't draw a lot of attention to you as well.
I used it for about three months before I switched over to Premiere. I really liked it at the time but I just didn't like the way it editing the timeline worked. Don't get me wrong - it still was really great and everything, it just didn't match the way that I worked. The one thing that I really miss from it is the color corrector. I think that it is a lot more intuitive than anything in Premiere.
That said the main reason why I switched to Premiere and have stayed there was that I also use After Effects. The dynamic linking option between Premiere and After Effects is amazing and makes things a lot easier. I also like how Premiere has constant updates with the Creative Cloud and release them when they get them done instead of waiting for another version to come out next year.
If you are just doing editing and don't touch After Effects than I think that FCPX is a great program to use, especially if it works for you. If you do a lot with After Effects than FCPX maybe isn't the best option, but it still is a great option.