Thursday, September 03, 2009

How i fund my films about environmental topics

This was the photo of the crew who served more than 1000 brave people who ventured out in the torrential rain to attend the first ‘Wild Wales Bushcraft and Environment Day’on Monday. Co-ordinated by Andrew Price the event was held in front of Margam park castle, near Swansea. Luckily the rain passed over as the event opened and stayed away until the last people left.While Peter built debris shelters and Ami taught youngsters to make bracelets from nettles, Jim demonstrated how to cook a tasty dinner over the fire. After a hard days work, his lamb on a spit and vegetable pot was very welcome.

Which brings me onto how I have been trying a new technique which is helping me fund my film making so thought i would share it with you.My interests is in documentaries about environmental issues and activism so I co-founded Undercurrents- the alternative news agency.

While doing a course on woodland skills, I met Andrew Price, a tutor who I reckoned would make a great presenter. So we began an A-Z of Bushcraft- 26 x 5minute videos distributed online for free.

We now have an audience of more than 1 million and thousands of subscribers to our RSS feed. So how do we fund it? Well thanks to YouTube and others, most people believe they shouldn't have to pay to watch online video.

Which leaves us with adverts plastered all over our work which isn't great.So our model is based on giving our work away for free online and asking our audience directly to fund us. Rather than just donating, we ask that they buy a DVD for whatever they can afford.

In June 2009 we released the first series of A-Z of Bushcraft on DVD. We put it to our audience that they can pay whatever they can afford, minimum £3 for post/packing.Making it clear that their funds will ensure that we continue producing the online videos.

While many only paid £3, hundreds of people paid £10, £18 and even £25. So within a month we covered all the costs of duplication and production of the DVD. In September we set the price at £10 and have been selling them ever since. Shops are ordering them and taking out adverts on our site so the model seems to be working.

While Andrew, the presenter hasn't been paid, it is working for him too, as 2 Hollywood productions companies have seen the series online and want to cast him for Survival shows in 2010

Our website is unique in the way it is designed which has inspired us to make an A-Z of Climate Change and A-Z of Rock Climbing amongst others. Check them all out via