INTO BATTLE!

2017_YDG_Day 1-48_web

It was night before we launched our campaign on Phundee – www.phundee.com. The copy had been written, and an image chosen to illustrate our project – YOURDADSGAY:

YOURDADSGAY IS THE NEW TITLE OF THE WEBSERIES ADAPTED FROM NICHOLAS’ HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL RADIO 4 SERIES, ‘HOW TO HAVE A PERFECT MARRIAGE’.

THE PURPOSE OF OUR CAMPAIGN IS TO RAISE £10k TO MAKE THE PILOT EPISODE.

‘YOURDADSGAY’ IS THE FUNNY, RAW, EMOTIONAL ROLERCOASTER RIDE THAT STARTS WHEN JACK DIXON TELLS HER WIFE OF TWENTY YEARS HE IS GAY. PLEASE CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE FOR MORE DETAILS – WWW.YOURDADSGAY.CO.UK

THERE ARE CURRENTLY 3 SERIES OF 5 X 15 MINUTE EPISODES. When any show is made it is impossible to predict if an audience will like it. We would love to make the whole series, but we need to make the pilot first to see if it works FOR YOU, OUR AUDIENCE.

WE BELIEVE WE HAVE A GREAT STORY TO TELL, ABOUT how sexuality can define relationships, lives and futures IN A TOTALLY UNEXPECTED WAY.

PLEASE HELP US MAKE THIS PILOT HAPPEN, AND TAKE ‘YOURDADSGAY’ TO THE NEXT STAGE.

We had also gone into detail – under different headings – HOW WE WOULD USE THE FUNDS – indicating that whilst we were determined to pay a professional crew and actors, both Duncan and myself would NOT be taking any payment. Also, what we would do if we achieved 70% of funding (attempt to raise the money through private means), and what we felt were the main Hurdles & Hopes associated with this project.

We had also listed a number of incentives to encourage our investors, from donations of £10 (stickers and Badges) up to £1000 (Producer Credit)

Our social media presence was geared towards the campaign – www.yourdadsgay.com – along with dedicated FB Pages. We had a Twitter presence, as well as Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr, my own personal website – www.mcinerny.co.uk – as well as specialised FB sites for Gay Dads via a close friend who was to prove invaluable as an advisor

Ashon Spooner, CEO of Phundee, has supplied us with his list of regular contributors which we had added to from our own, to build a subscribers list via Mailchimp. I also had 150 personal contacts, all of whom received a personal email on the eve of our campaign – and would throughout until – and if – they had donated,

It was all stations GO!

 

15th April  2017

£1475.

After the initial flurry from friends primed to donate as a way of building some momentum we seemed to have hit just under 15%

I am spending several hours every evening jumping from one web platform to another, assessing how best to angle each approach so that whilst I am being persistent I hope I am being (reasonably) charming and (reasonably) informative.

I produced one of my trump cards – the promise of a Promo!

Hello wonderful people

Last Wednesday I caught a train up to Stroud where, under the gentle but firm hand of the awesome Andrew Longhurst of MMouk Ltd, I stepped into Green Screen heaven and record a new trailer for YOUR DAD’S GAY, which will be broadcast next week. 

It’s also now that Ashon tells me that – typically – a campaign needs to hit 30% within ten days if it is A) to attract any Media Impetus and B) succeed in hitting its final target. I have a tense telephone conversation with Duncan.

Up to then I thought we were doing rather well.

19th April

£2670

As we crawl close to that elusive 30% I start releasing short videos to add a different dimension to the campaign.

https://youtu.be/x6crfSl7BwI

Every day I am taking new photographs – using fridge magnet letters to spell our YOUR DADS GAY in a variety of domestic settings. I am told having them festooned over some lace up army boots looks great, but over a photo of myself and my husband kissing in full leathers – not so much! I realise I need to ensure we don’t frighten donations away. Is it possible we can be too gay?

I am aware that we need to get the promo out – but I can’t put any more pressure on Andrew. He’s being such an amazing support.

26th April

£2980

Are we close enough for Ashon to justify approaching Sky’s London Live? We have in fact only raised £280 since the 19th.  Ashon warned us this would happen – the heady rush of that first week smoothing out to a frustrating and endless calm of dribs and drabs.  I am glued to my PC all evening, trying to think of new angles to push. I try and call in a few favours.

At last the Promo appears.

https://youtu.be/ByONtIN_g_w

It looks professional even if I hate watching myself in it. I know it presents the project well, and seems to reassure Ashon. He goes ahead and persuades Sky to allow me to appear on their lunchtime programme.

27th April.

I’m not sleeping well and spend a fractious night wrestling the duvet in the spare room. Waking early, I immediately turn on my phone and literally jump out of my skin.

We’d received a donation of £5000!

My poor husband is then subject to me dancing around our bedroom, and frantically phoning Duncan at the same time, who apparently is doing the same!

Our total now stands at £7980. This single donation has made the whole difference between this project happening or not. It has radically changed the entire nature of this campaign – now no longer on the backfoot but able to take this single success out and use it to encourage others – because nothing succeeds like success. Ashon phones to congratulate us – and we feel transformed.

My appearance on London Live is now a foregone conclusion, but of course issues around recording it, and getting it up online mean that it doesn’t get posted until the 2nd May. Although I have really tried to schedule announcements about YourDadsGay to keep up interest, and am bouncing around from one site to another every evening – I realise now that in order to really get the most out of this experience, I mustn’t allow my expectations of others to prevent me from maintaining a positive outlook, regardless of outcome.

Whether we hit out target or not, I am determined to learn as much as I can from the Campaign, and take that knowledge forward.

2nd May

£8120

At last I manage to put my London Live interview up on Utube. Sound is dodgy but what the hell!

https://youtu.be/v9CX3kebc-g

Interestingly – we have no donations from the 31st April to the 2nd of May – and only £140 since that big donation. Are people assuming we’re already there and don’t want to donate? Or feel we’ve have quite enough good luck and they should go elsewhere?

4th May

£8165

Against a background in which donations are slowing down considerably, I act on advice of a friend as follow and message my subscribers

Hey it’s Nicholas. We have partnered with THUNDERCLAP to raise the profile of the campaign above the din of social media chatter. Thunderclap is easy to sign up for and doesn’t require any donation. The Thunderclap is due to go out on the 11th May GMT to FB, Twitter and Tumblr.

https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/55977-your-dad-s-gay-webseries

It goes out on 11th May and has zero effect. If anything, it alienates some of our prospective audience, and I receive a couple of complaints.

 

18th May

£10081

The last two weeks have seemed like they lasted forever.

One generous benefactor offered to double his contribution and there was another single donation of £500 – in amongst the usual smaller donations these were to make a huge difference, as the finishing line came tantalisingly closer and closer.

I would message our subscribers, urging someone to have the thrill of being the one to take us over that line – and woke one Saturday morning to find that a dear friend – who had reassured us she would donate as soon as she got paid – did so, and took us over our target.

This seemed to release another kind of energy, for whilst donations had slowed down as we staggered towards the end, now they picked up impetus again and over the next two weeks we received even more money, so prompting Ashon to keep the Campaign going.

I was able – in my final message to subscribers to let them know how we would use those extra funds. And much much later – on the 26th June we received one last hurrah in a completely unexpected donation of £500 from one of Duncan’s friends who apparently promised to repay a debt stretching years back, when Duncan had helped him with his first short film.

It seemed a very appropriate way to finish our Campaign. We had raised £11.4K.

 

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