I met Mina T. Son and Sara Newens at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival earlier this year. The California-based filmmakers are hard at work hard on their first feature documentary, Top Spin, which follows teenage US table tennis players all the way to the London 2012 Olympics. They recently finished a Kickstarter campaign (check it out here) that raised an impressive $75,000. I came across the Top Spin Kickstarter via Facebook, and Mina and Sara's telethon-style live webcast during the last days of their campaign caught my attention. It was absorbing to see them under pressure and working against the clock, getting donations in real time, trying to keep up momentum and make it to their goal. I think it was similar to the way a lot of people feel while watching sports, actually (I don't, but I get the idea), so it was a nice match between the subject of the film and the fundraising approach.
With crowdfunding now such a standard option for filmmakers (LEF Program Director Sara blogged about it here), it's important to consider what might work best for each individual project to make it work; this is just one example of a winning strategy. I interviewed Mina about their experience: