[Editor’s Note: Welcome to Diary of a Web Series, the column that offers you an entertaining look into the machinations of a zero-budget web series made possible by an idea, fortitude, and democratized tools of production. For all the background on why we started publishing Diary of a Web Series – and why we think it’s great – check out the first installment right here. You can watch the web series the diary is about, too. It’s called STRAY and it’s good. Click here to watch it. And you can catch all the installments of Diary of a Web Series right here.]


In November of 2017, my team and I raised just over $12,000 on Seed&Spark (a crowdfunding platform that’s carved an interesting path to its own funding) for the second season of my web series STRAY. We didn’t quite hit our target – Seed&Spark gives you the “Green Light” if you’re able to hit 80% of your goal – but $12K was enough to secure the payout and get things going.

Sounds pretty good, right? Here we were, the creative proletariat harnessing the democratic power of crowdfunding to bypass the film industry ruling class to forge our own future. What a time to be an indie filmmaker! Little did I know I would spend a month asking friends from high school for money.

I knew it was going to be tough – everyone said so – but there was a still a disconnect between my expectations and the reality of crowdfunding. The following is an emotionally accurate representation of that disconnect:

Expectations

EVERYONE: Hey, crowdfunding is tough. You need to plan WAY in advance.

ME (sneering): Thanks, I got this.

Reality

EVERYONE: Hey, crowdfunding is tough. You need to plan way in advance.

ME: Fuuuuuuuck, this is HARD.

EVERYONE: Told you.

**

Expectations

ME: Hello, friend with whom I have not spoken in years and whose connection to my life is tenuous, want to give me some money?

FRIEND: Where have you been all these years? I know that our interactions on this mortal coil have been limited, but I always saw a light in you. I don’t see an incentive larger than a thousand dollars. Am I able to contribute more than a thousand dollars?

ME: Yes.

Reality

ME: Hello, friend with whom I have not spoken in years and whose connection to my life is tenuous, want to give me some money?

FRIEND: {You are now connected on Messenger}

**

Expectations

ME: *tweets about crowdfunding campaign*

HOLLYWOOD AGENT: Hello, I know it’s only been seconds since you tweeted, but in that time I’ve managed to watch the entire first season of your show. Your use of New York roommate humor is revolutionary. Allow me to whisk you away from this dreadful place.

Reality

ME: *tweets about crowdfunding campaign*

ALSO ME: Oooooh, I have a like. Wait, no, that was me.

**

Expectations

ME:  Hello, fellow indie creator, since I know you understand the crowdfunding struggle, would you be willing to contribute to our campaign?

CREATOR: I’ve been following your progress as a filmmaker. I agree with the Hollywood agent. You are a roommate humor virtuoso. I would give you the world if I could, but you already have it. Take me with you.

Reality

ME: Hello, fellow indie creator, since I know you understand the crowdfunding struggle, would you be willing to contribute to our campaign?

CREATOR: I’ll contribute 10 bucks to your crowdfunding campaign if you contribute 10 bucks to my crowdfunding campaign.

ME: Deal.

**

Expectations

ME: Hello, friend, can you contribute to my crowdfunding campaign?

FRIEND: This looks great. Here you go!

ME: Thanks!

Reality

ME: Hello, friend, can you contribute to my crowdfunding campaign?

FRIEND: When’s your deadline?

ME: Three weeks.

FRIEND: Cool.

*Three weeks and a day go by

FRIEND: When was your deadline again?

**

Expectations

ME: This is a challenging yet edifying experience.

Reality

ME: WHY DOESN’T ANYONE LIKE ME???

**

Expectations

ME: Hello, close friends and family, can you contribute to my crowdfunding campaign?

FRIENDS & FAMILY: Absolutely, here’s what you expected.

Reality

ME: Hello, close friends and family, can you contribute to my crowdfunding campaign?

FRIENDS & FAMILY: Absolutely, here’s more than what you expected.


Pablo Andreu is not a creator or a scriptwriter. He’s certainly not a filmmaker. He’s just a guy who decided to make a web series called STRAY. It’s a bromantic comedy featuring a brash gay dude and a nerdy straight guy. He hopes it’s funny. By some inscrutable alchemy, his scribblings have wormed their way into The New York Times, McSweeney’s, and Slackjaw.

Don't miss out on the next big story.

Get Tubefilter's Top Stories, Breaking News, and Event updates delivered straight to your inbox.

This information will never be shared with a third party