Here is more from my effort to learn as much as possible about where the documentary film business is going. The following seven observations may be obvious to people in the business, but hey, I am not in the business.
Pick the Right Topic and No Polarization
Projects must tend more towards journalism and less towards propaganda.
Audience Comes First
From a proof of concept by raising seed funding, to keeping the project alive until it is fully designed, the audience comes first and tracks the project all of the way.
The Roadmap - Finish the Movie Before...
Since the audience funded production, the big money can wait until the film is done, and it is time for P & A. The film maker can now avoid dead end funding sources or giving up control.
Big Money Relationships
With the film complete (paid for by the audience) and the audience following verifiable, P & A money can be raised without giving away the farm.
2 Way Conversations
The relationship between the film maker and the audience involves a conversation. The audience can be a source of inspiration without letting the crowd pick the ending.
Free Generates More Revenue
The film can build audience, interest and momentum by offering any combination of free and paid content. Err on the side of wider distribution and the money will come from everything ranging from companion products to events. Build a Brand and Connect the Lists Always keep an eye on the next project and employ tactics to connect one following to the next. This is brand building at its most fundamental.