How to Make a Kickstarter Video

Matt and Tony discuss how we're going about making our new Kickstarter video.

(and give you a little Easter Egg to say thanks for listening...)

Benni and Andrea - they could both do with a shave...

Benni and Andrea - they could both do with a shave...

What we said

(more or less...)

Matt: Welcome to Coming Clean. I’m Matt.

Tony: And I’m Tony. We’re the founders of Thomas Clipper, a British startup bringing exceptional craftsmanship to men’s mornings. This podcast follows the development of our latest products: a fantastic Tuscan leather wash bag and a classic razor head guard.

Matt: We’re launching the bag on Kickstarter: if enough people pledge to buy it, we’ll have the minimum orders we need to make something really rather exciting.

Tony: Or it might be a different story entirely: if we don’t hit our funding goal or one of any number of things mean we can’t launch at all, it could be a cautionary tale about how not to launch a product or run a crowdfunding campaign. We simply don’t know yet.

Matt: We’re inviting you in on the journey. From before we’ve even seen our first prototype to when the product, hopefully, reaches its goal on Kickstarter and ships out to customers across the world.


Tony: Last week Matt gave a short recap of our filming process. This week we’re going to let you into how we go about editing our Kickstarter video. This should be interesting to anyone thinking of launching a crowdfunding campaign. But it also comes with a little extra gift for you loyal Coming Clean listeners - a preview of our Kickstarter video. More of that to come...

Matt: So we spoke about Kickstarter a couple weeks ago. It’s a crowd-funding platform that lets people pledge to buy products before they exist. It’s been responsible for some amazing projects in the past, including our first two sets of products.

Tony: We’re only going to have our project live for 30 days. If we get enough pledges by then we’ll make the wash bag and razor guard. If not, we won’t. That means we’ve got to get people as excited about these new products as we are, and in the world of Kickstarter that means making a brilliant video.

Making a Kickstarter video seems pretty straightforward after the fact. But there’s a lot of thought that goes into a good video.

Matt: For example if you’re like me, you might be inclined to create an epic cinematic video with a big build and suspense before finally revealing the product in the last second of the video.

This would work brilliantly if you had your audience in cinema seats and could be sure they’d watch through till the end. But they’re not in the cinema, they’re on the bus, or waiting the kettle to boil. If you get them for 30 seconds you’re lucky.

Tony: The trick is to pack everything you need to say into those first 30 seconds, and then fill the extra time with the extra bits that make your project even more exciting.

Matt: So what are the bare necessities? For a product like ours, there are three P’s - product, production and pitch. When we watch a video on Kickstarter, we like seeing the founders. It’s part of what makes the platform special. So we need to make sure that we start the pitch, in person, within the first 30 seconds.

Tony: It’s also really important to see the production that goes into making the bag. When I watch Kickstarter videos this is the most interesting part for me I think. Learning how something is made is fascinating.

Matt: Finally, and most importantly, the product. If I’ve not seen the product within the first 30 seconds I’m starting to get frustrated.

Tony: Now Matt mentioned that when somebody watches a Kickstarter video they’re likely doing something else - they’re at work, on a train, making dinner… Whatever it is, it’s likely that they’re not going to have the sound turned on. Which means that a Kickstarter video needs to exist without any sound at all.

Matt: That’s right, you’ve got to think of the sound as almost a ‘bonus’. The same goes for full-screen. If you’ve got parts of the video that really only work if they’re full screen, like small text, then that’s OK, but you’ve got to realise that many many people won’t see them. So it’s got to be a ‘nice to have’.

I remember hearing an interview with a recording artist who said she always listened to her mixes through her rubbish car stereo on the way home from the studio. If they sounded good on that, they were ready to go. Same goes for the Kickstarter video - if you’re getting excited with the sound off, in the tiny default screen size and only for the first 30 seconds, then you’re doing it right.

Tony: Now the part that we’ve not talked about at all is the quality of the filming. This is really important. We’ve worked so hard to make a really beautiful product. It would be a real shame to get the filming of it wrong. That said, you can do a lot with a little if you’re willing to put in the work.

Matt: For our first Kickstarter we used a standard DSLR camera and my brother did the filming. And even for this Kickstarter I’ve done all the editing myself on my MacBook Air. But we did work with a really great film outfit in Florence who were brilliant at capturing some of the small details of the production of the leather and the bag that we wouldn’t necessarily have noticed.

Tony: So by now you’re probably wondering what sort of video we’ve managed to put together. And given the season, we’ve decided to share an easter egg with you.

Matt: That’s right, we want you to be the first to take a look at a little bit of teaser footage. So to take a look just visit thomasclipper.com/easteregg and enter the password ‘thanks’, all lowercase.

Tony: That will give you 30 seconds to help illustrate what we’re talking about - although the product and the pitch parts are missing. We’re not quite ready to share them yet!

Matt: Let us know what you think by sending us an email at matt@thomasclipper.com or antonio@thomasclipper.com, or on Twitter @thomasclipper

Tony: Now we’re off going our separate ways for the easter break. I’m off (wherever you’re going).

Matt: And I’m off to the seaside. Can’t wait!

Tony: Have a brilliant break wherever you are, we’ll have more for you next week.

Matt: Until then, I’ve been Matt.

Tony: I’ve been Tony.

Matt: Thanks for listening to Coming Clean.