Episode 104

Published on:

17th May 2019

Crowdfunding Your Documentary Film with John Trigonis

Few people know the crowdfunding game like John Trigonis. He is considered to be one of the leading experts in the game. And with good reason, since he has been leading some of the most impressive crowdfunding campaigns for film companies and independent filmmakers over the past decade, worked for Indiegogo, and authored the veritable bible on the subject, Crowdfunding For Filmmakers: The Way to a Successful Film Campaign.


Topics Discussed

  • How John and his friend’s early interest in film and drama led him to the world of crowdfunding
  • Why doc films and filmmakers are perfect for crowdfunds
  • Three of the most common mistakes first-time crowdfunding campaigns make
  • How crowdfunding is about so much more than simply raising monies for your doc film


Additional Crowdfunding Resources


The book that made our crowdfund campaign


Interested in the book that everyone is talking about (and certainly we talked about on the show!)? This is literally THE resource that Steph and I used to guide us through our successful $20k crowdfund for Elvis of Cambodia.


John gives his crowdfunding TEDx Talks


Chris in Cambodia Series

In Chris in Cambodia, TDL host and doc filmmaker, Chris G. Parkhurst shares some of his stories and lessons from his most recent trip filming in Cambodia, working on he and his wife, Steph’s, current documentary, Elvis of Cambodia.

In Part Four, Chris ventures out into the provinces for his first bit of filming since returning to Cambodia. And it’s the Chinese New Year. And he’s taking friend/colleague, Patrick Firouzian out to film with him. Only, they need to find some way to get to their subject’s hometown, which is not easy since most modes of transportation are shut down during the New Year celebrations. And then once there, they’ll need to stay sober enough to complete the day’s filming!


Related Videos From the Set of Elvis of Cambodia

Filming Seng Dara in his hometown of Chumnik village, Takeo province


Friend, additional photographer, and film collaborator, Patrick Firouzian, takes a break during the filming.


#Doclifer Stories

Where we share our listeners #doclives and filmmaking stories. This week, we visit with doc filmmaker and founder of The Charlotte Unconventional Film School, Julie McElmurry, who shares with us her experiences working on her documentary series about nuns.


Sponsors & Thank Yous

Thank you to music licensing platform, Music Vine for their fresh and diverse music and for contributing the wonderful music that we’ve used in this week’s episode.

If you need any music for your doc project, we can honestly recommend Music Vine.

Want 20% off of your first music licensing purchase?  No licensing restrictions or number of tracks! Simply use promo code MYDOCLIFE at checkout!



Apple | Spotify | Stitcher |


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About the Podcast

The Documentary Life
Documentary filmmaker & host, Chris G. Parkhurst, inspires & informs you on how to best live and lead your own doc life.
Have a passion for making documentary films? Want to learn how to best lead a documentary life? Join award-winning commercial and documentary filmmaker, Chris G. Parkhurst, and special industry guests as they candidly share their filmmaking stories, insights, and experiences, for all to learn how to best lead and live their own documentary dream lives.

About your host

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Christopher Parkhurst