Q. Have you ever tried crowdfunding? - Complications Ensue
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Friday, June 08, 2012

A. No, I haven't.

Periodically I get emails from people who are crowdfunding their movie and want me to post about it. And I know Jane Espenson has been raising money for her web series via Kickstarter.

I haven't tried for a number of reasons. One, I don't like producing. I have produced or helped produce some of my shorts, but I much preferred the experience on YOU ARE SO UNDEAD, where I didn't have to worry my pretty little head about any of the details of the money. I'm the producer on the feature I want to direct, ALICE FOUND ALIVE, because the funding stream I'm trying to access requires that the director own the copyright; and because you don't make any real money producing a million dollar feature up here.

(My producer friend Avi told a crowd of us at the CFC Short Film Festival that he produces million dollar features as a passion; and he works as a line producer in order to cover the money he doesn't make as a producer. Since then he's gone into distributing; vertical integration should give him more of an upside.)

Two, I don't see that anyone's put together a serious amount of money via crowdfunding. Jane Espenson raised, I think, her goal of $60,000 through Kickstarter. A couple of observations.

One, Jane is a showrunner. A lot of people want to get on her good side. I bet she has a $250,000 crew working for free.

Two, Jane has a huge fan base thanks to her Buffy and Battlestar credits. I don't see anyone raising more than Jane, except Joss Himself.

Three, Jane can make $60,000 writing a free lance TV script, which probably takes her a week. I think Jane is doing it because it's interesting and experimental and fun. When Joss wanted to make Dr. Horrible, he just wrote a bunch of checks. Faster that way.

Four, I don't need $60,000 to make my film. I need a million bucks. That's just my appetite. I don't know anybody who knows how to produce a film for a hundred grand that looks and sounds good enough to get distribution.

(Ask Bill Cunningham. He knows.)

Everyone has an appetite. Michael Bay probably doesn't know how to make a film for under a hundred million, at least not one that he'd be willing to spend two years on.

I think there are going to be people who put together a brilliant viral campaign to crowdfund a film that they make for $100,000. But they are going to need luck. And they are going to have to do a tremendous amount of work to get their project out there; and for every successful crowdfunded movie there are going to be forty five that don't get their funding.

I'm fortunate to live in Quebec, where there is huge government support for the arts. So it makes more sense for me to government fund my stuff.

On the other hand, we'll see what happens when the agencies come back with their answers. If there's a substantial hole in the financing, I may come back to y'all with my hand out...

UPDATE: These guys are funding their $150,000 P&A through crowdfunding.

Labels:

7 Comments:

Alex -

Thanks for the shout out.

When we met up in Los Angeles, you asked me how many movies I would make if I had 2 million to spend. At that time I answered 20 movies. I want to amend my answer (in light of today's market) and say 16 movies. The balance I would use for marketing and distribution, building a crowd-funding component into the mix, as well as pursuing ad partners.

Here's a site I recommend highly for anyone who wants to pursue filmmaking independently - http://www.peterbroderick.com/


Best,

Bill

By Blogger Cunningham, at 1:58 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

By Blogger deanareeno, at 12:34 AM  

$94676 raised via Kickstarter for the best movie I have seen to date in 2012:

Indie Game: The Movie

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/blinkworks/indie-game-the-movie

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/blinkworks/indie-game-the-movie-the-final-push

It's a documentary. I saw it at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, but at that first link I provided you can download it direct from the film-makers for $9.99

By Blogger deanareeno, at 12:39 AM  

I was considering crowdfunding a comic book series on Kickstarter, until I read the rules and discovered that you have to be a U.S. citizen with a U.S. bank account. No Canadians allowed.

By Blogger Kelly J. Compeau, at 3:14 PM  

I'll have to read the rules, but the 'Indie Game' folks are from Winnipeg, and Kickstarter shows the following:

Kickstarter - Toronto

...and if you scroll to the bottom of that page you'll see all the other Canadian Kickstarter projects by region that are there...surely they aren't all U.S. citizens with U.S. bank accounts?

By Blogger deanareeno, at 2:25 PM  

So I did some looking around and found this link:

How to start a Kickstarter project if you’re Australian

...which is a lotta steps for a non-U.S.resident to go through to get on Kickstarter.

Looks like IndieGogo is a good alternative to Kickstarter, and it allows non-U.S. citizens to set up projects:

IndieGogo

Lastly, I stumbled across this free PDF ebook that looks helpful:

The Crowdfunding Bible by Scott Steinberg

I find all this crowdfunding stuff pretty fascinating.

By Blogger deanareeno, at 4:49 PM  

Fortunately, for us, we don't need a million bucks. LOL Else, we wouldn't have any other option. Yes, we're turning to crowdfunding for this film we're making.

By Blogger Chiggers TV, at 1:43 PM  

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