Crowdfunding

Sundance

There’s no shortage of film-related projects stumping for cash on crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, but come winter, there’s always a special smattering of films looking for fundage on the site, and for one simple reason – they’ve been accepted into the Sundance Film Festival and they need financial assistance to facilitate that dream. It certainly sounds strange to those who associate Sundance with recognizable stars and gifting suites, but for all the “Hollywood Goes to the Snow” coverage and buzz the festival pulls in, there are still a bevy of struggling filmmakers who genuinely need help to get to Park City to see their film screen. In an ideal situation, crowdfunding exists to help creative minds craft works that they could not afford on their own (or, as is the case with many projects, work that they pointedly do not want to be privately funded by a big studio, business, or bank) thanks to the support of interested consumers (are you likely to donate to a stranger’s project if you don’t want to somehow enjoy it yourself?). Sundance, for all its glitz and glamour and big parties and big names, still ostensibly exists to serve the independent film community. As such, this year’s festival boasts a number of buzzed-about selections that turned (and, in some cases, are still turning) to the good-hearted people of the Internet to gather some scratch. So just who is that going to pay off for?

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Kickstarter Last Resort

Recently, the act of donating to or promoting a Kickstarter campaign has become a highly politicized and moralized one for movie fans, an act brimming with questions, crises, and conundrums about systemic economic disadvantages normalized by dominant industries of filmmaking. Suspicion has been directed in droves toward legitimate-seeming yet vastly-supported projects like the studio-release Veronica Mars movie or Zach Braff’s directorial follow-up to Garden State, whose constellation of multiple funding sources perhaps says more than we’d like to admit about the complex process of realizing even the most distinctly above-the-line indie projects. While frustration directed at a feature adaptation of a canceled UPN show or Braff’s seemingly boundless ability to produce haterade may appear legitimate when accounting for Kickstarter’s role as the possible final refuge for American alternative filmmaking, fingers should instead be pointed to the reasons that a resource like Kickstarter has become necessary in the first place.

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Yes No Yes Yes Go

This is a bit of genius. Disrupting the disruption. Although sites like Indiegogo are normally used to raise front-end money based on potential, filmmaker Andrew Morgan is using the platform to sell a finished product. He’s releasing his documentary/fiction blend Yes No Yes Yes Go via the crowdfunding site at $1 for a 720p download, $5 for a 1080p and $20 for a DVD. There are other options as well. Your enticement to donate is instant access to the movie itself. As of now, Yes No Yes Yes Go has scored a little over $600 (and they’ll give around $72 of that to Indiegogo and to credit card processing), but it’s unclear how it would have done on something more traditional like iTunes. And, yes, we’re now considering iTunes as a more traditional indie distribution method. Flipping a crowdfunding site’s intended use to find an audience for a finished film hasn’t been done nearly enough to draw any real conclusions about success or failure, but it’s still a very inventive move. The potential is gut-level obvious, but the percentages going back to the site seem more than a bit prohibitive (unless you gamble on a fixed funding goal instead of playing it safe with a flex fund). That is, of course, if you have any other options available to distribute your work. Which is partially why there’s a kind of admirable directness to all of this. Crowdfunding is an excellent new tool, but here Morgan is essentially using it as a storefront to show […]

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scrooge-mcduck

Vimeo has launched a new distribution channel for creators, and a major studio is using Kickstarter. It’s been quite a week for the future of film financing.  In this episode, we’ll talk with Vimeo VP for Creative Development Blake Whitman about Vimeo On Demand, and then Operation Kino co-hosts Matt Patches and Da7e Gonzales join us for a four-way conversation about whether Warner Bros. getting into the crowdfunding game with Veronica Mars is good, bad or ugly. For more from us on a daily basis, follow the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe), Scott (@scottmbeggs), Patches (@misterpatches) and Da7e (@da7e) on the Twitter. And, as always, we welcome your feedback. Download Episode #10 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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Transformative technology. Fips. The Marvel Model disrupting superhero movies (and how it can survive alongside perpetual reboots). The literal death of film. Megan Ellison saving movies. The sleeper hits of 2012 and a great movie year for every kind of fan. Emerging independent funding. Fans saving shows with their own money. The digital horizon. Here at the end of the year (and the end of this podcast) I’ve asked FSR associate editor Rob Hunter, Cinema Blend editor-in-chief Katey Rich, Movies.com managing editor Erik Davis and screenwriter Geoff Latulippe (Going the Distance) to talk about the things that will never be the same again in the movie world after 2012. They’ve come through with some incredibly interesting answers. Plus, your view on what’s changing and a look ahead to the future. Download Episode #156

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“We should get together and just make a movie” is the “we should open a bar” of Hollywood. Tons of people say it all the time because talk is affordable, but a very small percentage actually get out there and make it happen. That’s why it’s always refreshing to see people with talent match it with active ambition. Finite Films is built on fan-submitted concepts, crowd-funding and creativity. The fans and funding make sure they have user-submitted constraints on their filmmaking (think of it as Dogme 2012) and enough cash to get sandwiches for everyone; the creativity is all theirs. Of course, none of what they’re doing would be noteworthy if they weren’t churning out great short films every single month. After a submission and public voting process, the team takes their list of constraints (“One character has to be hiding a horrible secret”) and makes something magical happen. We’ll talk with two of their founders about the freedom that limitations can create. Plus, Movies.com managing editor Erik Davis drops by for a game of Movies News Roulette. Download Episode #136

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No, this isn’t an Onion article. Filmmaker Timon Birkhofer is currently planning Capital C, a movie about the crowdfunding movement made popular by Kickstarter, IndieGoGo and you. And what better way to finance the documentary than by creating a Kickstarter page? Birkhofer already has interviews lined up with Iron Sky director Timo Vuorensola, Obama campaign Design Director Scott Thomas, “Wasteland 2″ creator Brian Fargo, former CEO of Universal Music Europe Tim Renner, and several others to discuss the philosophy, potential and popular impact of finding hundreds and thousands of investors for interesting ideas. They’re looking to film this summer after reaching their $80,000 goal. They’ve already got close to $14,000 covered, so if the project sounds interesting, feel free to help them out. It will be the most meta thing you do all day.

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What is Movie News After Dark? As per usual, it’s a nightly movie news column that finds a way to get a little silly on Monday nights. It’s mostly weekend hangover related, but also a product of its own environment. On weekend, it plays a clown in a traveling circus. It lives a diverse life like that. We begin tonight with an image of the Monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. As you know, Halloween is coming up and we’re all looking for good costume ideas. Over at io9, the nerds from the future have it listed as one of their 20 zero-effort, high-concept Halloween costumes guaranteed to alienate your friends. For those of us who dislike both effort and friends.

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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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