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Crowdfunding Goes Mainstream: The Changing Landscape of the Film Industry

Crowdfunding Goes Mainstream: The Changing Landscape of the Film Industry

Crowdfunding works well as a means to finance a film project, because people naturally want to be part of something bigger than themselves. Popular sites like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter have provided the platforms and exposure for filmmakers to enroll the support of many instead of vying for studio support. Almost everyone in the movie-making world knows how Zack Braff, star of the TV show “Scrubs,” raised more than $1 million within the first 24 hours of creating a campaign for his film project “Wish I Was Here,” which is scheduled for release in September. Should you use crowdfunding to finance your project? Read on for a view of the crowdfunding landscape:

Not Just for Amateurs

Although the foundation for success has been laid by years of efforts from smaller projects, the crowdfunding movement has recently garnered the attention of the A-list as well. Film investment company Junction, dubbed the “Kickstarter for the Rich,” will focus solely on projects that do not require extra financing, reports The Wrap.

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The site has launched campaigns for heavy hitters like “A Hologram for the King” starring Tom Hanks and “Triple Nine,” a crime drama featuring Casey Affleck, Kate Winslet, Aaron Paul and Woody Harrelson. Junction requires its investors earn a minimum of $200K annually or have a net worth of at least $1 million.

Getting Your Film Financed

Innovative funding solutions allow filmmakers to get creative not only with the production, but also with the financing of a film project. Generating interest in a movie project may be the easy part. Generating interest that is accompanied by significant financial backing can be a little more challenging.

Resources such as J.G. Wentworth make it a little easier to get the camera rolling. Instead of depending on scores of small donations to fund the project, interested investors can sell their future structured settlement payments for a lump sum of cash now. Self-funding this way gives you far more influence over what goes into production.

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While crowdfunding is a great model for projects that have a strong existing fan base, it may not be a good option for everyone. If you’re on a tight budget, keep in mind that the platform is going to hang on to a percentage of the donations. Also, on some platforms, campaigns that don’t make their goal don’t get funded. Crowdfunding isn’t a magic pill; fundraisers must be very aggressive in getting the word out every day throughout the entire length of the campaign.

Alternatives

Why not supplement your crowdfunding efforts? Here are a few options:

  • Put together a fundraising team. Desktop Documentaries recommends gathering a team of three to five people, preferably with business or fundraising backgrounds, who can help you develop a solid fundraising strategy.
  • Host an auction. Supporters can donate their time, services or valuables to be put up for auction to raise capital for your project.
  • Get social. Reach out to your network on social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and anywhere else you have a good following. Don’t be afraid to talk about your vision and ask for support.
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