17 Jul 12
One of the interesting papers at the 2012 ASPERA Conference in Brisbane earlier this month was Gill Leahy from UTS talking about her experiences raising money for a film using crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is one of those seductive web 2.0 developments that seems like a struggling independent filmmaker’s fantasy, so it was good to hear from someone who’s been through the process. I think on the whole Gill felt it was a legitimate new source of funding for independent productions but with a few notes of caution:
Don’t underestimate the amount of work involved in communicating with would-be and actual pledgers;
There are a range of different crowdfunding websites and they are not all the same. Do your research before you decide on a website to use;
This funding approach also suits some projects more than others. Gill’s film was about a permaculture project in Zimbabwe. With this topic, there was a defined global community of people interested in permaculture who could be identified and approached, with a reasonable prospect they would be interested in contributing to what was a demonstrably worthwhile project. By contrast, if you were making a fiction film based on a story from your own imagination, it might be harder to convince strangers to put money into it, no matter how interesting it seemed.
The paper finally made the very good point that crowdfunding is an effective way to build a preliminary audience for a production.
Check out the link below for the project that was discussed in the paper: http://www.pozible.com/index.php/archive/index/4946/description/0/0