Are you passionate? Are there subjects for which you feel the need to speak up about? Subjects which make you want to step up? Do something? Then read on…
One of the hardest aspects of making a film has always been raising the necessary funds to do so. But all of that changed a few years back when first IndieGoGo, and then KickStarter gave filmmakers a way to connect with their fans and other like-minded people. For filmmakers who know how to keep costs to a minimum (i.e. not spending a million dollars to make a film), KickStarter and IndieGoGo, known as CrownFunding or CrownSourcing sites, have opened up a world to us that we never even imaged existed.
I’m going to use “Color Me Obsessed,” my documentary on The Replacements, as an example. For CMO we ran nine successful KickStarter campaigns, from the first which allowed us to get the ball rolling, to the last which gave us funds for film festival submission fees, and everything in between from the need to travel for more interviews to a sound mix.
These sites allowed us, the filmmakers behind CMO, the ability to connect with other fans of the band. To offer them “rewards” in exchange for backing to help get the film made. These rewards ranged from a simple “Thank you” in the film’s end credits, to what is obviously the most popular reward, a copy of the finished film on DVD, to other more grand perks like your name appearing in the credits, on the poster, and on IMDB.com (a data-base of all film credits, take a peek at the list of producers on the CMO page) as an executive producer of the film. The rewards typically ranged from $1 (for a thank you) to $25 for a DVD, and upwards to $2,000 or more for that executive producer package, with a dozen or so other possibilities in between.
If you are passionate about a subject, as the CMO backers were about The Replacements, if gives you a chance to help a film get made. A film that might not otherwise ever be made. And it allows you to wear your passion on your sleeve. Let’s face it, even a “thank you” in the end credits is cool. Especially if it’s in a film about a subject you are passionate about. Plus, you are most likely to see the film before anyone else. People who backed at the DVD level for CMO received their DVDs during August 2011. The commercial DVD was not available in places like Amazon and Best Buy until November 2012. A full fifteen months later. So think about that, not only did these backers help get a film about their favorite band made, they got to see it first, and then were able to open up the eyes of others when the film received national distribution and coverage in media outlets the world over. A new generation of music fans discovered The Replacements, and it was all because of the passion of a few.
And yes, it also makes you a backer of the arts. But in this case, you get to choose the art projects which gets your hard-earned cash. You back one project at a time. You know exactly what you get in return. Consider it a form of preordering something you want about something you care about.
In the case of our newest film, “A Dog Named Gucci,” we are reaching out to animal lovers, people who want to see an end to animal abuse. People who want laws toughened, so that those who do abuse receive felony convictions and actually serve jail time instead of getting a simple slap on the wrist. So, if these are your passions, by backing “A Dog Named Gucci” you are backing a film aimed at raising awareness and opening the public’s eyes.
None of the crowd funding goes into the filmmaker’s pockets. We use these fund to travel to get the needed interviews, to purchase hard drives for editing, for sound mixing, for festival fees. Your backing goes directly into the film. It’s up on the screen, as is your passion. A passion we share. A passion which will reach the widest audience imaginable. Opening the eyes of a nation to the abuse that occurs on a daily basis in this country.
So if you share this passion, this love of animals, please consider backing “A Dog Named Gucci.” Preorder the DVD, or a poster. Or donate a dollar or two just for a “thank you” in the end credits. Everything helps. If you have a group of animal lovers in your town, or want some local politicans to see the finished film, choose the private screening reward. There’s something for everyone. All you need is the passion to help stop abuse. That’s why we’re making this film. Please help us get it made.