Originally when I heard celebrities were using crowdfunding to raise money for their features, I was quite upset. I didn't understand. Why do those already in the "Hollywood System" need the money and support from individuals such as myself when they could easily have a studio back their efforts?
That raced through my head for many days after I first heard that Rob Thomas and the Veronica Mars kickstarter had raised over $1 million in just under four hours, including one generous donation of $10,000.
Before I go any further, I will stop and say I eventually understood what donating to a celebrity backed project was all about. In the case of Veronica Mars, the campaign raised a total of $5.7 million and ultimately backed by 91,585 individuals. 91,585 exuberant, crazy happy fans of the show. This campaign, and any campaign put on by any celebrity, like Zach Braff or Spike Lee (and now Don Cheadle with his Miles Davis biopic), is not about taking away from struggling artists, it is about artists supporting art. Art. Supporting art. Art, in general, needs exposure and new methods to continue to progress forward.
Kickstarter and the idea of crowdfunding was suddenly a mainstream entity because of the good and bad celebrity exposure. Kickstarter was no doubt a popular, much talked about and used tool that connected people to projects all around the world. But now because of the dialog created by the media because of celebrities using this tool, more people are discovering it. That is an incredible thing to think about. Since Kickstarter was birthed 5 years ago, 63,035 projects have been successfully funded, raising $1.1 billion dollars. That's an astounding number. To this day 44% of projects have met their goal.
Some of projects I've been involved with were organized and executed correctly, others needed help. Recently, a film that I'm doing Social Media work on, crossed the $15,000 goal mark in its 11th hour.
The morning of the final day was nerve wracking to say the least. 17hrs remaining, we still needed to raise $2,601. But as statistics go, of projects that reach 60% of their goal, 98% were successfully funded. While this is a good stat to know, it did little to calm my nerves. In the end, we hit $15k roughly 11 minutes before the end of the campaign. The feeling was... wonderful. A lot of mad work was put into the campaign, but when all was said and done, well, I slept like a baby.
The film I'm talking about above is called Our Fantasies Are Eating Us Alive, produced by Don't Mind If I Do Films, LLC based out of St. Paul, MN -- run by brothers Colin Markowitz and Daniel Markowitz, directed by Mike P. Nelson (The Retirement of Joe Corduroy). The campaign was set up to fund one of two short films based on the feature screenplay. The long-term goal is to submit to festivals and gain interest from investors to fund the feature film.
This blog was a re-post, more or less, from my Tess page.