Thursday, January 21, 2010

No cash, no credit, no movie...try crowdsourcing

A new category at this year's Sundance Film Festival pays homage to a style of filmmaking that's grown even more popular during the recession: creativity sans cash. Dubbed "Next," the section spotlights six features cobbled together on low or no budgets.

Struggling filmmakers have long relied on credit cards to finance their passion projects. But with consumer credit drying up, indie artists are having to find new ways to subsidize their works.

"Those people are in a terrible situation right now and are taking on second jobs to fund their films," says Joana Vicente, executive director of the Independent Feature Project, a nonprofit organization of independent filmmakers in New York...
With credit disappearing, aspiring auteurs are turning to new channels for financing.

At IndieGoGo, filmmakers solicit cash from the community. They can post clips, share their project goals and offer perks like party invites or T-shirts in exchange for donations. Boasting more than 10,000 members, the site currently showcases 2,300 projects and has raised nearly $200,000 for filmmakers. IndieGoGo takes a 9% cut of funds raised.

"Crowdfunding is a new and exciting channel for funding because it involves your audience from the beginning and allows you to build a fan base throughout the production of your film," says Danae Ringelmann, IndieGoGo's founder.

Another crowdfunding site, Kickstarter, is currently hosting a solicitation from the filmmakers of Bass Ackwards, a road-trip feature film that will premier at Sundance. The film's producer hopes to raise $50,0000 to fund a nationwide, multiplatform release of the film the day after Sundance ends.
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