29/05/2014 From Dream to Silver Screen: The 10 Best Crowdfunding Sites For Movies – by Mark Rad
When considering crowdfunding a film, a lot of decisions need to be made when it comes to choosing the right website – do you want to give kickbacks to contributors? How visible do you want the marketing to be? Can you find an investor core on a more specified site first? All decisions which will directly impact the way your film will be viewed, and by who.
While Kickstarter success Veronica Mars: The Movie takes headlines because of die hard fans funding the adaptation, not every film has the same fan base to tap into, however. That doesn’t mean you can’t be a success without one — Gosnell Movie, a political documentary made by two Oscar nominated filmmakers who use Indiegogo’s site as response to Kickstarter’s reported censoring, has now become the highest funded project on Indiegogo to date. That’s a cool $2.1 million, if you’re keeping track.
We’ve rounded up some of the best sites for all you aspiring producers, directors and actors to find an angel in the crowd. Enjoy!
Focusing on film’s with budgets ranging in the $200,000 to $2.5 million sweet spot, Forest Whitaker’s co-sign and their splashy launch at SXSW 2012 keeps Juntobox on our radar.
Pro: Launched 3 successful films in 2012. Threshold for followers to receive large funding is smaller. Partnership with Indiegogo.
Con: All films and scripts must have followers before any funding is received. Only one film green lighted in 2013.
Check out: If you’re into something fairly dark in tone, search for Blasphemo, a movie with just enough of a satanic edge to hit your evil spot.
Kickstarter needs no introduction when it comes to crowdfunding. From Veronica Mars and onwards, the past year saw the site become a hotbed for larger film projects thanks to contributions from fans.
Pro: Reported $480 Million for crowdfunding purposes in past year. Investors don’t usually seek profit. Kickstarter Film Festival.
Con: Can’t keep all money should goal not be met. Amount of films and projects make it hard to stand out. No flexible funding option.
Check out: Canadian comedy Corner Gas: The Movie recently just surpassed its campaign in one day.
One of our favorites of all the upstarts, Junction seeks to link filmmakers with an investor core not typically associated with Hollywood.
Pro: Emphasizes how smart a film investment can be. Board includes nontraditional investors who can add support and insight into different facets of funding process.
Con: Films must be fully funded before appearing on site. Backers profit first if film turns profit. All viewers are pre-screened. Not really “crowdfunding” per se.
Coming Soon: Keep an eye out for the Tom Hanks starring adaptation of the Dave Eggers book A Hologram for the King which began filming this past march.
The second most famous crowdfunding site behind Kickstarter, Indiegogo features a more DIY-minded approach that filmmakers love.
Pro: Keep all money raised past 9% cut, funding goal hit or not. Can place an Indiegogo widget on your website!
Con: Backers have less urgency to fund due to model. Much less media buzz. Marketing strategy needed to stand out.
Coming soon: If you’re looking to raise some funds alongside the dead, check out The Sky Has Fallen.
Unlike Kickstarter or Indiegogo, Seed&Spark is a site devoted to those who eat, sleep and breathe film, and film only. Seed&Spark’s MO is in building up film creators, who are often at a loss when dealing with the traditional distribution system.
Pro: Filmmaker oriented, including a focus on distribution for finished films.
Con: Smaller core of investors to tap into, specified markets may pigeonhole films too quickly.
Success Story: The Yellow Ribbon, a beautifully shot western short film long on charm not only met its funding goal, the film went on to challenge for an Oscar!
Are you looking to fund a film using a more traditional investor base of film professionals? Maybe you’re looking for Slated.
Pro: Roster of experienced investors ripped from the latest red carpet — members include actors, producers and directors in Ghost World, The Descendants and The Kids are All Right.
Con: Must find an audience on Kickstarter before tempting Slated’s investors. Must be invited by Slated’s inner circle beforehand. Only equity crowdfunding offered.
Check out: While Slated keeps quiet about films which have passed through the site, watch Odd Man Out, a documentary on Roman Polanski which received much of it’s funding from the site.
Canada’s Fundrazr advertises as the all-purpose crowdunding platform, not discriminating whatsoever on whoever wishes to tap into the cloud.
Pro: Easy to stand above the competition, with a committed social media presence and handsome layout. Strong Facebook following too.
Con: Many projects are charity oriented and look for donations more than investments.
Success story: Rev your engines with Ryder, a future feature of motorcycle riding bounty hunters and awesome action scenes.
Rockethub is a crowdfunding site which offers the extra allure of starpower by providing a chance for the startups to become stars themselves on A&E’s Project Startup!
Pro: Tie-in with Project Startup — Say cheese!
Con: Smaller traffic figures means smaller sums raised.
Check out: Naked/Spurious is a post modern feminist take on the old comedy western.
Finally something exclusive for our European friends! Ulule offers a Kickstarter model for Europeans only, a site which proudly brandishes films in multiple languages, from French to Portuguese and outward.
Pro: Deeper investor core based in Europe, perfect if you have a few extra Euros laying around.
Con: User base mostly calls France home.
Success: Look for Money Time, a so called “acid trip between the steppe and space.” Far out!