We’ve said it before but will say it again, crowd-funding is changing the face of the creative industries and changing the face of business too. This week it took another leap into the world of respectability too thanks to the Oscars results.
Two of the five nominees in the Documentary Short Subject category at this year’s Oscars 2013 – The 85th Academy Awards – were made thanks to crowd-funding raised via kickstarter.com. Both Kings Point by Sari Gilman and Jedd Wider and the Oscar winner Inocente by Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine were backed by ordinary people, looking to put small investment into extraordinary things.
While those 294 who contributed the US$52,527 funds via Kickstarter to Inocente, probably won’t have been dancing with the stars like Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Obama and award ceremony presenter Seth MacFarlane, they certainly would have been watching the Oscars on TV with much pride and glee at having played a part – a pretty big part too – in making the film – can a short film be a movie? - the success it has now become.
Inocente reached its funding goal of US$50,000 on 21 July 2012. That sort of sum is probably just a fraction of the marketing budget for the big Hollywood films – blockbusters or not – but in the world of short-film, as was seen, it can be all important. Back then the film had already been made and gone through post-production, it had even already won awards at regional short film festivals. What it didn’t have however was the additional money to create the website, a whole host of educational materials based on the subjects and themese explored in the film, nor the final costs for additional marketing such as tapes and DVDs for additional screenings. The crowdfunding helped fill that void and helped the film reach a wider audience and have a bigger impact and the rest is now history.
The Kickstarter influence at this years Oscar ceremony was not limited to those two short documentaries either. Buzkashi Boys also gained a nomination for best live-action short, ensuring that more and more short-film makers who are constantly under budgetary restraints, will be looking at crowd-sourced funds as a viable alternative in their strive to success and fulfilling their dreams of becoming oscar winners, BAFTA winners or simply successful film-makers.
The tale of Inocente is also interesting for any business looking for additional finance. Crowd-funding is not just for fully funding projects that at the moment are stuck on your computer as little more than an idea. Crowd-funding can be a catalyst but it can also be the thing that finally helps you push a project over the line, perhaps finally hit production levels you need to make it viable, or maybe seal that final part of your plan. Just as you may borrow a small percentage of money from a bank to buy something for yourself, so crowd-funding can be used to part-fund projects, hopefully to move them from nearly successful to very successful.
Have you had success with crowd-funding? Do you have any tips for those looking at crowd-funding for the first time?