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December 11 at 1:57pm

Fund The Culture You Love With The Gift Of Crowdfunding

By Ted Hope

How do we make it better?  How do we make our indie film infrastructure work for more filmmakers and more diverse audiences?

How do we improve things as individuals as well as a community?

This is the season of giving and that’s not a bad place for us to start.  I have always liked the idea of buying local, of buying direct — be it from the farmers, artisans, or owner/operators.  I have lamented the loss of more intimate connection that all of our innovation delivers.  I have always hated shopping and have enjoyed how the internet kept me out of stores, but there have been some stores, notably book stores, video stores, and record shops, that I enjoyed and now miss dearly.  The only online phenomenon that gives me the same rush I got when I discovered from those “stores of old” something I did not know about and simply needed to have is… crowdfunding sites.  

There is such a unique pleasure in making something happen.  It is an even greater pleasure when you give  to an artist that you admire.  

This gift giving season I am going to give to twelve artists via their crowdfunding campaigns.  I hope you do the same.  

I wish when I give I could give twice, in that I often don’t even want the perk so much and would love to be able to give that immediately to another friend, who in turn might be inspired to also contribute to the campaign, and then also give the perk to another friend, whom might too… well, you get the idea, right?

So consider this my own personal campaign.  I want us all to give 12 times this season.  I am going to.  That’s my pledge. If you do let’s share it on twitter under the #12DaysOfCrowd hashtag.

Here’s what I have done so far. Some have already hit their goals, but that should not stop you from giving. Others need you now:

  1. Hal Hartley’s NED RIFLE http://kck.st/18SN1B4 Goal hit!
  2. Alex Winter’s DEEP WEB http://kck.st/I4X0hm Goal hit!
  3. Steve James’ LIFE ITSELF http://igg.me/at/EbertMovie
  4. Beth B’s EXPOSED http://kck.st/17zlbQt Goal hit!
  5. Mat Kladney’s The San Francisco Bicycle System (okay, this one is not a film, but it is a great idea!)  http://kck.st/1cYZDdG Goal hit!
  6. Alejandra Tomei and Alberto Coucerio of ANIMAS-FILM ’s stop motion animation short AUTOMATIC FITNESS http://igg.me/at/stop-motion Goal hit!
  7. Gillian Robespierre’s OBVIOUS CHILD (A Sundance world premiere) http://kck.st/1fbQYGt (Until Jan 14th to hit the goal!)
  8. Sam Green’s live doc THE MEASURE OF ALL THINGS http://kck.st/JcJTe3 (Until Jan 8th to hit goal)
  9. Rumur Films’ WHO TOOK JOHNNY? (A Slamdance world premiere)  http://kck.st/18R7aZA (Until Jan 10 to hit goal)
  10. Detroit’s Heidelberg Project Art House Restoration project (again, not a film, but something I have long admired) http://igg.me/at/HPLegacy Goal hit!
  11. ?

And if you have suggestions for the other days of giving, please leave a suggestion below, along with a brief explanation of why you think this is a good idea.

This post is actually Part Two of my One Day Plan to make IndieFilm Better Simply By Being Kind & Generous.  Read Part One here.


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  1. Margaret Singer / Dec 11 at 1:57pm

    The 3 Bits web series — I’m biased because I work on the project, but it’s weird and wild and wonderful. It absolutely needs to get made and it is the sort of thing a network would never produce. 5 days left for them to get funding for more episodes — http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1352833174/the-3-bits

  2. Nicole C. Scott / Dec 11 at 1:57pm

    That’s a fabulous post! I’ve also begun seeding the idea of creating a group of angel investors that can help boost projects that aren’t meeting their goals. If we could create a consortium of say, 10,000 investors willing to pledge $5, that is an inexpensive way to leverage crowd funding and get projects fully funded rather easily before closing. I’m also working on a film project that could use a boost! Feel free to check this one out and let me know what you think! http://igg.me/p/491830/x/1016230

  3. Keith Romine / Dec 11 at 1:57pm

    Currently in the middle of my Kickstarter and we stalling out because we happen to be lucky enough to have Stephen Baldwin and Braxton Cosby attached to the project. People automatically assume that we have them so we can’t possibly fail. Well Guess what we just might. We are incredibly lucky to have them but our film or pilot episode is an amazing idea and I think giving the chance we might break out of our humble Indie roots and into the mainstream and touch a lot of people. http://www.rockandahardplacetv.com A Pastor Walks into a Bar!

    On a different note Ted you are a champion and I can’t tell you how many times I have felt down and out and read something on Hopeforfilm.com or your Twitter and been picked up and inspired again. So thank you! Keep taking and I hope someday I will be in a position to do the same for other filmmakers as well!

  4. Out in the Street Films / Dec 11 at 1:57pm

    I am thinking to entice backers with exclusivity. Offer a download of the project long before it ever goes public. Perhaps a short film version or behind the scenes doc that is exclusively for crowdfunding backers, and never released to anyone else.

    Also it seems there is greater response to participation perks, like being an extra, a role in the film, associate or executive producer credit for larger contributions, dinner or party with the cast and crew, name a street or character after a backer, and so on.

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