I have a lot of admiration for people who are brave enough to crowdfund their projects. Although it seems like a democratised way of getting financing as now everyone can get anyone to help out, it’s still not an easy road to take. The amount of cool films you can contribute towards made by famous actors or miraculous projects like space rocket building, is just mind-blowing and goes to show how many ideas there are out there, struggling to get materialized. (Here is an inspiring example of great Kickstarter campaigns and successes!)
However, there are also many hanging there unfinanced, below the tip of the eisberg, lonely and undone. What the crowdfunding platforms usually advise is to ask for realistic sums and be super-active online, offering cool rewards and being passionate about what you want to make. Also to expect to cover your budget in other forms – just in case.
So, until I have the courage to put my projects forward and face that scary uncertainty, I’d like to kudos two female filmmakers who dived in. One is a former colleague from my UK university, who I remember was writing a different script when I was still there, but she persevered and set a realistic goal of £1200 on Indiegogo and now her film is in post-production. She also acted in my 3rd year film and we share an awesome producer Gloria Daniels-Moss 🙂 The other is a girl I’ve just met at an informal talk about film financing in Romania, a topic I need to learn more about, which ended up being more about her experience with crowdfunding on a Romanian native platform, called crestemidei (“we grow ideas”) which was also very interesting. She still has a few days to go!
So my British friend is Katie Smith, who wrote and directed the short Crossroads, which tells the story of Rex, who has to hide his homosexuality and come to terms with losing his mother while facing his father’s conservative lifestyle. Although a straight woman, Katie delved into this topic because, knowing there aren’t just heterosexual couples in the world and that gay marriage was legalised in the UK, the subject deserves more attention and a meaningful approach. I’m proud of Katie for having successfully finished shooting the film with a small and dedicated team and I am of course, one of the supporters who is waiting for her reward, a digital copy of the film!
The second example and recent encounter is Bianca Lucia Rus’ short about friendship across the ages and between rural and urban Romania called Prieteni. Meeting her in the context of financing, she told us about how it took her a while to warm up to the idea of crowdfunding and how young this market still is in Romania. She is confident now that she will cover her budget of about 2000 euros, although she was advised the sum was too high or ambitious. At the time of writing she has 17 days to go and raised more than half already, which is a testament to the fact that more people should risk using this method in Romania too. For some reason, this market is more reticent about sharing the need for money or contributors having to paying online, but hopefully her film will be a positive example of why and how it works. If you are interested to contribute, it will feature Romanian traditions, new and old, so if you’ve never been here, hopefully it will introduce you to our culture too. You can contribute here.
I’ll take example from Katie and Bianca and promise to apply them as soon as I have a project I am confident enough to share!