You could probably fund a military coup with Kickstarter, provided you marketed it effectively. There’s little that can’t be achieved if enough people want it, and nothing says “I want it!” like thousands of dollars in support.
Motion pictures can be expensive, which makes them excellent candidates for crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. It’s no surprise that motion pictures have made up some of the most down-to-earth and successful crowdfunding campaigns either of these sites have ever seen.
Kickstarter – 294 backers raised $52,527 (of $50,000 goal)
Inocente was the first Kickstarter film to win an Oscar at the 2013 Academy Awards for “Best Documentary Short Subject”. The film follows the 15-year-old Inocente who, in her own words, tells her tale of being an undocumented immigrant in California, and how she has been homeless for last nine years of her life. The film explores the rising problem of child poverty head-on, as Inocente manages her tough family life and desire to make something of herself as an artist.
Veronica Mars (2014)
Kickstarter – 91,585 backers raised $5,702,153 (of $2,000,000 goal)
The original Veronica Mars TV show starring Kristen Bell only ran from 2004 until 2007 but managed to amass a rabid following. Fans sat through three series in which Mars, whose best friend has been murdered and father removed as country sheriff, takes it upon herself to solve the town’s mysteries. In 2013, a Kickstarter campaign was launched which reached nearly triple its initial $2 million goal to make the 2014 film version of Veronica Mars.
Wish I Was Here (2014)
Kickstarter – 46,520 backers raised $3,105,473 (of $2,000,000 goal)
One thing that crowd-funding enables is control – if someone wants to write, direct and star in a movie, all they have to do is convince you it’s a good enough idea in the first place. That’s exactly what Zach Braff did when he launched the Kickstarter campaign for Wish I Was Here, a comedy drama that came out this summer. Braff actually wrote the film with brother Adam, in which he tells the story of a 35-year-old struggling actor and family man who is still searching for purpose in life.
Kickstarter – 3,631 backers raised $210,297 (of $150,000 goal)
Few games have gained such a following without ever hitting the mainstream quite like Minecraft, a game of survival, building blocks and creativity. This documentary takes a look at a year in the life of developers Mojang after the incredible success of their first ever game. After the initial run of crowd-funding, 4,000 backers raised well over $200,000 which is impressive, but I’d expect to see a similar project raise double or triple that number if it was launched today due to Minecraft’s continued growth in popularity since the film was released.
Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (2014)
Kickstarter – 6,421 backers raised $1,418,910
Known as “The Newest Hottest Spike Lee Joint” for much of its existence, Da Sweet Blood of Jesus is a crowd-funded romantic comedy horror film about a group of human beings who are addicted to blood. As you might have guessed, the film was written and directed by Spike Lee and judging by the reviews it looks like it could have turned out better. The film was funded entirely through Kickstarter, and as a result filming was completed in only 16 days due to budget constraints.
Oddly enough – perhaps due to Kickstarter screenings – Spike has yet to release a trailer online, despite his film having being shown on many occasions.
Kickstarter – 1,814 backers raised $118,505 (of $85,000 goal)
Due to the way our populations are distributed, most of you reading this will live in a city. As hubs for residence and commerce, cities play a huge part in our lives – but what thought is given to their design? Urbanized is a film all about urban planning, how it effects us and what the future might look like. Whether you’re happy with urbanized living or crave the great outdoors, the film is relevant to you if you’ve ever set foot in a city.
Of course, the very nature of Kickstarter means that a whole load of projects are in progress that have yet to see the light of day. Here are three of the latest:
Rooster Teeth, the guys who brought you Red vs. Blue, Achievement Hunter and RWBY, and are arguably one of the most recognisable and successful collectives to emerge from YouTube. Now they’re going to be creating and starring in their first ever feature film, having raised a whopping $2,480,209 in funding.
Anomalisa is Charlie Kaufman’s first ever animated film, and the project raised $406,237 from more than 5,000 backers in September 2012. The film uses the rather painstaking art of stop-motion to tell its tale, and while it was initially meant to be a 40 minute short, the film has since been expanded into a feature-length production which has delayed planned release dates.
Road Hard is an upcoming movie from Adam Carolla, who stars as a comedian whose lack of movie and sitcom deals have forced him back on the road. The movie is written by, directed by, and starring (in the lead role) Adam Carolla, as the video above emphasises, with a budget of $1.4 million.
Have you backed any movie projects on Kickstarter? Share your crowd-funding experiences in the comments below.