By Arun Fulara. Posted on October 29, 2015
What do India’s first Sanskrit animated film, a film on Assamese folk tales and a documentary about the Aam Aadmi Party revolution have in common? Well, aside from the fact that they are brilliant and unique scripts, all of these films have been made possible by crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding is an innovative and risk-free way for filmmakers to raise funds for their films. It involves using the Internet to reach out to a large number of people and asking them to contribute small sums of money to raise a film’s budget, instead of waiting for that one person to cut a large cheque. The people who fund are not investors in the film but in fact they get a chance to become “patrons” of the project. In exchange for their money, they don’t get anything monetary back, but a chance to collaborate with the film and its cast and crew. They get producer credits, invite to special screenings, behind the scenes exclusive footage, limited edition memorabilia etc.
On Wishberry alone, in the last 3 years, filmmakers have raised around Rs. 2-3 crores for their films. Bhaskar Hazarika, the filmmaker who raised over 21 lakhs for his film Kothanodi explains, “Crowdfunding worked for our film because it fit the right profile - small budget, independentspirit, and clearly no big studios were going to line up to fund a film on little known folk tales”.
Crowdfunding is proving to be a lease of life for independent films. Let’s consider the above-mentioned examples:
Unbelievable, isn’t it? You can meet these filmmakers to learn about their crowdfunding experience at the Mumbai Film Festival on November 4th at a panel discussion on film crowdfunding, hosted by Wishberry. Register here.
Crowdfunding not only gets filmmakers money, but also a community to support their creative ambitions for life. Let’s look at some advantage of crowdfunding for films:
When you are crowdfunding you are raising money from people who actually care about either the indie film scene or you. All your audience wants is for you to go ahead and make your film against all odds- just the way you want to make it, without being bullied by production houses.
Heavy promotions and PR are key aspects of crowdfunding. You have to talk about it as much as you can and to the right people. Promotions involve getting influencers and major media portals to talk about your film. Additionally your friends, followers and fans will also viralize your film’s crowdfunding campaign. All of this, in turn, helps generate some good pre-release hype for the film.
Because people have put money into your film out of sheer conviction either in the film’s idea or your talent; it now becomes a matter of personal interest to them. Also, crowdfunding requires staying in touch with backers in ways that will further cement your relationship with them. All of this only serves to foster the feeling of community, one that will rally to help you every time you need help. A good example is Punyakoti, where the animation and the Sanskrit community came together to crowdfund the film, even though most of them had no clue who the brain behind the film, was.
At the end of the day, although crowdfunding requires massive efforts, it works because it captures the true spirit of independent films.
Get advice on crowdfunding straight from the filmmakers who did it right? REGISTER here.