My good friend, Andrew Hutton, is looking to raise finance for his first film. He’s got previous form, having directed and produced a good few TV films and documentaries. His most recent outing was “Van Gogh: Painted With Words” for the BBC, and starring Benedict Cumberbatch. He’s had a script that he’s been keen to turn into a short film for a while. It’s called “The Dog Road”, and is by Roger Davenport, a well established writer. I’ve read the script, and it’s one of those tales that lingers – a good start for a good film. Roger’s summary is, naturally, more compelling than mine would be:
” “The Dog Road” charts a couple of days in the life of a young blind man living in a remote rural area. In a state of grief over the loss of his wife a year ago, a sequence of small triggers finally impels him to walk the Dog Road of the title. Caring little about life now, his mission is a startling one.”
This would be an independent film, and of course as with such ventures, funding is challenging. Andrew and I got to talking about alternative models, about whether we could ask the audience to invest. Crowdfunding is, of course, not unchartered territory for films. But it is for us. We’ve been mulling it over and would love to open up the funding to investors of all sizes. Andrew is the boss, and after some thought, he came back with the following proposition:
“We need a budget of around £50,000 all told, though we’ll be able to start filming before we have the full amount. In terms of what we can offer investors I suggest the following:
- £20: Signed photo from set, credit on website
- £21 – 100 : Credit on website, copy of DVD
- £101 – 500: Credit on website, copy of DVD, invite to screening with writer and director
- £501 – 1000: Credit on website, copy of DVD, invite to premiere with cast, director, writer
- £1001 – £2000 Credit on website and on screen, copy of DVD, invite to premiere
- £2000+ Credit on website and film, copy of DVD, invite to premiere, 20% of any profits made. “
I’m working on a comms plan (and working on convincing a busy director of a small crew!) to maximise the opportunity for everyone to feel a part of the production, at all stages of the production. Whatever your investment, you’ll see where it’s going and have a chance to directly support independent film making.
So over to you good folk. We’d really value your honest opinions. Are we wise to try crowdfunding? Would you invest? What would you expect in return?
*update* If you’re still not convinced by the concept of crowdfunding, there’s a great piece on Radio 4’s Front Row about how it all works.