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August 10, 2011 / California Film Institute Blog

A New Way to Finance Films

As we alluded to in our recent post, On The Ice: an Award Winning Film That You Can Help Distribute!, there’s a new way for filmmakers and other artists to film their projects, and it involves you! The website, called Kickstarter, provides a space for creative people to advertise their projects and market them to potential backers, you and I.

The artists set up pages for their projects by applying to Kickstarter. The people at Kickstarter then review the projects and compares them to their stated guidelines, approves it or helps the artist modify their project to get it approved. Each project is required to have a set goal, deadline, and rewards for donations that can range anywhere from thank you notes to guided trips with the artist.

Projects can be anywhere from inventions to films. Some of the most successful projects include the documentaries Minecraft: The Story of Mojang, Blue Like Jazz, and Rise and Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story. These projects all beat their goals by over $5,000, and some projects do even better than that (one such project, Eyez HD recording glasses, beat its goal of $55,000 by almost $300,000). Kickstarter has a fee of only 5%, and Amazon, which handles the credit transactions, charges processing fees of up to 5%, meaning that 90% of all money donated goes to the project itself.

However, not all projects are successful, so donations are only collected after the goal is met. If the project is not success, your credit card (no other payment methods are accepted) is not charged. This system creates an easy way to help artists with minimal risk, and has enormous implications for the way independent artists, inventors, filmmakers and creators of all types go about funding their projects.

Check out the projects on Kickstarter by clicking here.

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