As I near the end of my indie year, I wanted to spend some time recollecting on my experiences as a crowd funder – a process that has changed the way I look at cinema and my role as a supporter of independent film. If I dig deep, I would even go so far as to admit this year has changed the way I look at the money I make and how I choose to spend it.
A part of this process was to take look back at which of the projects I chose to support. Some of them crossed their respective finish lines, while others were beset by financial, personal, and/or distribution woes.
A few projects sunk into a haze of privacy once crowdfunding ended – forever closing the velvet curtain, leaving its supporters wondering what the hell they’d just supported.
Rarer still were projects that erupted with a blaze of glory – released into the welcoming arms of those who applauded its contents. Of course, the only commonality between these projects (insomuch as I’m concerned) is me.
For me, the experience has been at once boring, wildly exciting, unnerving, and inspiring.
Projects that have completed and have (in some way) been released as of this writing include:
The Torment of Laurie Ann Collum – which screened at the Orlando Freak Show Horror Film Festival and won Best Actress.
The Cost of Gender – I was so proud to be a (very small) part of the making of this eye-opening documentary. It’s free to watch online, and I hope you’ll take a few minutes to check it out.
Styria – has, by far, been the largest disappointment of my crowdfunding experience. Originally backed in October 2012, the film has completed and been selectively screened – not that I’ve seen it. As far as I know, the rewards have not been released, and there’s been no news out of the development/production camp since May 2014.
Of the other films I backed during my indie year, many have simply, and sadly, fallen off the radar. Communications from creators went from intoxicatingly enamored with a public who might help fund their project to we-could-care-less-if-you-want-to-know-what-we’re-doing-with-your-money. For me, the experience I now associate with these projects is soured by a foreboding sense that I’ve been fooled.
I’ll be spending the next year tracking the remainder of projects I’ve backed and sharing their stories with you. I continue to be inspired by every one of you who strives to create something from your imagination.
In addition, because I’m not one to stand on the sidelines and simply critique the creative process and the endeavor to create something from nothing, I’ll be spending a year writing screenplays. I hope you’ll join me for MY SCREENPLAY YEAR starting this month.