The New Face of Film Financing: Online and on Social Media

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This week, I read two articles on social media and films that show that now, the audience can make movies happen. Better, they can be part of the production even on a small scale. In previous blogs, I talked about two campaigns launched on Kickstarter for Veronica Mars, the movie and Zach Braff's latest project I Wish I Was Here. Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform where anyone can participate in a project by sending a donation. In return, they receive a perk, for example in the case of a movie, depending on the amount donated, the fan can be given an autographed script, his/her name in the ending credits or a VIP invitation to the premiere. But why would big names like Zach Braff or producer Rob Thomas turn to their fans to finance a movie when they have access to studio executives and big investors? So they can keep their creative last cut on the project. Plus, the fans will be more likely to go see the movie once it's out if they participated in the process. If you are wondering what fans can do to make a movie happen, here are some numbers: they raised about $5.7 millions for Veronica Mars and $3.1 for Zack Braff's film. And this is with that number that Braff went to Cannes a couple of weeks ago to seek further investment for his feature. What's next? Director and producer Ron Howard - who, let's face it, has the experience needed and the connections to fund a movie - is thinking of using Kickstarter to make a new Friday Night Lights movie.

Participating financially in a movie isn't the only way fans get involved. If they reach out to the right person, just showing their interest can be enough. Reaching out to someone like Vin Diesel. The actor, starring in Fast and Furious 6 currently in theaters, is very involved with his fans on social media. Through his (now verified) Facebook page (42+ million Likes), he shares fan arts that are being sent to him and personal videos of himself. He also keeps his fans in the loop regarding his projects, like the next installment of Riddick, that was in part made possible thanks to the fans' demand. They may not receive an invitation to sit next to Vin Diesel at the premiere of the film, but the actor still sends them exclusive trailers and info.

Those two examples show the new face of the film industry, and a revolution in film financing and fans' engagement through social media. Not to forget that on Film Annex, the audience is also participating in the production and financing of the movies, without even noticing it, through online advertising. Crowdfunding, film distribution platforms, social media film promotion... welcome to the future of films!

Speaking of new faces of cinema, here are the latest members on Film Annex, most of them having already  made their way to Eren's Picks: The Amplifetes, Jake Fried, Evan Viera, Julian Marshall, Drew Christie, Kendy Ty, Renato Marques, Henry Jun Wah Lee, Hasraf Dulull, and Erik Van Schaaik.

'Caldera', by Evan Viera.


- Jennifer

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