So we’re at that point. We need more things for this production (that has seemed to grow and grow-in a good way, but you know…) than we have the money for. Lots more things.
I once wrote a post about how artists should support other artists creatively, emotionally and even financially when they can. I put (a little) money where my mouth is, and gave to a couple of shows that I thought were worthy. It wasn’t that much, but it was something, and I felt good about giving a little support to others who are doing what I’m doing. Around that time, @glynismitchell and @montoure (the creators of Causality and my partners in bringing it to life) mentioned that soon we might want to do a campaign of our own. Though I had written the post about how camaraderie and support between artists is important, I said that I was hesitant to go that route. I just don’t feel good about asking other artists and potential fans who haven’t even seen our show yet for money to make it. Montoure successfully funded a party at Norwescon (actually, they got MORE money than they had originally asked for), so he was highly in favor of us using Kickstarter or Indigogo when we had some specific items we needed. (We all agree, we will never just say “please give us money to make our show.” If we ask, we will ask for funds for specific items that we need.) At the time, it was all abstract. We didn’t have a list of products that we needed, but we knew we soon would. We tabled the idea of crowdfunding for the time being, and moved on with pre-production.
Now that shooting is imminent, we have a list. And it seems to grow daily. We have a couple of specific, higher end things that we need, and many smaller ones. We’re actively pursuing grants, though applications take a VERY long time to be reviewed, and even if you are awarded a grant, the actual money comes at least 6 months or more after you apply. Since we’re starting shooting in just over a month, that won’t work (though a grant award could refill some coffers, if we find some coffers to open.)
We’re also talking about doing a live fundraising event, though to plan and execute that will also take some money. I believe we will do it, but just like the grant, I bet it won’t bring in any funds before I call “action” on the first shots of principal photography. So, how do we get the money to buy the small travel generator, reasonably-priced steadicam rig, and multiple hard drives? It’s looking more and more like a crowdfunding campaign. Sometimes I think that the time and money it takes to successfully crowdfund would be better spent researching and applying to more grants, planning live fundraising events, and/or marketing some merchandise that could make a small profit to put towards the equipment. But as Montoure says, why not explore ALL options?
This is the part of independent filmmaking none of us likes…the stressing over how to raise the money. But, I guess beggars can’t be choosers, and if we want to bring our vision to life, then some begging is involved.
This isn’t an announcement of an Indigogo campaign or something, but don’t be surprised if you see some sort of announcement in the future. If/When we launch one, we promise not to be too annoying about it, and will definitely approach raising money with the same sense of humor and irreverence that we approach everything else. And when that day comes, if you have a few bucks, consider contributing to help us get a generator…or a steadicam…or a hard drive…or fixin’s for @chrissprague’s $60,000 sandwiches (no, we’re not going to ask for $60,000 for sandwiches…it’s just that he’s a highly educated chef who can make awesome things, but we so far only tax his abilities and education for simple hand-foods. Therefore…oh, I can’t explain it, but trust me, though food is a big part of our budget, it’s not THAT big. And we probably won’t even ask for food money, but I just wanted to say “$60,000 Sandwiches”).
My point is, I’m not excited at the prospect of using crowdfunding to subsidize any part of our production, but I do recognize that it is a great invention that has helped many artists create. So, I should accept it for what it is, only a part of our overall financing strategy, and focus on what I AM excited about: making Causality. And, I should go donate something to another worthy show to support a fellow artist…and maybe gain some good karma too.