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'Iron Sky' Releases Lesson in Crowdfunding and Crowdsourcing

Finnish director Timo Vuorensola’s forthcoming feature Iron Sky, which I’ve mentioned previously, has released a very nicely animated overview of their innovative production process to date. There’s a lot to be learned here when it comes to the future of film, both good and potentially bad; I’m a huge proponent of crowdfunding, but find myself hesitant to embrace the idea that crowdsourcing the creative aspects of a screenplay is a good idea. Call me old-fashioned, but I still believe in the “singular vision” of auteurs. Here’s their video highlighting the different creative and financial strategies they’ve employed to date:

As the video makes apparent, Iron Sky is mostly financed the traditional way. Here’s their breakdown of the film’s financing, which is refreshingly transparent but not hugely reliant on crowdinvesting:


The issue with applying a microinvestment scheme to a film stateside (even as a small component) is that this kind of profit-sharing is illegal in the U.S. That’s why the successful examples to date of crowdinvesting (as opposed to crowdfunding), like Iron Sky and The Age of Stupid, have come from outside the States. It seems to me if crowdfunding is to become a viable production strategy for larger films, the SEC needs to lift the restrictions preventing “donations” from becoming bona fide “investments.” When all is said and done, the ability to (legally) court investors at the micro level could be as big a deal as digital cameras or digital distribution when it comes to democratizing filmmaking.

The Iron Sky producers have also done a great job of releasing promo clips and trailers (170 videos so far) throughout the production to build up to the film’s release, instead of waiting until the end of the multi-year production cycle to premiere an “official” trailer. Here’s one of the most recent clips:

It’s honestly not my kind of film, but there’s a lot to be learned from the production approach of finding fans from pre- to post-production, in order to ensure there’s already a built-in audience by the time the marketing phase begins. Iron Sky premieres in March of 2012.

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