'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.

Your Comment



I love what's taking place in the film word.

May 22, 2011 at 8:34AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

Lliam Worthington


What is illegal?

What kind of capitalist society do we live in if we can't get people to donate, then profit!!!!

Please explain and attach a link to a wiki article or something.


May 25, 2011 at 9:02AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


The SEC "restricts soliciting to "qualified investors" within state lines." I posted one link in the article about it, but there are plenty of others out there, and this will hopefully change in the years to come. Some news:



May 25, 2011 at 10:07AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

Ryan Koo

Iron Sky are not soliciting investment through crowd funding - as you say, it's illegal. What you can do is offer something for donations so $5 gets you a badge, $10 gets you a badge and your name on the credits, $25 gets a badge, a DVD of the finished film and your name on the credits and so it goes, up and up. At no time do you say "invest X and you'll get Y back" and AFAIK none of the crowdfunding sites let you do that.

June 9, 2011 at 7:40AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM