Many of us have used crowdfunding platforms to get a project off the ground or at least to gauge interest in it -- and many more of us have considered, or are planning, on doing so. But David Branin and Karen Worden from the indie film site Film Courage are utilizing a crowdfunding platform for another purpose: to distribute their finished film. Yesterday they released their DIY feature Goodbye Promise on Indiegogo -- for just $1. David and Karen are seeking answers to the question we all face as filmmakers: how to best release our films to a changing world. I spoke to them via Skype about film festivals, online distribution, crowdfunding platforms, social media strategies, and more:
First, here's the campaign video for Goodbye Promise:
In the following interview I learned that if I do a podcast over oddly-scaled video while looking to one side of the screen (because of where I had their Skype window) that I get a little bit of a lazy-eye look going! You learn something every day. Here's the hour-long, wide-ranging conversation:
Some of the platforms and sites we talk about in the interview: Indiegogo, Kickstarter, Distrify, Distribber, Dynamo Player, VHX, Prescreen, The Humble Indie Bundle, and, of course, my MANCHILD Kickstarter campaign.
To watch the film, you can find Goodbye Promise on Indiegogo for just $1 (for the first hundred supporters), and $2 after that. Here's the story:
When we made the decision to launch production, we had just about everything stacked against us: no script, no money, and no camera crew. But we knew we were sitting on a deeply personal story—one all three of us were living everyday, and one we knew millions of other artists around the world would find just as personal.
We shot on weekends spanning an entire summer. Since 100% of the dialogue was improvised, we often had no idea where a scene was headed, let alone how the film would end. But amassing a cast of talented actors we knew would deliver natural performances, and keeping our goal in mind—to tell an authentic story about what it’s really like to come to terms with failure—we forged ahead into the unknown. And we believe we came up with something that will resonate with anyone who has ever pursued a dream.
Why We Are Releasing It On IndieGogo
We’re confident we’ve found the best and most exciting way we can unveil our film. Bypassing film festivals and theatrical options gives us the opportunity to immediately share it with an audience—you—online. Waiters, we are not. Waiting around to be discovered is never an option for us. We’re releasing this film in a way that, as you hear of it, you’ll be able to watch it and share it freely with as little resistance as possible.
Our financial target is $1,000,000. While anything’s possible, our core intent isn’t to make the million dollars—all we want is the opportunity to show our film to as many people as we can. Our research has indicated that we are the first to use a crowdfunding platform to distribute a film directly to an audience online.