Ever wanted to get your passion project off the ground but had no idea how to do it? The Amell brothers know how you feel. They had a script they loved, a director they believed in, and could provide their own package. But didn't have the bites. That's why these stars turned to crowd-sourcing.
They knew the audience was there, they just had to speak to them.
The Amells launched an Indiegogo for their movie, Code 8. They had some cool giveaways, shot glasses, mugs, tickets to hang out with them at the premiere...and tee shirts. They also had a professional short film that was slick, explained their premise, and gave us a real taste of the world.
They sought an initial $200,000, but word of mouth and fervor for the project allowed them to end up raising $2.4 million with more than 27,000 backers. Along with backing online, the team toured America and hosted supporter screenings throughout this past spring where they did a red carpet and met with fans.
This drew attention and the film rights were acquired by Vertical Entertainment for theatrical distribution.
The Amells and the movie Director, Jeff Chan, told Deadline:
“We took a grassroots approach to getting this film off the ground and we’re beyond thrilled to unveil it alongside our partners at Vertical. This has been a labor of love for us and the tens of thousands of supporters who have been there since the start of this journey.”
The script was written by Chris Pare. And here's a snippet of the plot from IMDB:
"In a world where people with "special" abilities are living in poverty, Conner Reed (Robbie Amell) is a powerful young man who is struggling to pay for his ailing mother's medical treatment. To earn money, he joins a lucrative criminal world led by Garrett (Stephen Amell), who works for a drug lord (Greg Bryk)."
It's great to see passion projects like this one come together. Especially for the fans and backers who contributed to the project. One of the things about Hollywood is how it tries to predict audiences. What's great about this project is that it's carrying its audience with it.
That helped get attention from Vertical.
Vertical’s Rich Goldberg said:
“Code 8 is a visually immersive and action-packed film that introduces powerful real-world implications to a story revolving around individuals with the super-powered abilities. Like the best science fiction, it manages to entertain while challenging us to ask questions about the world around us and we can’t wait for audiences to experience it.”
We'll be excited to see where this project goes.