Thursday, 25 March 2010

Crowd Funding

For those of you in the film industry, you're probably already well aware of a method of film funding that is becoming ever more popular within the independent film sector called crowd-funding.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the term, let us explain: The premise of crowd-funding for independent film stems from the charity sector – it involves aggregating donations, investments and memberships from supporters of a cause, or now, a “creative cause”. The advent of the web has made reaching out to various communities easier and the continued advancement in technology via social networking sites and online communities means that filmmakers like us can spread the word about our film that we believe so passionately in.

Prisms of Light is our creative cause. We're striving to make a documentary that will promote religious tolerance and celebrate all spiritual diversity. We've worked for nearly a year to get the film into pre-production, without any financial support. But our unshakable belief in our project coupled with the emotional support and positive reaction to our promo from film industry professionals and individuals from various religious backgrounds has helped sustain us to this point.

But unfortunately, films don't get made from this alone. Films need money. Films need financial backing.

After suffering a series of knock-backs from commissioners, we are still determined to see this project come into fruition. It's such a worthy cause that could (and will!) touch a massive audience and its messages can resonate with individuals from all corners of the globe.

So, that's when we thought, "Hey! Let's see if we can get supporters in our cause to help us finance the film!"

What better way to get this documentary made than getting the very people we know will be interested in seeing it and asking them to help us make it?

And we know this method works and that it's possible to fund this film through crowd-funding and through believers in our cause. An astounding example of this in the recent cinematic world is UK documentary filmmaker Franny Armstrong’s The Age Of Stupid. The 2008 film, which stars Pete Postlethwaite and addresses the climate change issue, raised more than £450,000 ($815,000) over four years by selling ‘shares’ to 209 individuals and groups. The film was released in the UK in 2009 and generated a massive buzz in the film world and national press and went on to win a slew of awards.

Even politicians are no strangers to this method and have used it to their advantage too –Barack Obama raised a staggering $233 million for his presidential campaign through small donations of $200 or less.

So far, we have raised over £6,000 of the £30,000 we need for production in a matter of weeks. And for this we are incredibly grateful. It will help get our crew out to India (they're getting ready for the trip now!) and it means we're there to shoot in time for Kumbha Mela. But, this isn't enough to last forever so we'll continue gaining alliances and forging relationships with organizations and individuals who support our cause.

If you're interested in supporting us, you can donate on this page. Even spreading the word about our film is a big help.

Thanks everyone!

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