I found out about the new website Seed & Spark from Sundance award winning filmmaker Matt Harrison, who suggested I check it out after I informed him that my work in progress sci-fi movie The Spaceship was currently on hiatus. I was skeptical at first, because I had previously tried all of the other crowd funding platforms and it has never worked out. Kickstarter? Forget it, unless you have a celebrity attached or serious PR people involved, this under connected filmmaker isn’t flying. When I met the founders of the now defunct website Passerby, they went as far as to feature an interview with me on their blog to help promote the funding campaign I launched with them. No dice. Good people but it wasn’t happening. It’s been well over a year and a half since then and they’ve gone under. IndieGoGo helped us out a bit, bringing us just under four thousand dollars to help pay off some of the bills from principal photography. But still, we never even came close to a quarter of what we needed to see the production home.
When I signed up and began plowing through the content on Seed & Spark, I was immediately floored by just how dedicated to the cause these folks are, they truly love indie film. Even their promotional video, which is featured on their main page, choked me up. For the first time, I feel like I found an organization whose mission is the same as mine: to strengthen the independent film community and ensure a future for the few of us that are willing to dedicate our lives to making films. I reached out to them and began working on my campaign, to see if maybe we could try something a little different – if the platform and the audience is influential in the final results. They’ve been incredibly helpful and hands on in the process of building up the campaign before it went live. Their staffers even went as far as to ask me to redo my pitch video – which I LOVED. It’s clear that they know what will work, what won’t and that they truly have my back in this. It is safe to assume that they’ve been this detail oriented with everyone who has submitted a project for funding and I do hope that this aspect of their service doesn’t go away. Treating the filmmaker as your client, in concept, is so unique and important to making these kinds of things work and I’m surprised no other platform has gone as far as these guys have in this regard.
One of the key differences between Seed & Spark and these other funding platforms is their wish list mechanism. To hit home just how dedicated to indie film they are, they allow someone who might have the talent to help out their fellow filmmakers, to do so by “loaning” an item on their wish list. Need a camera for pick ups? No problem, if you can’t raise the money to rent it, someone can choose to “loan it”. The other key element of the service that hits home just how indie these people are is that they only require you to raise 80% of the goal to get a green light. You don’t need to raise 100%. These cats are indie filmmakers themselves and they know that we’re capable of making it work for a little less and that’s a huge part of why I decided to give them a go.
Today we launched the campaign. It’ll run for a month, after which, who knows. Either way, regardless of what happens, this is the first time I’ve been truly and undeniably impressed with any of the crowd funding platforms out there. I’ll follow up at the end of the month with the results. For more info on the campaign, please follow this URL: http://www.seedandspark.com/studio/spaceship