The Kickstarter Blog

Kickstarter and Film

It's Film Week on the Kickstarter Blog! All week we’ll be examining Kickstarter’s relationship to film through a variety of perspectives, including a number of the most successful films in Kickstarter history. There will be essays, interviews, surveys, videos, and much more. Check back throughout the week!

Over Kickstarter's first two years, film has been the dominant category on the site, accounting for more than $25 million of the $70 million pledged. More than 250,000 people have backed a film on Kickstarter, and there have been nearly 3,000 successfully funded film projects so far. There have already been more than 1,000 funded this year alone.

In Hollywood $25 million may not be a lot of money (that's low budget in some corners) but for filmmakers using Kickstarter it's been life-changing. Even before Kickstarter, to be a filmmaker meant to be a perpetual fundraiser, whether it was applying for grants or wining and dining some acquaintance's rich uncle for a big check (and hoping that he didn't ask that his lovely, non-acting daughter get the lead role in return).

Kickstarter has not replaced that experience, but it has made it public. This is important. While a similar level of energy is going into the fundraising process, with Kickstarter that experience simultaneously builds an audience, seeds an idea into the public consciousness, and markets a project from its inception. This can shift fundraising from a necessary evil to a tremendous opportunity.

We've seen a number of projects take advantage of that in a very big way. Five Kickstarter-funded films premiered at this past year's Sundance Film Festival (Pariah, Resurrect Dead, The Strange Ones, The Woods, and The Catechism Cataclysm), a dozen have seen theatrical release (more on that later), and one (Sun Come Up) was nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject at this past year's Oscars. 

It was the quality of the work itself that earned those plaudits, of course, but the Kickstarter process provided each with a unique narrative element. We got to know who was making these films, how they got there, and what was driving them. These are the things that we as audiences want to know, and that studios normally try to answer with expensive marketing campaigns and hype barrages that have little to say about the work itself.

The 250,000 people who have backed a film project on Kickstarter now have deep relationships with those films, and it wasn't because a studio executive gave a green light. Instead, they saw and responded to all the things that made us fall in love with film in the first place: good stories, honestly told, and with a happy ending for the filmmaker and their backers. Those are the sequels we're happy to see.

Comments

    1. Missing_small

      Creator Pharaoh Kingsley on June 27, 2011

      AWESOME!!!!

    2. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Marc Smolowitz on June 27, 2011

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    3. Jenny.small

      Creator Jenny Feterovich on June 27, 2011

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    4. Business-headshot-web.small

      Creator Kevin Tostado on June 27, 2011

      We could have released our film in New York theaters without the money we raised on our Kickstarter campaign.
      Kevin Tostado
      Producer/Director, "Under the Boardwalk: The MONOPOLY Story"
      http://kck.st/ebcqSm

    5. Business-headshot-web.small

      Creator Kevin Tostado on June 27, 2011

      Darn it, I mean't couldn't. NOT could.

    6. Dsc_1251.small

      Creator Alexandra Sicotte-Levesque on June 27, 2011

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    7. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Jeri Rafter on June 27, 2011

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    8. Ygs.small

      Creator Yancey Strickler on June 27, 2011

      Hey everyone -- Comments need to be relavant to the post itself. Please do not just drop links to your project in the comments. Those posts will be deleted. Thanks!

      Yancey

    9. Fk%20smiley%20head.small

      Creator Frank Kelly on June 27, 2011

      Very Cool! Looking forward to this! I've had two films partially funded through Kickstarter 140, and now Derelict! So it's been huge for me.

    10. Tim%20holloway.small

      Creator Timothy Holloway on June 27, 2011

      This is awesome! It gives indie filmmakers like myself hope for our projects. Kickstarter RULES!

    11. Stewartfalls.small

      Creator amy mcgee on June 27, 2011

      Love it! Many congratulations to all of the @Sundance Alumni making movies using Kickstarter! I can't wait to see the films come to fruition...!

    12. Img_4013.small

      Creator Strider Moore on June 28, 2011

      this is super kewl!! :) Kickstarter i think is one of the best ways to fund film projects for independent film makers . Keep up the good work

    13. Picture%207.small

      Creator tranvia films on June 28, 2011

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    14. Moon.small

      Creator Moon Molson on June 29, 2011

      The short film CRAZY BEATS STRONG EVERY TIME also premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Thanks for noticing, Kickstarter. :P

    15. Para2%20pic.small

      Creator shafeeq muhammad on June 30, 2011

      Only time will tell but Im getting a little Buzz on my facebook
      Thanks kickstarter!

    16. Missing_small

      Creator lble77 (deleted) on July 29, 2011

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    17. Missing_small

      Creator lblf12 (deleted) on July 30, 2011

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    18. Missing_small

      Creator lflb26 (deleted) on July 31, 2011

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    19. Missing_small

      Creator lblf66 (deleted) on August 1, 2011

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    20. Missing_small

      Creator llf48 (deleted) on August 1, 2011

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    21. Missing_small

      Creator lflb68 (deleted) on August 2, 2011

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    22. Missing_small

      Creator lflb88 (deleted) on August 2, 2011

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    23. Missing_small

      Creator llb48 (deleted) on August 3, 2011

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    24. Missing_small

      Creator lflb43 (deleted) on August 3, 2011

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    25. Missing_small

      Creator llf42 (deleted) on August 4, 2011

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    26. Missing_small

      Creator lflb90 (deleted) on August 4, 2011

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    27. Missing_small

      Creator lflb81 on August 5, 2011

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    28. Missing_small

      Creator lflb85 (deleted) on August 11, 2011

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    29. Missing_small

      Creator lelb40 (deleted) on August 12, 2011

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    30. Missing_small

      Creator lelb53 (deleted) on August 12, 2011

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    31. Missing_small

      Creator business partners on August 19, 2011

      There is always going to be two periods in the life of every creative person... BK, before Kickstarter. AK...after Kickstarter.

    32. Profile%20pic.small

      Creator Robert F. Stewart on August 26, 2011

      Dear Kickstarter,
      The stats you posted onthis article are indeed impressive. Kudos!! We were fortunate enough to be able to fund our film but that is all we could do - thats the reason we posted our project here and hope to be able to raise the money to make the festival tour. It is very heartening to know that so many film makers have had success here! Keep up the good work!
      RFS