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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Founder of SoKap, crowdsourcing and crowdfunding go to guy, indie filmmaker, father, mustard maker, meat lover, pseudo vegetarian, devout humanist and overall good moralist.

Jun 8, 2009

crowdfunding and performance based revenues

There has been a lot of discussion about how stars make their money these days with budgets shrinking and distributors not making good on their contracts. It's becoming very difficult to present investors with bankable investment vehicles as stars are not as reliable as they once were. In fact,  James Ulmer who is the inventor of the Ulmer Scale is now stating that there are only 2 AA rated actors on the planet. Those actors are Will Smith and Johnny Depp.  

Added to this Cantor Fitzgerald is about to launch their box office futures trading program where investors can go long and short on the predicted outcome of the first 4 weeks of a films release. Put into the wrong hands a really great film has the chance of being negatively publicized to the extent that it best suits the trader for the film NOT to break even.  

The studios don't want to fund films anymore and become simply a work for hire to leverage their sell thru market and there are basically no guarantees anywhere. So how do you fund a film, get it seen and make a bit of profit these days?

One thing that the stars have at their avail today is the ability build an audience prior to the film's release. This to my knowledge has never been applied to a funding mechanism. What if the fans of a known or relatively unknown actor were to get behind the project in a crowdfunding application and allow the crowd to dictate who and how much that actor should make for being in the film up front?  After all, one of the largest and most contentious issues with the system today is how much they make up front. They are performers after all...should they not base their income on the outcome of the performance? 

Over at The Biracy Project, a soon to be launched platform for crowdfunding, crowdsourcing and fractional ownership of media, they (myself included as I am one of them) believe that above the line fees should be capped and dictated by the audience prior to production. We also believe that this may ruffle a few feathers amongst agencies and actors alike; however, there has never been a more appropriate time to do this as we have never seen more money evaporate than in the last 24 months. 

As we move forward with the Beta of The Biracy Project we encourage producers, fans and actors to engage with us as we show you how this will be a model for sustainability in the future, without compromising artistic integrity, and offering a solution to those who enjoy investing in creative industries.

You can preregister at www.biracy.com.


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