Anyone who has had the opportunity to finance a decent sized motion picture through pre-sales knows that this is one of the oldest forms of crowdfunding. Essentially the producer takes the property to a domestic distributor who then takes it to a broadcaster, video distributor and exhibitor, and those groups send back info through the chain as to what they think based on past crowd performance the project will do in the monetary performance. The Producer also does this with other countries making each territory a separate sales account and the hope in the end is to have numbers that outweigh the budget of the film.
They then try and get enough of these groups to pre buy the film in advance and at a discount for the right to own parts of specific revenue streams either ongoing or in perpetuity. Essentially the sales groups and middle men who control the territories use knowledge from the crowds spending habits based on stars, directors, genres, and franchises to predicate what the market will take. That was before people got wise to twitter and facebook and went to movies based on what critics had to say in the papers....remember Rex Reed?
Now the film industry is in a bit of a jam as these numbers can no longer be reliable because even though Movie Star Joe did huge numbers in his last film, if his newest film stinks....the fans will know about it before the end of opening night, and the banks and lenders...well they just can't take that risk anymore.
So how do you ensure your audience will go to the film, mitigate risk and still make a film that is not a 25K micro mumblecore epic? Crowdfunding is one option that numerous groups are trying and experimenting with to assist them with funding a project.
CROWDFUNDING definition (as per wikipedia) has taken on many shapes and strategies but it is yet to be seen if anyone will be able to produce a project that is of any size or quality, and that makes more money than it cost.
Having now been involved either directly or indirectly with more than a couple of these projects I think that our group has come up with a solution to the problem. The solution is a hybrid approach to using social media, experts, crowdsourcing, and crowdfunding, and not just allowing the crowd to fund your project but to actively participate in the build out of the project and to earn from their hard work and effort. Why should participants of participatory culture not be rewarded for their time? Time is money and we could all use a bit more money at the moment so we could enjoy our time off!
Having said all this I would like to invite all of you to our BETA launch that is going to occur sometime during the next month. We are only allowing people to preregister (for free) until the beta. At that time the pilot project using our platform will be limited to a set number of users. If you are interested in crowdfunding media projects, or are a producer looking for ways to fund your next project I suggest your register and spread the word of our launch date.
You can register for THE BIRACY PROJECT here
Thanks and good luck with your projects!