Following up on last week's post about Zach Braff following in the footsteps of the Veronica Mars filmmakers, by launching a Kickstarter campaign for his next film, Wish I Was Here.
The goal is set at $2 million, just like the Veronica Mars campaign. And also just like that campaign, Braff has already passed his $2 million goal, and still has 25 days to go in his 30-day campaign. So he's raised $2,180,977 in just 5 days.
I watched this happen over the weekend, along with all the constant mainstream press coverage of the campaign, which only fed the interest in and contributions to it. And one of the things I kept thinking was, imagine if the mainstream press did the same thing for Kickstarter campaigns of projects by filmmakers who aren't already established, or who aren't already known nor have celebrity friends or lots of fans.
I'm not implying that the coverage of the campaign was solely responsible for its success. But I'd argue that it was a huge factor in its success. If Deadline, Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Entertainment Weekly, New York Magazine, Huffington Post, ABC News, Rolling Stone, Yahoo, and so many others, all covered a Kickstarter campaign by an *unknown* filmmaker and did so as steadfastly as they did with the Veronica Mars and Zach Braff campaigns, I'd argue that they could play a major role in seeing that even much smaller films get financing.
It's a numbers game. The more people you reach, the more chances you have to receive contributions, and the more likely your project will be financed. And these major news outlets combined reach tens of millions of people worldwide on a daily basis, many of them being people with money to give (sometimes a lot; Braff's campaign, for example, has received many donations of over $1,000 each). The average filmmaker trying to raise money on Kickstarter or IndieGoGo doesn't reach anywhere near that number of people, nor are they all always reaching people with disposable income or savings. But still many are reaching their goals.
So I suppose my point is that, I can imagine these outlets all selecting even just 3 or 4 projects by *unknowns* each year, spread out on a quarterly basis, and covering them simultaneously, and seeing what happens. Obviously the strength of each project is important. But that can be easily decided on by looking at each pitch, what each filmmaker has done before, etc. Some kind of basic merit-based vetting system.
But I'd like to see the same kind of coverage happen for the struggling *unknown* independent filmmakers, and not only when it's a celebrity or a *known* project. The combined reach and influence of these mainstream media outlets can be difference makers.