I've been fascinated by the idea of crowdfunding for a while now, especially since I heard Peter Broderick and Yancey Strickler (of Kickstarter) speak on the subject at LA Film Festival back in June. After all, the idea of pooling together money and resources from family, friends, and the general public makes a lot of sense for indie filmmakers with limited funds to spare.
I hadn't considered crowd-funding back when I set out to produce my first feature, Bad Batch, but now I'm finding myself more and more interested when I hear of crowd-funding success stories and peers who've elected to go this route in order to attain financing.
You can't simply set up a Kickstarter page and expect the money to come pouring in, but the site (and similar sites like Indie Go-Go and ChipIn) is a great tool to rally support around your project. (After that, it's all about creativity to drive people to your crowd-funding site and get them to actually pledge.)
One crowd-funding project that caught my attention is You Won't Be Disappointed, written and (to be) directed by Los Angeles-based actress Lydia Hyslop. Like Bad Batch, it's a comedy/drama that deals with real-life issues and marijuana culture. The premise of You Won't Be Disappointed is catchy, too: The Proposition 19 election for medical marijuana legalization forces an aging hipster/pot dealer to reexamine her life.
I had the chance to catch up with Lydia to ask her a little about the project. I was curious why she chose Kickstarter over other crowd-funding sites like Indie Go-Go that don't have a deadline. (With Kickstarter, if you don't hit your financial goal by your set deadline, you get none of the money.) Lydia said that she loves the "all or nothing" mentality on Kickstarter. She'd researched other projects on the site prior to setting up her own, and she loved the sense of urgency and camaraderie found on Kickstarter. After all, these people need to be helped by X amount of time. Not as much the case with Indie Go-Go.
Lydia's ultimate goal with the film is simply to put her own art out into the world. She has a story to tell and she wants to tell it. The only caveat is that the cost of filmmaking adds up, even if a lot of your closest friends are also filmmakers.
Currently, You Won't Be Disappointed is over a quarter of the way funded on Kickstarter with limited days to go. Check out the trailer below, and if you'd like to help out with the cause, every donation brings Lydia and her crew one step closer to actually getting the movie made. Odds are, you won't be disappointed.
Follow Abe Schwartz on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AbeSchwartz