Kevin Smith has made comments on Twitter and other venues that fans have approached him to fund his film Red State, a horror film. Smith’s Cop Out should be hitting theaters soon and is his first major studio picture. Hard to comprehend since his films have been well publicised over the years. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see him getting sick of the major studios after one picture. Having fans fund a project has its pros and cons, but this may be a great idea for scripts that tend to have less interest from studios.
The progressive rock band Marillion asked fans to pre-order what would be their 2001 album Anoraknophobia prior to a single note being written. 12,500 fans bit, allowing the band to write their album, retain rights to their music and enjoy commercial distribution. Marillion’s fanbase has increased ever since.
Allowing fans to own a minute piece of their favorite filmmaker’s films could increase the fanbase and emotional investment. If tens of thousands of fans commit $10, Smith could find himself with a decent budget and near-total control. He’s made several films below the million dollar mark, can’t he do it again? I personally wouldn’t mind shelling out $10 to see a great filmmaker continue un-tethered by the major studio’s grasp. Aren’t most movie tickets ten bucks these days anyway? At least I’d know that my $10 actually went to fund the film and not an executive producer’s coke habit.
Apparently Smith is very much considering it, however he says if this idea does unravel, it funds may be used to produce other projects, not just Red State, a People’s Studio. People can upload their script or project and others can vote for it. The projects with the most votes gets the funds. Once that film gets made and makes money, that money goes back in the pot for more films to be made. “Indie Movement 3.0” as Smith calls it. Sources: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100208/0319478078.shtml