Now, crowdfunding films

The new political wave in the Capital got its finances in place, thanks to the aam aadmi that was pulled in by AAP’s online crowdfunding campaign. But it’s not only politics that drives the commoners to endorse a campaign; innovative ideas, creative concepts, be it in any field, entice them to put their hard-earned money to turn dreams into reality.

Amidst the cacophony of the 100 crore benchmarks set for big productions and blockbuster commercial films, there are a many independent filmmakers working their way to create their dream projects. Metrolife speaks to City-based filmmakers about the dynamics of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing a film.

“When I started the production for After the third bell back in March 2011, I didn’t even know, we were involuntarily crowdsourcing our film,” says Ajay Govind, the director of the film, revealing, “We couldn’t afford to pay, so I shared the concept of my film with people and they kept on joining us, just because they believed in our project.” Citing films such as Onir’s I am and the upcoming  film Chouranga, Ajay says, “Social media has been successfully used as a platform for garnering money and support for interesting projects in Bollywood as well. We are crowdfunding for ATTB at its marketing stage now, because the film has got a nod of approval for a theatrical release in PVRs across the country. But we were caught unprepared for maintaining funds for the costs involved in screening a film after its post production.” ATTB’s crowdfunding campaign started a month ago. The team has managed to accumulate
Rs 1,95000 for a target sum of seven lakhs.

While Ajay was wary of using crowdfunding sites like kickstarter.com or indiegogo.com as they charge 10-20 per cent commission for a project, the 27-year-old Ankur Kapoor is trying all avenues to get support for his project Fusebox. With a passion to make a true sci-fi film for Indians, Ankur is specifically targeting movie buffs of that genre to gain support for his 20 minute short film. “You need to have some material ready- either a trailer, synopsis of the movie or your past work to engage people into a conversation around your current project. Why else would they fund it?,” says the enthusiastic filmmaker. Pegged at Rs 25 lakhs, his project sounds both exciting and expensive for a first-time feature film director, but Ankur says, “We are tapping into an unexplored territory. People who enjoy sci-fi films know that films like
Krrish do not anyway come close to the international standards of sci-fi filmmaking.”
Occupied with his first directorial venture Diary Of an Overly Reactive Middle Aged Teenager, Prashant Sehgal expresses, “Crowdfunding is like booking for advance ticket and if you believe in a project, then you must put in your
resources.” He adds, “If you put in more money, you can even end up having your name cast in the closing credits as a producer. And that  sure is an interesting proposition.”

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