Monday, July 1, 2013

Kickstarter and crowd funding

I'm finally going to take the plunge into crowd-funding, that curious way as to raise money for a movie. I've talked about this before but now I'm going to actually enter a project and will blog a few times a week to tell you how it's going.

I've talked about crowd-funding before so I'll give you some of the basics; crowd-funding is a source of financing for almost everything. In other words you can ask for money on several websites for your project; movie, music video, documentary, restaurant start-up, computer app development... almost anything that someone would like to start but doesn't have the money.

In my case it's my Ghostkeeper 2 screenplay, I've mentioned this before as well. As a quick update, I did a feature in 1980 called Ghostkeeper; it came and went and was forgotten until around 2005 where British and European fans began to discover it. This led to a screening in Toronto and a distribution deal for a 30th Anniversary DVD which was released in May 2012.

With all this attention, someone suggested I re-do it or at least make a sequel. I didn't want to re-do it, but liked the idea of a sequel. This is what I had; Ghostkeeper takes 3 young people who get lost in winter and end up in an old hotel in the Rocky Mountains. There they find a strange old woman and the presence of something else. Things happen, as they say, someone is killed and survival is not looking good for anyone.

So, for a sequel, I decided on this; what if the actors from the first Ghostkeeper return to the hotel for a reunion. These would be the real actors, except 30 years older. And of course, things begin to happen again.

Simple idea. Easy to sell, I thought. So I wrote the screenplay last year but was not able to finance it in time. So this year, my partner in Alberta and I decided to try one of the crowd-funding websites to finance our movie for $1.8 million. Not a lot of money for studios but an immense amount for us.

There are two main crowd-funding websites; and and they seem to get most of the requests.

Now here's how it works; 

I will put up a page in their website, sort of like Facebook and enter video, photos and any information that I can think of that will entice someone to part with $25 or $10,000. Who gives us the money? Well anyone can donate any amount, a minimum begining $10. The average is around $25.

Two things here; I use the word "donate" because that's what it is. The people who do donate will not get any money back, that is a clause of the Securities Commission. So what do they get?

Well, anything from caps and t-shirts to a DVD copy of the original or DVD's of both movies. A big donation could get a small part in the movie. 

Does it work? Kickstarter says a project can reach it's goal about 35% of the time, not great odds. Recently two "star-driven" projects did very well. A TV show called Veronica Mars was cancelled some years ago but this spring, the cast and producers asked for donations and got over $5 million dollars!

And another actor, Zack Braff from Scrubs also asked for money and he got over $3 million for his movie.

Does this mean we'll get our $1.8 million? The odds aren't in our favor but we gotta try. And so you'll be able to follow us as we attempt to make this movie in November 2013.

Hang in. Here's three of the originals, myself, Murray Ord, actor and Doug MacLeod, production manager in the lobby of the Deer lodge.



  1. I'm just wondering if $1.8 million will be enough to pay me and fly me across the Atlantic!!!
    Best of luck!!