The power to greenlight even smaller indie budgets has long been in the hands of a precious few. That’s about to change.

When you want to make a movie, you can consider a few options to get it made. If you have access and representation, it might be realistic to consider pitching it to some larger companies. Maybe you can attach a producer, a star, a director. You can also consider the micro-budget route. Many filmmakers have turned to crowdfunding over the years, using platforms such as Kickstarter, for example. 

There is a new name in the crowdfunding game, though, and it allows for an extremely unique method of raising a budget for a film and maintaining a lot of creative control. It very well may be the new best financing option for countless artists and filmmakers. 

What it was like to use the platform Wefunder and why should you chose to use it as the platform and resource for crowdfunding the film.

It’s definitely a different beast than Kickstarter altogether. To me the most obvious answer is it’s the logical evolution of the crowdfunding modality. Many of us have run Kickstarters and it’s great to be able to get support from your community and friends and family and beyond to make our films, but after running a few of them, you kind of do feel like you want to be able to offer something else. Now that it’s legal to be able to offer equity, it just makes sense to me as a logical evolution of crowdfunding.

In many ways, it’s much more like traditional financing for a movie. You have to be able to offer value and make it an attractive investment opportunity for somebody. You really need to have a real viable product that you can push.

How does setting up on Wefunder work? 

This is how setting up on Wefunder work.  So instead of supporting an artist or supporting your friend with a donation and then getting, say, a t-shirt in return, the investor is actually becoming an owner in the company. Each film on Wefunder is its own company, or LLC, or whatever structure you choose for your company. Through Wefunder, every time somebody puts in money to the project, they are becoming a part owner in the project.

 “…[Wefunder] is undeniably the future and the only reason that the film industry hasn’t picked up on it is because they’re a bunch of criminals.” – Jim Cummings

There is no difference between this form of financing movies and any other way you would finance movies. It’s just that now it is open to the public and anybody starting at $100 can become an investor in your company.

Wefunder is relatively new. It has a really simple submission page. It’s very similar to Kickstarter. You have to have at least a moderate understanding of the legal contract. You have to build it yourself, but it is undeniably the future, and the only reason that the film industry hasn’t picked up on it is because they’re a bunch of criminals and they want to own all of your shit. The only way for them to maintain their power in the film industry is to ignore it and to pretend like this type of model doesn’t work. It has only worked for us. I really do think that a platform like Wefunder could help chaperone the future of this budget level independent film for the next decade.

It works for  Any LLC, any project.

Traditionally it’s not used for film. It’s being used more and more for film projects. Ww are speaking of project level in terms of budget, of a roughly $300,000 budget or below for indie film, which has shown it is viable.

 As far as scalability it’s unknown what the scalability is. I think it will be larger next time. Certainly, the next film that we raise money for on Wefunder will be at a higher budget level, now that we know that it can work, but I’m not sure.

I think it’s a similar way to Kickstarter, where we had run seven Kickstarter campaigns through our same account over the last few years, and anytime we launched a new project, it emailed all of our previous backers saying, “Hey, there’s a new project. You can check it out,” and just by creating this channel, you can bring in the same amount of investment you had before while also doing other stuff to bring in larger client pools, larger investor pools.

Wefunder democratizes it. It democratizes film investment, which means that the best idea wins.

What’s happening now in Hollywood is that these giant projects are trying to raise huge amounts of money to then screw over the filmmakers in these contracts where they don’t really have any kind of retirement ability, and with something like Wefunder, you’re able to write the contracts yourselves. You get to become your own company and really have a fair assessment of your worth and your value in a way that’s never been precedented in film. The majority of the time, filmmakers are trying to convince people to give us the slightest bit of money only to get screwed over in every contract. And we don’t own any of the products. This is clearly a better way to do it, and having a living wage while doing it. It’s a really fair and wonderful thing.

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