One of the things I've been working on since the beginning of the "Missing Miranda" Kickstarter Campaign was a blog post about the use of crowdfunding by female filmmakers. We created a variety of press releases with different angles, and being women, one of them was about that. But writing the actual piece, when given the opportunity, proved to be difficult for your favorite personal Bloggy McBloggerston blogger, and so here I am in my own space again.
To research women’s use of crowdfunding to fund narrative feature films is to jump into a pond of awesome. Indeed, my first exposure to feature film crowdfunding was Jocelyn Towne’s project on Kickstarter, “I Am I.” To this day, I haven’t seen a Kickstarter video that I’ve enjoyed more, and they successfully funded at an impressive $111,965.
It’s rather overwhelming, the amount of awesome, and as sat down to write a piece about women and crowdfunding I found myself wondering what else I could possibly say that hasn’t already been said in this fabulous Indiewire post by director Lydia Dean Pilcher: Trumping The Industry with Kickstarter: Women Support Women To Get Movies Made And Seen. Her Kickstarter campaign for “The Sisterhood of Night” just successfully funded at $136,342.
Narrative film projects seeking crowdfunding come in all budgets and genres. Well, all budgets under $150K anyway.
Mosquita y Mari by Aurora Guerrero funded at $82,468.
Strutter by Allison Anders funded at $19,877.
Bread and Butter The Movie by Liz Manashil funded at $36,575.
Suburban Turban by Arun Vir is at $3,159 of $100,001 in a campaign that ends on October 9. (Check this one out; their video is hilarious.)
And I found a variety of narrative feature film projects that obtained funding for various stages of production.
Mickey Michelle by Bob Gilman and Susan Gilman funded at 11,875.
My Best Day by Erin Greenwell funded at $16,794.
Pariah by Dee Rees funded at $11,011.
Nothing Special by Angela Garcia Combs funded at $32,003.
To be honest, compiling this list of female-driven crowdfunding campaigns left me feeling incredibly uncool. So many amazing projects and such great campaigns to review (and re-review) during the middle of my own ambitious Kickstarter campaign for “Missing Miranda.” For new readers, "Missing MIranda" is a fun romantic comedy written by producer/actress Deborah Sanchez. It centers on a waitress with aspirations of becoming a fashion designer and an architect under the thumb of his demanding boss. They meet, connect, lose each other, and through the mysteries of fate, meet again, as they start on the paths they were both meant to travel. It’s a great little film, with a great cast and crew, that would be super fun to shoot. I dream about showcasing east and downtown L.A., where my heart lives, and I want to make a film where the characters and the situations make sense in our modern world. After all, so much has changed, and yet so much about finding yourself in your 20s remains the same. There's a lot of love and a lot to laugh about.
I love “Missing Miranda” so it’s been difficult to watch our campaign struggle to get traction. Our funding goal is $65K, and with 8 days to go, we’re at 1,760 likes, but only $14,806. It’s tricky, $65K. I find myself wishing our goal was in the $30K range, but I couldn’t shoot and finish “Missing Miranda” for that amount, particularly after fees and taxes. The film has a large cast and many locations. And something that would definitely be worse than a Kickstarter campaign that didn’t make its goal, would be making a goal that doesn’t cover the cost of the film and joining the ranks of people who haven’t finished their projects and haven’t delivered their rewards.
That was an unacceptable option to me, so $65K it had to be. For our campaign we shot five character vignette videos so we would have content to release each week. This has been brilliant. It gave the team a chance to work together, and I love how the vignettes came out. And we’ve been giving our backers an exclusive first look at our character vignettes throughout our campaign. You can see all of our videos on the "Missing Miranda" YouTube page. As I write this, our last vignette, "The Proposal", is available to backers-only, and a pledge of $1 or more will get you there! So please support "Missing Miranda" today.
Here's our fouth character vignette, "The Planner" starring Jlynn Johnson:
With 8 days to go, the “Missing Miranda” Kickstarter campaign is still pushing forward. We’ve reached out to companies about product placement. We’ve shot and posted a few new videos, 'Favorite Moments in "Missing Miranda"' and '"Missing Miranda" stars ask "What's Your Favorite Romantic Comedy?"'. And we’re continuing to message every one we know - something that takes an extraordinary longer time than I expected!
We’ve got a great screenplay, a fun project and a solid campaign, and since I’m a filmmaker I’m used to believing in magic. It always happens one way or another.
The amazing thing about crowdfunding is it does give an independent filmmaker of any stripe a funding platform to try that wasn’t there before. A way to take a project out and see if it floats.
It’s a totally fun adventure when it’s not kicking your ass. And the good news is, after you’ve survived the crowdfunding experience, a micro-budget feature production is definitely going to be the easy part. OK, maybe not, but you’ll be there doing it, and I don’t know about you, but for me, any day you get up to make a movie is a good day indeed.
"Missing Miranda" Press Roundup