So far, Kickstarter has been successful for one main reason: It lets people participate in the creation of the things they want to see get made. And lots of these things, it seems, have been films.
Kickstarter users have to date contributed over $100 million to film-related projects, Kickstarter announced today. More than 800,000 people have funded a total of 8,567 film projects, including shorts, webseries, and animated features.
The bulk of that support has gone to documentary projects, which have raised $42.6 million since 2009. Many of these Kickstarted films have even gone on to net theatrical releases, Oscar nominations, and a variety of other high-profile awards.
While all of this is great for the filmmakers and the people who supported them, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves: This is great for Kickstarter’s bottom line, too. After all, the more projects that are completed, the more cash that goes to Kickstarter, which collects a 5 percent fee from completed campaigns.
Cynical financial observations aside, it’s tough not to feel as if there really is something special about what Kickstarter is doing for the filmmaking process. Rather than let Hollywood dictate what sorts of films people want to see, Kickstarter lets people decide for themselves. And that’s a powerful proposition.
While a Kickstarted film may never raise quite as much money as what it costs to make the average blockbuster, the Kickstarter model continues to be a unique and exciting alternative to the norm. And I can only hope these numbers continue to climb.