SPAA 2012: Can crowdfunding work?

14 November, 2012 by Emily Blatchford

The effectiveness of crowdfunding as a way to source revenue for projects came under debate at the 2012 SPAA conference.

In panel titled “Fattening the Cow; Morsel by Morsel”, producer Cathy Overett of Cathartic Pictures spoke of her own success using the method for international feature Iron Sky.


Iron Sky ended up being a $10 million film and we raised $1.2 million through crowdfunding and crowd investing,” she said.

The method has become increasingly popular since the success of Australia’s first crowdfunding platform, Pozible, which has seen creative entrepreneurs raise more than $5 million.

One of those was producer Angie Fielder of Aquarius Films, who was able to raise $75,000 in six weeks for the upcoming feature The Second Coming.

Both producers listed different factors as key to their success.

For Overett, a pre-existing fan base was an incremental factor in the process, while Fielder said a genre hook enabled her to connect to potential fans online.

“I guess we pretty quickly realised the film is a genre film. It’s an apocalyptic film noir and we realised that whole genre hook was something really good we could use for the whole online connection,” she said.

However, as a relatively new process, the longevity of crowdfunding as a revenue sourcing method is unknown.

It is also unlikely to generate enough finance to fund an entire feature film, forcing filmmakers to seek finance via more traditional methods.

Pozible head of marketing and communications, Anna Whitelaw, said a popular way to approach crowdfunding is to campaign for particular aspects of the project.

“A lot of people do crowdfunding for exactly that … [they say] we need to buy the rights to the music, or we need this much money to do the marketing and distribution.”