The emerging trend in entertainment: Crowdfunding.

Look at Scrubs star Zach Braff who, after appealing to his fans to support his indie film “Wish I Was Here,” raised more than $2 million in less than 30 days on crowdfunding site Kickstarter.

When its TV network canceled the show “Veronica Mars,” creator Rob Thomas wrote a film script to continue the series. Warner Bros. passed on the project—so Thomas and star Kristen Bell took to crowdfunding and raised $5.7 million in 30 days.
Crowdfunding in Entertainment

Online crowdfunding can be traced back to 1997, when UK band Marillion asked fans to donate $60,000 for its US tour over the internet—in effect pioneering crowdfunding.

Picture Courtesy of Kickstarter

Picture Courtesy of Kickstarter

“Wish I Was Here” Wins

The passionate support of Zach Braff’s fans is what actually enabled him to raise the bar, getting about $8 million in additional funding, not just domestically but also from international sources like Cannes financiers. Although the inclusion of international investors brought criticisms from his fans, Braff explained that the funds they brought will enable him to fulfill his plans for the movie.

While Braff is engaging and funny on his Kickstarter video campaign, he gets serious with one of his posts on his Kickstarter page.

“I’m sorry for the hoopla,” he wrote. “I’m sorry if your friends think you’ve been duped. But you haven’t been. This is real. Crowdsourcing films is here to stay.”

Victory for “Veronica Mars”

Picture Courtesy of Kickstarter

Picture Courtesy of Kickstarter

The Veronica Mars Movie Project ran from March 13 to April 12, 2013, with a goal of $2 million. It was such a smashing success that it set Kickstarter records for:

All-time highest-funded project in the film category.

Fastest project to reach its goal ($2 million in 12 hours)

All-time highest number of backers (91,585, who raised $5,702,153).

Success for “Silver Linings Playbook”

Silver Linings Playbook, released in 2012, was also financed through crowdfunding—and proved to be both a critical and commercial success. It received nominations from the Academy and Golden Globe Awards, among others, and star Jennifer Lawrence won Best Actress. It was also a blockbuster hit, taking in more than $235 million—11 times its budget.

Picture Courtesy of Digital Spy

Picture Courtesy of Digital Spy

No Guarantees

Not every crowdfunding project is a winner, though, as former Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Melissa Joan Hart, found out the hard way last week. After asking her fans to “help prove to people that I’m more than just Clarissa or Sabrina,” she had to cancel her month-old Kickstarter campaign to raise $2 million when she came up $1.95 million short.

The Future of Crowdfunding

The power of the fan base has never been tapped with “the ask,” as musician Amanda Palmer succinctly notes in her Ted talks. So on April 30, 2012, she launched a campaign on Kickstarter where fans can download her music for as little as $1. In a month, she raised $1.1 million from 24,000 backers.

Crowdfunding is just that: It’s extending the ask, subtly or not so subtly, and having fans respond. It’s all done online; the asking is free, and the reach is global. The sites take their cut (5%-15%) only after you get your money.

Where historically fans have only been asked to buy a ticket for a show, now they can play a creative role themselves, financing and marketing the films and the stars they believe in. This is the ask at work, empowering your fan base.

But you must build a very strong connection with your fans (like Braff did), or your ask will not be noted (like what happened to Hart).

Producers and directors this year will be resurrecting failed TV shows for the large screen, and crowdfunding is one powerful tool when you need to ask for help. And best of all, you don’t have to give up one single share of stock or profit.

What do you think your “ask” could be, or should be?

About the Author:

David Drake is an early-stage equity expert and the founder and chairman of LDJ Capital, a New York City private equity firm, and The Soho Loft, a global event-driven financial media company helping firms and funds advertise for investors. He is running the Real Estate Investing and Leading Crowdfunding Conference in NYC on Nov 14, 2013. Listen to him speak together with Keynotes Dennis Irvin of Rockefeller Group and Barry Sternlicht of Starwood Capital. Check out: https://thesoholoft-real-estate-investing-newyork.eventbrite.com/. You can reach him directly at David@LDJCapital.com

HEADLINE NEWS

LivemintFinding the right balance on crowdfundingLivemintSecurities market regulator Sebi (Securities and Exchange Board of India) has been trying to get a handle on digital platform-based crowdfunding since at least 2014, when it issued a cautiously positive consultation paper. It fl [...]

U.S. News & World ReportNo Cash for Hate, Say Mainstream Crowdfunding FirmsU.S. News & World ReportThe block on mainstream crowdfunding is just the latest blow to far-right activists operating online. In the last 24 hours, neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer had its domain regi [...]

FortuneUncensored Social Network Gab Raises $1 Million in Crowdfunding CampaignFortuneA crowdfunding campaign for Gab, a Twitter-like social network that touts its commitment to freedom of speech, surpassed $1 million yesterday. The company claims it is politically neutral and committ [...]

Baltimore SunHarford still opposes crowdfunding sites for school donationsBaltimore SunRaising money through online crowdfunding sites is an ideal way for teachers to find the funds to purchase classroom materials and should be restored, the head of the Harford County teachers' u [...]

Crain's Cleveland Business'Smaller' gifts can go long way for Clinic's crowdfunding platformCrain's Cleveland BusinessFor an institution accustomed to securing multimillion-dollar donations, Cleveland Clinic's latest fundraising effort has some relatively [...]

The Northern Daily LeaderThe perks and pitfalls of crowdfundingThe Northern Daily LeaderWith a few clicks, would-be entrepreneurs, artists and charities can launch a project and start crowdfunding. All they need to do is nominate a dollar goal to raise within a certain time, and list [...]

League: Warriors legend Monty Betham drops crowdfunding bidNew Zealand HeraldFormer Warriors Monty Betham has pulled the pin on his quest to launch a crowdfunding campaign to buy the Warriors. With Warriors owner Eric Watson locked in negotiations to sell, Betham made a plea to league [...]

ForbesWhat Works In Equity Crowdfunding -- Insights From ResearchForbesAs we have recently celebrated the fourth anniversary of the signing of the JOBS Act into law, it is a good time to take stock of the effect that the legislature had on equity crowdfunding in the United States. It [...]

GeekZing Smart Light Passes Crowdfunding Goal With Flying Colors ...GeekAt age 31, I still prefer to keep a light on in the hallway, illuminating my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. (God forbid I step on the creeping cat—or ...and more » [...]

Censorship in Crowdfunding Services and How Bitcoin Could HelpInside BitcoinsThis once again highlighted the need for crowdfunding and community support for independent projects to remain afloat, but this time it was more serious. With YouTube throttling advertising revenue to creator [...]

CFB Finance

Marketwired

  • Crowdfunding
  • Crowdfund
  • Peer to Peer Lending
  • FinTech
  • Reg A+
  • Reg CF
  • Crowdfunding USA

Press Release

Live Crowdfunding .tv

What's Next Step in Regulation A+ JOBS ACTS Title IIII :L Interview : Steve Cinelli with Brian Korn Securities and Crowdfunding/Peer-to-Peer Lending Lawyer, Watch more video library | Conference | Interview | Campaign Showcase | Research | Education |