Working in film or music can often become more about the profit of your creation than the creation itself, and so many great artists with their ideas and promise fail to get a platform or backing to showcase their art to the greatest audience possible.
So what can those who feel short-changed by the industry that is supposed to support them do?
They can appeal to fans of the their work or enthusiasts of their field to invest as little as a pound, and see the project grow from story board to screen, or from demo tapes to a mastered album.
Investors need not fear however, as the people you back don’t just run off with your money and then make you pay again for the finished product.
No, the amount of money you invest will earn you a reward, from an MP3 download, to a signed copy of their CD if you back a musician, or an exclusive screening of the film or TV show before its release, to the chance of appearing in the project.
People using crowd-funding sites range from unknown musicians and filmmakers looking to get their foot in the door to, already established bands and screenwriters looking to take the power back from big conglomerate record labels and studios.
No stranger to the experience of working with a major film studio and the problems it can bring, actor/writer/director Zach Braff of Scrubs and Garden State fame, took to Kickstarter.com to raise $2 million for his new film ‘Wish I Was Here,’ a target which he exceeded in just 5 five days of announcing his project.
As well as cheers from his large fan base and fellow filmmakers Braff attracted lots of criticism saying that someone in his financial situation could find the money elsewhere rather than taking money from other less-known crowd funded projects.
Criticism, which he justified in this radio interview, arguing that those who backed his project were already fans of his work. The same fans, he argued, who have gone on to back other projects on Kickstarter and generate more fans of the crowd funding initiative.
More than just talking about the idea of crowd-funding and how it works, my blog is about how important it can be for someone who has an idea to do anything entrepreneurial, anything that they think can change the industry they are a part of.
Maybe it’s a good lesson to learn as a journalist, that you can report a piece of news but don’t expect people to keep coming back and absorbing it if there is nothing there for them to get back from it other than the news itself. They want quality news, they want their say and they want their stake in it.