You can now add Katherine Heigl to the list of celebrities turning to crowdfunding to raise money for their projects, but first note that this situation is a bit different than Zach Braff and Spike Lee going on Kickstarter to finance their projects.
For one, Katherine Heigl is the star of the film, not a writer-director-producer, so she’s not really the one raising the money here (although she’s tweeted about the project and is doing her part to help). Secondly, the film, “Jenny’s Wedding” has already been shot — unlike Braff and Lee who were looking for funds to make their projects. In this case, the producers are looking to raise $150,000 in post-production funds on IndieGogo (which also means that, unlike on Kickstarter, they can keep any money raised even if they don’t meet their goal).
The film stars Heigl as Jenny Farrell, a gay woman who wants to marry the woman she loves. The only problem is that her conventional family thought she was Jenny’s roommate. The film also features Academy Award nominated actor Tom Wilkinson, Alexis Bledel and up-and-comer Grace Gummer.
Last November, MM Productions completed principal photography on the film and they are currently in post production — which is where crowd funding comes in.
“The money we raise will allow us to elevate our post-production to the highest level. We shot a beautiful movie. We’d like to keep post-production to that same standard. Many wonderful indie movies disappear because the quality of work in post-production fails them,” reads the IndieGogo page. The money raised will go towards post-production costs such as editing, color correction, ADR, sound mixing, etc., hiring a music supervisor and licensing music, hiring a composer and film festival expenses.
What’s also interesting here is that, as the page points out, “this film is the kind of movie the studios used to make all the time.” In fact, the film’s director and producer are industry veterans behind some hugely successful women-centered Hollywood films.
“Jenny’s Wedding” writer-director Mary Agnes Donoghue previously wrote “Beaches” and “White Oleander.” Producer Michelle Manning produced 80s teen classics like “Sixteen Candles” and “The Breakfast Club” before joining Paramount Pictures as senior vice president of production, and she later became the studio’s president of production. As executive President of Features Casting at Paramount Pictures, Gail Levin personally cast films such as “Almost Famous,” “Jerry Maguire” and “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.”
In other words, these are experienced film industry insiders. So why are they on IndieGogo?
The filmmakers answer that question on their IndieGogo page:
“Our budget was very small in comparison to most films. For us, it mainly comes down to post production, ADR sessions, color correction, editing, and most importantly, music. Depending on how much money we raise over our goal, we might be able to license big, recognizable songs we normally would not have been able to afford. Music is in integral part of making the best possible movie.”
Check out the campaign video below: