It’s Seed&Spark’s birthday, but filmmakers are the one poised to receive some very big gifts from the film-focused crowdfunding platform with built-in distribution. In celebration of its fifth birthday, Seed&Spark has announced a massive slate of crowdfunding rallies for 2018, bringing hundreds of thousands of dollars in matching loans, grants, and investments from prestige brands and production company partners to the filmmakers using their platform.
“It was just a rag-tag group of filmmakers who launched a rickety little crowdfunding and streaming platform in December of 2012, and we wanted to leverage the tools of the internet age to put the power of independence in the hands of filmmakers everywhere,” says Emily Best, founder and CEO of Seed&Spark, in an official statement. “Our goal was only a small part about raising money, and more about empowering creators to build a direct, lasting, and sustainable connection with their audience — to gather the data they need to make efficient marketing and distribution decisions, and most importantly, to provide them the tools to grow their careers.”
Over the past five years, Seed&Spark has continued to evolve, and Best has made it her business to develop and democratize crowdfunding to better serve those creators who need it most.
“What we saw was that by and large, if you and your audience came from money, it was easy to raise money. If you came from an under-resourced community or one that doesn’t have a lot of experience with online giving, it was harder to raise money,” said Best. “We met the challenge by building the educational tools that would make it possible for any filmmaker, anywhere to build a crowd from which they could raise money, to set reasonable goals, take it step by step, and succeed.”
Today, the Seed&Spark team teaches around 80 live events per year across the country. As a result, the platform has the highest crowdfunding campaign success rate in the world — more than 75% — and a pipeline of diverse creators from all over the country.
As part of the plan, the Duplass Brothers will host the second #HometownHeroes crowdfunding rally in 2018, and Bow and Arrow Entertainment, The Orchard, and premiere file sharing platform WeTransfer will host new rallies. Per Seed&Spark, A crowdfunding rally is a large scale call for crowdfunding campaigns around a certain theme or format, where all the campaigns launch and run for the same time period. During the 2017 #HometownHeroes crowdfunding rally for narrative feature films, the Duplass Brothers put up a $25,000 no interest loan and joined two projects as executive producers.
“The best thing about a crowdfunding rally is that there are no losers. Just by participating, the filmmaking teams raise money and gather audience for their films, proving, in a sense, they don’t really need the prestige partners in the first place,” said Best.
In 2018, the rally will take on many facets, including:
– In mid-January, they’ll launch the #100DaysOfOptimism crowdfunding rally in conjunction with WeTransfer, seeking stories in any format (feature, series, short, doc or narrative) about inspiration, redemption, connection and hope. Participating filmmakers will be eligible for up to $50,000 in grants and hundreds of thousands of dollars in marketing support from WeTransfer.
– During the same time period, Bow and Arrow Entertainment will be distributing $25,000 for short and feature documentaries with a unique lens on their subjects.
– In March, 3311 Productions and The Orchard will join forces to offer $25,000, executive producership and a first look distribution deal to a high concept feature horror film under the theme “Communal Nightmares.”
– In late June, the call for submissions will open for the second #HometownHeroes rally with The Duplass Brothers, which expands this year to include both fiction and nonfiction feature films.
In order to participate, filmmakers must launch crowdfunding campaigns that fit within the parameters and guidelines for each rally during the rally period. More details are available at Seed&Spark’s dedicated rally page, which will be updated regularly throughout 2018.