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Filmmakers Create a New Platform for Crowdfunding and Streaming Distribution in the Same Place

Photo of Bryce J. Renninger By Bryce J. Renninger | feelingsoblahg.blogspot.com November 30, 2012 at 10:39AM

With the new Seed&Spark, Emily Best and a group of fellow filmmakers want to make it easier for filmmakers to raise money, complete productions quickly, and have control over their distribution.
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'The Black Balloon'

With the new Seed&Spark, Emily Best and a group of fellow filmmakers want to make it easier for filmmakers to raise money, complete productions quickly, and have control over their distribution.

When Emily Best was working with her team on their film "Like the Water," they set up a registry for the things they would need for their production.  This was before, as Best told Indiewire, Kickstarter was a big thing.

When it went live and her team passed it around to their networks, they were surprised that letting people see exactly how the money would be spent -- and exactly how expensive making films is -- led to friends, family and strangers being more likely to buy goods, donate money or (and this was the big surprise) lend goods and services.

With the Seed&Spark platform, filmmakers are able to use one of two services -- a crowdfunding platform and a pay-to-view streaming service.

The crowdfunding platform, in a model that could conceivably be helpful for crowdfunders across the board, allows donors to earmark their donations for particular items or offer up goods and services -- things like vehicles and locations -- to participating filmmakers for rent.  Seed&Spark takes 5% from the crowdfunding cash donations, with no third party payment fees.

The streaming platform provides filmmakers with analytics and allows filmmakers non-exclusivity as long as the film is not available for free viewing anywhere.  Films will be available for purchase at a rate of $.99 for shorts and $2.99 for features.  The platform gives 80% of profits to the filmmakers.

Tomorrow, the site launches with a small set of crowdfunding projects, recruited from an open call, and films available for streaming (including from filmmakers like the Safdie brothers and Ian Olds).

Below are the films that Seed&Spark will launch for streaming on their site tomorrow:

  • "Sound of Small Things," Peter McLarnan (narrative feature, Slamdance 2012)
  • "Percival's Big Night," Will Sullivan (narrative feature)
  • "140," Frank Kelly (crowd-sourced doc feature)
  • "Mana'olana Paddle for Hope," Eve M Cohen (doc feature)
  • "Witches in Exile," Allison Berg (doc feature, 2004, SXSW)
  • "Stumptown," David Lawless (experimental short)
  • "Cafe Regular Cairo," Ritesh Batra (narrative short, Tribeca award winner 2012) 
  • "Tick Tock Time Emporium," Morgan Faust (narrative short)
  • "Bomb," Ian Olds (narrative short with Melissa Leo)
  • "True Colours," Barney Elliot (Atlantic Pictures film, narrative short)
  • "The Black Balloon," Ben Safdie & Josh Safdie (narrative short, won Sundance)

    And below are the platform's first crowdfunding campaigns:

  • "Aliya, Jamal, and the Rat Prince," animated short by GB Hajim (Producer/director) and Dave Pellicciaro (Music supervisor)
  • "DARKCOMEDY," narrative feature by Woodrow Morton (Writer/Director), Jess Magee (Producer), Miranda Levitt (Producer)
  • "Fog City," narrative short by Liam Edward Brady (Writer/Director), Elizabeth A. O’Neal (Producer), William Wohleb (Director of Photography)
  • "Homemade," documentary feature by Jason Maris (Co-director/Cinematographer) and Danielle Bernstein (Co-director/Producer)
  • "The Jingle Dancer," narrative short by Michael Waterhouse (Associate Producer/1st AD, Chris Jones), Daniel Waterhouse (Writer/Director/Producer) and Dean Jacobson (Director of Photography)
  • "Just Another Night," narrative feature by Jason Jude Hill (Producer & Writer) and Daniel Sears (Director & Writer);
  • "Love Land," narrative feature by Josh Tate (Director/Writer), Paul Gleason (Director/Writer), Maritte Go (Producer) and Andrew C. Richey (Producer)
  • "The Master Cleanse," narrative short (comedy), by Daniel Goldberg (Director/Co-writer/Co-producer), Ittai Orr (Co-writer/Co-producer), and Josh Fisher (Director of Photography)
  • "Movement + Location," narrative feature by Alexis Boling (Director/DP/Producer), Bodine Boling (Writer/Producer) and Serena Hedison (Producer)
  • "Prodigals," episodic by Carlton Tanis (Writer/Creator) and Casey Stein (Director of Photographer)
  • "Saigon, CA," narrative feature by Jeong Yeob Kim (Writer/Producer), Mark Tran (Director), and Aya Nakano (Line Producer)
  • "Stories of the Unconscious," experimental short, by Cait Davis (Writer/Director/Producer), Sara Murphy (Producer) and Nick Hendershott (Producer/Stop-Motion Co-Director/Actor)
  • "Suspense," experimental short, by David Hodge (Filmmaker/artist), Hi-Jin Hodge (Filmmaker/artist), Francois Houle (Composer/musician) and The Turning Point Ensemble, Vancouver
  • "Thor's Twin," narrative feature by Dennis Brucks (Writer/Director), Evan Bonifant (Producer) and Tim Ottenstein (Director of Photography)
  • "Trichster," documentary feature by Jillian Corsie (director), Carolyn Maher (line producer), Amanda Giordano (producer), Seun Babalola (director of photography) and Kathleen O’Loughlin (director of photography)

This article is related to: Filmmaker Toolkit: Crowdfunding, Filmmaker Toolkit: Distribution