When filmmakers turn to crowdfunding, it’s generally in order to raise money to make their films, but increasingly, established filmmakers are crowdfunding films that already have distributors and need to raise post-production funds.
That’s the case with Robert Greene, who has turned to Seed&Spark to raise $15,000 to pay for music licensing and deliverables for his award-winning documentary “Actress,” which follows actress Brandy Burre (“The Wire”) as she attempts to reclaim her life as an actor after giving up her career to start a family.
Cinema Guild acquired all U.S. distribution rights to the film in June with plans to release the film theatrically on November 7 at Lincoln Center before going national.
The bulk of the funds will go to raising money for the music — in particular, two expensive songs which Greene told Indiewire are “too important to the story and the feel of the film” to cut.
“I’m generally the guy who says ‘don’t put popular songs in your movie’ because you may run into trouble later because yeah, the song rights can be cripplingly expensive,” Greene told Indiewire via e-mail. “My two producers, Douglas Tirola and Susan Bedusa, both believed in the vision of the film that had these two songs and so we fought for them hard. This is the final step of the process of fighting for the film to remain intact.”
While “Actress” marks Greene’s fourth film, it’s his first time crowdfunding for a film. “We simply ran out of other options,” he explained. “We’ve been negotiating for months to get the prices of these songs down. We’ve had some investor interest, but it’s actually too little money for a single investor to get involved because they expect to make their money back (of course) and, even though we have hope for the film to get out there (via our great partners at Cinema Guild), the margins are so thin for documentaries. This is news to no one. Making money isn’t much of an option for theatrical documentaries.”