When Zach Braff chose to raise money for his latest film, Wish I was here, he chose Kickstarter – and crowdfunding. Although the ethics of letting such a big name onto Kickstarter were questioned, the platform is adamant that his presence drew others to the platform – and improved others’ chances of getting funding.
According to Kickstarter, Braff’s film (along with a Veronica Mars one around the same time) “brought tens of thousands of new people to Kickstarter. Sixty-three percent of those people had never backed a project before. Thousands of them have since gone on to back other projects, with more than 400 000 USD (300 000 EUR) pledged to 2 200 projects so far. Nearly 40% of that has gone to other film projects.”
One would be hard pressed to compare Kickstarter and FundedByMe’s “classic crowdfunding”. Before Martin Borgs joined the crowdfunding scene, the largest amount raised for a Swedish film was 393 646 SEK (45 000 EUR) and FundedByMe hadn’t seen a project raise more than 260 000 SEK (30 000 EUR).
Borgs made more in the first 2 weeks his latest film project was on FundedByMe, raising 550 000 SEK (65 000 EUR) in total.
Though substantial by Nordic crowdfunding standards, this amount still isn’t enough to cover the film’s entire production cost. Unlike Zach Braff in the US, Borgs is looking for supplementary funding from media houses and TV stations for the film, which he anticipates starting filming in earnest in the Fall this year.
Known for his internationally acclaimed film “Overdose”, about the financial crisis, Borgs’ latest film will be an examination of the waste of tax money in Sweden. He plans to release the film in 2014, a big election year in Sweden.
There is no question that Borgs put in a lot of hard work to get the funding and coverage that he has – and that entrepreneurs choosing to crowdfund in future will look at his success as the benchmark for Nordic reward-based crowdfunding. But FundedByMe’s funders haven’t shown the deep pockets that Kickstarter’s have – something that needs to happen for entrepreneurs and less well-known filmmakers to embrace crowdfunding here.
Will Borgs’ crowdfunding experience change the crowdfunding game in the Nordics? It is entirely likely that Borg’s name alone attracted new people to FundedByMe – one can only hope that some of these people will go on to support other projects too.