Crowdfunding has become a staple of independent filmmaking, but the best you can usually expect from your investment is a cool prize. A new horror anthology is offering its contributors something more: A potential return on investment.
In the proposed film, eight seasoned filmmakers from all over the world will make short films based on ancient horror myths from their home countries. The results will be put into a single feature called The Field Guide to Evil, to be produced by Drafthouse Films.
“I am incredibly excited to be launching the first equity crowdfunded feature in the states,” Alamo Drafthouse CEO/Founder and The Field Guide to Evil producer Tim League said in a news release. “This platform has the potential to revolutionise independent film financing and help visionary storytellers realise their dream projects.”
The process is being facilitated by a collaboration between Indiegogo and MicroVentures called First Democracy VC, and here’s how it works.
Once the film has made everything it’s going to make, the filmmakers and producers calculate the adjusted gross proceeds. That’s the film’s profit, after all expenses are reimbursed and main principals compensated. Whatever remains is divided based on the percentage of the raised funds and distributed up to 115 per cent each, max. If everyone gets reimbursed 115 per cent and there’s still money left over, that amount is split in half. Half goes to the producer and the second half is, again, split by percentage between the people who contributed. This return has no limit.
So let’s really dumb this down to the bare basics. Imagine everyone invested $1 into a $100 budget and the film makes $400. That’s a $300 profit. That $300 is then split evenly to the 100 people but only up to 115 per cent of their original investment. In this rudimentary example, everyone gets $1.15, which leaves $185 left. That gets split so the producer gets $92.50 and everyone else gets $0.925. On your $1 investment, and a gross four times that of the budget, you made $2.08.
Of course, that’s pretending gross is pure profit. Don’t forget there are a million other expenses when it comes to a feature film, but you should get the idea. Basically, the more money you invest, the more money you can make, depending on how much money the film makes.
The proposed budget for The Field Guide to Evil is $US482,000 ($639,397), which seems like a pretty easy number to gross once you factor in theatrical, on-demand and home video. However, the site also stresses that you aren’t guaranteed to get a return on investment. To entice you beyond that, there are plenty of traditional guaranteed perks but, to actually make money, the movie has to make money. With the roster League and co-producer Ant Timpson have recruited, it has every chance to do just that. The filmmakers are as follows:
- Veronika Franz & Severin Fiala from Austria (Goodnight Mummy)
- Katrin Gebbe from Germany (Nothing Bad Can Happen)
- Yannis Veslemes from Greece (Norway)
- Ashim Ahluwalia from India (Miss Lovely)
- Agnieszka Smoczynska from Poland (The Lure)
- Can Evrenol from Turkey (Baskin)
- Calvin Reeder from the US (The Rambler)
Here’s the pitch reel with a few more details.
To donate, and for a ton of additional information, visit this page.