Young filmmakers use crowdfunding sites to fund dreams

Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Young filmmakers use crowdfunding sites to fund dreams
Sandy Kenyon reports on young people using crowdfunding sites to help showcase their work.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- They have names like GoFundMe, IindieGoGo and Kickstarter, crowdfunding websites that allow anyone anywhere in the world to raise cash for a variety of worthy causes.

Here in New York City, young people just out of college are using such sites to fund short films to showcase their work.

Not content to wait for their big breaks to come along, a new generation of filmmakers is using social media and crowdfunding to turn their dreams into reality and jump start careers.

Just a few years out of college, a group of young filmmakers are hard at work in Crown Heights on a movie called "Magnetic Deviation" about two friends facing their last days of employment at a warehouse.

"I was tired of working on stuff and putting a bunch of energy into something, shooting for weeks, and then it doesn't get released for funding issues," writer/actor Daniel Kirby said. "Or something happened on set and it didn't get finished."

Coming together outside of a professional atmosphere means everyone involved is enthusiastic about the production.

"One of the greatest parts about it is how excited everyone is for the work that you're doing," actor Trevor Mulchay said. "They see a project. They're excited about it. They want to do it. I mean, that's why I'm here."

And even though it requires requesting funds online and through social media, it also allows those who donate to feel like they're a part of the project.

"We funded it through Kickstarter, which is a crowdfunding platform," producer Sarah Boneysteele said. "You reach out to your friends, family, hope that it gets beyond that circle. And they can contribute money, and they'll get a reward. Either a blu-ray of the film, they'll get a signed poster, they'll get a signed script for whatever level they're contributing at."

What's more, it helps create a buzz.

"Already, we have a bunch of people who know about the film, want to see the film," Boneysteele said. "They've already contributed to the film, so they feel a part of that film."

It also helps those involved build a body of work, which can help with future endeavors.

"Doing a film like this, it's sort of our visual resume," Boneysteele said. "It shows that not only have we done stuff like this before, but that we can do it in the future."

And for all those involved, there's a feeling of accomplishment that wouldn't come with the grind of finding work the old-fashioned way.

"Just even being on a set like this, working with, I mean, everyone here is pretty young, but such professional people," Mulchay said. "I'm able to look at it and point to something, like, that's some work that I did. That's some work that I'm proud of."

And he's glad the producer is a woman. Boneysteele fell in love with film at the Thacher School in Southern Californiak, and she is part of a push to get more women behind the camera. Her hope is that if more women learn their craft this way, it will lead to more female filmmakers in Hollywood.


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