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Kickstarter-Supported Projects Get Own Film Festival

Aymar Jean Christian July 12, 2010 uncategorized Comments Off on Kickstarter-Supported Projects Get Own Film Festival

Matthew Lessner, director of The Woods, whose post-production efforts were partially funded by Kickstarter. Full post at WSJ.

Two years ago, Matthew Lessner could not have imagined his script for a Lord of the Flies-inspired feature film would take him from the woods of Oregon to a rooftop in Brooklyn, all because of a newfangled website.

Lessner’s film, “The Woods,” financed on credit obtained before the financial crisis, is one of the projects showcased Friday at the Kickstarter Film Festival, in partnership with Rooftop Films. The fest is an offshoot of microfinance site Kickstarter, which helps creative types raise money for their dream projects, whether they be films or world trips, websites or industrial design.

“The Woods” was already shot when Kickstarter premiered, but after the financial crisis froze his credit, Lessner was left with an unedited film. The filmmaker then took to Kickstarter to raise money to finish his first feature.

“It felt sort of validating,” Lessner said of the online response that raised over $10,000. “The bulk of the people participating are people that I’ve never heard of. Suddenly it seemed like there were all these other people who had a stake in the film.”

Film is particularly popular on the site, said Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler, who added that the site allows people to maintain control over their dream projects. “Kickstarter is just a marketplace for creative ideas,” Strickler said. “I think that Kickstarter has proven itself to be a very good springboard for opportunity.”

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About The Author

Aymar Jean Christian is assistant professor of communication at Northwestern University. He writes about media and society for a number of publications. For more information, click the "About" tab at the top of the page.

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