It was at the 2011 edition of the Hot Docs film festival that I first took an interest in crowd funding. As someone who was interested in making docs and telling my own stories, I had been looking into this method of fund raising but was having trouble figuring it out on my own. While I had been a contributor to a few campaigns, I didn’t have a clue where to start when it came to funding a project of my own. Then, I went to a screening, and things changed.
After seeing You’ve Been Trumped one evening, I noticed that the director had thanked his Indiegogo supporters in the credits. I waited around after the Q & A session and approached the director of the film, Anthony Baxter. He was very generous with his time and he filled me in on some of the details of running a successful campaign over the next ten minutes that helped me immensely.
It was using that knowledge and more that I had gained over the next couple years that I ended helping run a successful campaign a few years later for the documentary Murphy’s Law. Together with the filmmaker and my partner, Rebecca, we ran a campaign that managed to successfully raise the funds we needed.
We did a lot of things right on that campaign and we learned as we went along that there were other skills and tricks that we could have done that would’ve possibly made the campaign even more successful. Now, armed with experience and knowledge, Rebecca and I started to discuss the possibility of offering our services to other creative folks, be they filmmakers wanting to raise funds for their films or visual artists wanting to raise funds for a gallery opening, we thought we could help do some of the heavy work involved with these campaigns, allowing the artists to focus on their art.
This idea germinated for a while when, one afternoon I was describing it to my sister and realized she would be a valuable asset to our team. She had spent a couple years working for a grant writing company and knows not only grant writing but the delicate art of networking as well. Together the three of us got to work and came up with this small business idea.
What we most want to achieve through this venture is to help artists tackle this sometimes daunting task of running a crowd funding campaign, making it easier for them to get their art in front of the audiences that they want to reach. We hope that working together with creatives like ourselves, we can continue to grow as artists while contributing to the growth of the artistic communities around us.
I found a quote that I think fits what we are trying to do. It comes from John F. Kennedy:
If art is to nourish the roots of our culture,
society must set the artist free to
follow their vision wherever it takes them.
We want to set the artists free to follow their vision while we do all of the things we can to run a successful campaign on their behalf.