Thursday afternoon, people began showing up at the Rusty Nail in the Warehouse District to bid on art and other auction items. The producers and directors of an independent film called The Shotgun Waltz were hoping the fund-raiser would help them pay for the project. But what they really want is for people to donate using the Kickstarter.com website.
“Artists have always had a struggle with funding,” said the film’s writer, producer, and director Ji Un Choi.
Kickstarter.com and similar websites are becoming the tool of choice for people who are looking to raise money for everything from artistic projects to surgical procedures. Some of the websites collect a fee or portion of the money raised. All of them allow donors to feel a real connection to the projects they support.
“There’s so many things that are just good ideas that perhaps you can’t sell it to corporate America,” Choi said.
“With the internet…” added the film’s director of music, Roland Guerin, “…people can get to people.”
Here’s how the online fund-raising separates itself from more traditional techniques of raising cash. Donors receive rewards for their support. Maybe it’s a signed copy of a musician’s CD or even dinner or a fishing trip with film producers. The rewards often vary according to the amount of money donated. But the websites allow for hundreds of people to get involved and each get a piece of the action.
“Whether it’s inviting them to a premier of a movie or giving them a signed CD, they’re getting something,” said another one of the film’s producers, Lexxi Broussard.
The crew of The Shotgun Waltz has just over a week left for its Kickstarter.com campaign. They’re hoping to raise $15,000 and begin filming in the fall.