Haunting of Cellblock 11: Success with Crowdfunding
Screenwriter Andrew P. Jones appeared on Archer Paranormal Radio and discussed his horror movie, Haunting of Cellblock 11. If you haven’t screened it yet, do! Great script, fabulous actors, and beautiful location. All for a fraction—deep fraction—of a major Hollywood film. Jones produced the movie on a micro-budget and utilized crowdfunding.
A studio-backed major Hollywood movie costs roughly $139 million to produce. That’s 1-3-9-MILLION. The odds of your script making it to the big screen are nil. Independent filmmakers are creatively funding their projects. For some genres, the reward is huge.
Horror movies consist of 4% of the overall motion picture market share. However, they are the second most profitable genre. Documentary films are statistically the most profitable, but they are also the cheapest films to produce. The average documentary costs $2.6 million, and most are made far below that figure. So, for major genres, horror movies are the best genre. I’m not surprised. There are loads of statistics on why we love horror movies. But that’s another blog.
Back to Jones. He was able to raise enough money and create a production schedule based on a very small production budget. That’s encouraging to all the other independent filmmakers out there. Inevitably, Jones turned to crowdfunding to raise some of the money.
Crowdfunding started in 2007. In 2012, $2.7 billion dollars was raised through crowdfunding (www.gogetfunding.com). Films/Performing Arts comprise nearly 12% of the money raised in campaigns. For a small contribution, movie fans can buy in on a film. Although the most successful campaigns attempt to raise a few thousand dollars, with $7,000 the best target, some independent films have been able to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars. According to Fundable.com, the average campaign lasts 9 weeks, 24-35 years olds are more likely to contribute, and males donate more than females. Thirty percent of the total is raised within the first week. The critical factor driving success is social media outlets. The more people who see the post, blog, tweet, the more money contributed. Important. Re-read that one again. In order for a crowdfunding campaign to succeed, the campaign has to utilize as many social media outlets as possible.
Independent filmmakers like Andrew don’t need the blessing of major studios to produce horror movies. Instead, Jones and others can work with micro-budgets and establish crowdfunding campaigns inviting horror movie fans to own a piece of the film. I like that. Less Hollywood control equates to less formulaic movies and more people entering the industry. Shoot. I may even buy a piece myself.