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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

One more Internet film financing site: IndieMaverick

I wrote last March about several attempts to help filmmakers raise money online, none of them very successful yet.

Just before the holidays, a press release went out announcing, a new financing site based in the UK. Here's their explanation:

    Filmmakers provide their script, budget, poster and links to any previous films etc up on the website. Investors search for projects they are interested in, read the scripts, watch the previous films. When they find one they like they invest for as little as $25USD. Once the filmmakers reach their desired budget their monies are released and they go into production on their film. All profits the film makes are split 70 percent (investors) and 30 percent (producers). takes no profit from the sale of the film. Filmmakers have total creative control over their project and can sell it wherever and to whomever they want. does reserve the right to offer the film for download from the site once the film has completed any cinema or DVD run. Every investor receives a limited edition DVD of the film.

The site is here. How will IndieMaverick make money, if not by taking a piece of the film's revenue? "Through advertisements on the site, uploading costs and through interest from investment." They're not very clear, though, about what the uploading costs are...

The biggest drawback with all of these sites is that it'll be hard to attract enough $25 and $50 investors to fund a $100,000 or $250,000 movie. But there are other problems, too -- how will the sites guarantee that a movie gets made, or audit the filmmaker's income afterward to ensure that investors are getting their fair share?

I think there is exactly one way for one of these Internet financing sites to take off: by roping in a project by an established director, or with an established star in its cast. That'd feel bankable enough to thousands of would-be film investors.

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