Crowdfunding is huge and there are way too many awesome projects going at once for any one person to keep track of. Each week I bring you one of my personal favorites in this column, Currently Crowdfunding, so you know where to spend your hard-earned dollars.
The way we consume media has undoubtedly shifted in the past decade. While big production studios still create and control the majority of our entertainment, more and more independent filmmakers are turning to the internet for everything from funding to distribution. While Kickstarter and Indiegogo are the obvious go-tos for crowdfunders, it can be hard to rise above the din when everyone from folks seeking money to complete an album to people raising funds for medical expenses are running campaigns at once.
That’s why I love niche crowdfunding sites like Seed&Spark.
Seed&Spark is for all of those aspiring filmmakers who want to make awesome indie productions but just don’t have the cash to do it themselves. Focusing solely on “all things moving-picture related,” Seed&Spark makes it extremely easy to find, fund, and follow independent films, webseries, film festivals, and independent cinemas.
Additionally, they’re not letting any old project onto their platform. Everything on Seed&Spark is approved by their team before it goes up on the site. Their requirements are that each project has a strong team, the start of a great film, and a good reason for whey they’re creating it. They also have a long list outline of tips and additional requirements for each project, ensuring that both the projects and the crowdfunding process stay high quality.
And they do things a little differently.
Rather than just raising a certain amount of money for projects (like you see on Kickstarter or Indiegogo), Seed&Spark also lets you buy or loan actual items that films need. Each project has a wishlist of items they’re looking for and if you prefer to know exactly where your money is going, you can choose this option. You can also just donate some cash if that’s your preferred method but either way you earn something called “sparks,” which you can then accumulate and trade to watch films in the on-site cinema.
All backed by an awesome, woman-led team.
Seed&Spark is the only crowdfunding site I’ve come across that has a female founder and a team that’s split evenly between men and women, so I want to give them a big shout-out for that. Founder Emily Best got her start in 2011 got her start in filmmaking in 2011 while producing a film called Like the Water. Before that, she worked in theater production, ran a couple of restaurants, was a jazz singer, and even did a stint as a tour guide in Barcelona.
This well-rounded woman loved her experience with Like the Water so much that she gathered up a badass team around her and started Spark&Seed with the intention of making “a contribution to the truly independent community in which she would like to make moving pictures.”
That independent community is only growing and producing higher and higher quality stuff, without the major funding that Hollywood and the other big producers enjoy. If you want to see more independent film succeed, head on over to Seed&Spark and check out what they have to offer.