The webpage set up for fan funding for AD Lane’s INVASION OF THE NOT QUITE DEAD
Since May, 2009
This funding page is literally overfraught with stuff, as every conceivable inch of page has content. There’s poster art, images of DVD and Blu-Ray covers, a 7-minute video from the director explaining the project and the purpose of the page, screen shots, PayPal links and a breakdown of what each level of donation will get you, a teaser and synopsis, and a 39-minute podcast at the bottom. There’s also a “special message” from Zach Galligan, who’s attached to the project. And for the peak fundraising periods, when Lane goes for several days straight staying awake, there’s a live feed where those interested can watch. The site claims “86 HOURS giv(es) him a world record for the longest time tweeting without sleep…” and that the film will sport “No CGI gore- No CGI explosions- No Outside Interference- Only 100% Fan Funded and 100% Independent”
As someone who dabbled recently in Kickstarter in effort to get funding for a low budget zombie film, I can appreciate what Lane has done here. In the ever-changing world of film finance, a viable new option has presented itself: searching for donors who don’t get any money returned, instead of investors one must pay back. Auteur Lane has decided to go all-out as a one-man fundraiser for his own project. The writer-producer-director has been at it for 2+ years, and if he’s to be believed, he’s got over 71,000 followers on Twitter and ₤ 51K in his coffers, more than ½ of his projected budget. Give the man credit for his unflagging energy; he’s constantly hawking the project on Twitter, and goes at it with a persistence and verve. It’s obvious from the videos of him talking to potential donors that he’s passionate about the project, and the fact that he doesn’t come across stuffy, pretentious or artsy doesn’t hurt.
The main problem with the page is that there’s way too much going on. With so much content stuffed into it, the amount of clutter is astounding. I actually got lost more than a few times in the minutes I was perusing it for this piece (once I’d left it,finding the quoted amount already funded was a nightmare). Some of it is redundant, so a little cleaning up would enhance the page greatly, no matter how much money Lane’s already made with it. Fortunately, the message is clear from top to bottom: help Lane, and you can get cool stuff.
The packages he offers are similar to much of the stuff you’ll find on Kickstarter, the preeminent site for film fundraising. There are tickets to the test screening and world premiere in London, onscreen nods in both the opening and closing credits for the high end donations. For lower tier donors, an online version of the movie and the chance to be an extra are enticements (though I don’t know how many want to travel to Bulgaria, where the teaser was filmed). You can also upgrade, if you’ve already donated. Of most interest is how Lane has maneuvered around the main restriction of Kickstarter: if a filmmaker doesn’t raise the total funds sought by the deadline, he doesn’t get a dime; by setting up his own page, Lane never has to worry about that.
He’s also taking full advantage of new technology. This project is solely Twitter-driven, exploiting all those who can’t go 3 seconds without knowing what’s happening in “the world.” It’s a bold move, and from his stated results so far, a smart one. I applaud Lane’s creative strategy. It will be interesting to see just when he’s able to finish his project, and how long the end credits will be.
Cause of death– Still raising the dead, if Lane doesn’t kill himself with 101 hours of live Twitter during Halloween
Interment instructions– Help raise the dead one pound at a time, and keep the independent spirit alive @indywoodFILMS on Twitter
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