The More, The Merrier (In Film)

Recently, there has been quite a bit of controversy over whether or not Hollywood should be allowed to utilize resources supposedly meant only for smaller-scale film makers and emerging talented artists. The Rob Thomas Veronica Mars project and Zach Braff’s “Wish I Was Here” project drew attention to crowdfunding resources to help develop their artistic projects. Hollywood celebrity projects are also being presented at independent film festivals, which has sparked yet another concern for smaller-scale film makers. Emerging artistic-entrepreneurs are concerned these high-profile projects will deprive them of funding as well as having the presence of Hollywood-related productions at independent film festivals will increase commercial pressure.

Kickstarter, a for-profit fundraiser, is designed to assist artists in a collective effort to help generate the required capital needed towards the development of their creative projects. For those who contribute a donation towards a project (called “Backers”), the artist will reward their pledgers with incentives based on the amount pledged. With the presence of Hollywood celebrities promoting their work, aspiring film makers feel the competition for acquiring funding is now too intense, mainly because of the more appealing incentives being offered by these high-profile projects and the presumption of the celebrity to be already financially secure enough to not need the monetary support. However, the presence of “hollywood” on this site has statistically proven to have drawn more backers who are willing to take the risk to invest in a production. Consequently, the more investors equals greater chances of exposure and in meeting the proposed investment goals for all participants.

Aside from the storylines and genre preferences, surveys have shown that movie goers tend to go see movies that feature their favorite Hollywood performing artists. Therefore, one of the main revenue-generating reasons behind the box office success of a film is due to the casting of the most popular Hollywood stars. Since determining the cast of a low-budget film usually weighs heavily on the film’s budget, this limits the available options for choosing major revenue-generating performers for the production of the film itself. The initial purpose of creating independent film festivals was to allow emerging film makers the opportunity to display their talents without the pressures and conformities of hollywood competition.

Because celebrities have since been able to participate in these independent film festivals, many feel this contradicts the purpose of these festivals in focusing the attention on the work of a lesser-known talent. On the other hand, celebrities bring with them a fan base of many whom attend these film festivals for a chance to meet their favorite celebrity face to face, again more chances of exposure for lesser known talented artists in creating their own fan base. With celebrities and their affiliates in attendance, this also creates more exposure and networking opportunities for emerging artists, and also the possibility of receiving collaborative propositions from those already established within the industry.

Ultimately, the chances of emerging talented artists getting increased exposure is greater when their association is connected to those who are already established within the Hollywood studio system. Many celebrities have begun their career this way–associating, networking, and collaborating their way through exposure. Crowdfunding resources and independent film festivals are about more than just competition; it is now considered the best collaborative social networking system beneficial for artist from all walks of life…

© 2013 Learus Ohnine