I’ve just stumbled across a very promising innovative finance website which is already being utilised by grass-roots filmmakers – KICKSTARTER (http://www.kickstarter.com/) – where people post ‘projects’ which contain weblinks and info in order to convince prospective supporters that the venture has worth, and then tracks the amount of money pledged in support, to help realise those projects. It’s basically just like raising sponsorship for running a race for charity – only you, the filmmaker, are the charity.
From the FAQ – “Kickstarter is powered by a unique all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands. … If people want to see a project come to life, they’re going to spread the word…. Project creators keep 100% ownership…. If the project you’re backing is successfully funded, your card will be charged when the project reaches its funding deadline. If the project does not reach its funding goal, your card is never charged. … it’s up to the project creator to create, price, and fulfill their rewards.” The only downside appears to be having to do it through Amazon.
It obviously requires more research. But the possibilities are quite attractive for serious ventures. Check out the blog for more info on the kind of projects they feature: http://blog.kickstarter.com/