Artist-Community relationship in the internet-age explained by Amanda Palmer

“Amanda, How did you make all this people to pay for music? I didn’t make them, I asked them. And through the very act of asking people I connected to them. And when you connect with them people want to help you.”

“For most of human history musician, artists, they have been part of the community, connectors and openers – and not untouchable stars. Celebritiy is a lot of people loving you from a distance. But the internet and the content, that we are able to freely share on it are taking us back: It’s about a few people loving you up close and about those people being enough.”

Dissecting a Trailer

Editing a teaser for my Crowdfunding-Campaign these days and a couple accompanying viral videos it becomes so obvious to me that mastering those short forms is crucial for the success of the digital distribution strategy of your film. In video on demand distribution, most people likely watch the trailer before they rent your film, so you better put a lot of work and concentration on crafting the perfect teasers & trailers!

NYT Dissectiing the Trailer

This NYT article by SHAN CARTER, AMANDA COX, and MIKE BOSTOCK analyzis the trailers of the Oscar nominated films and gives some evaluation by industry professionals.

Broader Orientation of the Blog

If you look at the header of the Blog you see it got a new byline. I changed it from “Changing Relationships in Creative Production through Crowdfuding” to “Film Financing & Distribution in the Internet Age”. The Filmmaking-Process is shanging in so many levels and I don’t want to focus only on Crowdfunding anymore.

That’s not meaning that I don’t have an interest in Crowdfunding anymore. The teaser for my CF-campaign is shot and in the edit right now, so stay tuned for my own CF-Campaign coming along.

DIY Audience Building

Brian Newman has a guest article up on NewFilmschool which totally spells out my thoughts:

“Time and again, I see it – filmmaker makes interesting short. They don’t have a good website for themselves, have no presence on YouTube and valiantly spend more cash on festival entry fees than you can imagine. If they are lucky, the get into some festivals, but a year later, they still haven’t bothered to put it online. They’ve been seen by perhaps a few thousand people in theaters, have maybe amassed an email list of 50 names and 200 people have liked their film on Facebook. Five years from now, they’ll probably have two features under their belt, and if they’re really lucky, one of those films will get picked up and play one week at IFC Center to about 2,000 people total and then be on VOD and DVD for perhaps another 5000 viewers. They still won’t know who their audience is or how to reach them.”

My own experience is the same. Compare my short film “Nahende Ferne”, finished September 2011, waited in the closet for month to go on festivals, was premiered in April at Achtung Berlin Festival, was seen there in two screenings by about 400 people.

My new short Alter Ego, release the day before yesterday on Vimeo, already has 2600 views an counting.

Which option is more fullfilling? That’s a retorical question from my point of view.

Read the article on NewFilmschool or on Brian’s personal blog sub-genre.

Ross Dawson: The Future of Crowds

Check out this talk by Ross Dawson about the future of crowds at The Next Web Conference 2012. Dawson does not only explain Crowdfunding and Crowdsourcing but broadens the perspective to all kinds of fields (e.g. government or business models) where the crowd opens up new possibilities. When you have seen this you will truly understand where the crowd will take us to in the near future!!!

Crowdfunding and taxes (Germany)

This post deals with tax issues of Crowdfunding in Germany. The author contacted the authorities in charge and here is their answer, transcribed to what can be assistant to Crowdfunders.

Dieser Post ist als Ergänzung zu dem Beitrag über die rechtliche Einordnung von Crowdfunding-Projekten zu sehen. Aufgrund des offenbar vorhandenen Interesses und vieler Nachfragen und Kommentare zu den steuerlichen Gesichtspunkten im Rahmen von Crowdfunding habe ich mich bemüht, ein wenig Licht ins Dunkel zu bringen. Zu berücksichtigen ist, dass lediglich eine Rücksprache mit den – für meine Person bzw. die Schenkungssteuer – zuständigen Finanzämtern in Berlin erfolgt ist, in jedem anderen Finanzamt mag man zu anderen Ergebnissen kommen (siehe Diskussion in der FB-Crowdfunding-Gruppe).

Die erste Erkenntnis ist, dass Mitarbeitern der Finanzämter der Begriff Crowdfunding überhaupt nicht bekannt ist. Nach einer kurzen Erklärung erhielt ich jedoch immerhin einige vage Einschätzungen. Wenig überraschend ist, dass Initiatoren von Kampagnen, bei denen die Finanzierungssumme auch einen Betrag beinhaltet, der eine Art Bezahlung, sprich Einkommen darstellt, dieses selbstverständlich versteuern müssen. Ebenso waren die BeamtInnen alle der Ansicht, dass es sich bei den Zuwendungen juristisch jeweils um Schenkungen handelt und bis zu einem (Einzel)Betrag von EUR 20.000 keine Steuerpflicht entsteht.

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New possibilities in VOD Distribution for indie films

This blog is mainly about Crowdfunding but as my personal interest are concentrating on Crowdfunding for film projects I will occasionally post about film related topics.

After you hopefully succeeded with your crowdfunding campaign you are going to make a movie. After making a movie you need to distribute it. Movie distribution used to be and still mainly is an expensive business with loads of gate keepers and so many confusing options.

With new networked options (both cable and internet) film distribution has become even more difficult to overview. NoFilmSchool ran an article on growing numbers in VOD (Video on Demand) distribution for independent film. They referred to an SXSW panel where distributor Gravitas Ventures showed a detailed case study.

Some key facts from the case:
- Gravitas independent feature documentary “AMERICAN” earned 90k$ in the theatrical release but 600$ in three years of VOD distribution
- Titles with letters A-D perform much better in digital distribution than those beginning with a later letter of the alphabet. Sad but true.
- Check your digital distribution partner! What support does he offer to promote your film? How have other projects of this partner performed.
- Keep the time between release windows to a minimum. Gravitas advises to have VOD distribution for indie movies as early as possible, the best option is to VOD-release it parallel to a theatrical release. With the theatrical release you will have media coverage and social media buzz, so the film will be on peoples’ minds and they will more likely rent it.

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Crowdfunding – the legal situation (Germany)

This is a guest post by Momme Funda, lawyer and internet enthusiast from Berlin, Germany.

This post is about the legal aspects of Crowdfunding in Germany considering the law in force as of today. It is my personal opinion on how to interpret Crowdfunding actions subject to the German legal system. As Crowdfunding doesn’t exist as a legal term yet, I cannot guarantee that any judge would agree on this. To make sure Crowdfunders in Germany will be able to work with it, especially to use the correct wording, the text had to be in German.

Die Idee des Crowdfunding entstammt dem Grunde nach einer ökonomischen Denke, es ist ein Finanzierungsinstrument. Häufig fehlt neuen Entwicklungen aus anderen Disziplinen eine rechtliche Grundlage. Das ist zunächst darauf zurückzuführen, dass der praktische Nutzen einer Entwicklung wesentliches Merkmal ihrer Konzeption und eine juristische Einordnung nachrangig ist. Es ist jedoch auch dadurch begründet, dass die Rechtswissenschaft relativ unbeweglich, jedenfalls behäbig ist. Gesetzgebungsverfahren dauern Jahre, oft Jahrzehnte. Es ist mithin keine Überraschung, dass der deutsche Gesetzgeber Crowdfunding als Instrument bislang nicht vorgesehen hat und es ist auch nicht zu erwarten, dass sich dies in naher Zukunft ändern wird. Also gilt es, Crowdfunding in das vorhandene Konstrukt der Rechtsquellen in Deutschland einzuordnen.

Dafür ist eine genaue Betrachtung der einzelnen Abläufe bei einem Crowdfunding-Projekt notwendig. Ein Projekt wird (meist auf den einschlägigen Plattformen im Netz) vorgestellt. Die Unterstützer stellen den Initiatoren Geld (oder andere Güter) zur Verfügung, um ihr Projekt zu verwirklichen. Kommt die angestrebte Summe zusammen, kann das Projekt in die Tat umgesetzt werden. Vielfach erhalten alle Unterstützer nach Verwirklichung des Projekts ein kleines materielles oder immaterielles Dankeschön. Soweit die romantische Seite, nun zur rechtlichen.

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