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Old 03-05-2014, 12:57 PM   #1
marktapiokines
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Idea The world's first crowdfunded filmmaker comes back for more

Hey all -

So back in 1998, I accidentally invented crowdfunding for film.

This happened with a website I launched in late 1997 for my first feature "Foreign Correspondents". I was deep in the red, and needed finishing funds, so I turned to the Internet for help. I knew back then that I was the first-ever filmmaker to build his own website for a film, believe it or not (in 1997, there was still a lot of room for Internet firsts). What I didn't know was that, the moment I started receiving money from strangers through the site (forcor.com) in early 1998, I would also be the world's first crowdfunded filmmaker. (The term "crowdfunding" wouldn't even be coined until a few years later.)

I wound up raising $150,000 for "Foreign Correspondents" in 1998, and finished the film in early '99. And now here we are, many years later, and with a second feature ("Claustrophobia") now under my belt, I'm going back to crowdfunding to finance my third feature, the scary thriller/black comedy DIAL 9 TO GET OUT.

Please check out my Kickstarter page, which will give you plenty of information about the film and about my odd claim to fame, and will hopefully amuse you as well. Back it if you dare. Share it if you care. Everything helps!

The long link:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...-suspense-film

The short link:
http://kck.st/1fCnSOg

Thanks guys.

-Mark Tapio Kines
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Old 03-05-2014, 01:48 PM   #2
trueindie
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Fairly good campaign Mark. Hope you meet your funding goals.

I was looking at your breakdown of how you were going to use the funds. There is no allotment for 'legal.' Doesn't a real feature need any funds for the legal department? I'm just curious. I was creating my own breakdown for my own project and I was definitely thinking of getting some form of lawyer. Is it not necessary if someone ever wants to purchase your film?

Thanks,
Aveek
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Old 03-05-2014, 04:18 PM   #3
marktapiokines
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trueindie View Post
Fairly good campaign Mark. Hope you meet your funding goals.

I was looking at your breakdown of how you were going to use the funds. There is no allotment for 'legal.' Doesn't a real feature need any funds for the legal department? I'm just curious. I was creating my own breakdown for my own project and I was definitely thinking of getting some form of lawyer. Is it not necessary if someone ever wants to purchase your film?

Thanks,
Aveek
Hi Aveek -

Good question. I can tell you this: On my second feature "Claustrophobia", the only time I required the services of an attorney was after I sold the film to a distributor, and they required me to hire a lawyer to do a Title Search. A Title Search is where said lawyer combs through various archives and databases, comes up with a list of films, books, etc. that have titles exactly like or similar to yours, then writes an official legal opinion on whether your title might get confused with something else that's already out there. (Titles can't be copyrighted, but distributors are wary of title confusion and often request such a report.)

11 years ago this service cost me $450. I'm sure it's a little more now, but you'll only have to worry about this if you sell your film.

It doesn't hurt to have a good attorney look over any contracts you might sign with crew, talent, investors, or distributors - especially if you've never drafted any of those agreements before. They can also help with clearance if you are looking to use any copyrighted material in your film, anything from adapting a previously published work, to licensing a song for the soundtrack, to shooting a close-up shot of a well-known toy.

You can find a lot of templates for these contracts via Michael Donaldson's book "Clearance & Copyright", a great book for indie producers.

Since I already have a pile of contract templates and do not plan to show any copyrighted material that's not covered by fair use (e.g., if a Toyota drives by in the background of a shot, Toyota won't sue you), I don't expect we'll need legal counsel for DIAL 9 TO GET OUT unless we sell the film.

Hope that helps!
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:38 PM   #4
trueindie
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Awesome!! Thanks for the reply.

Good luck with everything.
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Old 03-13-2014, 01:21 PM   #5
marktapiokines
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Originally Posted by trueindie View Post
Awesome!! Thanks for the reply.

Good luck with everything.
Thank you! And good luck to you as well!
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