Many filmmakers have turned to popular crowdfunding platforms to raise money to help launch their production. In exchange for a contribution the contributor receives a perk such as a signed movie poster or a t-shirt. In the beginning it was just independent filmmakers reaching out to friends and family but now even some celebrities and established filmmakers have turned to these platforms for funding. A number of critics have questioned if it is ethical for celebrities to solicit funding from their fans. In the near future there may no longer be that question. Established stars will be able to partner with their fans.
The Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act was signed into law on April 5th, 2012. The act was in part written to let people use crowdfunding as a vehicle to offer an investment opportunity to the general public rather than just cheap perks. The new regulations are still being written by the SEC but when they are finished and fully implemented could be a game-changer for the film industry. It has the possibility to level the playing by bringing new and established talent together.
Writers and independent filmmakers often envision a certain actor that would be a perfect fit for one of their characters. Unfortunately with a lack of funding the match is most often not made. The JOBS Act can change this. Established talent, like everyone else, have to look for work. That’s what agents are for. Filmmakers will now have at least a shot booking established talent by offering an investment opportunity. The general public would be much more intrigued to invest in a film featuring their favorite Hollywood star rather than contributing to a campaign in exchange for a thank you letter.