OCCUPY FILM Creates New Indie Film Funding Model

All Financial Backers Get a Say in Filmmaking - From Rewrites to Casting to Editing

NEW YORK, Oct. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Hollywood's multi-billion dollar studio conglomerates are suffering financially, and independent films are often strangled in their wake.  But OCCUPY FILM has developed a new model for financing films -- one that gives every financial backer, even the smallest, a big say in how their films get made.

The concept blends the power of a traditional movie studio (to package, produce and release films) with the collective crowdfunding power of the Internet (to fund, participate and critique).  OCCUPY FILM will use Scamdance, a Kickstarter 'Staff Pick,' to beta-test their innovative strategy.  In essence, Kickstarter backers collectively become a "virtual studio" and are encouraged to participate in the entire creative process from the get-go.

"The idea is simple," said Writer/Director Sean Hanley.  "If backers greenlight the film, then they get a say in the way it's produced."  Instead of shunning the studio system, OCCUPY FILM embraces the backers who support their highly collaborative project. "It's like Project Greenlight," Hanley continued.  "Only instead of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck calling the shots, our backers will be involved in all key movie-making decisions."

OCCUPY FILM sees this as a new strategy for indie filmmakers to secure funding.  And these days, everyone needs help with financing -- even Hollywood.  While the MPAA boasts that the film industry generated $34.7 billion worldwide in 2012, pre-tax profits of the five majors fell around 40% between 2007 and 2011, and studio revenues account for less than 10% of their parent companies' profits--and will decline to 5% by 2020 (Benjamin Swinburne/Morgan Stanley).  In the Hollywood Reporter, Steven Spielberg predicted an "implosion" in the film industry as inevitable, and Roger Ebert famously said, "The film industry is losing money because they charge too much and deliver too little."  Amir Malin of Qualia Capital says, "The business model within film is broken." 

While crowdfunding is commonly seen as a solution, in reality only 1% of Kickstarter films raise more than $100,000 (Elisabeth Holm/Kickstarter).  For veteran filmmakers like Spike Lee and Zach Braff, it's easy to barter fame for millions in financing.  For the other 99%, the answer might be OCCUPY FILM.

In exchange for funding, Scamdance backers receive rewards that offer exclusive, one-of-a-kind filmmaking experiences which give unprecedented, behind-the-scenes access to the making, and molding, of an indie film.  Backers are directly involved in everything from script rewrites to auditioning actors; scene edits and rough cuts will be voted on collectively, as will the composer's score and other music. "Depending on their pledge, backers can get the opportunity to view rough assemblies or help us make cuts in the editing bay," Hanley said.

Will it work? The Kickstarter community has taken notice: In less than a week, Scamdance, reached 11% funding toward an ambitious $100,000 goal.  As of Oct. 8, it was 17% funded.  The campaign runs through Oct. 24, 2013.  

OCCUPY FILM: occupyfilm.org
SCAMDANCE: bit.ly/scamdance


OCCUPY FILM is a collective of filmmakers and film lovers united to make movies better.  Scripts are developed cooperatively with the screenwriter and popular projects are paired with a director.  Writer/Director teams create teaser videos to test viability with crowdfunders.  Greenlit projects are produced in conjunction with OCCUPY FILM and the studio of crowdfunding backers who finance each particular film.  

SCAMDANCE is a compelling and hilarious comedy about a woman who cons her gay "greencard" husband into throwing the biggest (& fakest) film festival so she can extort money from struggling filmmakers.  Parodies of iconic scenes from Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Graduate and The Exorcist push the story forward as the scam picks up steam.  Scamdance was written by Sean Hanley, a former staff writer on The Nanny and co-creator of the acclaimed television pilot, Half-Share

Media Contact: Mario Brassard, www.OccupyFilm.org, 212-961-9293, production@scamdance.com

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