When filming a documentary about crowdfunding, crowdfunding seems only natural as the way to fund it. Enter “Capital C,” among the first crowdfunded feature-length documentaries about crowdfunding–or as the tagline states, “Crowdfunding. Crowdsourcing. Bottle Koozies.”
“Capital C” successfully raised $84,298 with 586 backers on Kickstarter. For the documentary, filmmaking duo Jørg M. Kundinger and Timon Birkhofer follow Zach Crain, Jackson Robinson and Brian Fargo as they pursue their hopes and dreams–accompanied by not a few fears and pitfall–as independent creators in the digital age. The film also features interview excepts with crowd movement leaders such as Molly Crabapple (political artist), Seth Godin (best-selling author), Scott Thomas (design director, Obama campaign), Eric Von Hippel (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and David Weinberger (Harvard University). Currently, the film has a 7.3/10 rating on IMDb.
“Capital C” is now available on DVD and VOD, after playing at international film festivals in America, Europe and Asia. In an interview with The Frame from Southern California Public Radio, Birkhofer discussed the lessons he and Kundinger learned while crowdfunding their movie; why the movie only highlighted successful projects, and what message he wanted viewers of “Capital C” to receive. In response to the interviewer s question about how crowdfunding creates accountability to many, Birkhofer outlined the difference between working for a single employer vs. the responsibilities faced by crowdfunders.
Q: Generally, crowdfunding gets to bypass “the man,” the person who is handing out the money, whether it’s a corporation or an individual who can say yes or no. You have hundreds, if not thousands of donors, so in some ways the crowd becomes “the man” and there’s some accountability to a lot of different people. That’s something you experienced in crowdfunding, right?
A: Oh yeah, totally. In the movie, Brian [Fargo] says something like, “Now I have 60,000 bosses.” We didn’t have quite that many — we had roughly 600 — but throughout the entire three-year production, we met about half of our supporters in person.
The difference between this and working for a single boss or investor is that, as long as you keep them updated and in the loop about everything, they tend to be really forgiving. They might have their 9-to-5 job, but they always want to be part of this, so the journey’s part of the goal.
See also the “Capital C” trailer below.
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