What is Crowdfunding or How Can You Help The Canyon?

Have you ever participated in a crowdfunding campaign?  Crowdfunding is a way for people to get funding for a project via the Internet.  The purpose is to get smaller amounts of money from a large group of people as opposed to seeking investors, which are small amounts of people giving larger amounts of money.  Crowdfunding is used by a lot of creatives to fund projects such as independent films.

Say hello to my friend Alex. He’s crowdfunding for his latest project, a short film called The Canyon.  We met ten years ago working for the Oscars.  Alex is a screenwriter/director who works in the horror genre.  Not my favorite genre, but I was willing to overlook it for this post {I just gave you a reference to a horror film.  You’re welcome.} 

Alex grew up in Orange County, California.  In fact, he was born there.  He went to Chapman University where he studied screenwriting.  He made an action thriller in college called Freedom’s Gate that won a short film competition, but college was so long ago he can’t remember the name of the competition.

He was also a semi-finalist in the Page International screenplay competition for a Korean War screenplay he wrote called Forgotten.  That he remembers.

Crowdfunding or How Can I Help the Canyon

Those in the business know a lot of times a studio will buy a script from a screenwriter with no intention of ever making the film.  They just don’t want another studio to make the film, so they tie the screenplay up in studio red tape and most times they just shelve it.  Meaning it will never see the light of day.  This happens to established screenwriters and new screenwriters alike.

So, Alex wrote and is directing this short film himself.  The film is about four friends who meet in 1976, a year after the Vietnam War ends. They head to the California wilderness to pay tribute to another friend who committed suicide in the woods a year earlier.  Here, they run into a demonic presence {think Deliverance} which unleashes a truth none of them is willing to face.

Alex is thoughtful to today’s issues so he made the protagonist a woman named Karen.  Wait, has he been hanging out with middle schoolers as well?  Karen in The Canyon isn’t like Karen in 2020.  His Karen fights to uncover the truth of the demonic presence being in their lives.  And I’m guessing she kicks ass.

The film takes on the look and feel of a 1970’s horror classic – think more psychological, less gore.  “I want The Canyon to feel unique yet familiar, haunting yet poetic, like a lost piece of celluloid over forty years old that was suddenly unearthed deep in the foreboding wild,” said Alex.  Personally, I’m here for it.

Why crowdfunding?  Simply put, they need money.  They need funding for the production, and they want to get the film into film festivals.  The goal is to eventually gain enough traction that the film will possibly one day be financed and made into a feature film by a studio.

Make a decent enough contribution to the film and you could see your name on screen as an Associate Producer, or even an Executive Producer.  Or be a Hipster and donate what you can, even $5.  Then, feel good about yourself because you know you’re an awesome person who is supporting the arts and helping this team of dreamers reach their goal. Dream big or go home.

P.S. – Donate at Seed & Spark

P.P.S. – As you know, it’s a hell of a time to be launching a crowdfunding campaign.  Bad timing?  Maybe.  Or a change of perspective would be that a lot of people are at home right now with nothing to do, so if they can afford to spend $5 to help keep art alive, well, then maybe it’s a great time to launch a crowdfunding campaign.  You can watch Alex and his PSA here.   

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