Last year Brazilian filmmaker Daniel Florencio directed the short film Awfully Deep, which was longlisted for the Best Short Film BAFTA. The film is about the impact of the crisis on the lives of UK citizens – particularly those who chose to ignore the economic implications of the longest and biggest recession since the World War II.
He is now back with a bigger and more ambitious project, the feature film Chasing Robert Barker. The movie is also politically-charged: it deals with the phone hacking scandals that shook the UK government and media in the past few years. It tells the story of a tormented London paparazzo, who is pressured by a tabloid editor into pursuing a famous film actor and “eventually finds himself in a struggle to survive and face the demons of his own past”.
Daniel has been running (metaphorically) for the past 30 days in order to raise £50,000 via Kickstarter, a crowdfunding initiative where people make financial pledges to a film. He has been courting sponsors of all types through various avenues such as Facebook and meetings with key industry stakeholders. These pledges become donations once the target has been met. The challenge is that all pledges are disregarded if the target is not met on time, and the filmmaker/fundraiser has to start from scratch. Daniel reached the £50,000 target just hours before his tight 30-day deadline last week.
Three films financed through crowdsourcing were nominated for the Oscars this year: Inocente, Kings Point and Buzkashi Boy. The innovative funding approach is not confined to cinema, and artists and entrepreneurs of all types (theatre directors, musicians, event organisers) are now embracing Kickstarter.
We look forward to the completion of Chasing Robert Barker. Until then, we will be closely following in Daniel’s footsteps – just like the paparazzo in the movie.