The other day, Erik Childress spotlighted an effort to gather enough small contributions to produce a special DVD edition of the documentary The Way We Get By. The project is being coordinated through Kickstarter, a year-old Brooklyn-based organization whose name has been popping up on the Internet a lot lately. Call me crazy -- go ahead, I'll wait -- but I think this could be the way of the future for independent filmmakers and other artists to get their projects funded.

It works like this. Let's say I need $5,000 to make my documentary about the life of Charles Nelson Reilly. I launch a Kickstarter campaign, ask for pledges, and set a deadline by which the $5,000 needs to be accumulated. People can donate as little or as much money as they want, using a credit card and Amazon's secure payment system. (Amazon and Kickstarter are buddies.) But here's the twist: The donors' credit cards aren't actually charged until the deadline arrives -- and even then only if we've reached $5,000 in pledges. If we haven't, nobody pays anything, and that's the end of it, except for my sadness over not being able to bring Mr. Nelson Reilly's life to the big screen.

You can see the advantages here. As a donor, you don't have to pay anything right now, and maybe not ever. That's appealing. If they don't get enough pledges to fund the project, you're off the hook, but you still get the good karma points for offering.
categories Movies, Cinematical