Crowdfunding platform Kickstarter launched in Australia today and one of the first local projects is Airlock, an online science-fiction/thriller series.
The writers/producers, Distracted Media’s Enzo Tedeschi and Julian Harvey, aim to raise $100,000 via Kickstarter to supplement Screen Australia’s $350,000 investment.
The 3 x 30 minute series is set in deep space where a derelict ship docks with an isolated space station. The ship isn’t answering radio calls and the scanners show no life forms. Security officer Jonah is sent to investigate and finds the crew murdered and a destitute group of stow-away asylum seekers who have a secret that may threaten humanity. Jonah battles intergalactic racism and prejudices to try to save those he can and warn humanity of the impending alien threat.
Kickstarter’s arrival is not perceived as a threat to Pozible, the Australian crowdfunding platform that launched in 2010. “Pozible was one of the first platforms to launch and we have always led innovation in crowdfunding,” co-founder Alan Crabbe tells IF.
“The majority of supporters are pledging to a projects for the first time – no matter if it's on Kickstarter or Pozible. Platforms like Kickstarter have promoted the perception that there's a large audience waiting to fund your project – and the success rate of creators (39% for filmmakers) using these platforms is decreasing for this reason. We have the highest success rate (very close to 60%) because we help people understand the success factors.”
The Airlock producers have not yet decided on the director or casting and aim to shoot in studio and on location in Sydney in April/May. They have raised additional funds from private investors and expect to have a budget of $600,000- $700,000.
Distracted Media was one of the first Australian production companies to use crowdfunding in 2011 to finance the horror film The Tunnel, which was distributed for free on multiple platforms. The producers estimate it was viewed by more than 12 million people globally.
The four-week Kickstarter campaign will offer supporters seven or eight benefits depending on the level of investment, including DVDs and the chance to use their photo or likeness in the series. The producers will also seek feedback on storylines to enable investors to get involved in the creative process.
They came up with the concept for the series when kicking around various ideas. “Enzo and I are both passionate about sci-fi,” says Harvey. “This [project] is contained and really doable. We can assure our fans that Airlock will be an edge of your seat, never-seen-before online series.”
The money sourced via Kickstarter will go towards casting, the production and visual effects. Distracted Media won the 2011 Movie Extra Webfest 2.0 with Event Zero, a seven part web-series.
Pledges for Airlock can be made via http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1090119533/airlock-a-new-sci-fi-series-from-creators-of-the-t
Pozible recently integrated a number of payments services locally and internationally including Stripe, PayPal, Bitcoin, MasterCard, Visa and American Express. Kickstarter provides Visa, MasterCard and Amex in Australia.
His platform is expanding its reach. “Pozible has been open to US projects for a few weeks and we will be launching subscription crowd funding and self-hosted funding with the international launch of GBP and EUR within the next few weeks,” Crabbe adds.