Another Crowdfunding venture – Kate Toon’s poetry, via Pozible

My good mate Kate Toon yet again puts her hand up for the hardest working mum award! I’ve known Kate for well over a decade when we both emigrated to Oz and worked for Singleton Ogilvy & Mather‘s first interactive division in 1999.

We lost touch for a few years when Kate returned to England ( it was pre Facebook!) but met up again when Kate returned to Sydney in 2007ish, and through our mutual interest in film, theatre and digital media have become good friends.

I was thrilled to produce and direct the short film of her award winning play ‘Bomb Disposal‘ which we renamed ‘The Postcard

Anyhoo, as well as Mum, SEO and copywriting guru, and playwright, Kate is about to become a published poet, using Pozible to raise funds,

Check out her project here

Hope you can spare a few bob to help her in her cause.

No sooner had I published this post, saw this article in Screenhub – an interview with Pozible Founder Rick Chen

Rick Chen: everything is Pozible
by: Anne Richey
Screen Hub

Wednesday 25 January, 2012
In a world where everything costs money and funding grants are scarce, how do you find the resources to create your masterpiece? The impossible just became Pozible.

The crowdfunding site Pozible has been operating for around 18 months now, and although it’s still quite a new concept, it’s going well. They currently have around 200-300 large projects listed, across various artforms including film, art, community, design, fashion, photography, technology and writing.

Pozible co-founder Rick Chen pointed out that people are becoming more and more comfortable with the crowdfunding concept, and they’ve found that around 40% of these projects are successful at raising their target amount.

The projects which tend to work the best on the site are those which “have a project creator with a real passion,” according to Rick. He’s found that it doesn’t matter what they’re doing as long as they have a passion for it. It also helps if friends and family are aware of the project. “That sort of thing generally works really well because once you put it out…you receive support from people you know instantly,” Rick said. He added that it also works very well for people with a large fan base such as musicians or filmmakers.

Around 37% of the projects listed on the site are from filmmakers.

If the target amount is reached, any amounts above and beyond the 100% are also transferred to the artist. There’s no upper limit and the portal remains open right up to the deadline. Some projects have raised 200% or 300% more than they were aiming for.

If the target amount isn’t reached, then no money is transferred.

Pozible generally takes 7.5% of donations in administrative costs, but this is reduced to 5% if people are members of their partner organisations. Their partners include APRA/ACMOS, QPIX, Emerging Writers’ Festival, Sydney Film School, Metro Screen, Creative Sydney, Wide Angle Tasmania and ANAT.

They work with some government agencies as well, including Music Victoria and Music NSW. They also have people referred to their site through government agencies when they’re ineligible for grants.

Charitable projects aren’t supported by Pozible at the moment as they have traditional and stable funding strands. They instead “wanted to open a new door to the creative industry, which generally doesn’t have a lot of options to raise money for their projects.”

Rick became involved through the Sydney arts scene. He and co-founder Alan Crabbe were working with a lot of digital artists, and they found that many of the artists were looking for a way to pre-sell their goods. Providing a platform for crowdfunding seemed like the best way to achieve this goal.

At the time, Pozible was called Fundbreak. The change of name occurred when they discovered that they couldn’t get the ‘Fundbreak’ registered as a business name.

Ross Hill, the co-founder of The Awesome Foundation in Melbourne with Edward Harran, works in the same office as Rick. Rick has known him for a long time, and a collaboration with them was always on the cards.

Rick described how the decision to join forces came very naturally, and surprised none of their co-workers in their creative office area. It’s also had a very positive reaction from the public, and “people see that sort of thing more and more in the future as well, and from our end, we wanted to push it even more into other philanthropic foundations, even government grants in the future if that’s possible.”

Rick will be a member of the second Awesome Foundation which is starting up in Melbourne. They’ll be giving out their first grants on 22nd of February at a Mega Grant Party. Their first grant will be for $3,000 plus.

They’re fundraising for the party on Pozible, and people who donate $50 to the party are able to vote for the recipient of the Mega Grant.

Generally though, anyone who applies through the Awesome Foundation website or through the Pozible website is put into a pool, and the top ten will then be taken to the board and the one with the most votes wins the money.

The aim is to donate $1000 to one project each month with no strings attached. The criteria is that the recipient must have ‘the most awesome crazy brilliant idea as voted by the foundation.’

Rick suggested that for filmmakers in particular, it would be an excellent time to apply for The Awesome Foundation grant and to list their projects on Pozible.

Anne Richey
Anne Richey is a screenwriter and Screen Hub’s assistant editor.

The rise of the Web Series

Tomorrow night I attend the screening of Episodes 1 and 2 of the new web series called Relativity.

The concept of Relativity comes from Jonathan Adams at Progressive Pictures. Jonathan was the DOP on my short film I directed The Postcard.

With a fresh, young cast and innovative storylines, Relativity combines action, drama, comedy and science in a thrilling and unforgettable adventure across time.

The story follows four teenagers from different eras brought together by a scientist from the future. As they journey from the age of dinosaurs to the unimaginably distant future, they must work together to solve a mystery that could that could spell doom for the future of mankind.

Relativity is produced by <strong>Feverpitch Entertainment, run by Steve Fanale, who also helped produce The Postcard. I have a small Featured Extra role in Episode two which was a lot of fun.

Watch episode one here:

Web series have been in the press a lot recently.
The sad demise of Hungry Beast was offset with the news that three Hungry Beasties, (Marc Fennell, Nick Hayden and Nicholas McDougall) are launching Coming Sooner, a web series which explores what makes a movie trailer “bad, brilliant or abominable”. Pedestrian TV suggest you watch the trio’s autopsy of the new Twilight trailer below then read on as they discuss the best, worst and most misleading trailers of 2011

Both Jonathan Adams and Hungry Beast, have decided that if they cant get funding, they might as well keep produing content to show thier skills and talent.
To me the web series is the evolution of the TV pilot. It offers the opportunity to provide a consistent format at regular intervals, whilst you attract the fanbase, social networking and interactivity. Of course the key words being ‘consistently’ and ‘regular’ as to do a web series requires persistence, budget and discipline.

At the other end of the scale, today I read in Mediawave TV Cat Deeley has launched her own Web TV series called In the Dressing Room.
Each installment of In the Dressing Room features Deeley delivering fashion, beauty tips, and English-accented adjectives to describe her wardrobe, makeup, and hair, as well as an inside look at the process of how she decides what to wear and how to look.
For up and coming producers, the web series.

This show however spins off the successful So You Think You Can Dance show