You can be Executive Producer for $10,000

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By JORGE GALLARDO  (@_jorgegallardo)

I have received via Twitter a very interesting proposal. The journalist, Carmen Valdivieso, and the director, Michele Cinque, are making a documentary about the mysterious murders of eight journalists in the Peruvian Andes in 1983. Tired of knocking on the doors of producers who seek a quick return on their investment, they have decided to seek financing for their project through Kickstarter: a site where cybernauts can fund ideas with any amount of money they like.

At this point the proposal “Uchuraccay” has received $1,483 out of the $40,000 needed, with the support of twenty-six people. In this set-up, cybernauts feel invested in a project they believe must move forward. Additionally, supporters can appear in the project’s credits as executive producers, if they donate $1,000. The more you pay, the greater your involvement in the project: to the point of being present during the filming in Peru, if you donate more than $10,000.

That is to say, the audience no longer just selects what it watches but also chooses what films are produced. Isn’t the Internet fascinating? This new type of production of audiovisual material has another positive element: the financing of independent projects without the power infrastructure found in large companies.

The internet shows itself to be key in global democracy, with these type of, paradoxically local, proposals which ensure audio-visual liberty; and pave the way for documentaries that would otherwise not see the light of day. I have just seen the teaser, and I am eager to know what happened in the case of these cruelly murdered colleagues. I hope the necessary funds are raised.

The strategy of micro-patronage has already worked in Spain, with the premiere of the film, “The Cosmonaut.” It received the support of 5,000 small contributors. In this sense, the Internet has not only revolutionized the way in which we consume audiovisual material, but has begun to give the anonymous masses a power greater than the status quo’s to decide what projects get produced. Wonderful!

I am independent all the way.

(Translation by Paola Hulbert. See original in Spanish at Jorge Gallardo’s blog: http://bit.ly/15qkm6w )