Crowdfunding helps Hawaii projects

Published On: May 19 2013 01:29:00 PM HST

Filming, for a few major motion pictures, is expected to ramp up in Hawaii over the summer.

In the meantime, many much smaller productions are currently underway, thanks to crowdfunding. Which allows everyone to become contributors with just a click of the mouse.

Jon Brekke is a fan of films. That is why his eyes were glued to his iPad.

"There is always been magic in movies, and I think everyone feels that and it is contagious," said Brekke.

He's staring at the small screen because he is reviewing every tiny detail about his own small-scale production -- "A Breath to Survive" -- a full-length feature film, that's been his passion for the past two years.

"It's a story about a woman who unplugs from corporate life and finds the art in life," said Brekke who wrote and directed the movie.

Brekke, along with many other aspiring movie-makers, found out that filming is expensive.

"Most filmmakers that are starting out are doing this on their own. They are depending on the kindness of family and friends to donate services and aloha to make it happen," said Donne Dawson with the Hawaii State Film Office.

While filming his cinematic journey of discovery, Brekke also discovered a way to raise the critical money he needed to complete his film -- crowdfunding.
On Kickstarter, he made a plea for backers. Many in the community responded, including friends and others he didn't even know.

"Supporters of art and film made the difference, generous supporters," said Brekke.

Crowdfunding backers of films get more than just a good feeling from helping Hawaii movie-makers, many also get a piece of the credit or even a part in the production.

"I've got two people who contributed $150 to be an extra for my shoot on June 8th," said Brekke.

It is not just filmmakers who have found a following in this alternative way to raise funds.

Other Hawaii businesses have successfully started or expanded by making a pitch and putting it on the web for everyone to view, instead of actively reaching out to just individual backers.

Kickstarter is just one of the many sites for crowdsource funding.

There are time constraints for crowdsourcing campaigns on Kickstarter, a project may only have 30 or 60 days to raise the funds. If it is not successful, it doesn't get any of the pledged contributions.

The successfully funded movie "A Breath to Survive" will premier at the Kahala Theatres on July 11th.


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