Crowdfunding independent films has seen some successes and some failures since the launch of Kickstarter in 2009 and Indiegogo in 2008. What cannot be denied, however, is that online crowdfunding has become an undeniable force within the independent filmmaking experience. With the increased difficulty in getting diverse and original films made even by established industry stalwarts, even big names are turning to crowd funding to get their passion projects off the ground. Such is the environment that writer/producer Chris Paré, producer/director Jeff Chan and executive producers Robbie and Stephen Amell of TV’s Flash and Arrow respectively found themselves in when developing their action-driven sci-fi movie, Code 8.
Starting life as a short film/feature film teaser, Code 8 is set in the near future where 4 percent of the population have special powers and live under constant harassment from a militariased police force. Bearing striking resemblance to our own world, albeit with some disturbing near-future predictions, the film takes place in the fictional Lincoln City, where the conventional police force has been beefed up by robotic ground officers and airborne drones that keep close tabs on the super-power residents below. Far from being a superhero movie, the characters in Code 8 are low income, working guys, picking up below the radar jobs in which their abilities come in handy. When electrician Taylor (Robbie Amell) and super strong pal Freddie (Aaron Abrams) run afoul of the law, their powers bring them into conflict with the police leading to serious consequences for them both. Read our review here.
Robbie and Stephen Amell established the Indiegogo campaign on 23rd March 2016 to fund the feature length version of their short film and set a target of $200,000. Twenty-two days later, their campaign has amassed a stunning $711,680 with ten days to spare. Over 8,300 contributors have gathered to make a feature length Code 8 a reality and with 356 per cent of the budget now in the bank, Chan, Pare and the Amell cousins are now on course to commence production in February of 2017 with a premiere set for October 2017.
With this astonishingly well-run campaign having obliterated its target, more conversations will be being had as to whether crowd funding can provide the alternative line up to the franchise epidemic laying siege to Hollywood creativity.
The only way to answer that question will be to support Code 8 and other equally impressive films from ambitious filmmakers, looking to bring the courageous creativity of the short film world into your multiplex. Contributor perks are still available from the campaign, so if you are interested in becoming part of this amazing story, click here to visit the Indiegogo campaign page. *** Since the initial publication of this article, the Code 8 crowdfunding campaign went on to raise over $1.5 million. With such a huge surplus to the originally proposed budget, it's fair to say that we can expect big things from the upcoming feature film. We look forward to bringing you updates as they happen.