Fat Kid Rules The World: Fundraising On Kickstarter & Then Lets Fans Host Own Theatrical Showings With Profit Share

from the neat-ideas dept

I first heard about the movie Fat Kid Rules The World a few weeks ago, when someone sent me to the Kickstarter page they set up for fundraising. I saw the movie was being directed (and the Kickstarter campaign was being run) by Matthew Lillard, who I like as an actor -- and, given the subject matter and Lillard's involvement, it reminded me of SLC Punk!, an all around awesome movie. I didn't write about it, because these days, there are tons of movies funding themselves via Kickstarter, so there didn't seem to be anything particularly new to write about (also, it seemed like the pricing if you wanted a copy of the actual movie -- $75 -- was a quite high compared to similar offerings, though it appears to have worked for them). However, after hearing Lillard being interviewed on a recent episode of the Mohr Stories podcast, where he explained a bit more of the plans for the movie, there are some unique things that are pretty cool. He spoke about being inspired by Louis CK going direct to fans, but recognized it's a bit different with a movie project.

In this case, they used $50k of the funding from Kickstarter (where the film raised $158k, on top of the $750k it had raised from an investor) to do a deal with the Warped Tour this summer, so that the film is basically touring with the famed concert festival -- with a very very well targeted audience given the subject matter of the film. But, perhaps more interesting is a website they just launched allowing any fans to request their own showing, using a newish platform called Tugg that basically acts like an Eventful/Kickstarter for movie showings -- allowing people to set up their own "screenings" at local theaters, where they set up the showing, and people need to buy tickets in advance. If enough people buy, the showing happens. If they don't, no showing. But it's a good way to get a bunch of fans together to do a showing in a theater. In the past, people would have to prebuy the theater and hope they could find enough people to recoup the expense.

Also, in the podcast, they explain that whoever sets up the showing (if successful) gets to keep 10% of the ticket sales, basically helping give fans even more of a reason to promote the film. I have no idea if this particular setup will work (and, it should be admitted that, historically, crowdsourcing/funding efforts that involve the community making money for promoting someone's work don't have as strong a history of success as ones where it's more about the love), but it is still an interesting model that we hadn't really discussed yet. And, as always, I love seeing new and different kinds of experiments where people figure out ways to make use of the internet to find an audience in a more efficient way and build a business model that matches better with what the fans want. So hopefully it works out, and others get inspired to try new things as well.

Here's the trailer for the film:

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