Michael Apted (pictured), director of the Up documentary series, is turning to crowdfunding platform IndieGoGo to finance the third installment of his Married in America series.
Though the first two docs were funded by cable networks, Apted is relying on crowdfunding to complete the third. His campaign – which began on September 19 and will end on October 29 – has thus far raised just over US$2,000 of the $50,000 goal. Apted will receive all funds raised, even if the target is not met by the October deadline.
Much like the Up films – which have followed a group of British school children every seven years for almost 60 years - Married in America is a longitudinal project that explores contemporary marriage through the journeys of nine couples, all wed in 2001.
The first film, shot in 2001, featured the as-yet-unmarried couples explaining how they met and what they hoped for the future. In 2006, the filmmaker revisited his subjects to document the early years of their marriages. The third project – which Apted hopes to finish filming in early 2015 – will continue their stories. The director hopes the project will span about 20 years.
“The Up films worked because one company stood by them,” said Apted in a statement. “But it’s much harder today in the TV business because agendas keep changing.”
Commenting on crowdfunding, the filmmaker added: “I’m very taken with it. People can contribute to what they want to see and become part of it. For an audience, that’s an empowering experience.
“I made the films because I’m fascinated by relationships and what makes them work,” said Apted. “I also wanted to look at how marriage is changing in the early 21st century – more women becoming the major breadwinners, both spouses working full-time, bi-racial and interfaith marriages increasing, and same-sex marriages becoming more accepted.”
The IndieGoGo page for Apted’s project can be found here.