Morgan Spurlock‘s Warrior Poets has teamed with funding platform Indiegogo on new initiative aimed at producing crowd-funded documentary films.
By combining the traditional help of a production company from Warrior Poets (Super Size Me, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold), and the crowd-funding expertise of Indiegogo, the collaboration is hoping to streamline the production process and get films funded and released quickly to market.
Under the partnership, Spurlock (pictured) told realscreen he is looking to work with up to four filmmakers in 2017. The idea is to cast a wide net, with projects that are immediately provocative rather than any specific focal point
“We want to work with filmmakers who have a real vision of what they want to accomplish, that we and Indiegogo can come in and help compliment in a way that’s beneficial to the project,” he said.
Spurlock said he’ll be looking for films that are developed past the idea phase and in need of help putting together for final cut or setting up distribution. Those films with promising Indiegogo campaigns will also be targeted.
Films selected through the Warrior Poets/Indiegogo initiative may be taken through the film festival circuit, receive theatrical release, or be distributed digitally. There will also be a self-distribution method put in place to ensure the film is released.
“We give filmmakers…a greater upside with a potential theatrical release by being in business with us, but also the safety net of knowing that no matter what, we’re going to get this movie out into the world one way or the other,” said Spurlock.
The first film to come out of the partnership is We Believe in Dinosaurs, directed by Monica Ross and Clayton Brown of 137 Films. As of presstime, the film is at 78% of its $50,000 goal, and, according to its Indiegogo page, is currently being edited prior to premiering at film festivals in April and May 2017, with a possible theatrical release in the fall.
We Believe in Dinosaurs tells the story of the creation of a to-scale replica of Noah’s Ark built in Kentucky that presents a bible-inspired version of natural history in which man and dinosaur lived together, and that dinosaurs were wiped out by a global flood. The film looks at the creation of the Ark replica,the protests that have sprung up around it criticizing its effect on science education, and how tax incentives have been used to create a religiously themed attraction, and most prominently, the creationists who believe man and dinosaur lived during the same period of history, and why they want everyone else to believe that too.
The filmmaking partnership was initially sparked by a conversation in fall of 2015 between Warrior’s head of documentary development Rachel Traub and Indiegogo. It began to take shape when the two sides met again at the Sundance Film Festival the following year.
“I feel like they were very independent minded from the beginning and very much about the indie spirit,” Spurlock said in reference to Indiegogo.
“If somebody only reaches 50 or 75 per cent of their goal, it will force whoever those creatives are to pivot and find a way that they can do the best they can with what they were able to raise. That is the core of the indie spirit,” he said.