Crowdfunding may have changed the way we look at film finance, but that doesn’t mean it’s made for better stories since the locations are always the same. Seed & Spark wants to change all that. Thinking that some of the best indy films should take place in the small towns of the filmmakers, who can draw on a wealth of experience, and local talent, the crowdfunding company is teaming up with the Duplass Brothers to give independent filmmakers $50,000 to make a feature in their home town.
The basic idea behind the 2nd Annual Hometown Heroes initiative, is to tell stories that don’t take place in large urban centers like New York, or Los Angeles, but in smaller, more rural locations, which have their own folklore and hometown tales to rely on. Now chances are, if you’re from a major city like Los Angeles, New York, or San Francisco, you’re not going to be chosen. But if you hail from smaller towns, then Mark and Jay Duplass want you to submit your pitch for a film that will be centered in your hometown.
The requirement is that 75% of the film’s production must take place in the town you’re centering your story in. The way Seed and Spark usually funds their competitions, is with a requirement that filmmakers will also have to raise a portion of the film’s budget in cash and services, plus wage a social media campaign to amass a campaign following of 1,000 potential backers in order to qualify for the Hometown Heroes program. If selected, filmmakers will receive $50,000 in no-interest loans to supplement their budget. That’s the key point here, since the website does make it point to say that this is a loan, and not a grant, like last year. You’ll have to pay the award back, but since there’s no interest, filmmakers won’t have to devote any of their budget to paying to service the loan.
The first step is to pitch your film with a minimum campaign crowdfunding goal of $7,500, and your plan of attack to raise your budget through your campaign network. There good news is that this year, the Hometown Heroes initiative is being opened up to documentary, as well as narrative stories.
Then, if selected for the next stage, filmmakers will be asked to submit a video pitch detailing how much of the $50,000 no interest loans will be used to tell their story, and why the Duplas Brothers should choose your film to produce.
Mark and Jay will choose up to five film projects, and will serve as Executive Producer on each one through their Duplas Brothers Products, in association with Salem Street Entertainment, and UnLTD Productions. In addition to the $50,000 grant, the five winners will also receive gear and opportunities to collaborate with AbelCine, EndCrawl, and G-Technology.
For more information, and to get started with creating your project, visit Seedandspark.com/hometownheroes.