Thanks to an Internet company dedicated to raising money for creative projects, Kelowna’s Adam Scorgie has raised over $200,000 in less than six weeks.
The money was raised by people all over the world who have one thing in common: They want to see Scorgie get the ball rolling on The Culture High, a documentary on the culture shift in the way people look at cannabis prohibition.
Scorgie, BKS-Crew Productions and Aquila Productions decided to utilize Kickstarter.com to raise a minimum of $190,000 in order to give The Culture High—which is a sequel to the award-winning documentary, The Union—a theatrical release.
With three days left to go in the Kickstarter campaign, Scorgie and company have already raised over $200,000 and have over 3,000 financial supporters.
But early on, Scorgie wasn’t sure if it would end up this way.
“When we first launched it, I was expecting like $30,000 in the first day. It only hit $2,000 and I was a little worried then,” said Scorgie.
“Then it went viral in the first week and the numbers started making sense.”
Kickstarter is a platform for creative projects to fundraise—a term also known as crowd funding. People pledge money for projects that they would like to see succeed. In return, the creators provide rewards and giveaways for various levels of donations.
For those who pledged $10 for The Culture High, the reward is a hug. Those who pledged $50 will receive a signed copy of The Culture High DVD once its released plus a thank-you credit at the end of the film.
Three individuals donated $10,000. For their reward, they will be able to host a theatrical screening in their home town and keep the money generated from ticket sales. They will also have dinner with Scorgie and receive a co-executive producer credit in the film.
Scorgie said the pressure is now on him and the rest of the crew to make sure they can deliver what they promised their backers.
“It will be (daunting), but how could I bite the hand that feeds me? I’m excited to get these out to people who were so excited to help me.”
But if the $190,000 wasn’t raised in the allotted time, every donor would have gotten his/her money back, no rewards would have been given out and the project would be left with nothing.
“Kickstarter offers a lot of great things if you hit your goal. It has already promoted the film all over the world; it’s like a giant viral commercial.
“But it can backfire. If you launch it and your Kickstarter is a flop, then that looks really bad. It’s forever on their site, you can’t take it down—it’s there that you failed.”
Thankfully for Scorgie, the Kickstarter campaign for The Culture High didn’t backfire. He said that the amount of money raised set a Canadian record.
“There is no other Canadian who has raised this much money in the film and video category on Kickstarter.”
Scorgie was scheduled to hold another fundraiser last night at Cabana Grille, where he estimated that The Culture High could raise another $10,000.
The Culture High crew will get the project underway this fall and Scorgie is optimistic that a 2013 release date is possible.