The crowd funding revolution is getting a little more crowded (sorry I couldn’t resist). I recently took the time to speak with Axel Eriksson, the CEO of a new platform called CrowdMe. The company is based out of Sweden and they are looking to expand and help independent filmmakers get their voice out.
IIF: So tell me a little about your mission at CrowdMe.
Eriksson: Our mission is to create a platform where filmmakers can show their work, fund capital and also distribute their films. But not only that, we also want to create a platform where users can have some value as well. A place where users can go behind the scenes and learn about the production as well.
IIF:So how do you guys differentiate yourself from companies like Kickstarter?
Eriksson: Well the number one difference is we’re just focusing on films and we want to create a platform where you can do everything from top to bottom. We want you to not only be able to fund your film but share it and create a network or forum for it. We want to cover the whole process.
IIF: How is the user experience different with what you guys are doing?
Eriksson: It’s very much the same but they can show their work in a more specific way. They can have their films more easily accessible to funders. The viewers and other users can watch the films and see the whole thing unfold.
IIF: You guys are curating films right now as well. Is that something you plan on focusing going forward?
Eriksson: We’re planning on doing that as well if they are good productions. We want to build a library of great films. Our dream would be to have a only crowdfunded films on there. It would be awesome.
IIF: How’s the process been so far in terms of finding independent filmmakers and how have they been responding to it?
The responses has been great but it is difficult to convince them to use our platform instead of Kickstarter or IndieGoGo right now. So right now we are looking to be more local first, here in Sweden. So we have contacts with some film institutes and communities. We’re just trying to get out there. We are doing some talks and film festivals and such. That’s our main focus right now but we’d like to have other international film interests and filmmakers as well.
IIF: So what attracts you to international films? I recall you telling me you had an interest in Indian independent cinema as well.
It’s just larger and more diverse than Sweden. Just expanding and involving a larger audience is more fun and interesting.
IIF: What are the next steps here in terms of what you guys are planning?
Eriksson: Our main focus is to get in touch with filmmakers and see what their needs are. We don’t want to to do too many features right now before we know what is needed. But we are really looking at how to increase interaction between filmmakers and the donors so they can be involved more in the production process. If they can have some choices and fund a specific part of the production as well, that would be great. That’s probably our main focus besides just getting the word out.
IIF: What excites you guys about film-making in general?
Eriksson: It’s just how the industry is evolving right now. It’s fun to see how you can create something with little means right now. These films can be more innovative and serve as a counter point to the big studios. They can take movies to a brand new direction.