NEWS9 September 2011

Hollywood duo launch movie script pre-testing firm

North America Trends

US— The son of Oscar-winning film director Oliver Stone has co-founded a new company that is using crowdsourcing to pre-test TV and movie projects seeking financing.

Along with TV producer and CNN technology commentator Shelly Palmer, filmmaker Sean Stone launched FilmFunds at the Toronto Film Festival, where registered movie fans can evaluate scripts for potential new films and TV shows that have been uploaded to the FilmFunds website.

A significant amount of ‘likes’ at this early stage provides studios and producers with an indication of a potential audience further down the line, the company said.

Shelly Palmer said: “FilmFunds posits a new form of social marketing that occurs before a project is made. It offers a barometer and helps move content through the pipeline by creating an audience for it, giving millions of entertainment fans a stronger emotional connection by letting them become part of the creative process. FilmFunds effectively lowers the velvet rope between Hollywood and the public at large.”

Stone added: “If a producer has a concept, a script, a teaser and so on, they don’t need to be at the mercy of the traditional Hollywood gatekeepers telling them ‘what people want’. They can take it directly to the marketplace and find an audience for it. As beneficial as FilmFunds will be for established filmmakers as well as studios, we can also be a springboard helping burgeoning filmmakers get discovered.”

Other aspects of the service use social marketing techniques to drum up interest in completed films. Fans can vote for completed projects that require marketing or distribution funding, and also use their social networks to help promote movies that have already been released.