Too Hollyweird for Hollywood? David Lynch asks fans to help fund his movies

There used to be a time when a filmmaker had a clever idea, took it to a Hollywood studio executive and, by the end of a long lunch, had secured enough money to make their next movie.

For lesser known film directors, this process involved a few more begging bowls being taken to a few more financiers and subsidising bodies. But still it usually worked.

But now in the credit crunched climate of tightened belts and attenuated film funds, film-makers are turning to a new model: "crowd funding".

This involves the cinema-going public being invited to show their support for film-makers by giving to online appeals, in return for film mementos or even a credit at the end of their chosen film.

The latest high profile director to sign up to this method is David Lynch, famed for such cult films as Eraserhead and Mulholland Drive. Lynch, who was a trained artist before he turned to making films, has produced a self-portrait which any fan who is willing to donate $50 (£33) to a documentary about his life and work, will be sent as a gift.

Jon Nguyen, the producer for the film, Lynch Three, said he wanted to "give something back" to the fans who were being asked to donate money.

"A film can take a long time to finance so we had this crowd-funding idea. We went to David Lynch for his seal of approval and he was up for it. He ended up making an abstract self-portrait and we're going to give an original print of it to anyone who chooses to donate $50 towards the film, or a T-shirt featuring the print. We hope to raise part of the money in this way," he said.

The film will form the third documentary in a trilogy following Lynch's career and the making of his 2006 psychological thriller, Inland Empire, starring Laura Dern and Jeremy Irons.

As well as receiving the print, the online donators will have the chance to influence the content of the film, including the questions they would like documentary-makers to put to Lynch about his life and work.

"Not only are we looking for financial support, but we're also very interested in connecting with his fans for feedback and input. There are so many questions that we would like to ask David and building a network of his fans enables us to reach out to them and hear what his fans would like to ask him if they could hold the camera," added Nguyen.

Meanwhile, at a time when film financing is facing increasing budgetary constraints, even the most powerful directors are harnessing the power of the web to attract investment (financial or artistic) for their latest projects.

Ridley Scott, the director of Robin Hood – which opened the Cannes Film Festival this year – is producing a film that asks people to upload videos of themselves on to YouTube, which will in turn, form the basis of a documentary to be premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

A growing crop of websites offer anyone willing to donate money to film projects an "executive producer" credit at the end of the film. One example is the collective effort in fundraising for the big-budget Spanish film, The Cosmonaut, a sci-fi movie that used online crowd-funding methods.

Rob Fletcher, a British film producer who is in the process of making a documentary called Driven, is employing a "people powered" form of funding. The film focuses on a couple who first fall in love in the 1950s, travel around the world in a black taxi cab and have a son, only to separate and reunite decades later. The film focuses on an eccentric 2,500-mile trip that the man, now in his 80s, makes with his estranged son. Fletcher said his production team was offering film credits for donations received in the shape of miles, so for $25 (or one mile), donors are given a film credit; for $100, they are given a credit and a T-shirt.

"Documentary films always struggle to find financing from the usual sources and this economy is making it even more challenging for us.... The normal paradigm of distribution is not working so producers are having to think of other ways," said Fletcher.

In 2008, the film Faintheart, partly funded by Vertigo Films and Film4, was hailed as the first to make use of online imput by selecting several cast and crew members from the web.



Anyone wishing to make a donation can go to www.lynchthree.com

Arts and Entertainment
Call The Midwife: Miranda Hart as Chummy

tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special

tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas

Arts and Entertainment
Legendary blues and rock singer Joe Cocker has died of lung cancer, his management team as confirmed. He was 70
music The singer has died aged 70
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams looks concerned as Arya Stark
tv
Arts and Entertainment
photography Incredible images show London's skyline from its highest points
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
News
Shenaz Treasurywala
film
News
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
film
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
music
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all