March 9

    “Life is like a zebra van with a supermodel, a superhero and a well-meaning arsonist… it’s going to get weird.”

    That’s the short synopsis for producer Fiona Jackson’s first feature film, Penny Black. And back in June 2012, Fiona has the idea, the cast and the crew, but she was looking for a way to finance a few extras for the film – namely, the rental of a steadicam and a whole lot of hard drive space. So, she and her team turned to their crowd to help them get there.

    They quickly learnt the value of sending out personal messages to potential pledgers, and while Fiona admits the team felt “a bit uncomfortable asking for money”, it was definitely effective – they raised 130% of their original goal within the timeframe. Fiona says the most rewarding part was the support they felt each time someone pledged on the campaign, because those people believed in them and wanted them to succeed. As she puts it, “this alone made crowdfunding feel worthwhile.”

    But then it was onto the real work – making the film. And that was certainly no picnic! With over 1300 kilometres of driving, three police warnings and approximately six near-death experiences, the cast and crew had their work cut out for them. But they survived and succeeded, and created something that looks pretty incredible – check out the trailer below to see for yourself:

    And as for future PledgeMe projects? Fiona’s not sure. She thinks it’s a lot of work to get kiwis to back projects, but she’s helped other people run their own campaigns since, and reckons if she had an idea that would speak to a specific audience, she might consider the crowdfunding craze again.

    For now though, she’s focused on getting her awesome film out for the world to see – screenings began last week, and are still happening all over NZ. The best part is that all earnings from the box office go straight to Food Rescue charities, including Kaibosh Food Rescue, KiwiHarvest, FoodShare, and Kaivolution.

    So don’t miss out on seeing this cool kiwi film with a conscience. Take a look at their original campaign here for a blast from the past, and then check out the screenings coming up in the next few weeks so you can find a cinema near you.


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