Film project "8" uses crowd funding - methods following the footsteps of Iron Sky

Miro Laiho
is doing his written thesis about the subject "Innovative methods in short film marketing and funding."
It is related to the crowd funding campaign started about a month ago in the pre-production of the thesis film “8”. Indie Gogo is a website, where you can easily contribute money to different projects via bank / credit card or Paypal account (no registration needed.)

This opportunity encourages fans to support the film as early as in pre-production. In exchange for donations of different amounts, people have the chance to receive DVD’s of the film,  soundtrack CD’s, posters and advertising space in the film’s marketing campaign, for example. 

The motivation behind the crowd funding method comes from Iron Sky, a multimillion euro international project (directed by Timo Vuorensola). Now it’s time to see if the same thing works with “8”, but on a lesser scale. Blind Spot Pictures (Iron Sky, Jade Warrior) and Pekka Ollula (head of marketing in Iron Sky) are helping out in the production of “8”.

“I love developing new ideas together with creative people. Working with challenging projects really keeps you motivated. Collaboration is the key element and with today’s technology we are no longer stuck with the time and place we inhabit”, Ollula explains.

Why crowd funding?

Miro Laiho is also a producer in the film, which is affiliated with his written thesis.

“The method is a new and innovative way to create communal activity around the film. Merchandise products and other interesting possibilities (an access to a realtime behind the scenes - material sent from the shoot, a chance to get a small role in the film...) help to keep the project new and fresh for a longer period of time as well as people to dive deeper in the world of the film. Nowadays we need interaction and the feeling to be connected, and that’s what we’re aiming for with “8” as well”, Laiho states.

“The film industry is changing rapidly and old gatekeepers are forced to rethink the system. We need to stop complaining and jump fearlessly towards new possibilities, because only by trying can we succeed and only by failing can we become wiser”, Ollula ponders.

TAMK School of Art and Media didn’t join in the project due to the drug use happening in the film. This is why the money has been looked for from other sources from the very beginning.
In the psychological horror film a couple re-experiences their most horrible memories and traumas in a cave that reflects the depths of human mind and forces people to face themselves.
Behind the film lies a theory of eight levels of consciousness (eighth one being illumination exceeding the boundaries of time and space) created by the LSD psychologist, Timothy Leary.
Even though there’s drug use in the film, it doesn’t glorify it in any way. The message of the film is that we need to help a mentally ill person no matter what his disease, past or acts would be. “8” believes in the power of caring for our close ones. We only have each other in this world and we need help from one another. Man has to learn to face his demons in order to free himself from distress. Only then can he properly help others as well.

AVEK that gave financial support to the project during last fall did not participate in the funding of the shoot, because they don’t assist projects created mainly by students or projects with no visible distribution channel. In addition to a festival tour, the film will be put on the internet for everyone to see.

The financing channels of the future?

“Crowd funding channels like Indie Gogo may well grow in number in the future. On the other hand, due to easy technology and cheap first-rate equipment, the problem may be inflation: numerous great projects are born, but nobody supports them. It is important to use focused and effective marketing in the sectors of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, forums). If the project is interesting enough, the fanbase will grow quickly, start to build hype around the film and keep it running by sharing it forward, especially if they feel to be a part of the filmmaking process”, Laiho analyses.

“With “8” I look forward to see what kinds of possibilites we’ll find from short films through the internet and how it affects the production and distribution. I’m also excited about what a wonderful business card it will be for a bunch of very talented filmmakers”, Ollula states.

The film is a part of the thesis works of Miro Laiho (writer, director, producer), Jaakko Tuure (director of photography), Ville Hakonen (film editor) and Juha Lindstedt (digital effects supervisor, website designer).

Support the film in the crowd funding - page
In the film’s official website you’ll find an interactive trailer, making of - material, concept art and much more

Info about the film’s process is regularly updated in the film’s Facebook - page

The eighth level of consciousness talks by itself in the film’s twitter - page

Miro Laiho