"Bug" crowdfunding page
"Burning Fawn" crowdfunding page
Two film students at the University of Colorado are getting a taste of the "real world" of making movies this semester by asking their friends, family and members of the CU community to finance their short senior movie projects.
Amanda Gostomski and Alicia Ramirez, who both expect to graduate in December, are working to get their senior film studies thesis projects funded through the university's new crowdfunding initiative this spring.
Gostomski, whose film "Burning Fawn" follows 16-year-old Fawn after her brother dies, said the crowdfunding initiative has given her tangible experience pitching an idea to hundreds of potential funders, who she hopes will all donate a small amount of money to help reach her goal.
"It's really, really good practice for the real world, trying to sell yourself and your product, that we usually don't get in any of our classes," she said. "It's been successful that way."
Gostomski said her film's story has been "stuck in her head" for several years. In some ways, the 12-minute film is a metaphor for Gostomski's experience with a sibling who's addicted to heroin, she said.
The goal of the crowdfunding initiative on the Boulder campus is to engage alumni and other CU affiliates, while also funding several small, unique projects.
Though funding for "Burning Fawn" has been trickling in slowly, Gostomski said the crowdfunding platform forced her to create a plan for her film early and is a window into her studies for family and friends.
"At my job, a lot of people that I don't really know have come in and told me 'Good luck' on my film," she said. "The hype is exciting. Hopefully I can make a film that's good enough."
Ramirez drew from personal experience to create the plot for her film "Bug," which follows a man treating his depression.
Eventually, he turns into an ant.
"Depression is always relevant for me because it's always going on in my family members or it's something I have to deal with," she said. "Mostly I just wanted to make a movie that was important to myself but could also be important to others."
For Ramirez, being part of CU's crowdfunding effort has led to more exposure for her film — she's had a handful of interview requests to talk about "Bug," which surprised her, she said.
Though she is considering both graduate school and staying in Colorado to continue film work, Ramirez said she's learned new skills throughout the crowdfunding process that could apply to a variety of careers, like marketing and social media.
With so many independent filmmakers using crowdfunding, Ramirez said the CU process has allowed her to tap into an entire university network in addition to her own.
"If I went on Kickstarter and did my own crowdfunding project, it wouldn't have been as successful," she said. "There's a bigger community to reach here."
Contact Camera Staff Writer Sarah Kuta at 303-473-1106 or firstname.lastname@example.org