Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Stars — They Crowdfund Millions Just Like Us!

Spike Lee and Adam Carolla have each raised $1 million for their new movies via crowdfunding.

KickstarterSpikeLeeLee’s thriller project, known for now as “The Newest Hottest Spike Lee Joint,” crossed the $1 million mark just three weeks in. Carolla’s “Road Hard,” which has been going for more than a month and has four days left, has raised more than $1.1 million. Lee has about 4,500 backers, and Carolla has more than double that.

While it continues to be controversial for stars who presumably have access to other channels to take advantage of Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sites, it’s becoming more normal, too.

The big change is the stars are getting better at trying to make fans feel like they’re really participating, not just digging in their pockets to buy advance tickets.

In a previous interview, Carolla had called the process of crowdfunding on the new site FundAnything “a cyber barn raising.”

Lee wrote on his page, “The truth is I’ve been doing Kickstarter before there was Kickstarter, there was no Internet. Social Media was writing letters, making phone calls, beating the bushes. I’m now using technology with what I’ve been doing.”

Lee offered courtside Knicks tickets, crew badges to the film set, sneakers and other memorabilia to people who backed his movie. He won’t get any of the money unless the project meets its $1.25 million goal.

Lee also referenced Kickstarter research that shows newcomers who show up to back celebrity projects stick around and crowdfund other things, too.

“The fact of the matter is I’m bringing exposure to Kickstarter, backers to Kickstarter who have never even heard of Kickstarter before,” Lee wrote.

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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”