The writer and producer of "Fear Clinic" turns to crowdfunding site Indiegogo for his new nightmare in order to avoid being "stuck in development hell"
Horror icons Robert Englund and Kane Hodder, a.k.a. Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees of "Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Friday the 13th" fame, are joining forces for a new Indiegogo campaign to fund feature horror film "Fear Clinic" from writer and producer Aaron R. Drane.
The project marks a reunion for the two actors, along with actress Danielle Harris of the "Halloween" movies, who all appeared in the five-episode FEARnet web series of the same name.
The "Fear Clinic" Indiegogo campaign is aiming to raise at least $150,000 over the next 22 days to fulfill a gap in the $1.2 million production budget that three individual investors could not.
And it is proving to be no easy task.
"I didn't realize it, I've never done one before," Drane told TheWrap. "First of all it took me two-and-a-half, almost three months just to get it up."
Getting the project off the ground required lots of coordination between all parties involved, especially Englund. The original Freddy Krueger has donated his time and reputation to serve as a spokesman for the campaign, along with Harris, who fans of the "Halloween" franchise will remember as Michael Myers' niece in "Halloween: The Return of Michael Myers."
A professional pitch video — which features both Englund and Harris — had to be shot in a studio, then edited. And any good crowdfunding campaign can't forget to offer fans incentives to donate, so all of those perk packages (the biggest of which includes a co-producer credit and dinner with Englund, plus a contest for donors to win a "Jason" hockey mask autographed by Hodder) had to be crafted and cleared by those providing the goods.
Drane has spent 14 hours a day on the crowdfunding campaign since it launched, receiving an average of 450 emails or texts a day from people inquiring about it.
"Promoting and getting the word out has been incredibly difficult," Drane explained. "We don't have the money to advertise, and if we had the money to advertise, we wouldn't need to crowdfund."
What Drane does have is Englund as the face of what they hope will become a trilogy about a mad psychiatrist forcing patients to face their phobias in a machine that allows the fears to manifest in reality. He credits Zach Braff, Spike Lee, and "Veronica Mars" actress Kristen Bell and creator Rob Thomas with making crowdfundraising more palatable.
"The whole stigma of asking for money through celebrityhood is gone, so it's amazing," Drane said. "There's been a huge paradigm shift in the last month or two where these actors are willing to get in front of the camera and say, 'Hey, let's make this.'"
Drane chose Indiegogo as a platform for its "flexible funding"; Kickstarter does not allow users to keep the money pledged to their project unless the goal they set is met.
"They operate under the assumption that people are more willing to donate if they believe that they can get their money back if you're not successful in reaching you goal," Drane said. "Whereas Indiegogo believes so long as you can deliver on what you promised these people, then some of the money is enough to take you to the next level."
"Fear Clinic" production is already scheduled to shoot this fall. He said the money raised through Indiegogo will only add to the quality of the low-budget horror film.
"It's just a way to, instead of taking meetings upon meetings, to come up with the extra money," Drane said. "It's hard to bring on another investor after its already been financed It's kinda like a first-in-first-out type of scenario that these other investors have, but the crowdfunding system is just a way to get that extra money so we wouldn't have to cut the budget."
The crowdfunding system is also helping him avoid the "development hell" of the studio system, which he endured after selling three spec scripts to 20th Century Fox.
"I really didn't want to go do that again, and I'm very, very hesitant to give my script out to anybody because I didn't want it to end up in the same kind of dead pool," Drane said. "It gets very frustrating and stressful to be rewriting something into oblivion and it never really matures, and it ends up being shelved anyway."
Learn more about "Fear Clinic" below: