Award-winning documentary director Ondi Timoner, whose films include the Sundance champs “Dig!” and “We Live in Public,” is launching her first crowd-funding campaign to finance an extension of her A Total Disruption website, which chronicles innovators and entrepreneurs in the tech world.
"You can't just be an artist now," Timoner told TheWrap this week. "You have to be an artist-entrepreneur, and we want to set up a resource to show content creators how it can be done."
For the website, Timoner has produced more than 50 episodes dealing with innovators including Reddit’s Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, BitTorrent’s Bram Cohen, LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman, Instagram’s Kevin Systrom and musician Amanda Palmer, who will be the subject of a new series of episodes.
"We want to answer some basic questions," said Timoner. "How do you finance and distribute films and music and artwork? How do you collaborate? How do you use technology to directly connect with your fan base?"
Part of the reason for launching the website, she said, is because technology and culture move too fast for her to spend a long time doing interviews and collecting material, and then make a feature documentary about the subject.
"I can wait years and do a big movie, or I can film it and release it as I'm going," she said.
The Kickstarter campaign, which has a goal of $96,000, will help her finish episodes that have already been shot, as well as film new episodes chronicling innovators and entrenpreneurs in the tech world and the intersection of technology, art and entertainment.
The campaign will also fund putting Timoner's entire archive of 300 interviews online, in a searchable database and archive that can be used by content creators and others looking to explore the opportunities made possible by new technology.
The campaign will go live at 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning. Rewards for contributors will include Skype calls with selected entrepreneurs, original artwork from Shepard Fairey and the opportunity to join Timoner and Palmer for dinner and a shoot.
A Total Disruption grew out of the research Timoner did for the 2009 documentary “We Live in Public,” which followed the eccentric dot-com millionaire Josh Harris and won the Grand Jury Prize.
Forced to distribute the film independently after companies became skittish in the wake of the '08 stock market crash, Timoner said she learned of the impact of online platforms and new technology in reaching an audience.
The archive will eventually be available for a small subscription fee, she said. A Total Disruption also plans to develop online courses for content creators looking to embrace the new paradigms.
"We have more power in our pockets [in our smartphones] than we had on all the computers in the world five years ago," she said. "The disruption is happening now, and it's happening in real time."