Michael Apted, prolific filmmaker and former president of the Director’s Guild of America, launched a campaign Monday on Indiegogo to fund the third installment of his “Married in America” film series.
Cable networks supported the series’ first two films, but it became apparent that Apted (the “7 Up” films, “The World is Not Enough”) would need to find additional funding for the third. It is part of a larger shift as established filmmakers turn to crowdfunding to finance pet projects that networks and studios believe have limited appeal.
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“I’m very taken with it,” Apted said of the crowdfunding approach. “People can contribute to what they want to see and become part of it. For an audience, that’s an empowering experience.”
The “Married in America” series is an in-depth focus on modern marriage, chronicling the journeys of nine diverse couples who wed in 2001. The series is similar to Apted’s “7 Up” films, which documented the lives of several children starting at 7 years old (and are now 56 years old). “Married” provides real-life insights into marriage and visits the couples every five years to see how their relationships have developed.
“The ‘Up’ films worked because one company stood by them,” Apted said, “but it’s much harder today in the TV business because agendas keep changing.”
Some notable stars have turned to Indiegogo in the past year. Academy Award-nominated actor Don Cheadle crowdfunded his Miles Davis film, “Miles Ahead,” and “Veep” star and Upright Citizen’s Brigade co-founder Matt Walsh crowdfunded his new improv movie, “A Better You.”
In January 2014, Indiegogo announced an injection of $40 million of new capital into expanding its reach, which includes an aggressive push into international markets and improving the product experience for users.