As someone who knows the value of a dollar, I can appreciate the difficulties and the logistic improbabilities of getting your dream from the idea phase, and making it a reality. For instance, it is not cheap to film a movie. Even if you have actors that will work for next to nothing, there is still a lot that needs to go into the production of a film, there is equipment to be obtained, locations to be scouted and secured, scores to compose, and the list goes on. For the average person, these obstacles can be a horrible hurdle, that can discourage the best of us.
That is where crowd-funding comes into play.
Through the help of such sites as Kickstarter and IndieGogo, power has been moved from the land where big business controls all, where a franchise is more important than innovation, and where the dollar is the bottom line, and has moved the power back firmly into the hands of the dreamers. This is not some passive sit back, and let the money roll in thing though. There is work to be done, and hard work, and charisma can be the thing that takes a dream into the realm of reality.
The best part of these crowd-funding campaigns is, your money always gets you something in return. Whether it be a DVD copy of the final product, a walk-on role in that movie, or just a personalized email from the director, there is always some kind of justification for you to donate. You choose how much you can afford, and put it out there. One of the greatest joys of crowd-funding, is that every dollar helps. So you decide how much to help, whether it is based on how much you can afford, or what kind of perk you would most like to receive.
These crowd-funded campaigns make independent media possible for the average Joe. It boils down to having an idea, and the drive to make that dream happen. However, it must be noted, that not every dream is obtainable. Some ideas just do not inspire the masses, and thus will never obtain their funding. If you were to ask for $10,000 to make a time-lapse video of mayonnaise in the sun, I'm sorry to say that your dream may not be obtainable. However, if your dream involves something innovative, and interesting, and your price is not prohibitively high, things might be doable.
In the end, the crowd-funding concept, has made me hopeful that one day, Slamfist Media might actually be able to find funding for our projects. Crowd-funding has said to me quite clearly, that it is safe to dream, and with the people out there who believe in the independents, that dreams can and will become reality one day.