Award-Winning Filmmaker Pitches Online to Raise Funds Independently

Nathaniel Hansen, filmmaker and media artist, turns to alternative funding sources for his latest feature film, The Elders, a documentary portrait series about aging. With just two weeks to fund, the process is testing both the online fundraising model and the filmmaker’s nerves.

Boston, MA (WEB) May 10, 2010 — Independent filmmaker Nathaniel Hansen is turning to the Internet to raise funds for his latest feature film project, The Elders, a documentary portrait series about aging. With funding as the first major obstacle to getting any film off the ground, current economic conditions don’t make the job any easier. Filmmakers have to become more innovative in their fundraising tactics, and the independent filmmaking community has embraced sites like

In line with guidelines, artists have a set number of days to raise all the funds, or the project receives nothing. Hansen’s film has an 18-day fundraising window, from start to finish. If the allotted budget ($11,000 US) isn’t raised before May 26, all pledges are cancelled and the film will not be funded.

When asked about why Kickstarter was appealing, Hansen noted, “the ability to spread the word quickly online to a lot of people, and keep them updated on the status of the project is invaluable.” An added advantage for artists is Kickstarter’s merchant partner, which enables each project the convenience of receiving funds from anywhere in the world.

Hansen entered the online fundraising pool a little bit at a time. Another film he is co-producing about the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans was 135% funded after a 45-day fundraising effort. The project’s success gave Hansen the idea to go-it-alone with his own project, “Seeing the success of our other project gave me the courage to put my own film on the line. I’m also certain it’ll give me a few more gray hairs,” he joked.

Hansen’s film The Elders, examines what it really means to live by coming of age. A feature-length documentary, The Elders uses stylized interview portraits of elderly individuals to tell a universal story about life’s most important lessons. Thematically organized around life lessons that reflect a wide range of human emotion and experience, the film seeks to reveal a larger more complex portrait of our shared humanity.

The film will be shot on location at homes and in assisted living communities all over the country. Hansen will be shooting on a hybrid 2 camera HD set up with a Sony EX1/Letus Extreme 35mm DOF adapter and a Canon 7D. If the film is successfully funded, Hansen expects to deliver the final cut before the end of the year. To learn more about the film, readers can visit the project’s pitch page here:

About Nathaniel Hansen:
Nathaniel James Hansen is an award-winning filmmaker and media artist. His directed works include nationally broadcast commercials, short and feature-length documentaries, short narrative films, episodic television, web-based media, and ethnographic film. His documentary films have screened at festivals in the US and internationally, and most recently at the White House.


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