A growing number of independent films have turned to various forms of crowdfunding in order to reach fruition. While campaigns on sites such as GoFundMe or IndieGoGo may be more common, investors are also getting the opportunity to be part of film production through raises on Wefunder and other platforms.
The creators of the film Where’s Rose have done just that. Producer Justin Boswick and Writer/Director John Mathis spoke to us about their horror film-in-the-making and what investors should look for when considering a film investment.
Can you give us a brief summary of your film’s plot?
John: When a little girl is found after going missing, only her older brother recognizes the evil force that has returned in her place!
What inspired you to produce this film?
John: I was drawn to tackling the issue of false masculinity in a horror film. I was fascinated with and really wanted to play with perspectives. I love the idea that the real monster is the boy next door. I feel that genre films can be a great way to speak on important issues while also telling a thrilling story that will excite and entertain a large audience.
Justin: After reading the script, I was immediately drawn to the writing and how impactful this story would be. I’ve always wanted to make a film about the dangers of toxic masculinity but in a way that was new and exciting and could bring a new audience to the table. With the elements of fantasy and horror, I knew this was a film I had to produce as soon I read it.
Who is your target audience?
Justin: Our main demographic for the film is around the 13-30 crowd. It’s a horror movie, which tends to play well within that age range and as we’re targeting the big streaming platforms we want to make something perfect for them. Our hope is that it’s a film this age range will see and recommend to an older audience for repeat viewings.
Where are you in the production process?
Justin: We’re currently deep in pre-production as we begin filming on August 3rd. We have our locations, our cast, our team, our gear, and we’re finishing up all the last minute things to do. We film from August 3rd-22nd and then we will be editing until the end of November.
What should investors look for when putting money into a film?
Justin: The biggest thing an investor should look for when putting money into a film is whether it’s a marketable product. What genre is it? Who’s in it? What’s the market? What’s the budget? If the budget is too big then you’ll have a serious downturn in a ROI. If the market for that genre of movie is small then you’ll have difficulty making a good ROI. And if there’s nobody recognizable at all in the film it can hurt the ROI. But it’s also important to get to know the filmmakers behind the project, try to communicate with them, and learn more about the film itself so you know what you’re getting into. You want to make sure it’s a good film after all!
What past experiences prepared you for this endeavour?
John: For me, I feel like my life has been leading up to this moment in my career for a while. I have always loved making feature films. While attending the film conservatory UNCSA, I wrote/directed a low budget feature called Midnight Runner and sold it to Global Digital Releasing. You can now watch it on Amazon Prime. Also right out of school, I was hired to write a screenplay for the Academy Award winning director Peter Werner. Once I moved to LA, I’ve been in the industry, directing music videos and working on getting this feature made!
Justin: I’ve wanted to be a filmmaker since I was just a little kid. After I moved out to Los Angeles (after attending UNCSA), I fell into the studio system — working location management and seeing firsthand how a film is made from the ground up. While working within the studios I got a chance to work on Birds of Prey (2020), Space Jam 2 (2021), Malignant (2021), and most recently Dune (2020). With location management, I got to work with every department to make sure day-to-day operations ran smoothly and the production was well supported. This of course has helped me tremendously with Where’s Rose.
Who is on your team and how did you come together?
John: Most of my crew I was lucky enough to meet while attending the film conservatory UNCSA. We have continued to create together and to sharpen our skill sets. I believe with this film we are going to take our collective talents to the next level.
Justin: We’ve also brought on some amazingly talented crew from around the east coast within our network to make sure we’re working [with] a top-of-the-line team.
What brought you to equity crowdfunding?
Justin: While bouncing around from one film financier to the next, I had gotten wind about a new platform that was selling equity in films for a small number of investments instead of donations. At Sundance 2020, I met up with the team at Legion M, and they explained to me the whole process of Wefunder and how it might be a good outlet for our film. After some more research and connecting with the team at Vanishing Angle (who had success through the platform), we decided WeFunder and equity crowdfunding was the best option. It allows us to tap into our personal network and not have to depend solely on accredited investors while still having the opportunity to connect with them.
What do you want potential investors to know about you and/or your film?
Justin: For Where’s Rose, we’re running on an extremely low budget, with named talent that has a pre-established market and in the horror genre which is easily marketable not only domestically, but internationally as well. Most films with the talent we’ve secured can be anywhere from $1mil+ budget, but our budget is a tenth of that, which [means] a better ROI for our investors. We’re also one of the few productions that’s actually making marketable content during the pandemic which puts our product in a good position. With Ty producing as well, we have access to a large network of Hollywood insiders to help expedite our distribution process and get our film seen by the right people. Plus, we have a crew that’s dedicated to making this film the best it can possibly be and is willing to put their blood, sweat, and tears into the process.
We at KingsCrowd are excited to see the film that Justin, John, and their team make. Where’s Rose is currently raising on Wefunder.
About: Olivia Strobl
Olivia comes to KingsCrowd with a background in venture capital and technology. She spent time at Glasswing Ventures, an AI-focused venture fund in Boston, before joining the KingsCrowd team. There she helped develop machine learning algorithms for the opportunity qualification of preseed and seed-stage startup companies. Prior to her time at Glasswing, Olivia worked in a lab studying the neural correlates of attention. She holds a degree in Neuroscience from Wellesley College.