Conversation with SÉANCE Filmmakers: Equity Crowdfunding and Representation
When I first became an investor one of the first things I became involved with was equity crowdfunding. I remember when Amazon was the small online store with a bad website that only sold books and Google was the small search engine that couldn’t compete with Yahoo.
I think back to what if I could have bought a small piece of those companies back in those days. That’s why equity crowdfunding appeals to me. It allows me to buy a small share of up-and-coming start-ups while they are fresh and new, and hopefully one day one (or two or three or four or…LOL) will be a billion-dollar brand.
Why Invest in Film
I cover a lot of film festivals for DG Speaks and I know that filmmakers often struggle for capital when they are first starting out. However, it wasn’t until my friend, Kevin Brown, said to me ” Why don’t you start investing in films?” that I was like, “What do you mean invest in films?” It never occurred to me that I could invest in films in this way.
He said, “There are films on the Wefunder.” Oh, my gosh!!! The light bulb went off. Since I’ve started investing in films, it’s been wonderful. I feel like I am a part of the movie-making process, and there is such a tremendous sense of pride in that. I love being able to say, “Oh, my God, I have been involved in making this thing happen, this thing that is going to forever be a part of the cultural consciousness.” That is something that makes investing in film special.
The people that we’re meeting on Wefunder maybe don’t have filmmakers in their friends and family, in their direct network. They have never been presented with the opportunity to invest in a film, to be involved in a film, to see what goes into making a film. So, you know, there’s enthusiasm that we’re benefiting from as filmmakers.~Rachel Stander
Media is part of our human story. It is something that lives and breathes and takes on a life of its own. As an investor, I prioritize investing in films made by women and people of color, who are making stories that are new and creative and putting a spin on ideas that you don’t normally hear about.
Out of the blue, one day on LinkedIn I received a message from a filmmaker, Vivian Kerr. She had found me through my Wefunder investor profile and reached out to me to share with me that she was raising capital for her latest film project. Before responding I shared her info with my friend Kevin and found out that he had invested in her previous project, Scrap. That made me interested to talk to her and find out more about SÉANCE’ and I’m so glad that I did because it is one exciting project indeed.
SÉANCE’ is described as a Gothic thriller about grief, adultery, and ghosts but what does that mean exactly. I sat down with Vivian and her creative partner Rachel Stander to discuss the film. As Rachel puts it, it’s “horror for people who don’t like horror, where what is uncomfortable about it is psychological. It’s what’s going on with the characters, in the relationships, and what’s in their minds, and how they feel that is uncomfortable for the audience.” Now, that’s definately a fresh take.
A Victorian woman contemplating adultery is forced to take refuge from a storm at the home of her potential lover and his unstable wife, who claims to be haunted by their dead child.
Why All Women Need To Be Represented
In our efforts to empower women, it can be too easy to put women on pedestals that aren’t too easy to stay on top of. For a long time, Hollywood has had far too many negative depictions of women that have been damaging to the psychological development of girls and the social standing of women. However, in our efforts to elevate the narrative, we can ofter undermine the progress made if we forget to include stories that reveal the fullness of lived female experiences.
I believe that representation of the good, the bad, and the ugly, is necessary and that all our stories have a place. That’s why I really valued when Vivian said, “I’m interested in exploring stories of women who on the surface, maybe unsympathetic, or there’s something about them, we don’t like at first. And then you have to take the audience kind of on this journey of like, understanding and even if at the end of the movie, they still don’t really like her it’s like, Well, okay, at least I understand her a little bit more, or at least I have a little more empathy for this person.”
Meet the Female Filmmakers
“A Season of Rain” is a production company founded by Producer Rachel Stander in 2020. Our first feature film, SCRAP, was successfully financed on WeFunder, and we have already built a stellar reputation in a short period of time for our professionalism and taste.
I urge you to visit Wefunder to learn more about these ladies and their campaign to support SÉANCE’. Currently, the campaign for the film has passed their 300K minimum, and they’re officially green-lit! Right now, they are planning to continue to accept investments until they hit their 550K maximum. Don’t miss out on your chance to support women in film!