Can you build a filmmaking career through crowdfunding alone?

Clayton J. Hester
3 min readFeb 22, 2022
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Los Angeles is, without a doubt, the centralized hub of filmmaking. It’s the Vatican City, the Mecca, the Washington D.C. of the film world — whatever you might compare it to, it’s the capital.

Without a doubt, you will be urged to move to LA if you want to do filmmaking. But can you work independently of it? Can this domain, despite currently being centralized around a geographic monopoly in LA, be shaken up to spread across the country?

Of course, things can be filmed everywhere across the country. (Ozark is, fittingly, filmed in my home state of Missouri.) But filmmaking isn’t exactly talked about in the same way as others when we talk about independent creators based across the U.S.

There are of course exceptions to the centrality of LA. There is also Vancouver and Atlanta.

Still… what about filmmaking where you are? We live in the age of Patreon and Kickstarter after all.

I am a big believer that we can build opportunities.

I don’t think I’m alone in thinking about the possibilities of decentralized filmmaking.

Take for instance r/FolkFilmmaking, a hub of independent filmmaking. Look at Seed and Spark, a platform for crowdfunding film.

YouTuber Austin McConnell has also plans to continue filmmaking in Missouri (and as a fellow Missourian, this is something I am quite excited to see).

Even outside your area, we do live in a bold world of remote opportunity — and we’re not just talking Zoom here, we’ve got the Metaverse to consider too.

The question becomes this: how do we as filmmakers create our own events that can give us a voice and allow for networking? Well, we’re going to have to be willing to put it on ourselves.

Your films can be discovered on the web wherever you desire to publish them.

The key, I believe, is to do what is necessary for any creator or artist working to gain support online: get people to fall in love with your voice and your vision.

So how can we, beyond a Kickstarter or a Patreon for a film that is going to be shot in your city, start building towards this decentralized future?

Clayton J. Hester

Country boy. Explorer of the creative process & life, the arts, storytelling, innovation and history of ideas. Omnia in gloriam Dei facite —