(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University’s Digital Cinema program has taken a creative turn in seeking financial support for its work, launching an $18,000 crowdfunding campaign to help pay for two signature projects. The campaign has been extended through Dec. 15.
Money raised in the Indiegogo campaign will be split between the annual Crew Experience project, a 12-credit immersion course for student filmmakers, and individual Capstone Production Grants for Digital Cinema students.
“Crowdfunding is a double-win for our students because it both develops a valuable skill for careers in the creative industries and also helps raise awareness and funds for the Digital Cinema program,” said Andrew Gay, a professor of Digital Cinema and incoming director of SOU’s School of Arts & Communication.
“Almost all entrepreneurial producers will find themselves crowdfunding at some point, and these students are learning that process through hands-on, real-world application,” Gay said.
The crowdfunding campaign is live and open for contributions – extended for two weeks beyond its original end date of Nov. 30. Each donation made – minus fees to the crowdfunding website – is split evenly between Crew Experience and individual Capstone Production Grants, unless donors select the “Adopt a Capstone Filmmaker Package,” which triggers recognition and other perks. The crowdfunding campaign is facilitated by the SOU Foundation, and all pledges are tax-deductible.
Contributions to the campaign help fund this year’s Digital Cinema projects, and also invest in student filmmakers who are part of the entertainment industry’s future. Supporters are also asked to share the crowdfunding campaign page with others who may wish to help students with their film education.
“Donations that end up going to my capstone will help pay for shooting locations, costumes, special effects makeup, and food for the cast and crew,” said Lilah Keebler, a senior Digital Cinema major. “The money given will also go toward creating the costume of the monster that taunts the main character, Chloe, for the majority of the film. This could potentially get costly, meaning funding is a necessity to bring the monster to life.
“Horror has always been my favorite genre and I’m so excited about the opportunity to make this film.”
The individual Capstone Production Grants will benefit Digital Cinema seniors – in both leadership and support roles – as they begin their thesis projects. Each thesis project is tied to a capstone director, and other capstone students may participate in a variety of positions that include photography, production, editing and more. Capstone projects also provide a valuable proving ground for underclassmen to develop their skills while crewing under the mentorship of more experienced seniors. Projects must pass a rigorous vetting process to qualify for a Capstone Production Grant.
The Crew Experience takes junior Digital Cinema students out of the classroom to learn on location with industry mentors, operating as a single production unit for an entire term. The $9,000 raised through the Digital Cinema Production Fund will help to build sets, procure props and costumes, cover location fees and provide other essentials to cast and crew.