For today’s interview, we will focus on crowdfunding as a topic “on money for creating and presenting work.” We talked with Takeshi Otaka, the head of MOTION GALLERY, a crowdfunding platform geared toward supporting creative endeavors.
Takeshi Otaka, director of MOTION GALLERY
Photo: Yoichiro Takemi
The most important are passion for the work and to tell the truth
――What led you to launch a crowdfunding platform?
I studied filmmaking at Tokyo University of the Arts graduate school. I profoundly felt a desire to make an impact on the art world and society and to establish my sense of values, and at the same time, the difficulty of procuring funds to make that happen. In Japan, it is hard to go to the government or other public entities to ask for support for cultural projects that are not directly connected to economic activities. So I came to focus on crowdfunding, a way to procure funds from private sources.
――What are the advantages of crowdfunding?
It trains you to improve your skills to express and communicate the goals and passion for your projects, and of getting people involved. The yardstick for deciding to offer assistance that supporters use is not about investment, but whether or not they can relate with and want to root for the project. Therefore, the greatest prerequisite is just how honest you are about what you are thinking. Your presentation skills are vital in getting people to understand the intentions and real value of the work and to buy, screen, or host your work.
――Are there things to be careful of regarding rewards?
I recommend offering something that proves their involvement or priceless experiences directly related to the work you are creating. If you offer a gift that is not closely related to the project, those who just want that gift probably won’t come out to see your finished work. I believe those who can deliver their work to and connect with those who are truly interested are the ones who are successful at accomplishing what they really want to do.
When doing a crowdfunding, there are many things you have to learn and do regarding things like its mechanisms and procedures. But it seems that what’s most important are that you have a strong understanding of your own creative activities and to be able to communicate it accurately.
A project to build a mobile stage trailer designed by Miwa Yanagi that collected ¥3,793,000.
Those who offered ¥10,000 or more got their names inscribed on a wing that was painted on the vehicle.
A project that raised funds to manage Demachi-za, an integrated building to be opened in Kyoto that houses a movie theater, bookstore, and café. The project received support not only from movie fans and local residents, but also from former residents, and collected ¥9,413,645—three times the projected goal.
The page includes an image of the theater.
A project to produce a new film entitled Bangkok Nites by the filmmaking group Kuzoku collected ¥11,302,862. The timeframes for the funding and shooting were completely synchronized, and seeing the filmmaking efforts being carried out under such critical conditions garnered a sense of resonance of many supporters.
During the three years prior to the shooting, a daily letter (in PDF file) describing the preparatory work being carried out in Thailand were distributed as a reward for all supporters.