SXSW: Tentsquare Launches First Crowdsourcing-Based Production Studio

EXCLUSIVE: The rush to build new filmmaking ecosystems based on crowdsourcing is still in full effect, as industry-watchers have seen with the high-profile success of crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, its peer site Indiegogo, and online financing communities like Slated. Debuting in time for SXSW is another new digital film hub using crowdsourcing as its hook. Tentsquare, created by Modernciné and Modern Distributors CEO and filmmaker Andrew van den Houten, is a new web platform that integrates a social networking element in the making of short and feature-length film projects in what van den Houten describes as a digital production studio. He’s recruited fellow indie filmmakers including the McManus Brothers (2012 SXSW Official Selection Film, Funeral Kings) and Jeffrey Reddick (the Final Destination franchise) to the budding platform, in which members can track and interact with each other via the Tentsquare network and, in theory, contribute input into story, character development, and casting of Tentsquare projects. Users also can submit themselves as directors, screenwriters, actors, and cinematographers, with fellow members and a panel of expert judges voting on who gets selected to work on the company’s films. “The goal is to democratize the filmmaking process,” said van den Houten. “No creative executive at any studio has ever been willing to give control over to the audience.” The platform officially launches this week at SXSW, where Tentsquare will have a presence signing up new members. Tentsquare’s first project launches March 9, and members will be able to vote on the film’s screenplay development and searches for a director, DP, and actors.

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