Crowdsourcing and outsourcing: the impact of online funding and distribution on the documentary film industry in the UK

Sorensen, I.E. (2012) Crowdsourcing and outsourcing: the impact of online funding and distribution on the documentary film industry in the UK. Media, Culture and Society, 34(6), pp. 726-743. (doi:10.1177/0163443712449499)

Sorensen, I.E. (2012) Crowdsourcing and outsourcing: the impact of online funding and distribution on the documentary film industry in the UK. Media, Culture and Society, 34(6), pp. 726-743. (doi:10.1177/0163443712449499)

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Abstract

This article compares traditional and new ways of funding documentary film in the UK and asks what crowd financing, pay-if-you-want schemes and online distribution sites mean for documentary films and its industry today. How do online financing models impact on producers, traditional funding models and funders? And following the money, who really benefits? The first section of this article charts trends in British documentary budgets in the last decade and explores how changes in financing impact on the production of documentary films. The second focuses on new ways of funding and distributing documentary films online. Drawing on case studies of crowd investment schemes, crowdfunding and P2P distribution; interviews with documentary and multiplatform producers and commissioners, as well as on statistics and annual reports from broadcasters, lobbyists and regulators, I will argue that in real terms there has been a decline in and a polarization of documentary budgets in the UK. As a result, producers are increasingly looking to the internet to fund their documentaries. However, an online financing market suspended between ad hoc funding and long-term recuperation has consequences for the documentary industry, the kinds of documentaries made, the topics they explore and the ways in which they are produced.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sorensen, Dr Inge
Authors: Sorensen, I.E.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Journal Name:Media, Culture and Society
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN:0163-4437
ISSN (Online):1460-3675

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