“Keep It Colorful” crowdfunding rally yields almost $250,000 for production of television pilots by creators of color
LOS ANGELES. Nov. 1, 2018 – Pilots for 27 television series developed by creators of color were funded as part of a special monthlong “Keep It Colorful” crowdfunding effort on Seed&Spark, an online platform that offers crowdfunding for independent movie and television creators, a streaming subscription service for audiences and educational events for creative talent. Crowdfunding projects and streaming content on Seed&Spark emphasize diversity and inclusion.
Approximately 50 content creators of color entered the crowdfunding rally with 27 pilots meeting their financial goal and moving forward into production. The television pilots consisted of a variety of programming in genres including comedy, drama, sci-fi and animation, many centering around themes involving women, race and LGBTQ. A total of 12 pilots reached an additional goal of gathering 500 or more audience members which qualified them for grants and mentorship.
Two pilots were selected for additional grants and development deals. “Pink,” an hourlong drama series about a group of 10-year-old African-American girls living in the inner city, received a development deal and additional $10,000 grant from Color Farm Media; and “Black Girl Training,” a drama series about a 21-year-old African-American girl who lives in the Midwest, received a development and production deal and an additional $15,000 grant from Black&Sexy TV.
The remaining 10 finalists have also been given the opportunity to work with entertainment industry mentors. Among those serving as mentors are actress Erika Alexander (“Living Single,” “Get Out”), Oscar-nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe (“Precious”), producer and writer Steven Rogers (“I, Tonya”), Mary Ann Marino (head of physical production for Amazon Studios Original Movies), Jennifer Levine (president of production and literary management for Untitled Entertainment), Rashonda Joplin (director of development at MGM), Paul and Tammy Garnes (“Selma,” “Queen Sugar”) and Brian Dukes (director of creative development and production for Sony Screen Gems).
“We are showing the industry there is a very solid and viable pipeline of talent and projects from creators of color even if they are not yet represented by agencies or don’t have deals with studios,” said Emily Best, founder and CEO of Seed&Spark. “We are going beyond the notion of ‘inclusion’ to just change the entertainment industry to reflect the world in which we actually live by getting work made and seen.”
To be considered for production deals and two additional grants of $15,000 and $10,000 from Black&Sexy TV and Color Farm Media, respectively, pilot crowdfunding campaigns needed to launch on Seed&Spark on Sept. 4 and end Oct. 4. During the one-month period, campaigns needed to meet their crowdfunding goal and gather a minimum of 500 campaign followers. Finalists who met the required criteria had 10 days to post a 30-second video pitch about how the additional cash grant and production partnership would be used. The two winners were selected at the discretion of Black&Sexy TV and Color Farm Media.
Color Farm Media is a multiplatform media company whose mission is to change the ‘face’ of media by bringing greater inclusion and diversity to film and television. Founded by actress/writer Erika Alexander and technology entrepreneur Ben Arnon, Color Farm develops and produces premium-quality, diverse film, television and digital content.
Black&Sexy TV is an entertainment and lifestyle network that coined the phrase Independent TV while creating a slate of programming and a streaming service focused on a young, progressive, Black audience that seeks a truer reflection of their modern culture.
Seed&Spark is an online platform that offers crowdfunding for independent movie and television creators, a streaming subscription service for audiences and educational events for creative talent. Crowdfunding projects and streaming content on Seed&Spark emphasize diversity and inclusion with more than 70 percent coming from women, people of color and LGBTQ talent. The streaming subscription service, available on Apple TV, Roku or online using any device, offers a highly curated library of award-winning movies and television shows with subscribers having the option to pay only what they can afford every month. Since the company was founded in 2012, more than $16 million has been raised for over 1,100 movies and television shows, boasting a campaign success rate averaging 80 percent which is the highest of any crowdfunding platform in the world. Seed&Spark also holds more than 125 educational events every year across the country to help content creators get their projects produced and distributed. The company is headquartered in Los Angeles. More information can be found at www.seedandspark.com.