Sharknado 2: The Second One: Creating a Controversy and Using IndieGoGo For Marketing
Sharknado 2: The Second One is scheduled to premiere in the US on TV network SyFy on July 30th, 2014.
In a move that has already garnered some free publicity, the film's production company, The Asylum, has gone to crowdfunding site indieGoGo hoping to raise US $50,000 to add a special scene to this sequel to 2013's Sharknado.
This crowdfunding campaign may just be a publicity stunt... as the film has already been shooting for quite some time. Scenes in Times Square NY, NY were shot back in February 2014. (It's possible that Sharknado 2 is still shooting - new scenes? reshoots? - as a crew affiliated with The Asylum was spotted in Buffalo NY on April 6th, 2014. But that crew claimed to be shooting an entirely different film, Alligator Apocalypse.)
Here are two things we do know for sure:
1) The Sharknado 2 indieGoGo campaign launched on April 9th, 2014 and will conclude on May 30, 2014 and
2) The producers of Sharknado 2 will keep whatever comes in - whether or not the full $50k is raised.
What will be in this extra scene?
The IndieGoGo page for the "Produce a Scene in Sharknado 2" campaign explains that the producers "don't want to give away too much" but the prospective scene is apparently designed to appeal to the fans who lit-up social media around the premiere of the first Sharknado film:" [T]here will be sharks, chainsaws, and chainsaws being used in the vicinity of sharks."
And why do they say they need your money?
On their indieGoGo page, The Asylum promises that, if the money is raised, it will go toward: "The crew, the equipment, and all the other nuts and bolts we need to film [a special scene. And]... if we reach our goal, we'll even be able to "adopt" a shark!"
So shark conservation might get some money from The Asylum.
But is the promised "10% of the proceeds from this campaign to the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program at the University of Miami" reason enough to give your money to The Asylum?
Wouldn't 100% of the donated money for charity be a better marketing stunt?
Although The Asylum isn't promising to share the revenue from this film with their indieGoGo backers, will there be rewards?
According to an April 11th, 2014 article in IndieWire: "For just $45, [The Asylum] will "name" a shark after you and "show everyone where it appears in the movie." For $75, you get a t-shirt along with everything available for lesser donations. For $120, your scream will be mixed into the movie. For $5,000, you get a role in the movie and for a mere $25,000 -- or half of their goal -- you're named an associate producer and get to attend the red carpet premiere of "Sharknado 2: The Second One" with the cast and crew."
I can see how some people might enjoy these perks.
But The Asylum is presumably getting paid (by SyFy for the premiere and after that by others). So why are they keeping 90% of the proceeds from an indieGoGo campaign?
If The Asylum really wants publicity... couldn't perks (like naming rights to a shark in the film) be offered to anyone who made a generous contribution to shark conservation? In other words, why not offer 100% of the revenue from an indieGoGo campaign to charity - raising awareness and not looking like dead-eyed squaline predators from Hollywood.
If they raise $50k, this (marketing?) stunt will give The Asylum around 50 times what they have paid eager young screenwriters for entire feature-length screenplays.
Here's why this indieGoGo campaign has rubbed some Sharknado fans the wrong way.
The producers don't really need your money.
The film is financed.
It will be on TV even if fans don't fork over $50k.
And if it's really mostly about publicity - why not give ALL the money raised to charity - while offering fun perks to the fans?
I think The Asylum may have missed an opportunity here.
But then again, I'm writing about them...
And, as the saying goes, "There's no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary."
Randy Finch's Film Blog:
Thoughts from a film producer about making and distributing films.