Canadian filmmaker turns to Internet to finance movie

TORONTO (Reuters) - An aspiring Canadian filmmaker is asking the public at large to help fund his first movie project, one frame at a time.

Canadian filmmaker Casey Walker is seen in this publicity photo handout. REUTERS/Marc Duchemin/Word of Mouth PR/Handout

Casey Walker launched a Web site earlier this year to raise C$1 million ($988,457) and is selling frames of his yet-to-be-made film over the Internet for C$10 a piece.

In return, investors will receive a credit in his movie, advertisement rights on his site and a cut of the profits if the film makes money.

So far he has sold more than 17,000 frames, bringing in about C$170,000, including the biggest single sale at C$52,560. Walker also has attracted investors from the United States, Europe and Canada.

He hopes to reach a million in four months.

“I wanted to make a feature film since I got into this business 10 years ago, and it’s not easy to finance an independent film in this country, especially for a first-time director,” Walker said in an interview.

He had shopped his script around Hollywood unsuccessfully several times before returning to Canada. The idea for the Web site came to him in 2006 after he saw another site called the “Million Dollar Home Page.” It was created by a man in Britain who sold pixels of his site to advertisers and made more than $1 million in five months.

“That’s what inspired me to approach the public online to fund-raise because his success was so rapid,” Walker said.

People who buy the most frames from the site,, get a higher spot on the credit role listing them as assistant producer.

“It’s the opportunity to see your name up in lights and be part of a feature film, because becoming an assistant producer on a project like this is not something most people have access to, let alone access at the cost I’m offering it for,” he said.

Walker realizes there is a chance the film will not get picked up by a distributor, in which case he said he is determined to distribute it himself.

His only guarantees are the film will be made, investors will get credited, and can advertise by posting links, pictures and videos on his Web site.

If the film is successful, 50 percent of the profits will go to investors, based on the number of frames they purchased, while the other half will be used to pay the production company, cast and crew.

Walker described the film, titled “Free for all ... But you” as a romantic comedy about two guys in love with a girl, who is in a relationship with seven other people.