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Crowdfunding Could Be New Model for PBS

posted May 22, 2013, 3:25 PM by Andrew Manzo   [ updated Jun 7, 2013, 10:02 AM ]
Public Broadcasting (PBS) may have hit on a new way to fund programming by using crowdfunding

    To fund an episode on climate change, the film-makers are turning to crowdfunding site, Kickstarter. If that's successful, it could become a new model for PBS funding. Emmy-Award winning filmmakers Marilyn and Hal Weiner are raising funds to support the episode, Extreme Realities, in their continuing PBS series, Journey to Planet Earth. 

    Matt Damon is hosting and narrating the one-hour documentary that investigates the delicate relationship between climate change, extreme weather events and threats to our national security. It will also recommend bi-partisan options to ease climate-induced pressures affecting food security, extreme poverty, and loss of biodiversity. 

    Though we have already raised three quarters of our budget, we found ourselves half-way through production and had simply exhausted our search for additional funding from traditional sources," says filmmaker Hal Weiner. Since Kickstarter launched four years ago, three million people have kicked in $450 million for 35,000 creative projects such as films, music, design, and technology. 

Journey To Planet Earth is the first time a major PBS series has turned to Kickstarter. The producers are seeking to raise $75,000 and have 45 days to do it. Extreme Realities is the 13th episode of the popular Journey to Planet Earth series. Each episode has been viewed by more than 40 million people.