Independent Producer/Director Yvonne Russo is shooting Viva Verdi!, a documentary about musicians living and teaching at Casa Di Riposo per Musicisti in Milan, the home built by Giuseppe Verdi in 1896. After crowdfunding the production, Ms Russo has declared she will never use crowdfunding again. Here is why.
Crowdfunding, salvation for independents?
With the erosion of traditional film funding systems around the world, it appeared that crowdfunding might provide salvation for benighted independent moviemakers, especially documentary producers and directors. Moviemaker-friendly crowdfunding websites like Indiegogo, Kickstarter and Pozible strive to show users how straightforward raising money for projects can be.
You’d be forgiven for believing, then, that financing a documentary via crowdfunding would be a doddle. Not so according to Ms Russo. Although she raised $29,000 via Indiegogo then attracted direct financial support from a philanthropist who acted as her Executive Producer, she says that “it is the most humbling experience”.
Humility isn’t necessarily a good thing. I won’t steal any more of Ms Russo’s story so am handing you over to the very capable, dulcet tones of interviewer Larry Jordan of Digital Production Buzz and Edit Smarter with Larry Jordan fame:
Viva Verdi! – directed by Yvonne Russo
VIVA VERDI! – Giuseppe Verdi, the most influential Italian Opera composer of the 19th century, willed his vast fortune to build a retirement home in Milan, Italy for aging musicians and artists. Many of the residents are living legends, who, because of Verdi, are living the third act of their lives with passion, dignity and purpose. This documentary uncovers the incredible stories of these living treasures found at Casa Verdi today.
A FILM BY YVONNE RUSSO
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER RON SIMONS
STATUS: IN PRODUCTION
LOCATION: MILAN, ITALY
(cover photo credit: snap from Herb Letts, Magnum Photos)