Doco Director Yvonne Russo Won’t Use Crowdfunding Again and Here’s Why

by Karin GottschalkLeave a Comment

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”.

Viva Verdi by Yvonne Russo

Photography by Herb Letts, Magnum Photos

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:

Audio interview – Yvonne Russo: Creating a Successful Documentary

Transcript – Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – December 11, 2014


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.


(cover photo credit: snap from Herb Letts, Magnum Photos)

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