Two years ago, FND Films, a Chicago-based comedy group, raised $77,900 on Indiegogo to produce a feature-length film, It’s All Good. It was the company's second time around on the crowdfunding service, after a successful $11,000 campaign to create the 40-minute short film, Punching. No real information was given about the movie, other than it being "an action-comedy starring Aaron Fronk, Vinny DeGaetano and Cooper Johnson that blends absurd humor with an intricate plot."
Then, as is unfortunately the case with many crowdfunding campaigns, the company went dark. There were no updates for over two years, and the estimated release date of June 2015 came and went with no news. Backers began to suspect that something was off. Then, two weeks ago, disaster seemed to have struck, when FND posted a video update announcing that the money was gone and the movie would never be completed.
Fans were outraged. FND’s social media platforms were flooded with angry backers demanding accountability, and it seemed to be another run-of-the-mill crowdfunding fiasco, complete with a local Fox News story covering the failure, where the company acknowledged that only 10 percent of the film was ever completed.
That is, until yesterday, when FND Films posted the official trailer for It’s All Good — a movie now revealed to be about a group of independent filmmakers who raise a coincidental $77,900 and proceed to blow the entire sum on partying, in a fictionalized account of the company’s moviemaking efforts. As FND president Aaron Fronk revealed in an interview with Esquire, the entire two-year con was in fact planned out from the start as an incredibly meta marketing campaign, with everything from the intentional disappearance to the suspicious Instagram posts of vacations all being part of the plan.
The entire con is so believable though since this sort of thing happens with depressing regularity in the crowdfunding world. Whether it's a relatively small short film or a multi-million dollar project, there's a lot of uncertainty, risk, and blind trust that goes into backing projects like this, and while Kickstarter and Indiegogo both do their best to try and control the chaos, there's not always anything that can be done to stop companies from simply walking away with the cash.
It’s All Good will (finally) be released online on October 21st, with the movie's long-suffering Indiegogo backers receiving free copies.