For his latest film, BLAST, a documentary about a group of ultra-adventurous astrophysicists and their (often futile) efforts to launch a highly advanced telescope into space, Award-winning director Paul Devlin is counting on fans to put up some cash. The acclaimed moviemaker, who created Power Trip and SlamNation, noticed a change in financing for the arts so, perhaps inspired by the spirit of the iceberg-hopping adventurers in his latest film, he decided to forge his own funding strategy. “I knew there was an ever-growing amount of private wealth out there that might be eager to support worthwhile projects if they were exposed to them. The enrichment of the private sector creates a need to do so as public and institutional resources for the arts diminish,” says Devlin.

To reach out to film and science geeks alike, Devlin has orchestrated a deal with ArtistShare, a company that makes fan-funded projects possible by connecting artist and audience. Through ArtistShare’s Website, fans can contribute as little as $20 or as much as $150,000 to help pay for the film. In return for their greenbacks, participants receive certain film-related swag ranging from exclusive behind-the-scenes videos to an Executive Producer credit on the film. Says Devlin, “With these offers, we’re hoping to reach folks who are interested in filmmaking, but maybe haven’t had as much exposure to the film industry because of their geographic location or because they’re just starting out.”

So not only will the film benefit from this approach, but the fans will as well. Notes Devlin, “If we can develop this model as a community, it could serve us all.”

For more information on BLAST and its inventive funding, visit