“A historic, extraordinary number of people turned up for our first campaign,” said the film’s co-producer, Ann McElhinney, in an interview with The Daily Signal. “We’ve been selected along with a number of other successful projects to become part of the program called ‘Forever Funding’ so that people can continue to give.”
Indiegogo allows users to crowdfund their projects. Filmmakers and other entrepreneurs set a deadline for raising the funds, and if the goal isn’t met, the donors’ money is refunded and the project receives nothing.
The “Forever Funding” program does away with the deadline and allows projects to raise money continuously.
“Gosnell” not only exceeded its initial $2.1 million goal, but it also became Indiegogo’s most successful movie campaign, according to Crowdfund Insider.
McElhinney said she was excited about the program as an opportunity to expand the film’s “tight budget” and a chance to grow its audience.
“Money is needed but also more donors,” said McElhinney. “We want to show people that this film comes with an audience, an audience who has literally bought into the film.”
The film is about Gosnell, who was convicted of murdering babies born alive by severing their spinal cords with scissors in a process he referred to as “snipping.”
Indiegogo was not the producers’ first choice for a crowd-funding website.
“We first tried to launch the ‘Gosnell’ movie on a rival website Kickstarter, but they wouldn’t let us tell the truth about Gosnell’s crimes because it would offend their ‘community standards,’” said Phelim McAleer, co-producer of the film and husband of McIlhenny.
“We are so pleased that we went with Indiegogo who have truly embraced diversity of opinion and freedom of speech,” he added .”We are so looking forward to this campaign again becoming a success on their platform.”
McElhinney said their description of Gosnell’s activities was flagged as a violation of the standards, despite other projects using obscenities and words like “murder” or “rape.” She believes that Kickstarter rejected their project “because it sheds a negative light on abortion.”
But McElhinney said the “Gosnell” movie “isn’t just for pro-lifers.”
“One of our biggest donors—who gave over $10,000—told us that they were pro-choice,” said McElhinney. She also said that she credits Kirsten Powers’ USA Today column about the trial with “enhancing the media coverage.”
A few days after Powers’ article was published, the judge cautioned the courtroom that there had been “heightened” media coverage.
“It’s a disservice to think that you have to be pro-life to care about this,” said McIlhenny. “This film is a story for everyone.”
Bucks County Courier Times columnist J.D. Mullane, who covered Gosnell’s trial extensively, detailed the allegations against Gosnell—the unsanitary conditions in his clinic, the severed remains of unborn children stored haphazardly in jars, bags and buckets, and white women receiving preferential treatment over minority women.
Gosnell ultimately was charged and convicted of murdering seven born-alive infants and a woman named Karnamaya Mongar, who sought his services. Gosnell is serving a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole.
Gosnell was described by ABC news correspondent Terry Moran as “America’s most successful serial killer,” and McElhinney called his actions “the crime of the century.”
McElhinney said that such a crime should be presented as a “crime drama” rather than a “documentary,” so they hired bestselling author and screenwriter Andrew Klavan to write the script.
“Andrew is feverishly working away,” said McElhinney. “We’re very pleased. He’s a great writer. His background is in crime writing, and so he brings a real sensibility to the crime aspect of the story.”
So what’s next for the “Gosnell” movie?
“Our dream is to film next summer,” said McElhinney. “Unfortunately, moviemaking isn’t as fast as documentary making; it’s a very big puzzle. We hope to have it completed in 2015.”
McElhinney hopes that the film raises awareness about the convicted killer:
There are still so many questions that haven’t been answered. How did this happen in the first place? How did we allow this man to go undetected for so long? He’s America’s biggest serial killer, and no one knows who he is.
McElhinney said the movie “sends a message to the entertainment industry about what people want to see on their TV screens, and to the media about what stories people want them to cover.”
McElhinney and McAleer, who are from Ireland, also produced “Frack Nation,” which took on inaccuracies in the “Gasland” movie by Josh Fox, and “Not Evil Just Wrong,” which countered Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.”