Image: Matt Sayles/Associated Press

By Adario Strange2014-03-15 15:38:25 -0400

Using Kickstarter to fund film projects has gradually moved from the fringe to the mainstream as major film stars and Hollywood directors have turned to the crowd-funding site for support. Now Kickstarter is giving those films an even bigger spotlight by creating a special Kickstarter collection on iTunes.

Like other films on iTunes from major movie studios, the Kickstarter iTunes page allows users to buy or rent a film in standard or high definition and includes trailers, detailed cast and crew information and user ratings.

But for filmmakers, the best part about the iTunes launch is that it will include all films successfully funded on Kickstarter, according to a Kickstarter spokesperson contacted by Mashable. Previously, getting a film funded on Kickstarter was just the beginning of a long process to figure out how to get the finished film to supporters.

This new outlet for Kickstarter-backed films means that the only thing stopping a filmmaker from profiting from her film now is hitting her initial funding goal. After that, sending viewers to iTunes, one of the most trusted digital platforms on the Internet, is as simple as posting a link. The potential of the Kickstarter/iTunes combination cannot be overstated.

With such a seamless distribution channel in place, expect to see film project activity ramp up significantly on Kickstarter in the coming months.

The introduction page of Kickstarter’s new iTunes section.

Image: Kickstarter

Independent films have been a part of Kickstarter’s crowd-funding menu for some time, but things heated up this time last year when television stars Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars) and Zach Braff (Scrubs) successfully took the plunge into funding their own film projects.

In both cases the films were only seeking $2 million, hardly enough to fund most Hollywood features, but the rapid support heaped upon both projects finally broke whatever stigma there remained around celebrities crowd-funding their own films.

Since then, other major Hollywood figures have decided to try their hand at crowd-funding films, including Spike Lee (Do The Right Thing, Inside Man), who successfully funded a horror film with a Kickstarter goal of just $1.25 million.

Kickstarter’s iTunes launch coincides with the release of the Kickstarter-funded Veronica Mars film, which debuted on Friday.

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