Do Not Misunderstand Kickstarter

Repeat after me:

Kickstarter is not a charity.

Kickstarter is not ruined now that Veronica Mars came along.

Kickstarter does not force anyone to contribute.

Kickstarter projects are not sharks — the big projects don’t eat the little projects.

Kickstarter is not your platform with your rules.

Kickstarter is our platform with its own rules.

Kickstarter is a level playing field.

Kickstarter did not eat your baby.

Ahem.

To clarify:

Veronica Mars came along and did big bank out of nowhere and there was of course the initial surge of fan-born squee-citement which was then in turn met with the inevitable tsunami-level countersurge of poo-poo-pissy-moany-boo-hoo sounds. HOLY CRAP BIG HOLLYWOOD IS HERE, people cried, their hair on fire, their underpants in a twist, certain that smaller projects would be crushed beneath Kristen Bell’s giant money-stuffed bootheels. (As if Veronica Mars were some kind of huge Hollywood bunker-buster bomb instead of a tiny niche WB/UPN/CW television show that got canceled after three seasons and has been been existing in a nether-realm of “want a film but can’t get a film made” for eight years.)

It came. It happened. It was a success.

It’s still going. On its way to four million.

Now some folks are fretting.

It’ll kill smaller projects!

Indie everything is dead!

Soon Kickstarter will have a baseball stadium and open a bank and have an army of drones that will be legally allowed to kill us in our beds if we don’t back the next Tom Cruise project!

Hell, I’ve seen posts zeroing a laser-like focus on OMG THEY’RE GOING TO HAVE TO FULFILL T-SHIRTS. T-SHIRTS! WHAT FRESH HELL IS THIS? CAN THEY HANDLE IT? EEEEEE.

Relax.

Calm down.

Have a Twizzler.

I have good news and bad news for you.

The good news is: smaller projects are going to be just fine. This is the Internet. This isn’t a movie theater with 12 theater bays or a bookstore with only 1000 square feet to fill with shelves and books. It’s all horizon, baby. Big blogs don’t eat little blogs. Big Twitter accounts don’t eat little Twitter accounts. Midlist authors are not stabbed in their beds by bestselling authors (though there was that one time – shame on you, Christopher Moore). A smaller Kickstarter project has as much reach as its project creator and its allies can give it. That’s how it was a year ago. That’s how it is now. Veronica Mars did not come and flip it all on its ear.

The bad news is: you don’t get to say what Kickstarter is. You don’t get to say how big or how small a creator has to be to use it. I know that you want to. I understand your inclination is not to let the popular kids come and swim in your pool. But see, the nature of the crowdfunding thing is that it’s funded by… the crowd. The crowd is big. Huge. Practically infinite and undefinable. If Kickstarter is going to work like it needs to, it cannot be limited by size or scope of creator influence (which is already a thing with wibbly-wibbly parameters). I’m sorry. I know you want Kickstarter to be yours. But it’s not. It’s not mine, either. But it is ours.

One final note before I propose a little something:

To those of you who said with faux-sincerity: “Well, it would’ve been nice if people donated that money to charity instead of giving it to the Veronica Mars project,” I might suggest that you look up the notion of a “false dichotomy.” In other words, those two ideas — giving to charity, giving to Kickstarter campaigns — are not mutually exclusive. It’s not like we’re all given a limited pool of ten bucks and we can either use it to feed starving orphans or we can use it to fund art. And, by the way, making that assertion — “Bleah, that could’ve gone to charity” — is a really poisonous idea. Are you suggesting that it’s a bad idea for artists to be paid for their efforts? Further, are you suggesting that all disposable income should go toward charity? If you made the assertion, please let me know. I’d like to follow you shopping some day. “Oh. Buying the good bread, I see. I bet that bread could go toward hungry ducks at the park. Are those new shoes? Don’t you… have shoes? You could’ve spent that money rescuing puppies from the clutches of Sarah McLachlan. GUESS SOMEBODY HATES PUPPIES AND DUCKS AND ORPHANS.”

Anyway.

Point being:

We can still support smaller Kickstarters even as bigger Kickstarters enter the arena and help draw people toward the idea of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing.

One of the ways we can do that is by looking for them and talking about them.

And I’ll attempt to do that here at terribleminds.

Today, if you have a Kickstarter out there you think looks cool or that you are running, drop a note in the comments. (By the way, “Kickstarter” is kind of a Band-Aid / Q-Tip term — any crowdfunding effort counts, whether it’s via IndieGogo or some other means.)

Further, after today, if you see a cool Kickstarter or are running one, send me an email at:

terribleminds [at] gmail [dot] com.

I will, when I have time and see something that catches my eye, post something on the blog shouting out to the Kickstarter project.

Contact me only about projects that are story-based in some way. I don’t give a shit about a wrist-watch that is also a Wi-Fi hotspot that is also a hologram that is also a Karaoke machine. I want narrative based projects. Books. Comics. Films. Shows. Games. Transmedia. Etc.

Also, don’t hit me up over Twitter or Facebook. I mean, you can, but social media is inconsistent and moves pretty quickly, so I might miss it.

This does not mean that every project you send will get time and space on the blog. I may not see it. I may quietly just not care that much. I may not like your project. I may take a nap and forget.

Further, I won’t post more than one of these a week. Probably not even that often.

But, they will come.

Because Kickstarter is cool.

To sum up, if you’re still worked up over Kickstarter and want to talk the details of the Veronica Mars deal, I’d suggest peeking over at John Rogers’ post on the subject, where he says lots of smart things, including but not limited to:  ”The internet is big, mean and smart. Sack up.”

50 comments

  • A few thoughts come to mind after reading this post…

    Over the years, I’ve pledged money to 32 Kickstarter campaigns (all of which where funded). Most of them have been either indie movies or indie documentaries. At least two thirds of them have yet to actually see the light of day. It’s been disappointing and, honestly, has made me think twice when deciding whether or not to pledge to smaller projects whereas, previously, I was impulsively eager to donate. It’s not that I’m pissed because promises weren’t kept or that I feel gypped out of the money. It’s because I was looking forward to rooting for these indie artists through their process and, from my experience, discovered many of them can create an enticing Kickstarter campaign but can’t seem finish a project.

    What absolutely eclipses those disappointing experiences is finding a project creator who is truly dedicated to seeing their project through. In some way, they prove themselves trustworthy. As an example, one of the most gratifying Kickstarter experiences I had was with the Matthew Lillard-directed film “Fat Kid Rules the World” and going from reading filming updates to receiving a copy of the DVD. I can’t wait to have that same experience with the Veronica Mars movie and love knowing thousands of other people are just as excited.

    As far as donating money to charity, I suspect those people who use a site like Kickstarter have just as much experience with charity sites and charity campaigns on sites like IndieGoGo.

    Raise your hand if you’ve donated money on Kiva over the years…and pledged on Kickstarter.

    • Very interesting point. I know there are no “guarantees” with Kickstarter, but it is disheartening when you’ve given money to a project that never turns into anything. And really, I think it gives the whole crowd-funding thing a bad rep.

      But any way to avoid it? I’m not sure…seems like it may be an inevitable part of the process.

  • March 18, 2013 at 6:01 AM // Reply

    I don’t need you to follow me to the store to say all those things- I already say them to myself. Of course, half the time I buy the damn shoes anyway.

    Let me tell you about our Art Center. It is a beautiful place, filled with generous, caring, talented people. My 13-year-old daughter has been taking pottery there for two years. I have personally seen how the artists at the center nurture the spirits as well as the talents of children and adults alike. They spread the ideas of acceptance and open-mindedness through the community.

    So you won’t be surprised to hear that the Art Center survives on a shoe-string budget and is constantly threatened with having their building sold off to developers by a city government that closes down libraries while pandering to Chase bank.

    The Evanston Art Center currently has a Kickstarter going to try to run a three-day educational program on Street Art. They need $2000 for materials and honorariums. If it is funded, there is no question that the program will run. Chipping in is like lending your weight to a pry bar being used to open minds.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1815215743/street-arts-as-public-pedagogy-learning-from-the-m

  • Hi Chuck, I’ve liked your posts recently about that robber of time and lives, procrastination, and about just getting your ass in a the chair and writing. Well, I do. Write, that is. I think about it a lot (all the time), but I get a lot of words out too. Sometimes I have to tie them to a chair and beat some sense out of them, but hey, it’s all in a day’s work. But this thing happens to me, often. Really often. I have tons of ideas. Motivation and inspiration are not a problem. But then this thing happens where my head is burning and buzzing with an idea, it’s writing itself in my head so fast I just have to find a pen as quickly as possible, and then the minute the first few words arrive on the page or whatever is my means of commital (notebook, back of a receipt, laptop, notes bit on my cell phone), the idea dies a quick but ghastly death. I think it’s stupid, unoriginal, nobody else will like it, it’s just plain shit. What’s that all about? Does this happen to anybody else?

      • Hi Chuck. No, I didn’t mean to ask that question on the Kickstarter post. Please excuse me. I haven’t asked a question on your blog before, only commented on existing threads.

        • Ali –

          What you’re describing is really, really normal. Ideas are really easy to see in your head in all their glory – viewed from a big budget cinematic angle, if you will – but much more stubborn about making the transition to reality. Sometimes they really do leap out of your mind like Athena from Zeus’ forehead, nearly fully-formed and shining, but in my experience that is a rare and wonderful exception. Most of the time ideas take hours and hours of wrangling to get right.

          For instance, take the famous lobby fight scene in the first Matrix film, Propellerheads music and all. It plays out in the matter of a few short minutes on film… but it took weeks to translate this actual shooting script sequence*-

          INT. LOBBY DAY
          NEO enters the lobby, looking super sweet. Some GUARDS stop him at the metal detector. He reveals a FUCKING BUTTLOAD OF GUNS under his coat. A lot of shooting occurs, plus really cool anti-gravity parkour ninja flips and wuxia style wall-running. Everyone but NEO and TRINITY is ultimately TOTALLY SHOT TO DEATH. Our heroes then exit in the ELEVATOR as a single piece of masonry falls from a wall, providing COMIC RELIEF to cap off a scene of MASS MURDER.

          - into a real thing. Actors had to learn a few lines and a ton of fight choreography, set design had to put together the perfect lobby space, stunt coordinators worked out all the wire tricks and taught the actors harness work, directors placed cameras and sought perfect angles, the music supervisor auditioned track after track for the scene, wardrobe tried and discarded a whole Vampire LARP’s worth of black trenchcoats and sunglasses just to find the right look for Neo and Trinity, etc. All for a sequence that, in the final film, runs for less than five minutes.

          Hell, when I was writing RUNNER+, my zombie post-apocalypse novel, I had this bitchin’ idea for an action sequence. My protagonist, Rockaway, would ride down a really long zipline – during a thunderstorm! – and land on the roof of an old church. She’d slip on some debris and nearly fall off the roof, just barely pull herself back up only to see an enemy coming down the zipline in hot pursuit. She’d barely manage to get her rifle free just in time to shoot him and send him tumbling into the flooded city street below, then collapse exhausted against the bell tower as the storm raged on in ruined NYC.

          It takes three sentences to describe it … and almost twenty pages to actually tell it in the book from start to finish. My mileage may vary – some authors would do that in less, some in more, depending in part on personal style as well as factors such as the importance of that scene to the story as a whole – but the point is that taking it from the visual I have in my head to a fully fleshed out sequence on the page is not an easy one.

          What you’re describing that you see in your head is the three sentence summary. The reason it dies a quick death after you jot it down is that it needs more than those three sentences to live. It needs the time, attention and care of being brought to life a line at a time … and that’s not easy. Writing is very often the process of putting your head down, keeping your eyes on the end result and fighting your way through stubborn prose that just does NOT want to become the beautiful, awesome thing you see in your head. It’s easy to get discouraged after the initial rush fades, because you see the amazing thing in your mind and compare it to what you have on the page and the difference is frankly really depressing at times.

          But you have to keep going.

          And yes, self-doubt is often part of the process. As is hating what you’re working on from time to time, or being convinced no one will ever want to read it, etc. The cliche of the author staring at rejection letter after rejection letter – from agents, from publishers, from magazines – is so familiar that most people don’t realize just how hard it can be to cope with in reality. But that’s just it. You have to cope with it all. The rejections, the bad reviews, the self-doubt, the impatience of wishing it could just become on the page what it already is in your head, the fear that even if you do finish no one will like it. Neil Gaiman famously called this part of writing The Slog – the time between the rush of an initial idea and the satisfaction of wrapping it up, which incidentally is the majority of anyone’s time writing.

          Mostly writing isn’t a cinematic moment of fevered inspiration, it’s just the day to day work of putting down one line after another, like a dot matrix printer slowly drawing an ASCII picture++. I think as a culture we do a lot of people disservice in how artists are portrayed in entertainment because we tend to focus only on those moments when everything is coming so easily, and imply that removing the fabled “writer’s block” can only be done by meeting a quirky soulmate at a coffee shop and going on a ski adventure full of wacky hijinks or something. That leads people to believe that being an artist is like being visited by capricious magic elves who bestow inspiration at random, when in reality it’s mostly about the capacity to stick with a vision even when it is dull or apparently hopeless. Because if you do, it generally does get better, or at the very least it gets finished, which is more than 95% of people get.

          So I’m not telling you “sack up” or anything like that. Just that you can recognize what you’re feeling is normal, and that the only way to get past it is to realize that most every writer gets it – but the only ones who will ever know the satisfaction of a work completed are the ones who work through it.

          True story.

          .
          *Not the actual shooting script.
          +Shameless plug!: http://amzn.to/11a0cjl
          ++ Because I’m tech savvy like 1985.

    • Pete says good stuff.

      I’d add: Just write it all down anyway. You have to find ways to shut down inner self-doubt because inner self-doubt is what prevents us from moving forward. Eventually, in the editing phase, you need to reclaim doubt and figure out how to hone and sharpen what you barfed onto paper.

      – c.

  • Really love what you’ve said here, and I think it’s cool what you’re doing.

    So here’s the project I want to see get funded: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tremblingvoid/the-switch-a-fantastic-transgender-comedy?ref=home_location

    A show like this that’s focused on trans* characters is really, desperately needed, and they’re not very close to their goal of $75,000 (with less than 2 weeks to go). I’m not connected to the show, but I do have a personal investment in seeing it succeed — as a Vancouverite who’s invested in arts culture and as a genderqueer person.

    *flails arms vaguely in conclusion*

  • I’m kind of indifferent to this whole thing but I will say that I occasionally spotlight Kickstarter projects over at AmberUnmasked.com as well (not that I’m trying to take traffic away from your site) and I just drafted a post last night about a great project that I would love to see get funded. So y’know…in addition to checking Terrible Minds for Kickstarter shout outs, also check AmberUnmasked.com.

    Okay, shameless plug is over.

  • My concern (unfounded, as I’m nowhere near selling a spec, it would seem) is that, given the welded-sphincter, extraordinarily risk-averse attitude Hollywood has adopted, is this going to be just another crutch for studios/producers to lean on and avoid committing to anything other than slam-dunk, pre-funded efforts?

    Will a producer, say, tell me: Hey, go get a million in financing for your spec and we’ll take a chance.

  • Wendy – That’s interesting about the low rate of movies/documentaries being made after Kickstarter funding. I have only recently been tracking Kickstarter and am interested more in magazines/publications/anthologies (i.e. Electric Velocipede, the Glitter & Mayhem antho) seeking funding. It seems like most of those do follow through, but it would be interesting to see comparative numbers for the types of projects that are actually completed/realized after funding.

  • Chuck, love this post. So true, Kickstarter is a great thing, and a level playing field. People will donate to whatever gets them in the gut. If that’s tv, hey fine. If it’s music or a new product or the arts, great.

    Here’s two having to do with writing/reading romance (a documentary) and a young girl who published a story. Both successful, so this isn’t promo, just an example of the various kinds of things getting “kickstarted.”

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1162698421/love-between-the-covers?ref=live
    This fascinating, fun documentary will reveal the remarkable global community of women who create, consume and love romance novels.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/391211598/lauren-age-11-publishes-the-clown-that-lost-his-fu?ref=live Lauren (Age 11) Publishes The Clown that Lost His Funny

  • The criticism I’d read about it, in the somewhat misleadingly titled Slate article:

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2013/03/15/veronica_mars_movie_project_kickstarter_campaign_did_it_ruin_crowd_funding.html

    was not that it ruined Kickstarter, but might change the way Hollywood does business.

    “Why should a major entertainment studio like Warner Bros. risk their own money when they can get fans to pay in advance?”

    “Or will it be seen as the moment Hollywood got wise and realized they no longer needed to wait until a movie or a TV show or an album actually exists to soak fans with an overpriced deluxe package?”

    Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I think it’s too early to tell. It may mean more publicity for indie film projects, or more studios willing to distribute indie films because they can see there’s an audience for them.

  • In to plug Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1537879721/long-hidden-speculative-fiction-from-the-margins-o — an anthology from Crossed Genres magazine, edited by Daniel Jose Odler and Rose Fox. I hope it’s okay to quote from their KS info, because they explain it perfectly:

    “Most written chronicles of history, and most speculative stories, put rulers, conquerors, and invaders front and center. People with less power, money, or status—enslaved people, indigenous people, people of color, queer people, laborers, women, people with disabilities, the very young and very old, and religious minorities, among others—are relegated to the margins. Today, mainstream history continues to perpetuate one-sided versions of the past while mistelling or erasing the stories of the rest of the world.

    There is a long and honorable legacy of literary resistance to erasure. This anthology partakes of that legacy. It will feature stories from the margins of speculative history, each taking place between 1400 and the early 1900s and putting a speculative twist—an element of science fiction, fantasy, horror, or the unclassifiably strange—on real past events.”

    • That was going to be my plug as well, so I’ll just second it instead. Check it out folks, at this moment they’re close to adding 50,000 words to the anthology.

  • I’ve pledged to 2 kickstarters – a fan-made Terry Pratchett film which is now in post-production and looks fucking amazing, and a dance theatre show which is also going to go ahead. I’m proud to be able to contribute a little to things I like and no one is forcing me to do it so I really don’t understand those criticisms.

  • Here’s another thing about how Kickstarter works that people seem to be forgetting: When you back a project, the “Congratulations” screen that loads after the transaction is completed shows you four “Recommended Projects.”

    That is, a big media-drawing event like the Veronica Mars Kickstarter will inevitably expose some people to Kickstarter for the first time. Those people will then discover that there are *more cool projects* out there, some of them by tiny, indie folks. Some of those tiny, indie projects may get some unexpected funding because of this. Big projects expand the pool of potential contributors, making it easier for smaller projects to find the niche of contributors they need to get funded.

    It’s a win for everyone. Even if a big-name project fails (as one surely will, hello Bjork), the buzz about it will draw more attention to the platform and, thus make funding cool, little, indie projects that much easier.

  • My friend Brad Beaulieu is Kickstarting the third and concluding volume of his epic fantasy series The Lays of Anuskaya with the novel The Flames of Shadam Khoreh. After some creative differences, he bought the rights for his series back from Night Shade Books to release on his own. The project has hit its initial goal ($5,000) and is now pushing for interior art and more goodies. Rewards include ebook and physical editions of all three novels in the series.

    The series is epic fantasy with strong cultural threads of Tsarist Russia and medieval Persia. I really enjoyed the first two novels, and recommend them for fans of George R. R. Martin and Ursula K. LeGuin.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2119763779/the-flames-of-shadam-khoreh

  • Onboard with all of this 100%. There’s even some evidence from the Kickstarters I’ve been involved with running that bigger companies drive more people to Kickstarter itself, which then in turn works on driving some of that traffic to other, smaller projects.

    However, I do think there is one effect of larger companies entering the Kickstarter space: backers have to calibrate their expectations appropriately. That smaller company trying to just get its first game off the ground? Might not be able to have crazy stretch goals every $500 like Big Established Game Company. You might not be getting as much bang for your backer buck, but it’s still worth your consideration.

  • I love this Kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1234131468/machine-of-death-the-game-of-creative-assassinatio It’s a game based on a book that was inspired by a webcomic. SO MUCH STORY. Basic idea of the book: there’s a machine that tells people how they will die (never when or where) and it delights in giving ironic or vague predictions. A death prediction of “old age” could mean you die at age 90, or it could mean you get run over at age 30 by a 90-year-old driving a car. The game takes this one step further: you have a target to assassinate, and you have their death prediction. You have to figure out how to kill them by fulfilling that prediction. I cannot WAIT for my copy of the game to arrive. I’m gonna play the hell out of that.

  • Thanks for your post! I think people miss the fact that money for a big project and money for charity (or a smaller project) are not mutually exclusive.

    I wanted to send my project idea to you—I know you’re probably getting a ton of these—but because I’ve also been accused of ruining Kickstarter with my current project, which is hovering at a whopping $9.5k right now. I don’t know why somebody thinks a project with 250 backers is going to ruin Kickstarter, so I was glad to see that it’s all Veronica Mars’ fault now anyway. (Um, that’s a joke.)

    It’s called Emperor’s New Clothes, and it is a tabletop game project and also a story that turns the Kickstarter campaign itself into a game. I didn’t know if you’d find that interesting, but here it is:
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/springboard/emperors-new-clothes

    It runs until April 1, of course. But despite what some people are thinking, it’s not a project that is meant to be run and then canceled on the first. We’re taking the money, and delivering the product.

  • Completely agreed up there. It drives me nuts when people say things like “That money would be better spent on charity.” I understand the frustration, seeing so much raised for something physical or goods-driven, but as you say, it’s a false dichotomy.

    Anyway. Pluggin’ like boss.

    My lovely partner and writer Samantha Mathis and I have our latest crowdfunding campaign for our comic, Walking on Broken Glass. Walking on Broken Glass is an urban fantasy with a sense of humor, about a man (who happens to be a werewolf) with terrible prophetic dreams about losing his morality and doing unspeakable things to the people he loves. Understandably, this isn’t at all what he wants, so he strives every day to make up for his future wrongs. Meanwhile, he has a terrible crush on his gun-toting fashionista secretary and best friend, who is bent on changing his fate altogether.

    Meanwhile, monsters are attacking their city, in sneaky and clandestine ways. He and his pack are looking to figure out why they’re here, where they come from, and most of all, how to stop them. It’s about monsters. It’s about magic. It’s about werewolves! And witches! And vampires! (Oh my?)

    WoBG is an urban fantasy comic: action with a sense of humor, a horror story, and a love story all wrapped up in the supernatural. It updates every Sunday with sketch updates every Thursday, and has been serialized online since October, 2010. You can read up to the present chapter at our website: http://www.brokenglasscomic.com.

    And our campaign, which is just a little over a third of the way to funding and about two weeks and change left, is here! http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/walking-on-broken-glass-print-run/x/418487

  • I’m very much on board with Kickstarter. It’s made some cool things possible. Heck, you’ve gotten a chunk of money out of me as a direct result of it; I backed the Dinocalypse trilogy, which led to me buying the Miriam Black series, because holy hell you write a fun read.

    I want to plug this here game, which has 3 days and about 5 grand to go: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/iridiumstudios/there-came-an-echo-0
    The story looks interesting, and I really like the promise of the technology it’s using. Plus, I wanna keep my record of only ever having backed successful kickstarters!

  • Oh, oh, I CAN SHOW YOU MY PROJECT?

    Some friends and I decided that we missed theater stuff, and the solution to that was, clearly, to found our own theater company and put on our own play. I mean that’s EVERY sane person’s response to having a nostalgia fit over a high school play from ten years ago, RIGHT?

    Well, since we’re also delightful fantasy nerds, we decided that a Discworld play was THE MOST AWESOME OF IDEAS.

    And so I present to you, our Kickstarter for a production of Wyrd Sisters: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/osheamobile/stage-production-of-terry-pratchetts-wyrd-sisters

  • I have a Kickstarter for a pirate adventure serial and treasure hunt! :D http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/andrhia/the-daring-adventures-of-captain-lucy-smokeheart

    Already funded, but I have a bunch of stretch goals, including just mayyybe a short story by Our Gracious Host.

    I funded Veronica Mars, and I’m thrilled to get the chance to do so. One of the things KS lets us do is access different levels of success. Hollywood can make $100M on a film and consider it a failure, because the scale of success it’s looking for is ENORMOUS. It’s crazypants, but Warner just isn’t equipped to spend such small amounts of money — a “low-budget” film these days still has a number with an M in it. But the thing is, it doesn’t *have* to cost that much to make a film or a webseries (or a crazy pirate romp).

    Historically, sure, our gatekeepers haven’t been equipped for the artists who maybe have 10,000 fans max and might earn $150K a year from their work. Or for the filmmaker who spends $400,000 making the film and never turns a profit beyond recouping everyone’s costs and wages. Not a big enough bet, not a big enough ROI.

    Nonetheless, it’s suddenly plausible to make a comfortable living if those creators can go direct to the audience, as with Kickstarter. Or as with the web comic creators out there, from Penny Arcade to Andrew Hussie and beyond. Nobody needs to get rich from their art, just make a decent living. And suddenly, with tools like KS, being a modest success seems like a sensible and attainable goal.

  • A little over year ago, a friend’s project, “The Monster Alphabet,” was funded through Kickstarter (It’s an illustrated board book for kids that teaches the alphabet through the use of mythological creatures!), and recently they decided to follow up with “The Monster Numbers Book” using a similar concept. I think you and your readers will appreciate these, especially those of you with little ones who need to start learning their monsters — I mean, their numbers.

    The Kickstarter page is located here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dernjg/the-monster-numbers-book. Hope you’ll enjoy it!

  • March 18, 2013 at 1:15 PM // Reply

    I have a good friend (Jason Pitre @genesisoflegend) running his first kickstart for a small independent RPG called SPARK. I know you said not to contact you about non-story based stuff but I think this might be worth your interest for two reasons. One, the RPG is all about characters challenging their beliefs which is central to most good stories and two, it has a very cool co-operative setting building system that could be used in building fictional worlds by authors.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/Jagash/the-spark-roleplaying-game

    Cheers,

    Mark Richardson
    Cartographer and Gamer
    @slavetothehat

  • I effin’ LOVE Kickstarter! I funded my first project, Foraging & Feasting: A Field Guide & Wild Food Cookbook. It was successfully funded, or I would have emailed you about it. I can’t wait to see what you dig up.

  • Before this blog post I had no idea people were whining about Kickstarter somehow being soiled, sullied, or ruined, by the Veronica Mars campaign. I shouldn’t be surprised I guess, but I am. I’ve helped fund several projects on Kickstarter and IndieGoGo – rpgs, books, films, science projects, games, ideas – and I will keep doing so, for many reasons. We, the people, decide what gets funded and not, for good and bad (because people are both wonderful and complete douches) and that is why it works. Even if there are certain restraints, but hey, that’s life…

    People need to stop and think.

  • IndieGoGo and Kickstarter are great sites. I definately see myself utilizing them to fund my future ambitions. How long will you promote Kickstarter Campaigns Weekly (or Bi-Weekly)? For a month, a year…. eternity? Do you think this’ll be a continuos thing (like your interviews).

  • Kickstarter is LET’S PUT ON A SHOW, but instead of a localized homestead effort it’s open to anyone anywhere. And this is a beautiful thing. Making art happen is pure joy and awesomeness. And NO ONE should get to decide which art is “worthy” of anyone’s notice or worship or support. I’ve backed films and comics and loads of music and a post-apocalyptic knitting book on Kickstarter/Pozible/Indiegogo—latest in the project queue is “Darwin Meets Chaucer Off-Broadway”, a 3-part hip-hop theater cycle by evolution rapper Baba Brinkman, to be produced in NYC. It’s theater, literature, science, and philosophy; it’s also whip-smart, chock-full of clever wordplay, and has crazy beats.

    http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/darwin-meets-chaucer-off-broadway-three-plays-in-rep

  • We have a story-driven computer RPG on Kickstarter now that has gotten plenty of love from fans so far but could use more so that we can deliver a knock-your-socks-off-and-down-the-block-no-really-you-won’t-even-be-able-to-find-your-socks game.

    The game in question is Torment: Tides of Numenera, the spiritual successor to the critically acclaimed Planescape: Torment, which has been described as the hallmark for storytelling in a computer game. We want to carry on the legacy of the original and exceed its high standards of immersive gameplay and a rich, deep narrative.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/inxile/torment-tides-of-numenera

    The Kickstarter for Torment will end on Friday, April 5. Before then, we want to get the word out to fans of computer games, tabletop roleplaying games (Torment is set in the world of Numenera, the new RPG by superstar designer Monte Cook), and storytelling in general that we’d love to have them along for the ride. Every dollar raised will go toward making the game awesomer. Feel free to check out the Kickstarter page for details. And thanks!

  • Excellent summation. Thanks. I initially thought “oh oh” re: Veronica Mars but then came to realize more eyeballs on the site are good for all. I’ve done two successful kickstarters for indie films, so nothing to suggest at this time. But if you want to see what a successful indie film kickstarter looks like, check out TRIUMPH67, a Palestinian-American drama set in the midwest (now on iTunes in 34 countries) and DEATH TO PROM, a gay teen romantic comedy (only a few weeks away from completion).
    http://triumph67film.com/
    http://deathtoprom.com/

  • Posting info for my project, in case anyone is interested… I am painting pop art style portraits of images that backers submit. I’m painting them for cheap. Like.. Really cheap. I’d spend the time It’ll take me to paint these painting anyway, so I might as well make stuff that people will like, and get some money to help buy more paint, canvas, etc. Go to Kickstarter.com and search “Pop Art Yourself”, or use the link below

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1989286610/pop-art-yourself-backer-portraits-painted-by-hand

  • I have a project, a fable for women want an option to “leaning in.” It’s directed to women (our clientele) but is for anyone who wants to discover and live their life purpose without going broke. Thank you for the call to clarity. With a few days to go and 90% funded, all kinds of thoughts can come to mind about this crowd funding thing (especially at my age!) http://kck.st/12e4IJZ

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