I’ve backed seven Kickstarter projects at this point, and have been really happy with the experience. I keep an eye on the campaigns running out of Cardiff, but until now I haven’t found anything that I wanted to back.
We believe many will love a unique deck incorporating humour, playful sexiness and of course that current staple of pop culture, the ever lovin’ Zombie! Just because humanity has perished from this alternate post apocalyptic zombie world doesn’t mean they have to miss out on cute girls when they play cards! And neither should you.
There’s another 7 days to go, and at this time the creators have raised almost half of their £4,500 goal. They’ve added a bunch more tiers too, so now you can get multiple decks, a calendar and desktop wallpapers. You only need to pledge £5 to get a deck (if the campaign meets its goal) but if you pledge in the higher tiers you can actually appear in the deck as either a zombie or a survivor!
This story begins six years ago when I, tired from all the global cretinism, decided to create a universal fable about human conflicts and enigmatic mystifying eyes that watch everything. After some months devoted to materializing this idea, the short film Bendito Machine premiered at festivals all over the world, receiving support that exceeded all my expectations. What I originally envisioned as a therapy to channel all that accumulated displeasure, turned out to be (thanks to the friendly welcome of the Internet world) the seed of an uncommon animation series which has occupied quite a sizeable part of my last six years.
Stephanie Pereira is Kickstarter’s Director of Art Programs, and in this diagram she illustrates the elements of a Kickstarter project. Even if you don’t use Kickstarter to raise money, there’s a lot to take from their model.
Another fascinating Kickstarter documentary project.
Wikipedia is a corrupt political environment, and it should be disrupted.
“The Encyclopedia Game” is a documentary film about Wikipedia vandalism. The film focuses on the stories of a handful of Wikipedians who have managed to be banned from the site for one reason or another. All have been accused of some sort of vandalism or disruption. Are they guilty? Are they innocent? Or is the truth more complicated than that? This is a quirky character documentary with fascinating stories that shed light on the inner workings of Wikipedia, the world’s largest and most comprehensive encyclopedia.
Filled with enthralling stories of Wikipedia vandalism, quirky and eccentric characters, and offering a look behind the scenes of the world’s most used and trusted source of information, “The Encycopedia Game” is at once amusing, intriguing, and endearing.
The largest categories continued to be Film ($32 million pledged) and Music ($19 million pledged), however Design saw the biggest growth in launched projects (235 in 2010 vs. 1,060 in 2011), Games saw the largest percentage increase in backers (up 730%), and Dance had the highest success rate (74%). All 13 categories saw at least $1 million in pledges.
I took the numbers and had a play to see if there were any interesting observations to be made. Continue reading →
Affordable digital cameras, crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, and video distribution sites like YouTube and Vimeo have all opened the door to a generation of new independent documentary filmmakers.
Many of today’s documentary filmmakers are making bold stylistic choices more often associated with narrative storytelling than documentary filmmaking and finding savvy new ways to engage audiences. By pushing the boundaries of what is considered traditional documentary filmmaking, they are stepping up to compete for the eyes of a generation raised on the often outrageous, unfiltered and unedited user-generated videos that can be found on YouTube and the conflict driven scripted Reality television that fills TV networks.
Set in a dead end town in the South Wales Valleys, it follows the adventures of working stiffs Don Daniels, and his monkey life partner (they’re just friends, really) Kenny McMonkey, as they discover that the undead stalk the valley at night. Raised on a steady diet of rubbish horror films and heavy metal, they do what any sane person would: become a pair of bad-ass, hard-living zombie hunters.
The perks are really great too: $20 gets you the whole series, another $5 gets them signed for you, but for $50 you get to commission the series artist to draw whatever you like, and $100 gets you a zombie-cameo in one of the comics!
An IndieGoGo funding campaign to film a documentary featuring the many and varied residents of Cardiff and their stories: We Are Cardiff: Portrait of a City.
We’ve always said we wanted to give a balanced version of the kind of city we live, in rather than the one dimension (drunks/chavs/benefit scroungers/hen parties) you get from most national media.
But if you look at the We Are Cardiff website, you’ll see we’ve still not really achieved that. We have a collection of lovely stories from lovely people, but there are parts of the city that we don’t have any stories from, and countless minorities and community groups who deserve to be featured.
We Are Cardiff is already a fantastic project and they only need to raise $4,500 (about £2,877) by February 17th to make the film happen. Frankly, they deserve a lot more!
In February of 2010, Rob Gorski (NYC) and Andrew Ranville (UK) purchased a 90 acre island on Craigslist (seriously), 3 miles off the coast of Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. They recently ran a Kickstarter which was funded to facilitate their plan to build an Artist Residency on the island. This island is virtually untouched as it stands. Rob and Andrew are breaking ground this summer to build a single small cabin which will house resident visual artists, musicians, and writers. Best Made Co. threw ‘em some gear too.
Total Successfully Funded Projects: 3,910 Total Dollars Pledged: $27,638,318 Total Pledges: 386,373 Total Rewards Selected: 322,526 Total Pageviews: 50,234,521 Total Visits: 15,766,248 Total Visitors: 8,294,183
There’s no easy answer here. Andrew ‘Zarf’ Plotkin is a big name in interactive fiction, and without his reputation backing up his idea, it would probably have failed. Still, he has some smart suggestions:
Some subjective factors that I can’t measure, but which I’m sure helped:
Say up front what you want to do, why you want money, and how that money will be converted into something awesome. (A list of features is not exciting, of itself. Describe an experience.)
Have a great video. I wrote a script, and then my co-conspirator Jason McIntosh and I whaled over it. Jason threw away a bunch of stuff and added a bunch of stuff; then we filmed it. Twice.
Think about your audience and who wants what. I have contributors who want an iPhone game, contributors who want interactive fiction, contributors who want to support my open-source projects, and contributors who want to support me. These are not all the same people. Rewarding all of these groups appropriately is non-trivial, and there has been some discussion about the way I did it.
For a game project, include a demo. (I realized this only barely before launch-day! The demo that I posted represents two intense weekends of work; I hope that’s a good omen for my production rate in 2011.)
Don’t be afraid to plug yourself and your CV. I know you’re all saying “how could you fail to promote yourself?!” but I had to be chivvied into it. (Thanks, Jason Scott.)
Contrariwise, don’t be a jerk. Actively don’t be a jerk. Say thank you to everybody, early and often.
A group of classical music lovers have successfully appealed for funds to release copyright-free versions of symphonies by four famous composers. The money will pay for an orchestra to record the music on an “all rights basis”.
The project, Musopen, aims to deal with a problem caused by the way copyright laws work. Although the actual symphonies written by composers in, for example, the 19th century are long out of copyright, there is separate protection for every individual performance by an orchestra. That means that in most cases, the only recordings currently in the public domain are very old performances generally recorded with poor quality equipment and plagued with hiss and crackle.