I'm making a short film with my friend and co-director Gerard Chamberlain. It's called Reel, will feature crazy martial arts action, and I think it's going to be really cool. But almost as cool as the film is the way we've decided to fund it: Kickstarter. If you'd like to read more about the film, I encourage you to check out our Kickstarter page. But this isn't about Reel. It's about our decision to ask friends, family, and total strangers alike to help us pay for it.
When Gerard first approached me with the idea for Reel – one sparked by a conversation we had had months prior – he told me he wanted to do a Kickstarter. It's a sentiment I've heard from a lot of different people, and I can't help but feel like it's turned into something of a cliche. Instead of being a new and interesting way to put yourself and your work out there, it's become just another avenue for filmmakers, wannabe or otherwise.
But the thing that makes Kickstarter so compelling isn't the money but the community. The money's nice (and the point, at least in the short term), yet it's the way that every person who puts down money becomes invested in your project that makes it so unique. Not invested in a literal sense but an emotional one. Even putting down just $1 for some Ethereal Appreciation and overly long backer updates written at an ungodly hour is a sign that a person cares about the project in some small way. Or maybe they're just curious. On Kickstarter, that $1 satiates curiosity. But it's not until $5 that a backer receives anything of any value. And even then, it's just their name on a website.
But those people are every bit as important as the people who back us in return for actual goods, tangible or otherwise. Everything we do is for them.Read More