I still can’t believe that I was sitting in my kitchen three years ago making a Kickstarter video and now the Olloclip iPhone lens is in every Apple Store worldwide. I have met so many of our Kickstarters at different events and it always brings a smile to my face, it is like meeting an old friend.
—Patrick O’Neill reflecting on his Olloclip project
Last afternoon we reached the funding goal for my Kickstarter.
I’ve been pretty much an emotionless void since then. (That’s the mean trick of running a Kickstarter campaign. You push so hard to get funded that you are completely burnt out by the time you succeed.)
But I’m grateful.
So very grateful.
And its gonna hit me hard in a day or two.
Thank you everyone who kicked in to the Kickstarter. Who tweeted and linked to it. Who showed your support.
As the campaign for To Be Or Not To Be: That Is the Adventure was winding down, creator Ryan North, overwhelmed by backers support, announced that he would “explode.” It was hard to tell exactly what he meant by that, but looking back, it seems he meant it quite literally, as evidenced in the above video. Take a look, and then read the full story on Wired.
If you are new to Kickstarter, then allow me to introduce you to Allison Weiss, an absolute powerhouse musician, blogger, and personality. Earlier this year Allison raised nearly $8,000 to make a new record after she blew past her $2,000 goal in just ten hours. Incredible.
Earlier this week, Allison unveiled the album’s title and cover in a project update. We can’t argue with the result:
Earlier this week, Allison also did an extended interview for the CD Baby podcast, and she talked a lot about her Kickstarter experience. We recommend that everyone give it a listen for some great tips on running a successful Kickstarter campaign, as well as some insights into Allison’s approach to creativity in general. It’s a great conversation with an incredible artist.
Congrats to Allison and her backers, and we’re looking forward to the record’s release on November 24th.
Though politics somehow turned it into the worst word in the world last week, we’re big subscribers to empathy — especially when it comes to the projects that we love. We want to know who the person is, why they’re on their particular quest, what keeps them going, how we can help. As backers, it’s not so much that we’re looking for the right project as it is the right person. We want to support someone that we like.
Sometimes you get lucky, though, and you get an awesome person and an awesome project in one fell swoop. And that’s certainly the case with We Scream: Voices From The Ice Cream Underground, a project by Chris Schlarb. This was the first time we had knowingly come across Chris, but after learning that his primary occupation was as a musician, his discography revealed a bunch of great records that have graced our iPods: stuff from the Castanets, My Brightest Diamond, Nels Cline, Sufjan Stevens, and I Heart Lung, among many others.
Chris’ involvement with those records was primarily as an engineer and musician — the consummate background guy. (I Heart Lung is his band, but we’re conveniently forgetting that for the sake of good storytelling.) And so it’s even more exciting to see Chris and his wife Adriana step out with We Scream, a short documentary on ice cream truck drivers in Los Angeles. (For a great line about ice cream truck drivers go here.)
The project is whimsical, a playful examination of an odd topic: just what is it really like to drive an ice cream truck all day? The project sought $2,000 and raised it with ease ($2,400), which is fortunate, as the fate of this project depended entirely on how it fared on Kickstarter, as Chris explained to us:
I’ve had the idea for We Scream bouncing around in my brain for years. With all the composing and producing I do it was just something that I have been unable to devote more time to. I told myself, if we don’t raise the money, the project is not worth doing. Thankfully, we raised the money and, perhaps of equal importance, we began to get positive feedback on something that usually exists in a vacuum.
We’re thrilled to have been of service.
Tell us about your project. We Scream: Voices From The Ice Cream Underground is a documentary film project about ice cream truck drivers and paleteros (pedal cart drivers). Very simply, I wanted to learn more about this profession and its place in our neighborhoods. I don’t think I’ve ever seen or heard anything describing a day in the life of an ice cream truck driver. That is the short film that I want to make. How did you decide on your rewards? I checked out a few of the other Kickstarter projects and tried to set rewards that would encourage a large number of small donations rather than the other way around. Thankfully with this project there won’t be too much in the way of manufacturing and mailing. We will press up a limited edition of DVD’s and everyone else will receive a download of the film in HD or SD quality with a soundtrack.
The larger donation slots were reserved for personal “Thank You’s” at the end of the film, invitations to our film premiere/ice cream social and four executive producer slots.
How many of your backers do you know personally? I would say that just under two-thirds of the backers are people my wife and I know personally. The other one-third I have never had any previous contact with at all. Two of the four executive producers (who pledged the most) were people I had never been in touch with before.
There is a parallel to playing music and touring: you are always thankful that friends and family come out to see you perform but when people outside that circle begin to support you, it adds a bit of electricity.
How are you going to be updating people as you go along? I wanted to keep the update process free for anyone to see, not just backers. As we progress, we will be posting video, music and photos from the film. So far we have posted updates with photos and specific anecdotes about the process. This is my first directorial project and I am really learning about the ice cream underground as I go. I am just trying to communicate as much of that as possible. Have you learned/discovered anything from the experience? Definitely. The entire project is a learning process. I taught myself Final Cut in a few hours just to put the trailer together. Kickstarter was the perfect impetus to get this idea up and out. Once my wife and I shot the first few hours of footage and uploaded the trailer we started getting feedback immediately. Everything from subtitle suggestions (which we will be implementing) to aspect ratio schooling. You can literally see us learning as we go.
What was unanticipated about the experience? I was surprised by the sincere enthusiasm for the project. I’ve had the idea for We Scream bouncing around in my brain for years. With all the composing and producing I do it was just something that I have been unable to devote more time to. I told myself, if we don’t raise the money, the project is not worth doing. Thankfully, we raised the money and, perhaps of equal importance, we began to get positive feedback on something that usually exists in a vacuum. What, if anything, would you change about your project? I wouldn’t change anything. So far it has been a little dream come true.