Thursday, October 7, 2010

What the hell is Kickstarter?!

Last week we launched our REUNION Kickstarter campaign and I blogged a little bit about it here. But because this is an entirely new era in crowd-sourced funding, I thought a follow-up post explaining a little bit more about Kickstarter was in order. You can also visit Kickstarter's main page and learn a lot there.

So what the hell is Kickstarter? In their own words, Kickstarter is "a new way to fund and follow creativity". It was created to allow people to fund creative projects of all kinds. Authors use it to fund books. Musicians raise money to record new CDs. Diaspora, a proposed Facebook alternative, most famously used it to raise over $200,000 toward the development of their new website. And filmmakers are using it to fund their dream projects. It has been featured in Wired, The New York Times, and on NPR.

How does it work? Project creators post their project. Kickstarter requires a monetary goal to be posted and a time frame within which that goal must be attained. It is an all-or-nothing proposition. In our case we are hoping to raise $10,000 in ninety days. If we receive pledges totaling at least $10,000 before the ninety days is up we will have made our goal. When a goal is met donors are charged at the end of the campaign. If a goal is not met no donors are charged a penny. The project is back to square one. This deadline based system encourages donors to act now and not wait (if they're excited about, and want to fund, a particular project). People seem to respond to deadlines. And the all-or-nothing element ensures that donors are only charged to support projects that have the most chance to succeed. 

So besides supporting the arts, what do donors get from the experience? For one thing they get to see a film, a book, a CD, an art project move through all of its various stages toward completion. 

They also get rewards! Project creators, in addition to setting monetary goals and time lines, also offer rewards to donors. These rewards are, ideally, unique to the specific project. In our case our lowest possible donation is only $15. Essentially you are pre-ordering a Special "Donor Only" Edition of the finished film on DVD. And you get a thank-you on our website (launching soon - the design work is almost done!). The more you give, the more you get (higher level donations also receive the rewards applicable to all lower level donations). If you want receive a thank-you in the credits -- that's one of the rewards! Want to be an Executive Producer? If you have $500 burning a hole in your pocket, you could be!

For filmmakers this is exciting because it allows us to invite more people into our process, a process that is collaborative to begin with. With camera costs being what they are now, it is more possible than ever to make great, original films outside of the Hollywood system. Our hope is that we will be able to get a lot of smaller donations -- pre-order the DVD and save a spot on the shelf for REUNION in your horror film collection.

We will also be offering referral rewards. If you refer other people to our Kickstarter page email us at with the subject heading "Kickstarter Referral". In the body of your email let us know who you have referred to our page and, if any of those people become donors, we will add up their total donations and give YOU the reward at that amount -- and we'll round up! If you can get enough people to give you could end up with a CHARACTER NAMED AFTER YOU in the movie! And you'll be invited to the set to watch that character meet a bloody end.

But first we have to raise the money to buy blood! Help us out, donate blood!

REUNION's Kickstarter page 
Kickstarter Frequently Asked Questions 

Be seeing you...


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