Hollywood Talent Turns To Kickstarter To Escape 'Institutional Censorship'

from the exodus dept

In discussions about artists like Amanda Palmer using Kickstarter, plenty of people continue to insist that their success was made possible by their traditional industry backgrounds. We've already gone over lots of reasons why this is silly, most notably the fact that such artists do a lot of work and certainly don't coast on anything. But it also usually ignores the artists themselves, who more often than not clearly say that they are going it alone because traditional structures were holding them back. The fact that creators who have received some amount of benefit from labels/studios/publishers decide to move on anyway, and then see their careers grow, doesn't say less about platforms like Kickstarter, it says even more.

This sentiment is not limited to music, or to independent creators. Kickstarter is getting a lot of attention, and that's bound to attract bigger and bigger names. The latest, sent in by jtomic, is a feature film called The Canyons which involves some pretty serious Hollywood talent. The script is written by Bret Easton Ellis (author of American Psycho) and directed by Paul Schrader (as in, the guy who wrote Taxi Driver and the screenplay for Raging Bull). Ellis, Schrader and the producer are putting up a bunch of the money themselves and turning to Kickstarter for the rest—all because they want to escape the confines of Hollywood:

The film is a collaborative effort stewarded by former Lionsgate producer Braxton Pope as a response to the changing landscape of the film industry. Pope, Ellis and Schrader are partly financing the film themselves through Pope’s new company Sodium Fox in order to maintain complete creative control of the distinct source material. According to Schrader, “We all experienced the frustrations of financing and institutional censorship. But now, with advances in digital photography and distribution, we can tell a story in the manner we choose. Movies are changing and we’re changing with it.”

They expand on this in the video, which includes some excellent comments from all three creators. Pope talks about how the Hollywood process encourages "groupthink" and makes it hard for a film to stay true to the artists' vision. Schrader and Ellis both compare the current revolution in film to that of a hundred years ago when the medium was in its infancy, and are clearly excited about the prospect of making a film without notes from meddlesome studio execs.

There are some pretty cool funding tiers too, many of which are unsurprisingly sold out. The cast itself is being largely crowdsourced through an online audition platform, netting undiscovered talent from around the world, and anyone who pledges at least $10 gets to vote on finalists. For $500, Ellis and Pope offered to watch your short film and share their honest reactions (with links) to their followers on Twitter & Facebook (all 10 slots for that one are already sold out). For $1,500 they'll do the same with a feature-length film. For $5,000, Ellis reviews your novel (again, sold out) or Schrader gives you notes on your script (a few left at time of writing). One lucky backer has already snagged the single $10,000 "De Niro's Money Package", which comes with a money clip autographed by Robert De Niro and given to Schrader on the set of Taxi Driver.

So there can be absolutely no doubt that these guys are using their momentum from the traditional Hollywood system to make this project possible—but I'm at a loss as to how that says anything good about Hollywood. I doubt any of these creators had any real need to finance a film themselves, but they saw a growing opportunity to go directly to their fans and make movies the way they really want to make them, and they jumped on it. That's not coasting on the past—it's embracing the future.



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  1.  
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    vegetaman (profile), May 18th, 2012 @ 7:47pm

    Cool beans.

    I've been waiting for something like this to happen; excellent news.

    However, let's hope that the MPAA/CARA don't try to sabotage the movie by tagging it with NC-17 or some such nonsense.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 18th, 2012 @ 7:53pm

    I think most 'traditionalists' argue for choice.
    For many, traditional funding is still the best option, for some, a Kickstarter model is the best.
    Is anyone trying to halt 'kickstarter' funding? I don't think so.
    Therefore it's a bit of a non story.
    Some in Hollywood go for the studio deal, some find an alternative funding model. same in music. NO big deal, unless one method tries to shut down the other.

     

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  3.  
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    Matt T. (profile), May 18th, 2012 @ 8:20pm

    Re: Cool beans.

    Depending on how they release the film, that may be an empty move on their part. Just because these guys are top-level talent doesn't necessarily mean they'll try to go to the theaters, after all.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 18th, 2012 @ 8:29pm

    "plenty of people continue to insist that their success was made possible by their traditional industry backgrounds."

    The traditional industry only exists due to government established broadcasting and cableco monopolies and one sided IP laws that deter restaurants and other venues from hosting independent performers. Their need is entirely artificial and if these artificial barriers to information distribution were removed many would be successful, as the Internet is showing (which is why incumbent IP extremists are trying very hard to destroy the Internet like they destroyed everything else).

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 18th, 2012 @ 8:33pm

    Re:

    "I think most 'traditionalists' argue for choice."

    That's a lie because if that were true they would

    A: Relinquish their government established broadcasting monopolies

    B: Relinquish their government established cableco monopolies

    C: Stop preventing restaurants and other venues from hosting independent performers (without paying a parasite collection society an unnecessary fee).

    D: Stop destroying services, like Megaupload and Veoh (deemed legal), for no good reason.

    I'm all for more choices, which is why I think these anti-competitive laws should be abolished. This would give artists more and better information distribution choices. But IP extremists only want to limit the choices of artists by trying to prevent them from being able to distribute their content without going through them.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 18th, 2012 @ 8:43pm

    Re:

    and the choice argument is intended to benefit IP holders. IP laws should not be about giving IP holders (or artists) a choice, they should be solely about providing a public benefit. The more IP extremists make this about anything else the more I want these laws abolished. Abolish IP laws. These laws should never be about anyone but the public, helping the artist should only be seen as a means to the public benefit.

    and the 'choice' to give IP holders an option to use the government, and our tax dollars, to control what others do with copies of his/her works takes away my choice to freely copy as I please, a choice that is not in any way morally wrong. IP laws should not be about preventing some non-existent transgression against IP holders (or artists), infringement is not morally wrong and so is not a transgression against anyone. It should only be to serve a public benefit. That you are making this about something else makes me want to further abolish these laws.

    No one is entitled to have the choice of having the government enforce their (IP) monopoly privileges (and fund such enforcement) and if that's their purpose then abolish them. Giving them this choice takes away my choice not to pay for this enforcement and not to pay for laws I don't want.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 18th, 2012 @ 8:50pm

    Re: Re: Cool beans.

    I see a use for that THORA-based independent HD system that came up last week.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 18th, 2012 @ 9:34pm

    This is brilliant news. I have never been a fan of the way movies are made in Hollywood, and anything that helps creators break out of that shell and become more original is good in my books. Add to that the fact that this case will probably be highly visible (and successful), and you'll get more talent thinking they might be able to go it without the middlemen.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 18th, 2012 @ 9:40pm

    Re:

    Did anyone say we should break up all movie companies and never let any movie company use the old system of business organization? No.

    What people have said (and are saying) is that the draconian IP laws and accompanying crippling DRM that these companies think they require to make a profit are both ridiculous and harmful to society, and they should be done away with. The companies themselves are free to continue following whatever business model they see fit once the legal situation has been changed to be more balanced. The fact that they'll probably go bankrupt is really none of my business.

    If Techdirt is advocating the Be More Human and Awesome model, it's because the folks here actually care about artists more than I do. They want everyone to succeed in the digital age, so they're doing their best to offer different models for how that could happen. It's a public service, really. I personally would never have the energy to argue with everyone who's afraid of the change that's already happened.

     

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  10. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, May 18th, 2012 @ 10:02pm

    basically nobodies who want to tell another crappy story without the backers demanding they make the film actually make money

    they werent anyone 20 years ago, they are still no one today

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 18th, 2012 @ 10:17pm

    I'm sure there are people who WANT to see the Hays Code put back into place.

    The MPAA's system, even flawed still gives filmmakers those pesky things called rights.

    I'm not defending the MPAA's action, just pointing out the obvious.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), May 18th, 2012 @ 10:44pm

    Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    They have met their goal, but haven't yet raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some of the rewards are pretty cool, so I would have thought there would be more takers. Maybe it hasn't gotten enough publicity yet. Or maybe their fans are either broke or reluctant to spend.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 18th, 2012 @ 10:47pm

    "I doubt any of these creators had any real need to finance a film themselves, but they saw a growing opportunity to go directly to their fans..."

    The expertise of these gentlemen in film is as screen writers, so it is a bit difficult to see how they would have a fan following.

    I hope they succeed, but for it to happen they had better have one good producer.

     

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    The dude, May 18th, 2012 @ 11:05pm

    Re:

    Well dude, not everybody can be as sucessfull as you, I mean managing to post comments criticizing other peoples's attempts to try something new, is really an acomplishment very few people can claim as theirs.
    Keep aiming for the stars!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 18th, 2012 @ 11:14pm

    Pope talks about how the Hollywood process encourages "groupthink" and makes it hard for a film to stay true to the artists' vision.

    Goodbye dinosaurs. If you can't adapt to crowdsourcing than you deserve to die. No tears shed here.

     

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    Leigh Beadon (profile), May 18th, 2012 @ 11:19pm

    Re:

    Some in Hollywood go for the studio deal, some find an alternative funding model. same in music. NO big deal, unless one method tries to shut down the other.

    Agreed. And given that the large, well-funded movie studio lobbies (read: MPAA) are actively trying to shut down new services by demanding draconian legislation that impinges on the right of free speech and fails to recognize the reality of modern cultural progress, I'd say your "unless" has already happened and is in full swing.

     

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  17.  
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    Leigh Beadon (profile), May 18th, 2012 @ 11:20pm

    Re:

    You're right. Raging Bull was a flash-in-the-pan and by no means a seminal part of movie history and one of the most indisputably brilliant films ever made.

     

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  18.  
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    Leigh Beadon (profile), May 18th, 2012 @ 11:23pm

    Re:

    The expertise of these gentlemen in film is as screen writers, so it is a bit difficult to see how they would have a fan following.

    Seriously? Bret Easton Ellis, dude! Personally I'm no huge fan, but that guy has a crazy following. And motherfucking TAXI DRIVER & RAGING BULL? I'll admit I had no idea who Schrader was before I read about this movie, but the moment I saw his resume I was SOLD. The man may be a genius, or he may just have a talent for working alongside geniuses - I don't know enough about Hollywood to be sure. But either way, I will gladly (and eagerly) watch anything he makes with the knowledge that he made those two films.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 18th, 2012 @ 11:54pm

    Re:

    So, hurricane head, you've decided to advocate for labels even though you refuse to work with one?

    you werent anyone 20 years ago, you're still no one today

     

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  20.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), May 19th, 2012 @ 12:15am

    Re:

    The expertise of these gentlemen in film is as screen writers, so it is a bit difficult to see how they would have a fan following.

    Wow. You really should try not to speak from a position of total ignorance, even if you do seem to do it frequently.

    Brett Easton Ellis has a somewhat rabid fan base.

     

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  21.  
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    AzureSky (profile), May 19th, 2012 @ 1:17am

    the next target

    Kickstarter the next "rouge site" to be targeted by the mafiaa....

     

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  22.  
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    orbitalinsertion (profile), May 19th, 2012 @ 1:47am

    Re:

    If you think only actors have fans, you're nuts. People followed, even prior to the days of the internet, various writers, directors (acting, photography, lighting, sound, music, etc.), producers, effects people (all sorts), costume designers, you name it. I'm sure there are people with a favorite key grip.

     

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  23.  
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    orbitalinsertion (profile), May 19th, 2012 @ 1:52am

    I'm sure things get even more flexible, especially for non-established artists, if distribution via theaters is not a primary (at least for initial release) requirement.

     

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  24.  
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    Svante Jorgensen (profile), May 19th, 2012 @ 3:33am

    Fresh

    Wow, this is so interesting and fresh. I hope they will have great success, and I'm looking forward to cinema not being 90% textbook disappointments.

    Disappointments I can handle, but at least make something new instead of Hero-Movie number 129 and Sobby Yet Comforting Love Story number 267. Don't make me feel that I have seen the movie 100 times before under different names - and stil don't like it.

     

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  25.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 19th, 2012 @ 3:43am

    Re:

    So, you actually agree with us then? Artists should follow whatever model is best for them, and the "traditional" model is not the only one, nor the only one that can bring success to artists.

    Glad you can finally agree with what's been said here for years, despite your bullshit lie about wanting to shut down traditional methods.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2012 @ 3:46am

    Re: the next target

    you're right there. if they cant own it, cant beat it, sue it into the ground, get it shut down! sounds like a plan to me!!

     

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  27.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 19th, 2012 @ 3:53am

    Re:

    "they werent anyone 20 years ago, they are still no one today

    OK, let's see your work. If you have anything to compare with Blue Collar, American Psycho, Taxi Driver, Less Than Zero, American Gigolo, Rules Of Attraction, Raging Bull and The Informers, I'll be impressed but at least your impotent rage would have a point.

    Otherwise, you're a pathetic failure who can't even accept that his corporate gods are not the only game in town.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2012 @ 4:08am

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on May 18th, 2012 @ 10:47pm

    The expertise of these gentlemen in film is as screen writers, so it is a bit difficult to see how they would have a fan following.

    know who else was a screen writer and managed a huge cult following? Joss Whedon

     

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  29.  
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    Blatant Coward (profile), May 19th, 2012 @ 4:08am

    Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    I think one thing that would help would be having a higher number of below $30 tiers that cost the maker little or nothing to produce.
    I see $25-30 for a DVD/CD, and I'm like, no-this goes whether in a store or online. I go to the Family dollar & walmart a lot, it'll be in a bin eventually. If I remember the movie by then.
    $10 for a digital download that I can keep, sold.
    $5 put your name in the credits in a backers section.
    $5 for a 30 day access to stream online, even that would be good.

    Granted these are small 'rocks' but you can build a dang big wall with small rocks and get more eyes on the project too.

     

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  30.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 19th, 2012 @ 4:15am

    Re:

    "The MPAA's system, even flawed still gives filmmakers those pesky things called rights."

    Watch the documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated, then get back to us. You'll be surprised at how selectively those rights are granted,

     

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  31.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 19th, 2012 @ 4:19am

    Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    "They have met their goal, but haven't yet raised hundreds of thousands of dollars."

    So? If they met their goal, they have what they need... At least wait the 3 weeks until their funding cycle ceases. Why do you think it takes hundreds of thousands of dollars to make a movie, anyway? Do some research on how many great movies cost less.

    "Maybe it hasn't gotten enough publicity yet. Or maybe their fans are either broke or reluctant to spend."

    I just heard about it with this article, despite following Ellis on Twitter. time zones are funny like that. Despite this, they raised their stated goal total before I did. After that, many Kickstarter fans will give their money to some other project that hasn't met its goal yet.

     

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  32.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 19th, 2012 @ 4:24am

    Re:

    "The expertise of these gentlemen in film is as screen writers, so it is a bit difficult to see how they would have a fan following."

    Then you can count a complete misunderstanding of film fans among the many, many, false ideas you have.

     

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  33.  
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    drew (profile), May 19th, 2012 @ 4:29am

    Re:

    Interesting definition of "nobodies" you have there.
    Also a question for you, is the sole purpose of a movie to make money?

     

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  34.  
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    drew (profile), May 19th, 2012 @ 4:32am

    Re: Fresh

    "but at least make something new instead of Hero-Movie number 129 and Sobby Yet Comforting Love Story number 267"

    ^^^ This! This! A thousand times this!

     

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  35.  
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    Michael, May 19th, 2012 @ 5:40am

    Re: Re: the next target

    "you're right there. if they cant own it, cant beat it, sue it into the ground, get it shut down! sounds like a plan to me!!"

    Sue Kickstarter? For what, daring to fund compelling alternatives to the same-old mainstream garbage? Good luck with that.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2012 @ 5:55am

    Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    I don't know about small rocks, not having a digital download seems weirdly antiquated especially when using kickstarter to fund and it is enough to put me off.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2012 @ 6:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    As in I agree with you except about calling them small rocks.
    Those price points are effectively the same as the amounts paid by the movie going public and so represent the standard building blocks rather than anything to be sniffed at.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2012 @ 6:04am

    Re: Cool beans.

    Does the MPAA matter when releasing movies through digital distribution or DVD only? I think they're only really needed for theatrical releases.

     

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  39.  
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    Dreddsnik, May 19th, 2012 @ 6:38am

    Re: Re:

    I sincerely hope that Joss Whedon gets on this 'Bandwagon'.
    I know many would argue with this but just imagine what his past work would look like without studio interference, considering how good his ( even the short lived ) offerings were WITH executive level meddling. My wallet would open.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2012 @ 6:39am

    Re: Re:

    and here is more evidence supporting the fact that these organizations aren't simply interested in stopping infringement, they want to stop competition altogether.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100430/1218009261.shtml#c877

     

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  41.  
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    hfbs (profile), May 19th, 2012 @ 8:07am

    Re:

    They're on Kickstarter - probably the most successful crowdsourcing site around. Hardly 'not adapting' to it.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2012 @ 8:19am

    Re: Re:

    By your comment it suggests to me that you may not be fully aware of the various roles associated with the people who work behind the scenes (i.e., off-screen) to create a movie and distribute it for viewing, all with the hope that it will strike a responsive chord with the public.

    These gentlemen (certainly at least Schrader) are well respected within movie making circles. However, even the very best screen play that has ever been written only makes it to the big screen with the assistance as a myriad of other persons who round out the production "cast", and the key person in that "cast" is the producer. He/she is involved in every aspect of the process, and it is his/her performance in the role of producer that is so important if a film is to have the greatest chance of enjoying critical acclaim.

    Frankly, I never really understood the role played by producers until I learned what their "job description" actually entails. If one views a production as a business, it is the producer who serves as its CEO, and just as a poor CEO can doom the prospects for success of any business, a great one enhances its prospects.

    Hence my comment. These two gentlemen do need to associate themselves with a truly knowledgeable producer, and then let the producer run the business while they focus on the screen play.

    The opportunity here is to create the "business" without interference from Hollywood studio "suits". That in itself is a "sea change", which is why I stated my hope that this venture does achieve critical acclaim within the industry and with the public.

    Feel free to criticize me all you want, but before doing so consider for just a moment the possibility that this is one area with which I have a great deal of familiarity, not only with stage and television productions, but also those associated with the "big screen".

     

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  43.  
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    Michael, May 19th, 2012 @ 8:19am

    Re: Re: Cool beans.

    The MPAA/Hollywood has an iron grip on theatres. I'm sure that technically it is possible to get screenings in a limited amount of theatres for unrated movies. For most theatres it would be considered an affront to Hollywood to have regular showings for films outside of the MPAA's 'regulatory oversight' (remind you of anything? *hint hint*). Therefore, most wouldn't risk it.

    But outside of theatrical distribution, there's really nothing the MPAA can do. Anyone can both create and distribute a movie.

    By observing how the MPAA regulates theatrical releases, and how theatres are in turn subservient, one can come to understand the sort of blanket regulatory capture these and other major media groups are desperately trying to throw over the internet as a whole. Learn your lessons well.

     

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  44.  
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    Michael, May 19th, 2012 @ 8:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Cool beans.

    Oh, almost forgot. If they wanted to really make an exception and break from the old guard, technically they could always finance the creation of a new brand of theatres to escape from the MPAA's (evil) clutches. Whether or not anyone is willing to do so, I don't know, but I'd applaud their courage.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2012 @ 8:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Fresh

    I utterly disagree with that rubbish. I have seen the number set at 4, 7, 11, and higher, and it is always wrong, because the core concept falls prey to the logical fallacy of sorting. I can say that every story in which someone takes a trip is a journey story, but that may not, in fact, be true. With broadly enough defined parameters, I can narrow the history of human stories down to 2 plots: a character trying to accomplish a goal, and a character reacting to their environment (with almost all modern stories falling into the first category). But how is that useful at all?

    Additionally, the very best art (including Shakespeare himself) is about the creativity of the expression, not the newness of the story. The problem with having the same 50 people doing groupthink on every major film released in this country is that those 50 people will repeat the same elements in the same order and style over and over. They see success as something to be copied exactly, rather than as a jumping off point for future experimentation. Therefore, their expression is uncreative and stifling.

    Watch a bunch of indie films and then we can talk.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2012 @ 9:21am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "it suggests to me"

    If you haven't noticed by now, no one else here takes your opinion seriously.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2012 @ 9:26am

    Re: Re:

    Yes, but that model should be successful of it's own accord, without requiring that the existing model be disassembled by blatant piracy and illegal actions.

    If you want to beat the current system, make a new system that beats it. Don't try hurting the existing system until ANYTHING is better. That isn't a victory, that is a group defeat.

     

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  48.  
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    The eejit (profile), May 19th, 2012 @ 10:10am

    Re: Re: Re:

    And if you are left with no alternative? For example, I cannot support progams such as The Legend of Korra because it is not going to be available until the Autumn scheduling.

     

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  49.  
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    The eejit (profile), May 19th, 2012 @ 10:11am

    Re: Re:

    Apparently so, but not for the actual makers of the art, just the funders.

     

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  50.  
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    The eejit (profile), May 19th, 2012 @ 10:13am

    Re: Re: Re:

    ...And yet you continually refuse to tell us who you are.

    I can think of at least two producers who would probably be interested in making this film, and one director (so long as they all got along, that is).

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), May 19th, 2012 @ 10:15am

    Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    So? If they met their goal, they have what they need... At least wait the 3 weeks until their funding cycle ceases. Why do you think it takes hundreds of thousands of dollars to make a movie, anyway? Do some research on how many great movies cost less.

    What I am saying is that they are offering some cool rewards and yet not that many people have signed up for them.

    Yes, you can say that as long as the original funding goal has been met it doesn't matter.

    But, if you compare what they are doing to Amanda Palmer, who has reached over $750,000 so far and who also had an initial $100,000 goal, then it makes you wonder why her fans have come out in such great numbers and these screenwriters' fans have not. Is it the type of rewards? Is it the fan relationship? Is it the publicity?

     

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  52.  
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    Eponymous Coward, May 19th, 2012 @ 10:18am

    Knowing the players involved interest in topical, social commentary I really hope this is an expose of Hollywood itself. Especially airing its dirty laundry along the lines that Enty (an entertainment lawyer) and Himmmm (who is supposedly a group of 4, one if whom is rumored to be Robert Downey Jr.) do on the Crazy Days and Nights gossip blog. For those who never heard of it here's an intro article from Jezebel: http://jezebel.com/5892565/is-robert-downey-jr-spreading-insider-celeb-gossip-on-blogs

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2012 @ 11:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think I understand your comment. Using AC is somehow markedly different from using a preudonym.

     

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  54.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), May 19th, 2012 @ 11:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    Kickstarter can be used as a form of support and/or for presales.

    I think those using it for presales and offering items unavailable otherwise or at a discount seem to raise more money than those projects mainly hoping for support.

    I don't know if these screenwriters are perceived as being famous/rich enough not to need more money than they have raised or whether potential supporters either don't know about or don't want to buy the rewards, but I am surprised. I think the rewards look pretty cool, myself.

    I've also looked at Palmer's rewards and I think she's offering an interesting and fairly priced collection of rewards. For example, $300 for an art soiree isn't too much for the crowd that likes to attend these things. And she is offering some packages that you can only get via her Kickstarter project. I think she (and/or her team) has a good business sense.

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2012 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Mike isn't anonymous and you are.

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2012 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: the next target

    Even with the risk, I would be so curious to see them actually sue Kickstarter - and then someone starting a Kickstarter project to fund the lawyers etc.

    I think the amount raised on that could be a well deserved slap for MPAA.

     

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  57.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), May 19th, 2012 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    What amazes me is how condescending and superior you act even when speaking from a position of total ignorance.

    First you claimed that these "screenwriters" have no fans. You were totally wrong.

    Then, rather than admit you were wrong, you changed the story. Now you're claiming they have no experienced producer, ignoring that the third member of the team is Braxton Pope, who was at Lionsgate and has plenty of producing experience, or that both Schrader and Ellis have producing experience.

    Care to admit you spoke from ignorance? Or will you just change the story yet again?

     

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  58.  
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    Jay (profile), May 19th, 2012 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    He just made Avengers...

    I think he's pretty much set for right now.

     

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  59.  
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    BeeAitch (profile), May 19th, 2012 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, but that model should be successful of it's own accord, without requiring that the new model be disassembled by unneeded, paid-for legislation that harms individual rights.

    If you want to beat the new system, make the necessary changes to your existing system to make it competitive in a new market. Don't try legislating the new system until your existing system is better. That isn't a victory, that is a group defeat.

    FTFY

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2012 @ 1:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It is different, I can follow his other comments and check for inconsistencies in his views. I can better assess the reliability of his comments and check how often he knows what he's talking about on other topics that I'm more familiar with to determine if he has a reputation of making things up when he doesn't know what he's talking about. I can't do that with you.

     

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  61.  
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    JMT (profile), May 19th, 2012 @ 1:45pm

    Re:

    What rights does the MPAA's system give filmmakers?

     

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  62.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), May 19th, 2012 @ 2:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: the next target

    They only need to accuse the site of copyright infringement and then have ICE take it down for a year.

    To bolster that claim, they can have sock puppets 'illegally' upload content to Kickstarter.

     

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  63.  
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    The eejit (profile), May 19th, 2012 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Just because I use a pseudonym does nto mean that I cannot be identified: rather, that I choose to be identified with a name that is not my own. However, you refuse to even take that step.

    So, yes, it is markedly different.

     

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  64.  
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    The eejit (profile), May 19th, 2012 @ 3:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Fresh

    I think you missed the point: that there are a number of skeletons that a film can easily fit onto: for example, a generic Romance will have a set number of components.

     

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  65.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2012 @ 3:30pm

    I am happy to see anything that gives hollywood a kick in the backside, and i believe kickstart is doing that repeatedly. If Hollywood had not got so big headed about how they controlled there customers and the creators of there content they might have been a driving force behind the future of movies, now all I see is them being left in the dust as more and more people realize Hollywood is a parasite that leeches of people that have talent and expertise. The sooner the new breed of movie makers stop using hollywood the better, and with new funding/distribution methods opening up all the time i really don't think hollywood has more than a few years left in the game.

     

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  66.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2012 @ 4:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Apparently you choose to read more into my comments than what is stated.

    I did not state they did not have a fan base, but only that it is difficult to see how screen writers would have such a base.

    I did not state they had no experienced producer, but only that a good producer is a must (with a brief explanation of what producers, not executive-producers, actually do). If Mr. Pope meets the bill, then great.

    Would you like me to make another statement so that you can enjoy the thrill of once again putting words in my mouth that were never said?

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2012 @ 4:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    A very fair and reasonable statement. All I can say in response is I comment as an AC for professional reasons.

     

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  68.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), May 19th, 2012 @ 4:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So you can't even admit that you spoke twice out of ignorance and I called you on our both times? The "distinctions" you discuss are no distinctions at all. The only reason to make the statements you made were to imply that they had no fanbase and no producer. You were wrong both times. If you had any integrity, you'd admit that you rushed to judge where you were ignorant (even though the info was easy to ascertain).

    everyone here knows you look foolish. Now be a big boy and admit you were wrong.

     

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  69.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2012 @ 4:58pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Im still Batman

     

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  70.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2012 @ 5:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    shilling is a profession now?

     

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  71.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2012 @ 5:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Again, you are reading into my comments things that were never stated. You seem intent on assuming my motivation, which is a mistake on your part.

    If I believed that screen writers do not and cannot have a fan base, I would have said so. I did not.

    If I believed their producer was not up to the task, I would have said so. I did not.

     

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  72.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), May 19th, 2012 @ 6:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: the next target

    I'm already good for 10 bucks

     

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  73.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), May 19th, 2012 @ 10:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Then why bring up either thing? If you were not referring to this story, then it makes no sense. Either you're lying and trying to cover up how foolish you look, or you just randomly made claims for no reason.

    Everyone here knows why you said what you said. Man up already and admit it.

     

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  74.  
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    Eponymous Coward, May 19th, 2012 @ 10:14pm

    Pile-on-party!!

    One doesn't need to "read more" into your statements when your ignorance on this is so transparent!

    >"If I believed that screen writers do not and cannot have a fan base, I would have said so. I did not."

    Yet you did with the difficult to see remark: "The expertise of these gentlemen in film is as screen writers, so it is a bit difficult to see how they would have a fan following." Besides that, you also reveal your ignorance by referring to Ellis as a screenwriter when he is more known, and has a following, as a literary writer.

    >"If I believed their producer was not up to the task, I would have said so. I did not."

    This is bullshit; you didn't even know a few remarks upstream that a producer was linked to this project so how would you believe he wasn't up to it. "These two gentlemen do need to associate themselves with a truly knowledgeable producer, and then let the producer run the business while they focus on the screen play." Again you're revealing your ignorance, and/or inability to even read the post or watch the video in which he speaks: "The film is a collaborative effort stewarded by former Lionsgate producer Braxton Pope".

    So instead of criticizing others for reading too much into what you say maybe you should learn to read what they do say first so you appear better informed!

     

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  75.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 12:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    "But, if you compare what they are doing to Amanda Palmer, who has reached over $750,000 so far and who also had an initial $100,000 goal, then it makes you wonder why her fans have come out in such great numbers and these screenwriters' fans have not."

    I don't know, and the funding cycle is still in progress. They still have 3 weeks left to go. Let's see how much they manage to raise in that time, but it's truly irrelevant at this point. They have backers for every level from $1 to over $10,000. They have the money they asked for, and the film is gong to be made. What else really matters?

    Do you also criticise traditional funding methods when one project "only" reaches its funding goal and another exceeds it?

     

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  76.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 12:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "All I can say in response is I comment as an AC for professional reasons."

    Nobody's asking you to use your real name, or a name through which you can be personally identified. All we ask is that if you wish to be taken seriously across a number of posts, you should choose a name so that your comments can be differentiated from all other AC posts.

    Your unwillingness to do this calls your honesty into question, as it suggests that you don't wish your consistency and positions to be examined beyond whatever story you happen to be commenting on at the moment.

     

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  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2012 @ 2:23am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Who suggested that we tear anything at all down? We're discussing new options for funding

     

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  78.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 3:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    One aspect of the fantasy world that exists in AC's mind is that you either have to 100% unquestioningly support the existing status quo, or you're a pirate. In his head, there's no middle ground. So, merely by supporting different methods of funding and distribution, we have to support piracy and the ruin of everybody working in the old system.

    It's silly, but that's how these delusional types operate.

     

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  79.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 3:30am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Yes, but that model should be successful of it's own accord, without requiring that the existing model be disassembled by blatant piracy and illegal actions."

    You see, if you weren't such a single-minded idiot, you'd see that nothing of the sort is necessary. The old systems have their place, but if newer models are better at dealing with market realities - even if you dislike that reality - then they will succeed where the old models fail. This is how the real world works.

    "Don't try hurting the existing system until ANYTHING is better. "

    Please regale us with tales of where I support or do such a thing. Also, the tales of how new models that give the artists more creative control and power over their work is a bad thing. That would be entertaining.

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2012 @ 5:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Again, you are reading into my comments things that were never stated. You seem intent on assuming my motivation, which is a mistake on your part."

    Oh, the irony of an AC stating Mike is reading into what he said things that were never stated. I sure wish we could trace all your comments back in time. We definitely wouldn't find you guilty of doing the same thing to Mike. /s

    AC, please, get off your high horse. Writing styles tend to be quite unique to individuals. Yours is easily recognizable. You're way more guilty of doing what I quoted above than Mike is. And your comments so far, sorry to say, are exactly as Mike is pointing them out to be. Dismissive til someone presents proof to show you're wrong, at which point you suddenly try and twist/change them into meaning something else. You wonder why you're a joke here/no one respects you or cares about your opinion? It's because you aren't even man enough to own up to being wrong on occasion.

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2012 @ 6:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Fresh

    And you missed my point: with Kickstarter and other more decentralized funding methods, that doesn't have to be true anymore. We don't have to settle for repetitive plotting and just assume it's an immutable law of human storytelling. It's not.

     

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  82.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 7:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    I don't know, and the funding cycle is still in progress. They still have 3 weeks left to go. Let's see how much they manage to raise in that time, but it's truly irrelevant at this point. They have backers for every level from $1 to over $10,000. They have the money they asked for, and the film is gong to be made. What else really matters?

    I'm a marketing person and I like to study all Kickstarter projects to see what works and what doesn't work. And the more Kickstarter becomes the place to go for fundraising, the more people are going to look for tips to create the most successful campaigns. Here's a great example:

    AMANDA PALMER HAS A HUGE HACK

     

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  83.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 8:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    Well, I suppose there's value in evaluating relative successes to use in future projects and why one project might make more money (although, again, this particular project's campaign still has 3 weeks to go). As something that is directly relevant to your field, I can see why you would be interested in examining why some campaigns are more successful than others.

    But, I'm not entirely sure why you're so negative. The project is funded. The film will be made. The campaign has achieved its goal well before its deadline. I'm not sure why a project "only" overshooting its target by 20% instead of 700% matters, outside of an intellectual exercise.

    You seem to be attacking the campaign as unsuccessful, and also attacking the morals and belief of fans, when neither is remotely true. There's a thousand factors that might explain why people have apparently not been moved to throw money at it in the same way as Palmer's campaign, but the campaign has worked as intended. 120% or 750% funded, this doesn't change the fact that it worked.

     

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  84.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 8:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    But, I'm not entirely sure why you're so negative.

    I'm not being negative at all. What I am asking is this. "They have cool rewards. I wonder why they haven't gotten as many takers as Palmer?"

    It's sometimes really hard to have an open discussion on Techdirt because if you don't stick totally with the "for or against" mentality typical in the Techdirt comments, people put you in the against category.

    Therefore anyone actually wanting to explore how to best tweak Kickstarter would likely to go elsewhere to discuss the subject. If you aren't even allowed to ask why this film has gotten one set of results and Palmer has gotten another set, then that kind of limits the discussion.

     

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  85.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2012 @ 9:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Everyone here knows why you said what you said."

    Once again you are assuming my motivation, which assumption is incorrect. My comment was made with the backdrop of my family, close relatives, friends, and acquaintances who have worked or are currently working within the theater, movie, and broadcast industies in NY, LA, Orlando and other locations associated with these industries.

    I happen to find the performing arts, and this includes music production, very fascinating, and especially what goes on behind the scenes to bring a project to fruition. What the public typically sees are the actors and performers, but long ago came to learn that they are but one part of the large number of skill sets necessary to produce the "finished product".

    Turning to my original comment that you find so troubling, my mentioning the importance of a good producer was intended, no more and no less, to note that a producer plays a critical role since it is the producer who has the "Rolodex" of all those needed for a production beyond screen writers, including financiers who are typically credited in such productions as "executive producers", a title that I have since learned can be quite misleading with regard to the role they actually serve in productions.

     

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  86.  
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    Pro Se (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 9:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I mentioned in response to an earlier post that by using AC it is difficult, if not impossible, to track one's comments. I responded that this was a fair observation. Hence, I have registered with the site using the above pseudonym.

     

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  87.  
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    G Thompson (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That makes as much sense as saying you comment as an AC because it's against your religion to do otherwise.

    ie: NONE!

    If you have this strange idea that a pseudonym would get back to you as a professional person becasue of some sort of fear that a court order might draw your postings out in a discovery, then you really need to know that this can already occur, it just takes a few more steps in the data mining phase thats all.

    Here's a hint, make up some weird acronym or random lipsum comment and use that as a pseudonym. Remember it so you can log in since you might be paranoid about cookies too and everyone would be happy, until then your views are basically worth less than someone who though anonymous using a pseudonym (unless they out themselves) ha at least some providence of historical usage to back up their knowledge and expertise.

     

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  88.  
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    Cowardly Anonymous, May 20th, 2012 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You don't even have to register, just stick a name (any name, really) in the name when making a comment. Keep it consistent and people will start to recognize you eventually.

    Registering a name protects one from underhanded moves like AC's deliberately using your name for posts that don't reflect your values (they won't get the profile link), but I haven't seen anyone trying that here.

     

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  89.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 9:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    "I'm not being negative at all."

    I'm sorry, but that is the tone you're implying - to me, at least. I apologise if I've misinterpreted your statements, but that is how I'm reading them.

    "It's sometimes really hard to have an open discussion on Techdirt because if you don't stick totally with the "for or against" mentality typical in the Techdirt comments, people put you in the against category. "

    Feel free to have a discussion, but the only thing you've mentioned in this thread is about how you think their fans may be "either broke or reluctant to spend". You started off by criticising them for not raising hundreds of thousands of dollars over and above their target. Is this really how you start an open discussion, especially given that you're addressing people who would count themselves among said fans?

    Maybe more discussions would flow the way you want them to in every thread wasn't filled with trolls and one-sided criticisms such as the above.

    "If you aren't even allowed to"

    Nobody's stopping you, are they? I see one person - me - questioning your reasons for complaining about this. I find it interesting to get peoples' reasons for their positions (and I wanted to correct you if you had been under the impression that hundreds of thousands of dollars were required to make the movie, as I had originally assumed). I've never tried to stop you from doing a damn thing.

    "why this film has gotten one set of results and Palmer has gotten another set"

    There are many possibilities, most of which don't involve questioning the moral fibre of people who haven't donated. One I can confirm for myself - I haven't donated because the target was reached before I learned of the project. I have donated to other projects recently, but see little point in donating to a fully funded project. There's also the matter of the funding cycle not yet having been completed.

    There are a lot of other possibilites. Maybe film projects just don't get funded as readily as music (I see a couple of music projects funded at over 600%, but the highest funded recent film project is only around 250%). Maybe the film community hasn't yet caught on to Kickstarter in the way that music and videogame communities seem to have done. Maybe people have been satisfied with the state of recent independent cinema and don't feel the need to support this particular project, as interesting as it may sound. Maybe people didn't like the sound of the story. Maybe the project itself just wasn't marketed as much as Palmer's. There's a lot of interesting ideas to be discussed.

    But, you've not even suggested any of these things. The only possibilities you've raised are that their fans are either broke or tight-fisted, or that they failed to offer compelling enough gifts, despite their goal having been met.

    Are you honestly surprised that this tactic has failed to generate debate in the way you claim to want to have it?

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 9:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    There are many possibilities, most of which don't involve questioning the moral fibre of people who haven't donated. One I can confirm for myself - I haven't donated because the target was reached before I learned of the project. I have donated to other projects recently, but see little point in donating to a fully funded project. There's also the matter of the funding cycle not yet having been completed.

    That is highly relevant. Why do you suppose this project might be perceived as not needing help once the goal has been reached, but Palmer has greatly exceeded her goal? And in fact, as that hack post that I linked to suggests, it was probably her intention all along to set the goal low because she gets more publicity by greatly exceeding it.

    By tossing comments back and forth with me, you are at least helping me explore the issue. In your mind, once the goal has been reached, the project creators no longer need your help. That's one way to see a project. Palmer, on the other hand, keeps adding rewards to lure in more people. And she's smart in that way. I have never funded a Kickstarter project before because everyone I know is doing them and I don't want to support some but not others. (And I don't want to give everyone a token pledge because it seems chintzy.) I have, on the other hand, made significant contributions to people outside Kickstarter. That works better for me.

    And yet this last week I contributed a dollar to Palmer. Why? I'm on her email list, and think she has great things to say on her blog. But she commented that some of the info about the project would only be available to those who contribute. Since I want to know as many business details as she will share, paying her a dollar to get them was worth it to me. I thought, "Smart woman. Here I am refusing to contribute to Kickstarter so that I don't have to pick and choose among friends' projects and yet I still signed up for Palmer's."

     

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  91.  
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    Cowardly Anonymous, May 20th, 2012 @ 9:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Misrepresentation through implication is still dishonest.

    The expertise of these gentlemen in film is as screen writers, so it is a bit difficult to see how they would have a fan following.

    I hope they succeed, but for it to happen they had better have one good producer.


    "It is a bit difficult to see how..."

    Clearly you haven't bothered to check and see whether they do or not, yet you are focusing on and calling into question the statement that they have a fan-base. If this was formulated as a question that would be one thing, but as a hedged statement it can only be meant to imply that they don't have a fan-base. This is dishonest, even if you didn't actually state a false hood.

    You do exactly the same thing with the producer statement to give the impression that they have not acquired a producer. However, in this case you seemed to be a bit more leery of the easier to prove question, so the implication is far weaker. Still, your statement includes a question formed as a statement in order to generate doubt.



    I can't say whether this was done willfully or comes from some subconscious desire. Either way, you need to update your understanding of honesty and speak more plainly if you want anyone to take you seriously. Implication should be saved for the clearly sarcastic and unknowns should either be deferred to those who know more or explicitly marked as some fact you are ignorant about.

     

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  92.  
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    Leigh Beadon (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 11:51am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Wow, just caught up on this whole debate now.

    So here's the thing: maybe my post makes it sound a little like I think a film is a two-man show, but I know it's not. A big production is created by a lot of creative people. However, from what I understand, this can go different ways: sometimes you get a group that works like clockwork, with everyone understanding the vision, and you end up with a masterpiece - sometimes you get a group that doesn't really work, with everyone pulling in different directions, and you get a complete mess. More often than not, you get something in between those two extremes.

    It seems to me that the goal of The Canyons is not to eliminate the team, but to make sure it's the first kind of team. Nobody who got the job because they are someone's son; no studio execs sending hired guns and saying "ooh, you gotta work with this screenwriter, he'll add the funny"; nobody holding the pursestrings and saying "woah, too far" (because I doubt Ellis and Schrader are making a particularly family-friendly film here). And most importantly, a producer (whose role is every bit as vital as you say, no doubt) who clearly believes in and respects the writer and director (remember Schrader is directing here) and their vision, wants to keep it pure, and doesn't have any other masters to answer to.

    And hey, maybe it'll be a disaster - we all know what happens when creators get too comfortable and uncritical of each other *cough*Depp-and-Burton*cough*. But whether it succeeds or fails, it will do so based entirely on the artistry and skill of people who all shared a vision and a goal - which is the way it should be.

     

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    PaulT (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    "Why do you suppose this project might be perceived as not needing help once the goal has been reached, but Palmer has greatly exceeded her goal?"

    I honestly don't know, and I don't think it's possible to guess. There's too many factors, ranging from the totally different natures of the project themselves to the way they were promoted outside of Kickstarter. They really don't have many similarities other than the goal amount.

    "In your mind, once the goal has been reached, the project creators no longer need your help."

    Not necessarily. I've certainly seen projects that deserve funding to try and encourage extra material - for example, some games producers have decided to port their game to additional platforms when the sufficient extra money is pledged, although these weren't part of their initial project. Perhaps Palmer's fans are hoping that she might be convinced to tour near them? I can't think of any extras a movie project could be convinced to add in a similar way, so I haven't donated on this occasion. Perhaps more rewards would change my mind, but for now the film is being funded, so I'll donate to an equally worthy cause that's not yet reached its goal.

    "Palmer, on the other hand, keeps adding rewards to lure in more people."

    Ah, so there's your answer! Palmer added things to lure in more people, while the producer of this film has not. Surely, that now makes a direct comparison even more irrelevant? If the producer doesn't care about getting extra money beyond his existing budget or is unable to utilise extra cash due to existing agreements (the 100k is only partial funding to top up what they already have), then why do you care enough to criticise them?

    Given that you know the above information that extra marketing was likely the major reason, why are you criticising the fans?

     

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  94.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2012 @ 1:02pm

    I worry that some time in the future Kickstarter is going to turn into another lawyer-happy megacorporation with all these projects and attention it has been getting and start claiming that all the projects that were launched via Kickstarter have some obligation to provide royalties to it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2012 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So in other words, you have large vested interests in the legacy industry. Glad you finally admit it, old chap.

     

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    Karl (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 2:08pm

    Re:

    basically nobodies who want to tell another crappy story without the backers demanding they make the film actually make money

    they werent anyone 20 years ago, they are still no one today


    Why was this flagged? Lack of a /sarc mark?

    I mean, this guy can't possibly be serious.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    If the producer doesn't care about getting extra money beyond his existing budget or is unable to utilise extra cash due to existing agreements (the 100k is only partial funding to top up what they already have), then why do you care enough to criticise them?

    You interpret my asking why more people haven't bought rewards as criticism. It's a legitimate marketing question. I'm going to ask these questions about every Kickstarter project. "Why do you suppose this approach got this result?" "Why do you suppose that approach got that result?" I'm very curious about these things. Take it as criticism if you will, but I'll keep asking, and hope that I spur more discussion on the topic.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 2:37pm

    Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    Since there is some confusion about what I am asking, here's an example. I think this reward is pretty cool. Yet only 61 people have taken it, even though there are 1000 of them available. Why do you suppose that is? Are the fans not all that interested in this? Do people not know about it?
    _________________

    Pledge $100 or more
    61 Backers Limited Reward (939 of 1000 remaining)

    Two tickets to attend a private cast & crew screening and Q&A of "The Canyons" in Los Angeles or New York. (transportation and lodging not provided) -- Your choice of Blu-Ray or DVD copy upon release. -- Plus all the aforementioned perks.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 2:56pm

    Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    One of the most interesting aspects of Kickstarter is that you can see how many people are signing up for each reward. So you get to see what rewards appear to be working and which ones aren't. And you can also run the numbers and see what percentage of the money raised comes from each level. In fact, many people do that before they launch their own Kickstarter campaigns. They look at many other campaigns to see what types of rewards work, what pricing levels work best, and so on. There's a lot info on Kickstarter that most people don't usually disclose to the public, so it really opens up potential discussions about numbers. Fascinating stuff. People on Techdirt may not want to discuss it, but I can assure you there are detailed posts on other sites about Kickstarter campaigns.

     

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    Karl (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 3:06pm

    Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    Maybe it hasn't gotten enough publicity yet. Or maybe their fans are either broke or reluctant to spend.

    See, Suzanne, this is why people aren't as interested in discussing these things with you as you'd like.

    There are tons of reasons that the Kickstarter campaign isn't as well-funded as Amanda's, but you actually give only three: that the campaign isn't publicized, that their fans are broke, or that their fans are reluctant to spend.

    It ignores all the other reasons why they haven't attained the same stratospheric success as Amanda. And it gives no reasons for why those three reasons you gave might be true - though it focuses on "their fans," as if they're the ones who are at fault.

    It's similar to that unfortunate piece you did on changing IP laws. You had the same problem there: you simply presented what you thought people said, and were not really listening to what anyone was actually saying. As a result, you completely missed the big picture - if you look at why people were against SOPA and PROTECT IP, none of the reasons you gave were accurate. It's the same here, I think.

    The proper question is: "What did Amanda offer to get fans over their reluctance to spend? How are the filmmakers not offering the same things? And most importantly - if the filmmakers met their funding goals, how much does it matter?"

    If your interest is in getting filmmakers like these to be better-funded, then the focus should be on the first two questions.

    This is my answer. They didn't reach the levels that Amanda did, because they just don't have the same connection with fans. As an example, look at what you get with the top tiers: a chance to cast a vote in the casting process (American Idol-style), tickets to private screening, the chance to come to the shoot, the chance to meet with (and have your script critiqued by) the artists.

    These are things that Amanda routinely "gives away" for free. In fact, it's how Amanda gets most of her videos done: she says where she's going to be, tells people (generally) what to wear, and asks them to show up to be extras. You send her fan art, and if she likes it, she'll put it up on her site with full credit. (For a while, she even partnered with her more "etsy-like" fans to sell stuff - don't know what happened with that.) She interacts with fans, directly, in the comments on her site, in Twitter, etc.

    People are willing to pay more, I think, because in their eyes, she's already given to them the kind of access they would have to pay Schrader and Ellis hundreds of dollars to get.

    Of course, there are good reasons that all works for Amanda, but wouldn't work for someone like Schrader or Ellis. But then we get to the last question: Why does it matter? It's not a zero-sum game, and every Kickstarter campaign whose goals are being met should be counted as a success story.

    There's a notion that's implied by commenters here (not you) that if a Kickstarter campaign can't entirely fund a movie like Transformers, then it's a failure. Stories like this show that it's not true. Ellis and Schrader may not be crossing the million-dollar mark, but the fact that they're doing it at all - and that it is as successful as they intended - is a win for everyone.

     

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    Karl (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 3:15pm

    Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    It's similar to that unfortunate piece you did on changing IP laws.

    On the other hand, your article on The Death of Pop Music is spot-on.

     

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    Karl (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 3:21pm

    Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    Two tickets to attend a private cast & crew screening and Q&A of "The Canyons" in Los Angeles or New York.

    Again, sorry to be a pest, but as to this particular package: there isn't even a cast and crew as of yet. Since the Kickstarter campaign reached its funding goal, it can stay open for as long as the filmmakers want it to (right?). So, this particular package might become a lot more popular once the casting is done - in fact, once that happens, I'm betting that tier will sell out rather quickly.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 3:21pm

    Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    As an example, look at what you get with the top tiers: a chance to cast a vote in the casting process (American Idol-style), tickets to private screening, the chance to come to the shoot, the chance to meet with (and have your script critiqued by) the artists.

    These are things that Amanda routinely "gives away" for free.


    Both the filmmakers and Palmer are charging for private events, so I think it is comparable. Here's an example of what Palmer is offering. If you guys do have more insight into how the campaigns are different, go ahead and toss them out. And if you want to reframe the question to further the discussion, please go ahead. I want as much intelligent analysis of Kickstarter campaigns as anyone cares to supply.

    Pledge $300 or more
    54 Backers Limited Reward (46 of 100 remaining)

    {NEW YORK: ART OPENING/BACKER PARTY} JUNE 28th | 7-10PM | ALL AGES | MOMENTA GALLERY: the local NYC VIP throw-down for easty-coasty kickstarter backers! a unique evening showcasing the original artwork created for the record, plus an intimate acoustic performance by me & The Grand Theft Orchestra. this bundle includes food and drink/surprise gifts/whatever special NY-based shit we can dream up at the event! also includes: the album on compact disc OR vinyl, PLUS a SIGNED copy of the art book, PLUS a digital download & thank-you card. in addition to all of this, we'll guest list you for the open-to-public rock show in brooklyn on June 27th at The Music Hall of Williamsburg. PLEASE NOTE: The show at MHoW is 16+

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 3:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    On the other hand, your article on The Death of Pop Music is spot-on.

    I didn't write that one. It was written by one of the co-founders of Brands Plus Music. He's actually a VP of Live Nation right now.

     

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    Karl (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 3:27pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I sincerely hope that Joss Whedon gets on this 'Bandwagon'.

    He already has, in some ways. Look at how "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" came about. Not through Kickstarter, obviously, but it's pretty clear that he's been trying to go direct-to-fan for years now.

    Which reminds me: I should see about picking up a couple "Buffy" comics. I'm still a bit skeptical, but I've heard they're good.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 3:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    Since the Kickstarter campaign reached its funding goal, it can stay open for as long as the filmmakers want it to (right?).

    No, I'm pretty sure there is a time limit, funded or not. So the money collection for this project stops in 20 more days.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 3:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Kickstarter:

    Can I change my deadline after I launch?

    No. Once a project launches, the end date cannot be changed.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 4:09pm

    Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    Okay, since a couple of people have had issues with how I started this thread, then me start again.

    The Pebble Watch, Amanda Palmer, and this film all set an initial goal of $100,000. Why do you think the amounts they have raised have been vastly different?

     

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  109.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2012 @ 4:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Good choice, I have the complete 8th season comics. I highly recommend them. They retain the humor and myth of the show, but aren't restricted with what they can do. Hence a giant Dawn.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2012 @ 4:24pm

    Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    I would assume the interest in the work, like always. Amanda had a huge, and I do mean HUGE fan-driven marketing campaign online. From tumblr to twitter to facebook. for the past week she has been everywhere, all thanks to her fans basically spamming the web.
    And yet she didn't have to spend a single cent on ads. That is the power of fan support.

     

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    Pro Se (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 4:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Actually, I hope they succeed (by whatever metric they use to define success). It is always a good thing when other means for access to needed capital are created, and especially when you do not have to sell your soul, so to speak, as is far too often the case with groups like VCs, studios, labels, etc.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 4:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    Amanda had a huge, and I do mean HUGE fan-driven marketing campaign online. From tumblr to twitter to facebook. for the past week she has been everywhere, all thanks to her fans basically spamming the web. And yet she didn't have to spend a single cent on ads. That is the power of fan support.

    Yes, I think publicity, whether fan-driven or media-drive, or both, plays a huge role. That's why I wondered if potential fans of this film don't yet know about it. The rewards themselves strike me as pretty cool and fairly priced.

     

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    Karl (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 5:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    Yes, I think publicity, whether fan-driven or media-drive, or both, plays a huge role.

    I think one of the major reasons for Amanda's success is that she doesn't differentiate between "publicity" and "communicating with fans." Viewing your fanbase as a walking ATM machine may work for fictional bands like Dethklok, but it doesn't work in real life.

    I'm not saying that this is what Schrader and Ellis are doing, at all. But they both interact far less with fans than Amanda does (though that's a very high bar).

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 5:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    I'm not saying that this is what Schrader and Ellis are doing, at all. But they both interact far less with fans than Amanda does (though that's a very high bar).

    I put Palmer in a category all her own. I haven't run across anyone else like her. She's creative, smart, willing to try anything, has boundless energy, and seems to genuinely like her fans. I think her projects are personality driven and I don't think anyone else has her personality. She's endlessly throwing parties/happenings/whatever and inviting people along. It does sound fun.

    But I am trying to get a handle on what others can or can't do on Kickstarter. The reason I have singled out this film is that I think their rewards are cool. If I were a film fan or wanting to get into this industry, I'd sign up for one of them in a minute. And that's why I expressed surprise that more people haven't jumped at it. They seem surprisingly accessible in this project as film icons go.

     

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    Karl (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 6:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    And that's why I expressed surprise that more people haven't jumped at it.

    Well, considering they exceeded their funding goal with 20 days to go, I'd say people did jump at it.

    At least those who heard about it. In this case, the fact that they don't interact directly with fans probably has the most to do with it. Most of the comments come from people who heard about the project directly from the artists (Ellis in particular). On the other hand, not a lot from people who are "re-tweeting" or what have you.

    For what it's worth, I just posted a link on Facebook, and I'll almost certainly donate myself, though I don't know what level I'll be able to afford.

    Also, so this discussion isn't spread out to much:

    Both the filmmakers and Palmer are charging for private events, so I think it is comparable.

    Amanda is doing a bunch of these events, around the world. If you look at the numbers, counting just the NYC and LA events, Amanda has 87 backers, to The Canyons' 62. Amanda is ahead, but not by very much. On the other hand, she's charging a lot more ($300 vs. $100).

    The price points may also make a difference. For The Canyons, anything above $100 is fairly limited (and many are already sold out). Amanda actually has a higher ceiling.

    There's also the difference between the more expensive items. It could be that most people aren't buying the $100 Canyons package because they can get more for $150; and anyone who has enough to spend $100 on a project probably has enough to plop down the extra $50.

    You certainly see that with Amanda's package. Compare the two Boston events packages: one with only the art show ($250), one with the art show plus reserved tickets for the general-admission rock show ($300). Only 2 people bought the "art-show only" package; 45 paid the extra $50 for the rock show as well. (And did so even though they would pay far less if they'd bought tickets to the rock show separately.)

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 6:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    You certainly see that with Amanda's package. Compare the two Boston events packages: one with only the art show ($250), one with the art show plus reserved tickets for the general-admission rock show ($300). Only 2 people bought the "art-show only" package; 45 paid the extra $50 for the rock show as well. (And did so even though they would pay far less if they'd bought tickets to the rock show separately.)

    That's the kind of analysis I like to do or have someone else do. And yes, it did strike me that Palmer hasn't sold out her events either. She seems to covered it by offering lots more reward packages. And as the "hack" article pointed out, she's actually promoting three different things -- an album, an artbook, and a tour. And that's why articles like that are useful -- to breakdown a successful Kickstarter campaign so others can learn from it. What I want to know, and I hope Palmer elaborates, is how she handles compensating all the people involved with the various aspects of this Kickstarter project. I suspect she is doing at least part of it differently than a work-for-hire arrangement with the others involved, but I don't know that for sure.

     

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    Karl (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 6:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    I suspect she is doing at least part of it differently than a work-for-hire arrangement with the others involved, but I don't know that for sure.

    I don't think she is. She's already paid for the raw album tracks and the artwork (all out-of-pocket). She mentioned that she "commissioned" the artwork, so I'm betting it's a standard work-for-hire situation. I'm betting it's the same with the musicians on the album. On the other hand, these are also the musicians she's touring with, so who knows what the arrangement is there.

    I very much doubt she pays anyone less than the majors would. I know for a fact that her publicists, booking agents, etc. get standard rates. That's why she needed the money in the first place.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 7:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    I don't think she is. She's already paid for the raw album tracks and the artwork (all out-of-pocket). She mentioned that she "commissioned" the artwork, so I'm betting it's a standard work-for-hire situation. I'm betting it's the same with the musicians on the album. On the other hand, these are also the musicians she's touring with, so who knows what the arrangement is there.

    That does make it simpler, but I have been wondering if anyone is doing Kickstarter projects as true collaborations and if so, how they decide who gets what compensation. I've found very little discussion of this, though I think the creative, cross-media nature of many Kickstarter projects is going to encourage more experimentation along these lines.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2012 @ 8:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    One thing to keep in mind is; this is a "group efforts vs a more single character driven campaign". A somewhat of a detached offering by "the canyons" vs. the charismatic person offering by "Palmer". Basically, you can make look at it as; a Romney vs. Obama analogy. Obama would be Palmer in this case, the enigmatic rock star vs. the more subtle, and less obvious Romney campaign.

     

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    Karl (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 11:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    I have been wondering if anyone is doing Kickstarter projects as true collaborations and if so, how they decide who gets what compensation.

    That's a very good question, but it's not one that can be answered by anyone except the "true collaborators."

    After all, every party involved must be on board with the whole project (by law). The compensation question is a decent one. But a better question is: why do some entities get to be compensated in certain ways, by law, and others do not have that legal privilege?

    When asking questions like this, it is better to not narrow your scope to Kickstarter (or similar platforms), but to widen it to copyright laws in general. Everyone involved with Kickstarter must obey the law, so you're now questioning the purpose/effectiveness of the law itself.

     

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    PaulT (profile), May 21st, 2012 @ 12:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    "take it as criticism if you will, but I'll keep asking, and hope that I spur more discussion on the topic."

    That's fine, and I look forward to a real discussion. If you don't want to look critical, I'd suggest that next time you don't start by making the explicit assumption that one set of fans are cheap assholes. That just comes across as weird as it is offensive when you're looking at fully funded projects.

    I'd also suggest that you pick 2 comparable projects to look at, e.g. two music projects with similar budgets and fanbases, or two videogame projects in similar genres. You would at least have a chance of making a valid comparison that way. The difference here would seem to be as simple as "Palmer asked for more money and the other guys didn't", though the vastly different nature of the projects makes them impossible to directly compare, IMHO at least.

     

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    Karl (profile), May 21st, 2012 @ 12:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    They retain the humor and myth of the show, but aren't restricted with what they can do.

    Well, that's just it. I know there are infinite possibilities with the comics, I'm just worried about which of the infinite possibilities they went with. In particular, I'm worried that they relied to heavily on the Buffy series, and totally disregarded the Angel story line, and ignored what happened in the series finale.

    ...Yeah, I'm one of the twelve people who thought Angel was better than Buffy. So sue me.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), May 21st, 2012 @ 1:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Once again you are assuming my motivation, which assumption is incorrect. My comment was made with the backdrop of my family, close relatives, friends, and acquaintances who have worked or are currently working within the theater, movie, and broadcast industies in NY, LA, Orlando and other locations associated with these industries.


    That's bullshit. You clearly stated that you didn't think these guys had a fanbase. Then you were proven wrong, and rather than admit it, you made a total non sequitur claiming that I didn't know anything about what role a producer has and suggested that these guys need one. You totally ignored the first point, and then shifted and said something out of nowhere.

    And, as an aside, I'm very, very familiar with the role of a producer on a film. I have a fair number of friends in the business, including my cousin who was the producer on one of the biggest grossing films in 2011.

    So, let's cut to the chase again and see if you'll answer a direct question (I know you won't):

    Why would you bring up either thing if you didn't think they applied to this situation?

    You can either answer that or admit that you made stupid assumptions and now look silly.

    Or you can slink away. Which is what you'll likely do.

     

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    drew (profile), May 21st, 2012 @ 2:13am

    Re:

    It's a very real possibility. I think Mike calls it the Innovators Dilemma.

     

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    Pro Se (profile), May 21st, 2012 @ 7:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Mr. Beadon joined the comments late in the day, and did so with what I consider to be a thoughtful and respectful comment. Thereafter, the comments moved on to other matters.

    Why you choose to once again raise a matter that was no longer part of any subsequent discussion suggests to me that you are unable or unwilling to let a matter go.

    In fact, in many ways your approach here towards someone against whom you hold a deep seated animus appears to mirror your comments some months back to Mr. Lowery, except in that case the situation was reversed and you were the one I believe was on the "hot seat". The difference here, of course, is that I am not inclined to resort to more direct and "flowery" language as Mr. Lowery did. I do agree, however, that his reference to your facial, anatomical features were a bit over the top.

     

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  126.  
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    Pro Se (profile), May 21st, 2012 @ 7:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I just realized I overlooked completing my above comment. It should have concluded as follows"

    With kindest regards I remain...

    Sincerely yours,

    Pro Se

     

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  127.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), May 21st, 2012 @ 7:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    After all, every party involved must be on board with the whole project (by law).

    You'll have to explain what you are thinking about here. I think it is possible to structure a collaboration in a variety of ways. Here's what I wrote about the topic two years ago, and I have been looking for more discussion on the subject ever since.

    Collaborating on "Creative Things"

     

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  128.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), May 21st, 2012 @ 8:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    It's going to be hard to match up similar Kickstarter projects because is different, but I know people are gathering data on all the Kickstarter projects collectively and looking for patterns. As more projects get done, there's more info to play around with. People have mapped out which categories raise the most money, which categories generate the most projects, what the average size of a contribution is, and so on.

    I haven't yet seen info on who the likely donors are, but there have been enough projects that the general advice is that you need to tap into an already big network of people who know you in order to generate sufficient funds. Only about 1% of a person's mailing list actually give to the project.

    Those Kickstarter campaigns that generate national/international press manage to get in front of a much bigger group of people than those that only hit the level of awareness of those on their Facebook pages or email lists, so that is one way to increase the pool of potential donors.

     

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  129.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), May 21st, 2012 @ 10:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Thereafter, the comments moved on to other matters.

    No, one thread moved onto other matters. You, however, still have not admitted that you fucked up and made assumptions that were proven to be totally wrong, even though some of them were explained in the post itself.

    Anyway, I asked you a question and you still seem to be ignoring it.

    I'll try again: Why would you bring up either thing if you didn't think they applied to this situation?

    Why you choose to once again raise a matter that was no longer part of any subsequent discussion suggests to me that you are unable or unwilling to let a matter go.

    I'm perfectly willing to let something go if you admit that you fucked up. Man up.

    In fact, in many ways your approach here towards someone against whom you hold a deep seated animus appears to mirror your comments some months back to Mr. Lowery, except in that case the situation was reversed and you were the one I believe was on the "hot seat". The difference here, of course, is that I am not inclined to resort to more direct and "flowery" language as Mr. Lowery did. I do agree, however, that his reference to your facial, anatomical features were a bit over the top.

    I hold no deep seated animus towards anyone. Also, I have no idea what you're talking about concerning David Lowery. Take a look at the thread here: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120220/00310917802/if-youre-going-to-compare-old-music-biz-model- with-new-music-biz-model-least-make-some-sense.shtml

    I see nothing resembling what we're discussing here at all.

    In case you missed it above, let's ask the question again:

    Why would you bring up either thing if you didn't think they applied to this situation?

    You could just man up. But you won't. Because you're full of shit.

     

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  130.  
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    AMusingFool (profile), May 21st, 2012 @ 11:11am

    And the rating is...

    With the MPAA in charge of rating the movie, I wonder if they refuse to rate it less than R.

     

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  131.  
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    Pro Se (profile), May 21st, 2012 @ 11:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    When Dave Barry, the noted humorist, made the following statement almost certainly he was quoting you:

    I argue very well. Ask any of my remaining friends. I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don't even invite me.

    I say "almost" because the quote is absent expletives.

     

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  132.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), May 21st, 2012 @ 3:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I see. So you are admitting that you totally fucked up by not answering the question:

    Why would you bring up either thing if you didn't think they applied to this situation?


    We've got time.

     

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  133.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), May 21st, 2012 @ 5:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oh, and I should say, by the way, that I'm happy you figured out your "cookie" problems, and can now post as a user. Remember when you insisted that computer problems prevented you from typing in a name? Good times.

     

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  134.  
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    Karl (profile), May 21st, 2012 @ 7:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    You'll have to explain what you are thinking about here.

    Well, I was thinking purely in terms of compensation, and deciding who gets what money. This is what you were asking:

    I have been wondering if anyone is doing Kickstarter projects as true collaborations and if so, how they decide who gets what compensation.

    That aspect of it is set in stone, legally speaking. If money is involved, everyone had better have signed a contract, or at least come to some sort of quasi-legally-binding agreement.

    The things you're talking about in that post you linked to, seem to be more about the creative or artistic side of things. That's a totally separate question. Truthfully, I don't know if it can even be discussed. Unless it's a collaborative medium with well-defined roles and boundaries, like a film, it depends entirely on the personalities involved. Some collaborations work best democratically; some work best with one person in charge.

    I've collaborated with several other musicians over the years (mostly drummers, some other vocalists, etc). Even though it's just me and one other person, the dynamics have been totally different every time.

    Whenever I've done this, the money has always been divided up equally (unless one person rents a van or something, then it all goes to them). It's always been gentlemen's agreements, since the money isn't very much. If there's anything more than that (like a release, even a free one on the net), then I always discuss it with the other person beforehand. I've had no problems to speak of.

     

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  135.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), May 21st, 2012 @ 7:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    Well, I was thinking purely in terms of compensation, and deciding who gets what money.

    That's what I am asking clarification for. What legal matters are you referring to?

     

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  136.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), May 21st, 2012 @ 9:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    That aspect of it is set in stone, legally speaking. If money is involved, everyone had better have signed a contract, or at least come to some sort of quasi-legally-binding agreement.

    Actually I was talking about money in addition to determining who does what. As people begin a project, they can draw up a contract defining the terms upon what basis any money would be distributed. It could be equally. It could give different people different percentages, which might be determined on a variety of factors.

    Consider a typical Kickstarter project. Is it a whole? Or is a combination of discrete parts? If it is a combination of parts (which could be across a variety of media), are the part creators the owners of those parts and are they compensated accordingly? Or does the Kickstarter project "voice" own them and everyone other than the "voice" is merely a work-for-hire?

    It can be set up in all sorts of different ways.

     

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  137.  
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    Karl (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 9:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    It can be set up in all sorts of different ways.

    Very true, but I'm kind of at a loss as to why you single out Kickstarter for questions like this. From an economic standpoint, Kickstarter is just another source of income. It would be treated like any other income source under copyright and/or contract.

    That's why I said "it is better to not narrow your scope to Kickstarter (or similar platforms), but to widen it to copyright laws in general." It sounded like you were criticizing Kickstarter for being perhaps more exploitative then other platforms for making money. There's absolutely no evidence that this is true.

    Of course, it's likely that wasn't what you were actually implying, and I was just reading too much into it. Even so, I'm still at a loss as to why you ask these questions about Kickstarter projects specifically, and not all collaborative projects in general.

     

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  138.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Surprised they haven't raised more money so far

    Very true, but I'm kind of at a loss as to why you single out Kickstarter for questions like this.

    I believe Kickstarter is changing our idea of what is a creative project. By using rewards to fundraise, the rewards are often part of the entire concept, which extends the initial project into something more complex.

    What I have been asking is when is a supporter giving money for the reward and when is he giving money to support the project? To what extent is the reward itself valued and to what extent is it a token item tacked on to a financial solicitation? And if the reward itself is considered valuable, aside from its use to give money to the project organizer, then how do you compensate the reward creator? Should the extra value of the t-shirt go to the project creator or to the t-shirt creator? It's all about the value of creativity and who contributes to that value and how shall that contributor be rewarded.

    Here's what I wrote several years ago. The Rise of the "Creative Thing"

     

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  139.  
    identicon
    AB, Jun 1st, 2012 @ 8:31am

    Re:

    Just like Return of the Jedi, huh? Those artistic nobodies like Lucas made so many silly demands that it never made any money either.

    Sad really, if only these nobodies would learn to give up their 'artistic' visions and just do what the executives tell them to the whole industry might actually start making some money.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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