Shockingly, Kickstarter Doesn't Work For Every Movie (Psst: Neither Does The Old System)
from the pointless-articles dept
...this revolution has a few mitigating circumstances. First, Kickstarter might produce many new documentaries, but the odds are that those documentaries will be of a very particular kind (this critique also applies to other sites in this field like indiegogo.com, sponsume.com, crowdfunder.co.uk, pledgie.com). They are likely to be campaign and issue-driven films in the tradition of Super Size Me or An Inconvenient Truth. Their directors seek social change and tap into an online public that shares the documentary's activist agenda. A documentary exploring the causes of World War I probably stands to receive less—if any—online funding than a documentary exploring the causes of climate change.I see. And does the "old" system of Hollywood regularly make documentaries exploring the causes of World War I? I'm really not sure I understand how this is a criticism at all. Unless a platform can fund any and all types of movies, it's not really that big of a deal? Under those conditions, nothing is particularly good. Basically, what this paragraph seems to argue is that, "gee, Kickstarter is good at funding projects that lots of people want to see, but not so good at funding projects that people aren't as interested in." I'm not sure that's a critique. It seems to be the purpose of the site itself.
Second, some films require significant startup costs (think drama-documentaries or history movies) or involve considerable legal risks that may be hard to price and account for. Say you are making a film that includes an undercover investigation of the oil industry. When you have the BBC's lawyers backing you up, you'll probably take many more risks than when you are relying on crowdfunding. But if Kickstarter is your platform of choice, you'll probably forgo venturing into the thorny legal issues altogether.I'm curious to know if there's any actual evidence to support this argument. One could just as easily claim that when your project has the backing of a big corporation with liability-averse lawyers, you're a lot less likely to be allowed to take risks, than when you rely on crowdfunding. I don't know which is true (though having spent too much time around movie industry lawyers, I'm pretty sure my statement is a hell of a lot more accurate than Morozov's), but where is the actual data to support this bizarre claim?
There are further complaints that seem equally silly. For example, Morozov points out that someone raised money on Kickstarter to help get his film on physical screens in movie theaters -- and that's somehow proof that Kickstarter isn't that special, since the "old" way of showing a movie is still involved. I'm at a loss as to how any of this is mutually exclusive. There is nothing inherent to Kickstarter that says if you use it, you can only do things online. What's wrong with using it to show a film in theaters?
All in all, this seems a lot like Morozov set up what he thinks Kickstarter should be about -- and then knocked that down. In the logical fallacy world, that's known as a strawman.