(Above: Campaign pitch video I made for my Kickstarter project “People of the Delta”. You can view the project here.)
People of the Delta is my dream project. All is explained in the video above, but allow me to make this blog post a personal note.
This film is a personal project I believe can connect with a huge global audience once completed, but let’s be honest- it’s not exactly a Hollywood Blockbuster that studios will be throwing piles of dough to me for. If a major film studio invested in this, my fear is they would not have the same vision we do, and it could mean some kind of compromise.
Collaborating with agencies and studios has never been a problem for me in my commissioned work, but there is something just too personal about this project to include an outside company into the creative process. Raising the funds through a site like Kickstarter helps me maintain creative control.
To be extremely honest, it took me a long time to come around to Kickstarter as an outlet to fund the film. I’m actually a huge fan of the website and it’s inspiring “do it yourself” message, but I didn’t want my film to be lumped into the million other Kickstarter projects. If you’re like me, sometimes I browse the internet all roll my eyes at all the white noise. Although I’ve actually contributed to a couple cool campaigns, I remained a skeptic for a long time.
Then… I took a second to realize what this site represents and jumped off my high-horse. This is an outlet in which fans can directly support things they believe in. For film projects like mine, it cuts out any middle-men and speaks direct to the supporters who share the same vision. The supporters are the crucial enablers behind the project. In return, the supporters benefit from special rewards directly catered them. The Kickstarter campaign should be mutually beneficial for myself and followers. On the Kickstarter site, you’ll find all sorts of rewards that I developed based on feedback I asked for earlier in the year. There are downloads of the final project, tutorials on the creation of the film, gallery prints, gear with my photos on it, and even portfolio reviews where I’ll sit down with you on Skype to have a one to one chat.
(Above: Early concept art by illustrator and friend of mine Sam Spratt. Click to enlarge.)
I feel at this stage, my blog readers and followers trust the long-term commitment I have to my personal projects, and feel confident I can create a film with a strong work ethic.
Kickstarter is “all-or-nothing” funding. This means, if we don’t reach our funding goal, the project doesn’t happen. (The money goes back into the supporters pockets.) I believe in this model since what I’m asking for is the bottom line cost to create the film. Anything below, I will have to alter my vision of the film and try again with a new approach. Anything raised above the goal, will only make the film better and increase production value by enabling my crew to stay longer on location.
As I mentioned in the video- it’s not going to be easy. This is just the beginning.