Monday, December 14, 2009

Kickstarter- website that raises $$$ for projects in the idea phase.

The 9th Annual Year in Ideas
Thanks to Rebecca Tippens of Roundhouse Culture, Gill MA for this NY Times article, December 14th 2009

Subscription Artists

This summer, Allison Weiss, a 22-year-old singer who writes melodic songs about "hopeless hope," wanted to produce a 1,000-CD run of a new album she was recording, but she wasn't sure how to get the money to do it. Then she heard about Kickstarter, a Web site unveiled in April. At Kickstarter, creative types post a description of a project they want to do, how much money they need for it and a deadline. If enough people pledge money that the artists reach (or surpass) their financial goals, then everyone is billed, paying in advance as you would for a magazine subscription. For goals that aren't reached, nobody is charged.

In essence, Kickstarter offers a form of market research for artists. For perhaps the first time, an artist can quickly answer a nagging question: Does anyone actually want my art badly enough to pay for it? If the goal is reached, the artist now has a list of subscribers to her vision. And if the goal isn't reached? "It's painful, but it's better to find out early," rather than spend precious time and money on a project nobody wants, says Yancey Strickler, who helped found Kickstarter. More than 1,000 projects have been started on Kickstarter since April, raising money for projects as diverse as a solo sailboat trip around the world ($8,142 raised) and a book by Scott Thomas documenting how he developed the graphic design for Barack Obama's presidential campaign ($84,614 raised).


Weiss picked a goal of $2,000, and like many Kickstarter users, offered a clever set of tiered benefits for fans: $40 got someone a signed copy of the album (17 fans paid for that), and for $500, the donor could pick any subject and Weiss would write a song on it. (Two people bit.) Weiss raised the $2,000 in less than 10 hours, and eventually amassed $7,711 from 195 backers, which meant she could pay for more mixing. Perhaps even more important was the validation of her fan base. Weiss says, "I was surprised to find I had a more dedicated Internet following than I thought." CLIVE THOMPSON


marcia said...

Here's a site encouraging filmmakers to join a contest to create PSAs for worthy local (providence, Boston, and other cities) causes. Take a look!

marcia said...

And another site for filmmakers "Our Mission
DocumentaryTech is a collaborative effort to talk about what makes for the best in the art of the documentary. As a joint project by The Rhode Island Film Festival and several sponsoring universities, we'll talk about technique, technology, distribution and funding." Sorry, Norah, I don't know how to turn the web addresses into links in this box.

marcia said...

And last but not least- I think- is the site where the last 2 links were found which is the website of the annual RI Film Festival, RIFF. Various events and activities are listed here.