This is a transcript of The Pinch Kickstarter Campaign Wrap Up.



(Typewriter Keys Tapping)


Ashley:  Welcome to the special edition of “Selling Your Screenplay Podcast.” I’m Ashley Scott Meyers Screenwriter and blogger over at – It’s been a few weeks since my Kick Starter Campaign ended, so I thought it was a good time for a wrap-up. Basically, I’m just going to run through all of my thoughts, good/bad and ugly, all my thoughts on the Kick Starter Campaign. And kinda wrap things up here. I’ve broken this wrap up into a few different sections. So, hopefully it’ll kinda make sense.

The first section is, the things that surprise me. So, I think the big thing surprise I had during the Kick Starter Campaign. Was just the very positive and great reaction that I got from the people. I got lots and lots of Emails from people sending me just well wishes, people just sending nice Emails in. And that was all great, very supportive, and really did make the thing, you know, there was some low moments where I wasn’t gonna make it through. And so getting these well wishes really was nice. All these Emails dozens, if not hundreds of Emails coming in. I only had two negative Emails. One of them was sort of a light negative. And one of them was, I would say, incredibly negative. I did see some people unsubscribe to my Email list. So, you know, there was some people definitely that probably got a little sick of it. But for the most part. The just overwhelmingly positive reaction to the Kick Starter Campaign. It was a pretty shaded, and it was a little bit surprising and worried that I would annoy people. I mean, at the end of the day, basically with the Kick-Starter Campaign, you’re just out there begging for money. So, I just thought that this might rub people the wrong way. But, as I said, people overwhelmingly were very, very positive. So, thank you to everyone that did send in well wishes, and as I said, I was a little worried about it. But, it seemed to work out okay.

The other big surprise, and I have mentioned this before in some of the campaign update blog Podcasts that I did. I really did connect with, you know, my audience like never before. Like I said, I got a lot of Emails from people. I just got to know a lot of people, who, maybe listen to the Podcast. And for whatever reason have not ever reached out to me. Have never actually Emailed me. So, for whatever reason, this was a real, had a sort of a community feel. Lots of people just reached out to me. Just as I said, well-wishers. Hey, man I heard about your Kick Starter Campaign, good luck with it. And you know, there was some other people that have their own Podcast. And you know, I got to meet them through Email. There was a lot of other people who have different crew positions to Email me. You know, just people volunteering to help out with the shoot. So, that was all just great stuff. And as I’ve said, I hadn’t really thought about it? It was kinda a surprise, and hadn’t really thought that through. But I got a lot of people, and I think there is at least five people who have said, “Hey, I would like to just help out on the shoot. And I’m willing to do it for free.” And that’s the kind of effort it’s going to take to get a movie on a micro-budget feature film made. So, Again, surprising, and you know, positive definitely a big thing that I am surprised me. But it was all so awesome. I definitely was surprised and that how much help, how stuck I was at basically around a 5500.00 50% mark. Which was around $5500.00. Again, as I was trying to raise $14.000.00. So I guess $6000.00 would have been the 50% mark. But I pretty much got stuck at $5500.00. And that was a little bit worrying. I honestly didn’t think, I pretty thought I’d get to that mark, $5500.00 after the first week. And I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it after that. Because those middle two weeks, I didn’t real, a few people’s contributions came in. But, I pretty much got the first week, I was thinking one hundred. At the end of the second week I was right around $5,500.00. The third week I was still pretty much at $5500.00. So, that was obviously a little bit worry some. And I had definately read a post about how most your money distribution comes in at the beginning and at the end. But I just was not prepared for that. I thought I would be able to at least slowly push it up? And then once I get it down, I think it was like those final 6-7 days, kinda like that last week? All of a sudden-things definitely picked up. Again, I don’t know why this was so surprising to me? But I felt like I was not quite prepared for it. Even though I had read this was going to happen. That you’re going to get a lot at the beginning and a lot at the end. And once I turned that corner, and after that on that final Sunday, or on that Monday. Things all of a sudden started to click. And once I got close to that mark. Get up to that $8000.000 – $9,000 mark. It just seemed like it sort of started to feel. The other thing that surprised me. And again, I don’t know why this surprises me? But I didn’t read about this anywhere, and it just didn’t occur to me? And maybe it should have occurred to me? But people can reduce their pledges, and they can cancel their pledges, of course they can. It didn’t, of course that’s a reasonable thing for them to be able to do. And you know, there’s no hard feelings for the people that did. But that was one of the issues, I got to that $5500.00 after the first week. And then I had a couple of big contributors, that contributed $300.00. I had a few of them actually say, “Ah, forget about it.” And they cancelled their contribution. So I did get a few contributions in weeks you know, number two and three. But, I lost a few too. So, I was pretty much stagnant at $5500.00. And again, I think, just be prepared for that and realize that, you know, they contributed, they can back off. Again, I don’t know why that didn’t occur to me, but it was definitely something that I had just not thought of. And I don’t know if you noticed? If you go back and listen to my Podcast episodes, specifically what seemed to be the biggest problem was? I’d give away the story consulting credit for $300.00. And if you listen to the Podcast you knew I was close to getting, or giving away ten of them. And at one point I got up to seven or eight of them. And as I said, I had a bunch of them. So even now when you listen to the Podcast, “Hey, there’s only a couple of these left.” And when I was recording the Podcast there was only a couple of them left. But as it turns out, a bunch of them was people who ended up canceling pledges. And so then I got down, I think, I ended up only giving out six of them, the story consulting credit that’s in the end. But I think at one point I was to eight? So, I think I’ve lost two of those maybe three of those. So, again, people can change their levels and so be prepared for that, at something that surprised me. And you can kinda take a few steps back. On some days I literally went down and did not go up.

So, the other thing that surprised me? And again, this kinda goes into all this other stuff I just mentioned. We definitely had some emotional ups and downs. As I said, after the first six days I was pretty much stuck. I think on Sunday I launched the campaign on Monday. I think by the end of the following Sunday. About six days in, I think I hit that $5500.00 mark. Which was pretty close to the summary mark. At this point, I remember thinking “Gee, this is going to be easy. Should have tried to raise more. And then, as I said, pretty much flat lined. I gotta bunch of hits where people were basically cancelling their contributions. And so things actually went down a little bit. So that was a big surprise. It was just surprising to have how much emotional roller coaster it was? Like I said, after that first, that Sunday I thought, man, this is going to be easy. Then after through that first figures there was a little bit of a low point. I mean, how I actually reverted and went down. I actually think I went below the $5000.00 mark. But by like that Wednesday, I got up to $5500.00 by that Wednesday. But on Thursday I went back down to less than $5000.00. So, there was a lot of ups and downs. As I said at the very beginning of this section, I did get a lot of Emails from people with well wishes. And so that kinda spurred me on and kept me going, and kept me positive. But, I, after the first couple of weeks, going into the third week and stuff. I really did think I was going to make it. Like I said, I was feeling pretty bad about the experience. But as I said, luckily didn’t work out. But as I said, what a big surprise it was, how much came in towards the end. A lot of bigger contributions, I think there was a couple of people that just found me through Kick Starter. And I think there must be people, that you know, look for projects that are gonna get funded. Because once I hit that like, $9500.00 – $10,000.00 mark? All of sudden I ended up getting to $14,500.00. So, just in the last, like, maybe four days. I probably raised another $5000.00-$6,000.00 – $7,000.00. A lot of it, the money came up that final few days. And there was a couple of people that, one person I know of for sure, contributed $500.00 got the “Executive Producer” credit. And he was just some random person that found me on Kick Starter. And I think that there is some of that. Once you get close to your goal, all of a sudden people are like, “Hey, he’s gonna make it, let’s chip in a little bit of money.” So, again, it was definitely a wild ride, with a lot of ups and a lot of downs. So, I would say again, be prepared for that if you’re gonna do it? Again, I want to thank everybody who did send in the well wishes, because those really did keep me going. But, there was a lot of people who did contribute money. But they did just send me positive Emails. And I thank those people too. I mean, those were appreciated, you know everybody’s financial situation is different and sometimes you’re just not in a position to contribute to something like this. And that’s totally fine. A lot of those people did send me Emails and said, “Hey, you know, I can’t contribute but, I do wish you well.” And I do get a lot of those Emails. Those were very, very nice to have, so Thank you folks for that.

So, I just want to touch on a few, couple of things that I did really well. And then I’m going to talk about some of the things that I’d do differently. Things that didn’t do that well, that I’m going to do differently next time.

So, in this section, as I said, it’s things that I think I did well. And again, this is just my opinion, but, I think there were some things obviously I did hit my goal. And $12,000.00, my goal was $12,000.00 and I hit $14,500.00, so I exceeded my goal. And that was all you know, just great. And that’s I guess part of it. That would be part of what I actually come in and talk about in terms of sort of how, what I set this up?

So, things that I think I did well, one of the first things are? Is obviously building up an audience. I mean, I’ve been running “Selling Your Screenplay” now since like, 2009-2010. So, that’s like six years, I’ve been building an audience through Selling Your Screenplay. I’ve been doing a Podcast for well over, I think two and half years; right around two and half years. So, I’ve been building up an audience and I think that’s absolutely crucial to something like that. If you’re just going to rely on friends and family, I think you need to really tempt your expectations. And I didn’t pick-up, like I said, that I think there was one person that I know of that contributed $500.00. But for the most part the people that contributed the money, are people that know me now. Maybe they don’t know me in person, but they know me through my Podcast. So, by and large I would say, spend some time with it, that being a year or two years. Trying to build an audience. Find an audience of people and build it. Because you’re going to have a hard time if you just get into something like this and you don’t already have that audience built. I did also, I talked about the Kick Starter Campaign on my Podcast, I think I started talking about it last August, just to try and build interest. And again, that was by design. I was some reading some article that said, fans really need to know, talk it up and so I just kept my audience through the Podcast, sort of abreast through the Podcast. What I was doing, talking about shooting the teaser/trailer, I talked about, you know, just setting up the Kick Starter Campaign. So I talked about it for several months. So, at least some news now I suppose those people were bored, who follow the blog, or say listen to the Podcast. But, at the people who listen to the Podcast were very well aware of what I was going to be doing a Kick Starter Campaign. And I think that was a good thing, I did a pretty good job of that, just prepping and kinda talking about it and building some interest in it. I was pretty happy with it, the teaser/trailer, but I think I did a pretty good job of not, I think my sound was clear. I think it was reasonably professional. And I did it just with some friends. There was, I really didn’t spend any money on it. The money all took was probably less than $200.00. You know, I gave somebody a little gas money, I bought some lunch, and I paid a sound guy $100.00 to do the sound. You can hear actually in the teaser the one part you can hear some effects, some music effects, and stuff. So, I picked a $100.00 for that. And that and a little gas money, and bought the guys pizza. So, well less than $200.00 is what I actually spent. My buddy Adam Strange who, runs the writers group that I’m in. He actually handled all the video equipment. And he obviously had to shoot stuff for sound equipment. He had to do the camera, he came out just as a favor to me, and shot it. So, again, I think that’s getting some of these pieces in place is a smart idea. I obviously had that, the actors too from our writers group. I talked about my writers group quite often on this Podcast. So, you know, particularly it’s a pity in these types of things on a regular basis. I mean, the two actors that came out, I wouldn’t say I’m great friends with them. But I would say, pretty well, I’ve known them over the course of a couple years. They have either actors in the writers group, they come in. And when the writers present their pages these are some of the actors that read the pages. So, you know, I see them almost on a weekly basis. And I think again, going into something like Kick Starter, and paying ways, and having some of those things in place is crucial.

I think the other thing I did, I mean, I don’t know, you’re always kind of second guessing yourself? I think I did a good job saying setting a reasonable goal. But I could actually hit. I mentioned this once before, the way I came up with that $12,000.00? I mean, I basically, figured as I said, I had $15,000.00, you know, basically committed for this project. So, I basically, feel, you know, it’s basically my budget. I figured what my budget would be, it would be $25,000.00 I would shoot my feature film on $25,000.00. So, I figured, okay I’ll go for $12,000.00 on Kick Starter. And then that will Kick Starter will take their fees. And then I figured I’d be left with a little roughly with the $12,000.00 I need. With over $10,000.00 and that would get me to the $25,000.00 that I need to shoot this thing. But, and that was part of my thinking. But my other part of it was, I at first? I’ll just go for an even $10,000.00. And that would get me straight up and I knew there was some Kick Starter fees. But then as I said, I read an article on it, and it basically said, some loose math is if 6% of your audience gives you $20.00 is that enough to get to your goal. And so, what I did was some math. As I said, I had about 12,000.00 say $10,000.00. You have about 10,000.00 people on my Selling Your Screenplay Email list. And so, just doing the math on that, I think I realized? That’s on Facebook, that’s on Twitter, Linkedin, obviously the Podcast there’s a lot of people. But I just wanted to, figure it out with some simple math. And I think some screenwriters, I think as a group are typically interesting, and cool, but they’re not always people who have a lot of expendable money. So, they are, you know, starving artist in a lot of cases. And so, you know, I think maybe being, looking at your audience being a little bit on the conservative side. But, if you do the math on that. Basically ten thousand people, 6% of that, is 6600 and then times $20.00 per six hundred comes to $1200.00. So that was the other way I kinda backed into that. And I think that was actually pretty accurate of the $14,500.00 that I wound up raising. $11,000.00 of it was from the “Selling Your Screenplay” audience. And again, you can’t tell, it’s hard to tell precisely in light of Kick Starter. It’s obviously never going to tell exactly where it comes from. But I would say roughly looking at sort of like I did, sort of eye balled it? And went through it. And I think as I said, around $11,000.00. It was a little short of my $12,000.00 sort of math equation. But, a you know, I was very happy with that. And so again, thank you to the audience of “Selling Your Screenplay. And then of course obviously I relied on you know, friends and family to go a little further. But I think it’s important that you set your goal high. I think it’s important to set a realistic goal. And I think I did. I don’t feel like, gee, maybe if, because I see, went over the $12,000.00. But I don’t sit here and think, “Gee, maybe I should have done $15,000.00, or you know, $20,000.00 or something? It’s a, it was nip and tuck, that I was actually going to make it? So, that’s the other thing. So, I did pretty good, as I said, by my calculation $11,000.00 was a ways from selling your screenplay audience. And that was pretty much roughly what I had anticipated.

So, the other thing that I think I did really well, was? I had a system in place to sort of disseminate my content. And that’s namely this Podcast that you’re listening to now. You know, I’ve spent again, this is maybe part of building your audience, but you know, I knew very quickly And this surprised everybody, didn’t do that well. Once I got into it, I knew that quickly. That, okay if I can produce an extra Podcast episode per week? I know I’ll get some people listening to it. I know how to get that out to a pretty large audience already because I’m doing it. Or else it would have been just basically plugged into that. And do all the things that I do for my weekly Podcast. Which is, I record the Podcast episode, and then I publish it on YouTube. I publish it I send an Email to my Email list. And you know, I post it on my blog, I tweet about it. I post it on my Facebook, “Selling Your Screenplay” Facebook page. So, I have those assets built. And with some audience in place. So, that’s probably a two-part equation. I built my audience, but that’s kinda like a general thing. Where you build you own audience. But then I also have these very well used, well-oiled machine. For actually disseminating it, content. So, I think I did a pretty good job with that.

So, now let’s talk about some of the things that I say I didn’t? I’d say were probably, I did poorly and things that I would do differently the next time. So, one thing I would definitely do next time is? The way Kick Starter breaks down. You know the way everyone starts searching for projects? That have a section, like, they recommend or something. And the only way you can get on that, is if you get a badge from the Kick Starter. The people who run Kick Starter, that says, “Project Level.” And they pull like a little IPod on your, in fact I would work it like the recommended projects or something? And every single one of them would have the little blue icon on it. And I did a quick Google search, I was already like head long into this thing. When I figured this out. So, I did it on Google, well, how did you get that? It was just as easy as Emailing, you know, whatever it was that supported Kick Starter. Or something to, or some specific Email, of course I don’t remember what it was? But, you just Email them and pitch your project to them. And you might, it might have taken me 20-30 minutes for me to write up a short little pitch of rely, I thought they should recommend my project. And maybe they would have, or nah, we’re not going to give you that. But, I think that the twenty minutes that would have taken me to do it? I would definitely do that. Because I think that it gets you a little bit more exposure, and it can only help. And that seems like, in the time that it would have taken, that would have been worth doing. I will definitely do it next time. I would definitely recommend that you spend the time just writing up a little pitch and then as I said, Emailing or whatever? Whatever the Email address is? So, I would say, the biggest mistake that I made, and I would definitely do it differently next time was? Just planning out more content, as I said, once I got into the campaign. I quickly realized that biggest that I leveraged thing I could do? Probably is create an extra Podcast episode, since I knew I had this ability to quickly disseminate data information again, through YouTube, through my blog, through my Emails, I knew that I could get at this Podcast episode out quickly. So, that’s what I did. But I knew that I mean, that Friday before I launched. All of a sudden it dawned on me, like, what would be smart? Would be to create a new piece of content every single day of the campaign. It doesn’t have to be a huge thing. By creating the Podcast episode, it takes me, like, a few hours at least. The better part of a half a day to produce it and get it out. Edit it and get it out. So, it’s not like I had all this time to do it, a Podcast every day. Nor have I had a reason to say it every single day. But, you can do some cool things; you can write some articles, you could have like an announcement of a special give-away, Hey, I’m going to give you a reward, you can tweet about that new reward. So, you can have some little piece of content every single day. And I think you would be real wise to plan that out, and myself included. I would be wise to plan that out. If I didn’t have every one of these. You know, just sit down with a camera and try and think of some cool thing that you could tweet about, host on your Facebook page, you know, your blog. Something, into the other backers, these are the people who have already backed your project. Just something you can push out to, that’s unique every day. Just to kinda keep people thinking about it. And I also think, and this goes into my next sort of point. I would also include more of my schedule to promote the Kick Starter Campaign. You know, I had a couple of websites that people, other people who run screenwriting websites that I Email with, or just network with, or just kind of know. Because I have a screenwriting website. And I have a couple of those people say, “Well, hey, write a blog post for my website and you can pitch your Kick Starter Campaign on it. And I just didn’t know how to time. So, this kinda goes back to my first point. Planning out content, writing with someone, articles in advanced for some of these other blogs I would have been happy to do it. I think I could have got you like, built story. I told a story in those thirty days. Okay, I’m starting now, okay, here’s where I am now, just kind of told a story. And then, I would have been a pull with some people from these other websites. If I had written, let’s say, written like, four articles for this other website. Or just two articles, or maybe a beginning, sort of one at the end? Two articles for this website it might have been enough to get some continuity and actually pull people from another website. People that didn’t know me at the beginning of the thirty days. If I had produced enough content, then by the end of the thirty days maybe I would have pulled sort of into my sphere? And maybe they would have started listening to my Podcast. I mean, I think I would have had other advantages too, for “Selling Your Screenplay” as a business. Just getting those people just sort of into my sphere, would have been a good thing. But again, I didn’t know, I just didn’t have time, so, I would clear more of my schedule if I had done another one of these. Just so I could produce that content and just kind of just stay on top of it. I mean, I have a lot of stuff going on. And obviously other scripts, obviously I’m selling other screenplays, a bunch of other websites, I’m running out on family obligations, I have two young children. So, and I know a lot of other people are in the same situation. So, just the data base stuff gets a little bit overwhelming when you’re also trying to run this Kick Starter Campaign. So, I think next time definitely try and block it out my schedule a little bit better. But, I don’t know, it’s just unavoidable, and so maybe you just got to suck it up. But, I don’t know, that was definitely one I had going through it.

So, but, another thing that I would say, and this is sort of goes with the last thing I did poorly. But something I didn’t, thinking about I might do differently was, I was just trying to figure out? Would I use Kick Starter as a platform? Like I might do a cross, called, “Crowd Funding Campaign” again. But, would I use Kick Starter as a platform? And I don’t have a good answer right now. Getting down the road, maybe I’ll come up with a better answer? And there’s a couple of reasons for that. The rewards system is a little bit clunky. It’s, you know, especially the way I kind of entered it out. It just, you know, putting in a ton of different rewards. It’s kind of difficult to just connect with all the people. Like as an example, have a link that says, “Download the Backers Information.” So you click on it and download, zip up and you open it up. And each reward has it’s own Excel spreadsheet, so you have to click through them if you want to cuff basically everybody’s address who has contributed. You gotta like, click through each Excel spreadsheet page, and copy and paste into it. So, it’s a little bit clunky that way, I don’t like, or know how to do it? Today, I was just starting to go through and full fill some of the rewards. It’s like, they have this thing where it surveys, I gotta get to it and through it. I haven’t actually done it yet, but, the surveys seem to only pertain to only one reward level. For example, every person’s that contribute to my campaign at the $50.00 level, or above for any rewards. I’m going to give them a digital download, and I’m going to give them an actual physical hard copy of the DVD. So, it would be nice to send a link, so I don’t have to collect their physical address and their information. So instead of having to do like, ten surveys, it would be nice to do one survey for above the $50.00 one level. But Kick Starter doesn’t seem like they are happy to do that?

So, the other thing was? Obviously they take a pretty big fee. So I ended up raising $14,500.00. The money just got transferred to my accountant yesterday. And it looks like there’s, I want to make sure I get this right? It’s $13,000.00, I think about $300.00. So, it’s about $1200.00 that Kick Starter took out of the $14,500.00 total. So, it’s not quite 10%, you can do the math on that? You know, but I think it’s probably over 8%, maybe 9%? Somewhere between the 8%-9%? So, that’s a sizable chunk of money. I mean, it is so, I did a little search, you know, just forward, WordPress, is what I run some of this under, it’s what my blog’s on. If you have a blog you probably use one, WordPress as well. It’s a software, but, it powers most blogs on the internet. So, I did a search to see if there was like, a Crowd Funding Plug? And that you could get for WordPress. And there were some, I didn’t get in and investigate. But, you can definitely run something yourself. So, it occurred to me, even with the 10%, you get people to pay you through credit card or PayPal. But, that’s typical of some fees, not like 8% or 9% fees. So, you can definitely step past the Kick Starter and run it. But, however, I do think that Kick Starter has some credibility. And you know, for instance, I think having a deadline helps. If you did something similar self-hosted, and just to be clear, you know, I’m just kinda like, I’m still mulling this over. I’m, I don’t have a definitive answer? And we’ll see, maybe, in a couple of years, once this film is done. And I decide to do another Kick Starter Campaign. The proof is in the pudding we’ll see if I actually use Kick Starter again? So, this is a work in progress. I don’t want to make it seem like a definitive answer right now? How-ever what I think, I’m just sort of throwing things out there. And these are just sort of my thoughts of where I’m at right now? But, If you did a self-hosted Crowd Funding Campaign, on your blog? You know, the deadline would be incredibly arbitrary, there would be no reason why you couldn’t just extend the deadline. If you are hosting it yourself. You have the power to extend the deadline. So, I do think as an example, I do think the deadline of the Kick Starter Campaign did help. As I said, that last week money really did start come in quickly.

And if you’re if you’re hosting it yourself, on your own blog? It’s going to look very strange and arbitrary and there is no reason why you couldn’t extend it? So, the deadline is not going to feel as real obviously, with Kick Starter once I set that deadline. People understand the rules that there is no way in the Kick Starter system that you can go and extend it, the deadline. So I do think the deadline added pressure, added pressure to myself and it added pressure to the people. You know, who contributed. So, that’s a big plus. I think all, it’s a big plus. The other thing is, it does to me anyways, It feels more legit than on Kick Starter. You know, whether it is or is not? I don’t know, maybe for someone like myself where people kinda listen to my Podcast. Maybe I built up that level of trust. But it definitely seems like it’s a little bit weird, if you’re just self-hosting it? People are just giving me PayPal contributions, it just doesn’t feel like they would be quite as legitimate. At least of the $14,500.00, at least $500.00 of it was contributed from someone who found me on Kick Starter platform. So, there is that as well, if you’re hosting it. You’re definitely not going to get that type of things.

One thing, and maybe I should have put this in the surprise section? One thing I did realize, we run a bunch of E-Commerce sites over the years. So, I know, sort of, about bad credit cards, and credit cards going bad, and not working and that kinda stuff. And so, one thing that going into this, that I was worried about was? That Kick Starter does not charge the credit card until the campaign is successful and ends. So, that’s maybe like, I ended up at 5:00p.m. There was actually some people that told me they saw the Kick Starter charge them almost immediately. So, they saw those credit card charges. But the bottom line was, those credit card charges don’t go through until the campaign has ended and has been successful. So, you know, there’s people who contribute at the beginning of the month and I was worried that, you know, they might get it, their credit card just might get canceled. I mean, I don’t know about you, but, like my credit card company, at least once a year or so? They just send me a new credit card, out of the blue, and say, oh yeah, the other credit card might have been hacked. So we’re giving you a new number and a new card, and frankly I find it kind of annoying. There’s a certain percentage of those people that I knew, when their credit cards weren’t going to go through. So, I wasn’t worried that, you know, there would be a significant percentage, like 10%. I was just worried that the significant percentage credit cards that did not end up going through. And to Kick Starter’s credit, they did a really good job with this. One of my friends actually, his credit card did exactly that, it did go bad during the time period. And so Kick Starter sent back the Email to him and said, “Hey, you got to update your credit card.” Of course he did and it went through. But the other thing is. In the Kick Starter Campaign you can look at how many of these backers their credit cards didn’t go through. And again, I was very worried about it at first. But in the end it was only ended up being three contributors, and two grand total got denied. Otherwise I’m only out $30.00 of the $14,500.00. A very insignificant portion. So that was actually excellent. And again, I give credit to Kick Starter for managing that. And I can see it, how many didn’t go through. And they also did a good job following up with the people and sending Email. So, that would be another reason potentially to use. Kick Starter.

Okay, so those are the things that I would do differently. And now I’m just going to list off a couple of tips. These are the things that I think, if someone came to me and asked? And I guess even the things I did well. I think those are also some tips for some people. But, these are just kind of some random tips. But I think I would give some people. I would definitely do lots and lots of different rewards. I mean, if you go and look at all of the rewards I offered by the end of it? There had to be like 20-25 different rewards that I was offering?

And almost all of them got at least, like, one or two persons who contributed at that level. And so I think it’s important you give it much diversity to the rewards. Because the rewards really do entice people to contribute. Some people want to help you out, and they don’t even want a reward. But I felt for the most part, people were very interested in reward. And if you listen to these Kick Starter Campaign updates I do. You go back and listen to the ones already, you’ll know I realized that very early on. And so I just constantly was rolling out new rewards throughout the campaign. So, I would definitely do that. I also think again, going back to this idea that I am able to create new content every single day. I also think, you know, setting-up your Kick Starter Campaign, this is kinda what I had ended up doing. But it wasn’t by design, I just kind of stumbled through it. You know I had sort of kind of a list of what I had for rewards I had. But as I went through it, unloading them as quickly as possible as I could throughout the campaign. But, I think that was a good thing and I would recommend doing it. I would even recommend not necessarily what I did, in the sense that I was just you know, trying to get these things up again. And I would think before you start, but I would also definitely hold back some of your rewards. Don’t give out all your rewards the first day, hold a few of them back. Because that would be, that would give you just a little initiative going through it.

The other big piece of advice I would give is? You know, just do it, is you know, going through the process, like now that I’ve done a Kick Starter Campaign. And am I an expert at Kick Starter? No, but, I have a much better, going from not understanding it at all. Even if you read how to do it, and bla, bla, bla. Until you’ve actually done it? It’s a you know, I feel a lot better, or more confident, let’s put it that way, about going and doing this again. So, I really highly recommend it, even if you just set a goal of $500.00. You want to go out and shoot a short film. Set a goal of $500.00 do a Kick Starter Campaign. Go to friends and family and just see if you can raise a little bit of money to just go and do a short film. If you think some of the Kick Starter Campaigns are something you want to learn about? And potentially maybe do a feature film? I would say, just do it. Just get out there and just do it. Because all these things I’m talking about are things that you can, and you will face first hand. And no matter how I explain them to you, or how many questions you asked. Or how many, you know, blog articles on running Kick Starter Campaigns you read. Until you’ve been through it yourself, it’s hard to really sort of understand the facts of it. And like anything in life the more you do it, the better you get. So, I would really encourage people to try this out. If they are thinking that Kick Starter might be a model. Again, set a really honest goal of just a few hundred dollars. And just go do a short You know, may just like, $300.00? or just $200.00? Just set a goal of $200.00 just see if you can raise some money. And maybe that just pays for food, and you’re going to shoot a short film on your IPhone? And you need some money for location and food for a one-day shoot. And you’d be surprised how much you’ll learn, even if it’s just something, a monetary amount, ridiculously low?

The other big piece, the other big tip I would give is? Have some backers in reserve to get over the hump. And what I mean by that is, there is going to be some close family and friends that you tell beforehand. And that they are going to contribute, like they are your good friends, your good family, you get those that are very close to. And I did this as well, I had some people going into that last week. I had a couple of people in reserve that I knew were going to make big contributions. And I said, “Great, go and contribute now.” And that, started, and that’s the kind of start of the final run. And you know, it’s hard to tell what would have happened if I hadn’t done that? And, a once things start and begin to heat up, it seemed to fuel itself. So, I would really recommend is, having that couple of people to kinda get you over that hump. And that hump to me is, seems to be like that.

You know, from 50% funded, to let’s say like, 75% funded. So you know, trying to get to that 50% funding mark on your own. And then have these people in reserve. Hopefully they can get you a little bit more, and maybe get you to 75% funded. And then all of a sudden, people will say, hey, this guy is actually going to make it. And that might heat things up a bit. So, it just gives you a boost when you most need it. So, definitely think about how having some good friends and family you know, you can really count on to contributing strategically use them.

So, the other tip that was given to me? I did not do it. Again so maybe, this goes in the, “Things I would do better.” It was an excellent tip. Find other Kick Starter Campaigns that are similar to yours. And sort of scope, in my case, I’m doing a film I’m trying to raise the $25,000.00 mark. So, you know, maybe if I could have found some other Kick Starter Campaigns, that were having similar success. And we could have crossed pollinated we could have gone to them and said, “Hey, I’m doing this Kick Starter Campaign, can you promote it to your audience? Because everybody got you know, is, everyone who has contributed to your campaign, is in the Kick Starter System. They know how it works, and they’re not all going to contribute to some other random Kick Starter Campaign that I can recommend. But I, definitely think that you can pick up a few. And do this with, you know, 4-5 other projects. And obviously you want to vet this, you’re going to know your audience. You are going to know the people that are contributing to your campaign. So, Find a projects that are similar in scope, and you know, and that you can feel really cool about something you really genuinely would recommend to your friends. But, and then promote it to yours. Because it in the Kick Starter interface, there are very easy ways to just like contact everyone. Send a message to all your backers. So you can find some of those other Kick Starter Campaigns. Maybe kick them $10.00, or $20.00? And send them a message, so, hey, I saw your Kick Starter Campaign it looks really cool. I’m running mine, this campaign of mine I am potentially interested in cross pollinating our audiences. And just see what you can get. That was a tip given to me, I didn’t try it, I just never quite had time to do the leg work. Obviously, this is one I recommended projects that I feel would work good. And would be similar to yours. So that your audience would be in align with that.

So that’s pretty much my tips. I guess over all, my sort of feeling over all Kick Starter Campaigns would be? A very positive experience, obviously I made my goal, so obviously that probably impacts that goal. Or whereas I wouldn’t feel quite as good about it, If I hadn’t. But, even though, I had just completely failed, this? There were some significant upside to it. And that made it worth it. Again really the networking and connecting with my audience I think than every before. So, I definitely think over all, it’s definitely positive. And you know, I would definitely be opened to running another one obviously. But I’m not going to run one right now, anytime soon. I’ve got to actually go and produce this movie. So, but you know, in one year, two years, three years down the road. I would definitely consider doing it. Assuming that this movie turns out well, and people seem to like it? Definitely consider going back and doing another Kick Starter Campaign. And so, I think it was definitely worthwhile and that. It was a positive experience.

So, that’s it, that’s my Kick Starter Round-Up. I’ve actually started to move into pre-production. So, I’m starting to crew up right now. The plan is, as of right now. I think I’ve said this on a Podcast already. Like, hey, we’re going to shoot in May/June. And the prep in there is to shoot in July. And you know, it’s a moving target. Who knows, it may go up, it may go down, it might go back a little bit. But that’s the plan. So, I’m recording this in early in March and so I’ve got a few months to kinda get the movie ready. I’ve got a quite a bit to do as the Writing Director, and also going to be one of the producers. I’m going to start doing a re-write on the script here in the next couple of days. And then I’m going to also do a shot list. I’m starting to crew-up, I’m starting to put feelers out to get crew members. One of the guys I networked with, I actually contacted a newbie and he actually kicked in a few bucks in Kick Starter Campaign. Actually tells me he listens to my Podcast. And he Emailed me, he had actually done a Kick Starter Campaign. He has a Cinematographer in New Zeland. So, talking with him about him maybe possibly coming up to shoot the film. He’s a professional videographer in New Zeland. So, that would be great! But that’s just a good example of the kinds of people you can potentially meet in the Kick Starter Campaign. Or like this, so, yeah, I’m crewing-up and just getting ready to start going for a July shoot. Again, I really appreciate everyone who came along for this journey with me. I will continue to update, I will probably not going to do any more special episodes, or at least not in the near term, any special Podcast episodes where I just talk about the project. But, again, I’m afraid, I’ll talk about the project now. But if it’s in pre-production, I’ll be talking about it every week on the Podcast. And keeping everyone up to date. But again, just really appreciate the support as I said, that was really the greatest thing, as part of the Kick Starter Campaign with just getting the well wishes. And seeing how supportive of everybody was. So, thank you everybody who did contribute.

That’s it, I really appreciate you listening to this Podcast episode, thank you.



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3 thoughts on “The Pinch Kickstarter Campaign Wrap Up (transcript)”
  1. Hey Ashley, caught your update ( and wanted you to know it clicked right along. Some DIYs and Howjadoits can lumber, but you keep yours going. But when you cautioned on the ins and outs of Kickstarter, it conjured images of newbies with “Apocalypse Now” for their first crowdfunded project and then wisely scaled it back to something more manageable like “War and Peace”. But if I were to heed your advice and start modestly with an achievable low budget objective, I’d treat Kickstarter like voting in Chicago, and do it small and often, with a series of small micro budgets of about $50 to $100, and each one with a plot solely about the mechanics of ordering, delivering, and consuming pizza by the cast and crew on location, or right inside a Pizza Hut, and delivered by deadline and under budget (or within whatever a Kickstarter Pizza Budget could reasonably be inflated to and still keep within the terms and spirit of crowdfunding) — i got the idea from your pizza scene in The Pinch. If it didn’t flop altogether, I think it could be an audacious and funny riff on crowdfunding, and i betcha could even inspire a few pizza parlors to throw in as sponsors too. Whaduhyuhthink?

    1. I think that’s a great idea. If you try it let me know. I can see some pizza places happily kicking in some free pizza and perhaps you can scale this out to get a whole host of free stuff for your production.

  2. OH YEAH with a camera phone & mic attached to every crew & cast member just like we were reluctant cops under surveillance by TMZ, we couldn’t help but record, annotate, edit, and daresay expose the sausage being made as ugly rewrites on the fly are superimposed right over the whole naked shameless process of ordering, eating, drinking, spilling, editing, and finally signing autographs for pretty girls and sagacious fans keen enough to recognize the film history being made.

    Btw you ought to post the content of the negative and nasty emails you got, cuz revenge is so sweet when all you have to do is post the hubris of their own thoughtless commentary.

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