Today I launched a Kickstarter project to fund an important film. Here’s why:
My sister Donna has been an artist her entire life. She’s also had more operations to remove tumors than anyone I know. A few years ago the doctors found a bone growing over the left side of her skull. A biopsy revealed a very large tumor infused in the bone and a rare disease call Fibrous Dysplasia (FD). Both are causing irreparable damage, cannot be removed and are combining to take her life. In the face of this tragedy, multiple surgeries and recoveries, my sister remains strangely upbeat and more courageous than I thought possible.
Donna is also a gifted painter. Last year, while helping relaunch the video production business of Sherman Krysher, I suggested we shoot a few interviews with Donna and produce a short documentary as a lasting legacy to our family, and possibly something I could get viewed on PBS.
After a few sessions it was clear this was a much bigger project. Her artwork and creation process were more fascinating than expected. The FD combined with her brain tumor created a leitmotif, a recurring story unto itself, that called out to a much larger audience. About the same time a friend of mine ran a successful Kickstarter to raise money to design a font for the city of Chattanooga… That’s right. A font style for the city! The idea of using crowd-funding to fund the documentary started to consume me and, having launched 6 start-up businesses, I recognized the feeling. After much research I concluded we’d use Kickstarter to launch a project to fund the documentary.
Autumn Rhythm – a film about painting over your head
Kickstarter: Autumn Rhythm Kickstarter Link
Today I completed the process to launch the project and we are now LIVE! Please click and visit the project page here. Please Like/follow the social sites we set up for the film. Please forward the site & links to others. We need all of the power of the “crowd” to make this a success.
Donna’s plight inspired my oldest son, Daniel, to write and produce a suite of some extremely engaging music (The Sadness of the Human Head). He will write an original score for the documentary. I also felt he’d be perfect to do the interviews and narrate the film.
The KICKSTARTER SITE: We collaborated on writing the Kickstarter video script. As the Executive Producer and brother, I am the on-screen “talent” talking about the reason and plans for the film.
Daniel suggested we start the video off with a montage of footage of Donna. Sherman drove the creative direction of the montage and infused it with an Emily Dickinson poem–one of Donna’s favorite poets. I’m concerned it doesn’t project the uplifting nature of her story. Let me know if you think it’s an effective use of the medium.
The goal is to raise a minimum of $36,300 in 30 days. The “rewards” for those supporting the making of the film are great, some absolutely unique. Right now we’re feeling confident. I’ll let you know how we feel after we’ve been at it for a couple of days.
My Kickstarter critique so far: It is not a simple process. It’s time consuming, and much like launching a new business, requires you to think through multiple levels of project detail. To date I’m estimating we collectively invested +300 man hours. But nothing worthwhile is ever easy.
Every SBE needs to look into crowd funding platforms like Kickstarter, IndieGogo, and an entire host of others for one primary reason: BANKS ARE NO LONGER A REALISTIC SOURCE OF FUNDING EARLY STAGE BUSINESSES! Crowd funding is a viable alternative (check out Soma – a product company that raised +$147,000 with a Kickstarter project in 30 days!). If you watched PART 2 of my interview with Steven Sashen (Interview With Experts #6, Part 2) he talks in great detail about the problems banks are having.
Launching an SBE is like preparing to compete in the Olympics: the outcome is directly proportionate to the amount of time spent in preparation.
I would be so grateful if you’d support this Kickstarter project. Spread the word! Please share this link!