Well to offset my terrible experience of having my cameras and jewelry ripped off, let’s talk about one of the lucky things that have happened lately. The new FINDING KUKAN teaser has inspired several amazing women to volunteer their talents to help develop the film! All amazing creative professionals in their own right, Pamela Tong, Magnolia Barrett, and Debra Zeleznik recently gathered at my house to talk about how to get the film to the next step. We were guided by the great research volunteer Notre Dame student Camille Muth did for us.
Right now our most immediate need is to raise funding to complete the film. So we are planning a KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN to begin in OCTOBER. Why Kickstarter you might ask?
#1. IT WORKS. Crowdfunding– it’s what PBS and NPR have been doing for years — the phone in fund drive format where you get a nice little gift and mention on the show for making your donation at a particular time. Kickstarter (administered by Amazon) is just an online way of doing it and is structured so that independent creative types can have a ready made platform to launch their own crowdfunding campaigns. Check out a couple of amazing documentary campaigns here and here.
#2. GRANTS ARE GONE. Well not totally. I’ve been lucky enough to get a couple of small grants in the past and will continue to write onerous grant applications to try to capture what little funding is still available to documentaries — my Executive Producer Kimberlee Bassford pointed out that it’s easier to get into Yale University than it is to get most major film grants. Even directors with several major PBS documentary series under their belts are finding it hard to make films with the traditional funding available in this tight economy.
#3. IT’S FUN. To learn more about Kickstarter I’ve donated to a couple of projects myself. Donating makes you part of a team and gets you emotionally invested in someone else’s creative project. It’s energizing and inspiring to be part of a group effort to create something of lasting value. Plus there are some fun premiums you can get for donating.
Do you have any experience with Kickstarter or other fundraising efforts? Can you give us some pointers on how to run a successful fundraising campaign? Do you have an idea for a great premium to give to future donors? Don’t be shy! We need all the help we can get. Please let us hear from you!