Stretch Goals for Kickstarter Projects

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boblipton

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Stretch Goals for Kickstarter Projects

PostThu Jun 02, 2016 7:11 am

I've been doing some thinking about Kickstarter projects. I am very fond of the ones that get rare films out, like the ones that Ben and Ed and Tom have been doing, resulting in contributors above a certain level getting a dvd of the film(s).

Because I believe that the best way to make sure a film survives is to make as many copies of it as possible, in whatever format can be managed, it seems to me a good idea to encourage people to contribute. However, I am concerned that some people may look at a project that has funded and decide not to contribute because enough money has been raised. It seems to me to be a good idea to get those extra copies out there, and stretch goals may be a good way to encourage people to contribute.

Some of the stretch goals that have been made public on various projects have been better packaging -- a hardshell case instead of a paper sleeve -- and a booklet with promotional or historical material. These may serve to make someone contribute and get another copy out into the world that a barebones release would not.

So, what would make you more likely to contribute to Kickstarter dvd release? In particular, have you considered contributing, said "If it had such-and-such I would", and what is it that you thought the release lacked?

Bob
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silentfilm

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Re: Stretch Goals for Kickstarter Projects

PostThu Jun 02, 2016 11:15 am

For me, it is simply whether or not the star or title is appealing AND whether or not I can afford it at the time. When I saw Ben's Marion Davies disk would be Bluray, I had to get that one though. (I've backed some of Ed's DVD projects, but not all of them.)

DVDs and BluRays are not great for ensuring that a film survives forever. They are great mediums for ensuring that more people get to see the films though.
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Jim Roots

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Re: Stretch Goals for Kickstarter Projects

PostThu Jun 02, 2016 1:03 pm

It would be nice if the "extra" funds could be funnelled into a common pot that could then be used to support other new releases (or "re-releases", if you prefer).

Example: Ed's target for producing An Al Joy Compilation is $5,000, and he raises $7,000. He uses the targeted $5,000 for his project and puts the leftover $2,000 into the pot.

Ben's target for producing The Joys of Being a Smilin' Billy Comedian is $3,000 and he raises $6,000. He puts the leftover $3,000 into the pot.

Now we have a total of $5,000 in the pot, which is enough for somebody to produce The Hilarious Antics of Lon Chaney.

That seems to me a more productive use of the extra pledges than fancier cases, better artwork, or Ed forging Al Joy's signature on a postcard.

Jim
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Danny Burk

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Re: Stretch Goals for Kickstarter Projects

PostThu Jun 02, 2016 3:00 pm

I'm happy to participate because:

1) I want to support the effort to release seldom-seen films, especially those that have little chance to be released otherwise;

2) I want to see/own the films.

So far, the titles/stars have all been interesting to me, and among those that I might choose myself, if I were doing something along these lines. For the reasons above, I'd probably support others that might be of somewhat lesser interest; on the other hand, if they were titles in which I'm completely uninterested (say, B-westerns), I'd be much less likely to participate.
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Re: Stretch Goals for Kickstarter Projects

PostThu Jun 02, 2016 4:16 pm

I have supported all of the ones that Ed has done, and will support the one upcoming Colleen Moore project. I have done these (1) to support film restoration and availability, and (2) the novelty of seeing a film that I otherwise may never get to see. I would accentuate the first reason more than a desire to see the films.

I have seen some campaigns where you can have your name listed in the credits if you contribute so much, etc. but those extras, or anything beyond the DVD itself really are not that enticing.

If excess money could go to the next restoration that might be interesting, but unless the excess fully funds Project B such that everyone who contributed to Project A gets a DVD, I am not sure how you figure out who gets what.

Maybe another idea would be to donate excess funds to a film preservation society. But, for only funds that are truly excess. So,if Ed for example can find a good use for the additional funds on Project A, or if it costs more than planned, then funds would be used there first.

Matthew
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Mike Gebert

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Re: Stretch Goals for Kickstarter Projects

PostThu Jun 02, 2016 4:58 pm

Yeah, I've supported nearly everything even though I have to admit my dark secret... Musty Suffer gives me the heebies. But I proudly own it anyway! I think the great thing that has worked here is that the transaction is so simple: $25, get the DVD, if we sell enough it happens, if we don't, it won't (though they all have). I wouldn't object to cool extras, and on one of them I went for Ben Model's offer that I'd get another fabulous secret title if I kicked in enough, but I don't need more gewgaws around the house, and again, it's the simplicity of that transaction that is the main thing— nobody has to raise $75,000 to make this happen, as is often the case for the people who want to start a community orca pond or restore the world's biggest plaster squirrel.
“Sentimentality is when it doesn't come off—when it does, you get a true expression of life's sorrows.” —Alain-Fournier
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Re: Stretch Goals for Kickstarter Projects

PostMon Aug 08, 2016 4:08 pm

I've supported most of these projects and for me it's all about the DVD/Blu-ray and actually getting to see a film that I would have no chance to see. I'd love to see money go toward appropriate short subjects or liner notes if that would be possible. I will continue to support these projects, even ones that I'm not as interested in, to make sure that more projects pop up.

It has been exciting to see all the neat things that have been added to the September Storm 3-D project as they have raised money above the original goal.
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Mike Gebert

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Re: Stretch Goals for Kickstarter Projects

PostWed Nov 16, 2016 10:25 am

There have been some comments in other threads about which Kickstarters are working and which don't. I thought I'd throw a few comments out there to help people understand why some do and some don't.

As someone who always has too many projects of dubious potential return going, I approach Kickstarters with a bit of a gimlet eye. In the non-silent film realm, my question is, is this really something other people should help you pay for? I was solicited once for one where people wanted to raise money for a water doula for delivering their baby straight into the dolphin tank, or something like that. Whatever makes you happy (though I fear for that baby! and those dolphins!) but I have a hard time seeing why other people should indulge that to the tune of several thousand dollars, any more than I should have asked them to kick in for my family's trip to Japan last spring. But me, mostly I like projects that don't require any more investment of money than I can afford. NitrateVille is work, vaguely, but self-created work that I love. Money-wise, anyone who meets me is welcome to buy me a drink if they feel inclined, but the actual cost is pretty trivial. I've never thought of soliciting money to cover so modest an expense, particularly knowing how much more other people in this field do for the general benefit.

What I love about Ed Lorusso's, and Ben Model's, and such projects is that the transaction isn't charity— it's essentially an upfront investment with a set result. If enough people pre-order the product, a Marion Davies movie or the like, we'll have the money to make the product. Win-win. The only question then is, can the person promising this deliver? There was no reason not to be confident about either of them, and so I and many more of us have done this, most satisfactorily for all.

I've given money to some others, like Eric Grayson's, because he's a friend and is even less potential-return-minded than I am, and works on cool orphaned projects. But partly because I really don't know what the total cost of something like that will be, I'm hesitant to go backing every good-sounding project—I'm not Hef, the amount of money that hurts a little for me to give may well be too small to matter. Little Orphant Annie has that problem, it's not as neat and clear what the money will result in, though I backed it for Eric's sake anyway. But it is more of a leap of faith that this is something that matters and that, somehow, down the line, I will benefit from seeing this movie somewhere. (It seems a safe bet that it will play at some festival he and I both attend, in the sense that I attend in a seat and he attends with a bunch of films to show.)

In any case, I think what the track record so far has demonstrated is that the silent film community's meeting places, NitrateVille strongly among them, can work very well as places to promote your fundraiser. But at the same time, a project has to convey clear goals that are attainable, so that people giving can know what they're helping to accomplish. The plan has to look doable and with a worthy goal, so that it gets more doable as more and more give, and everyone has a sense that they're contributing toward an end that matters to them.
“Sentimentality is when it doesn't come off—when it does, you get a true expression of life's sorrows.” —Alain-Fournier

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