Kickstarter – A Way To Fund Creativity

- - The Future

Kickstarter is one of those collective/social/new-web ways to fund projects. For photographers and filmmakers the premise is actually quite good. You state how much money you need to pull off a project then as an incentive for different levels of funding you offer access to the project and collateral. It’s also great for the backers because money is only taken if the goal is reached so the project can be completed.

Like all new-web ways of bringing in money you must already have the audience/fans in place to make it work. Joey Daoud of the Coffee and Celluloid blog recounts his experience trying to get a film made using Kickstarter (here).

I think the main thing to takeaway is it’s a tool, not a magical source of funding.

If you’re a photographer who already has a fan base and you want to fund a project by pre-selling prints, books and access to you then this could be the perfect way to get it done. Or maybe you have friends with deep pockets but don’t want to offend them by begging for money. Turning it into a Kickstarter project will make it less awkward for them to fund your artistic ways.

Just don’t expect angel investors to recognize your genius and magically appear.

There Are 11 Comments On This Article.

  1. I launched my latest project on Kickstarter this morning, imagine my surprise when i click my rss feed for APE. Kickstarter is a cool concept will keep you posted on my progress. Cheers, -M

    Shameless plug:

  2. I’ve been seriously considering setting up some projects through Kickstarter. I think it is a great way to pursue independent projects and not be at the mercy of an editor or publication looking to do a story for their own reasons. In my field of music and entertainment, assignments are so heavily linked to the promotional cycle of album releases and band buzz that there is very little truly independent editorial content.

    Pre-selling an independently printed book or high quality prints would conceivably raise enough money to cover basic travel and production costs and sharing the work with those who believe in the purpose of the project would feel very rewarding.

    I think independent content creation could be a big shift in the photo world as long as photographers have enough vision and follow through. Power to the people. – J

    • Matt Wright-Steel

      @Jacob Blickenstaff, dude love your work you did for Ponderosa…heading that way this sept? Beer on me if you find your way to NOLA. Cheers, -M

      • @Matt Wright-Steel, Thanks – I will be at the Ponderosa Stomp for sure in September, been working with them for a few years. Definitely say hello if you’re there.

  3. A friend of mine just funded a short film, raising about 15K (of a 10k target) in a month. Like you said, Kickstarter was more just a tool – there was no end to the work they did calling, emailing, pounding the pavement, all to scare up potential donors. Nothing will replace the act of fundraising, which is seriously hard work and requires contact with fans and a lot of begging and cajoling (it took me 3 emails to finally go and donate, and this is a close friend – I was just busy and never got around to it).

    Its a great way to manage the money coming in, and it has some great tools to keep in touch with your donors as the project unfolds, but if you are planning a project, don’t even look at Kickstarter until EVERYTHING is set up and ready to go, from the marketing plan to the people you have already lined up to donate.

    • @Mason, Funny you mentioned frequency of being contacted, because that’s something I’m still trying to figure out the balance of. I have some friends who are like “You post so much stuff on Twitter and Facebook, wth” while others I’ll mention a project and they’re like, “Oh, what’s that?” It’s tough to find that balance between making sure all your connections know what you’re up to and bombarding them with information overload.