Reflections on my first week of the Kickstarter….
I was at a dinner party last night celebrating my getting tenure in my “other” job. You know, the one that pays the bills and has largely given me the freedom to be able to pursue projects of passion like Pin Up! The Movie. My college dean was there, as were three other colleagues who had also achieved similar milestones – either tenure or promotion to full professor.
I’m an associate professor at the University of Colorado in Boulder. My department chair sang my praises and said that I’m what’s known as a hybrid scholar – someone who studies academic issues and topics but bases those studies on the creative work I produce. Creative projects – like this film – “count” as much in my world as much as a book or research paper. I’m lucky. Not all departments do that.
But even as I was at the dinner (the post meal ranking from my husband and myself: the cupcakes were the best, followed by the salad, the wine, the other desert, and in last place the entree), I kept wanting to check my phone.
What’s going on in the campaign? Are we going to make our week one challenge? I need to do something to virtually twist people’s arms and make them give!
I forget how much work these things are. Every day. Checking the campaign status. Thinking about who to reach out to. Thinking about different ways I can get people excited about the project. Obsessively checking email and getting excited when I see that’s I’ve got a new message in the account tied to Kickstarter. A message that says I have a new backer. Each morning I have an anticipation that I can only describe as like Christmas for a little kid.
What did Santa bring me????????
As I’ve blogged about earlier, there is a lot of good stuff that’s happened. While I didn’t meet the milestone challenge, the campaign is already nearly halfway to its goal with more than three weeks left. People are backing this project at amounts that are higher than Kickstarter norms. And that’s good.
But what’s most encouraging to me – and helpful to me – is the idea I’m not going this alone. Let’s start with Freddie Premo, someone I have never met who just really really believes in the project. He’s been such a staunch supporter all along – sharing tweets and other posts, trying to get people excited about the campaign. It’s really quite amazing.
Then there’s the folks at Suavecito pomade who are doing something similar. We’ve never met – except on social media – and they’ve also been sharing our tweets and trying to help get this film funded.
Devin “Gatsby” James and Kat Stroud both have a vested interest in the film – Gatsby wrote a song for us and Kat’s one of the models seen in the project in a minor role. They’ve been out of control on social media – from Twitter to Facebook to Instagram – sharing and promoting and pushing what we’re doing. Gatsby sends me messages every day on Facebook updating the status of the campaign, running basic analytics (you’re average x$ per day – that will get you to your goal by y), and even underwriting promotions. Kat is a one-woman machine in her mission to get the film out there. Amazing.
Plus there’s a slew of folks over on Instagram who are helping – I’m going to post on what I’ve seen for our Instagram engagement in the coming days.
But I think people forget things. I’m not taking any money for this film. Seriously. See the thing about the day job above? THAT’S what pays the bills. I shot the film largely using frequent flier miles, staying with family and friends and patching it together, as I often joke, using duct tape and good intentions. So far I’ve paid almost everyone who’s been in the crew. My producers? Also working for free.
I’m not looking to get rich here. I just want to pay the musicians.