We're in the final hours of my Kickstarter campaign for Portrait, a documentary on photography.
Unfortunately, short of a miracle at the last minute, we will not meet the goal. What does this mean? Well, Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing method of crowdfunding. Since we didn't meet 100% of our goal, none of the money pledged will actually be charged of the backers. $0.
But I can still make a film. I have a camera. I've been infected by a need to explore the creative process. This is too important to me to quit on it. And I still owe you all to get your picture in a movie.
It's been a humbling journey. You always hope for the best, but even in failure, seeing the current tally of 137 backers, meaning 137 people that were willing to give their hard earned cash to help see my dream come to life was unbelievable. I can't thank each and every one of you enough. It has pushed me to make sure I still have a film to share with you, and to have you join me on the journey. More on that in a minute.
Getting over $5,800 in intended pledges in 23 days is nothing to be ashamed of. Every comment I received was positive, and I know this is a topic that needs to be explored. So many young, aspiring, and established photographers and enthusiasts want to see this happen, which leads me to...
As it stands today, I can't make the film I originally intended to make. I had lined up interviews and features in Columbus, Seattle, San Francisco, New York City, and possibly LA. I would have needed every penny of our goal and more.
So, what am I going to do?
With Kickstarter, you aren't able to change your end goal or funding time. And even though we "raised" over $5,800, that was only 48% of our goal, meaning Kickstarter will cancel the campaign at 10 PM tonight and no ones credit card will be charged.
But, Kickstarter does allow you to start a project again – from scratch – with any changes you want to make for the new campaign.
My new gameplan:
Goal $2,000 – Deadline: May 18, 10 PM – Featured photographers: Andria Lindquist, Cory Staudacher – Location: Seattle
I recently connected with Cory Staudacher, a web designer from Seattle. He's friends with Andria Lindquist, one of the professional photographers I had hoped to feature.
As it turns out, Cory has never owned a DSLR and is in no way a professional photographer. Yet Cory, going under the name withhearts, has over 50,000 followers on Instagram.
What a better way to still explore the creative process than to compare two friends: one professional photographer who makes a full-time living at what she loves to do, and an avid Instagrammer who has risen to some level of fame in the digital age due to his creative eye and iPhone photography skills.
I'm asking for $2,000 – enough to make it to Seattle with one other crew member for a week.
What have I done to make sure this can still be a successful, complete film?
I've simplified the process, while allowing room to grow. Instead of setting out with hopes to travel all over the country to cover a number of photographers, we'll start with just two, both in Seattle.
I've also simplified the rewards. I want everyone to have a chance to be a part of it, and to get some really cool rewards for being a backer. You can still get your picture in the movie for just $5.
If we go over our goal, the film can only grow. This is not a compromised version of the film I hoped to make, it's simply different. As we can grow and expand, I still hope to turn this into a series or extended film that will cover all the original photographers and topics presented. For now, let's just start with step one.
I look forward to sharing the experience with you.