By Professor Nina Seavey
Director, The Documentary Center
So you think you have a great idea for a documentary, or a fashion concept, or a video game, or maybe even for a dramatic film. You have a lot of resources – the necessary equipment and a really good idea.
But you lack funds. Your parents are tapped out and the current economy has made you afraid to run up your credit card bill. You haven’t made anything really before but you figure what you lack in experience you more than make up for in energy and ingenuity. That’s where Kickstarter comes in.
It’s the ultimate democratization of innovation – anyone can present his or her project and then invite people to contribute to the effort from $1 donations up to whatever amount. There’s no network executive or mid-level MBA bean counter to tell you “no.” There’s just your resourcefulness to get your project profiled and then out to your thousands of friends of on Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In to help you realize your dream.
There’s no risk. You set a goal and a given amount of time in which to raise it. If you don’t meet your goal, your supporters don’t owe you anything. If you meet your goal, you get your promised funds and can keep your patrons apprised of your progress.
Some projects have had spectacular success. Filmmaker Jennifer Fox just raised $150,000 for her latest film. (Granted she has made a lot of films and has 4600 friends on Facebook). And a lot of people don’t make their goal at all. But now there is no excuse for not trying because your project may shine at kickstarter.com.