The cover of the current issue of The Pitch, Kansas City’s free newspaper of happenings, features a cover with a local filmmaker splattered with presumably fake blood, with the Headline “Kickstart My Movie”. I don’t know the fellow, Gary Huggins. He wishes for a trip to the Sundance Film Festival with his first feature length film. He needs $70,000 by 2:59am EDT…12 hours from now.
As artists, we wish one another well, to “break a leg”. I pitched-in a few times over the recent year. In one instance, my contribution funded something that never happened. Perhaps the recipient could take me out for lunch… And what about this “dot com” platform anyway? How does it work, or not work? “Crowdfunding” is the buzz-word.
It’s a profitable (5% for Kickstarter.com), not-profit-sharing model (for those asked to do the kicking, pitching-in). If Gary makes a kickass hit, will we contributors see a return on investment? No. The simple reason is we’re not investing in the true sense of the word. Gary's busking and we're tossing money into his guitar case as we walk by.
The Kansas City community of artists is a generous loving lot. We exchange money. Come to my gig, my show, my opening…and we oblige, we support. It reminds me a great deal of the village in England where I lived…the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, the cheese warden, the publican. There was a fixed pile of money and we made our sustainment-style living exchanging it. Beer for cheese, bread for veggies, carpentry jobs for beer,…beer was a valuable commodity and that’s what I “sold”.
But in the case of Kickstarter, those desiring the financial kick have dreams of leaving the village, or if not, the hope is to throw a party for a nominal fee… selling a ticket. It looks as if Gary desires the trip to Hollywood and a follow-on film deal.
It’s a small big city. Busking online is here to stay. Get in line, grab a virtual corner and hope you’re selected by the “High School Newspapers”, I mean (the corporate entities owned by absentee landlords) The Pitch or Ink, for a front page kick to your Kickstarter…
…gotta run… I’m late for assembly…
Good luck, Gary !
Postscript...April 3...Gary made it :-) Congratulations !