The Mega Kickstarter Review Post, Part 1
Kickstarter is a source of almost endless fascination for me. I performed on a comedy show at SF Sketchfest this year that challenged each performer to write a new set on the topic of obsession, and so I got to say a bunch of things about Kickstarter to a paying audience. Click above to see how that went. Click below to read brief reviews of the Kickstarter projects I have backed as I attempt to establish my own Kickstarter Happiness Index!
The Kickstarter Happiness Index
The Kickstarter Happiness Index, or KHI, or KkrHppdx, is derived through a simple formula: it is the ratio of projects I still happy I backed by the time they were over (denoted by the thumbs-up symbol, or 👍) to the total number of projects I backed (denoted by a number, like 51).
Yes indeed, I've backed quite a lot of things on kickstarter. I daresay it's become my number one use of irresponsibly spent discretionary income. I don't buy a lot of movies or games these days, but sometimes I buy one that doesn't exist yet for too much money. In order to simplify this process a bit, we're going to look at these projects in categories. What's more, because we're both such busy people, we're going to spread these categories over a few posts this month.
Projects I Worked On
As a general rule, I don't feel comfortable contributing to projects I am scheduled to work on. There's some kind of conflict of interest there, and anyway, I think it's weird to buy myself a job. One of these was the award-winning short film Broken Things. Others, I have sometimes given a donation of $1, just to lend moral support or get the backer updates. These include:
- Underground Comedy - a documentary about improv comedy in Los Angeles. I am, at times, an editor and a consultant on this project, which just funded a couple months ago, and is not yet complete or delivered.
- Diani and Devine Meet The Apocalypse - I originally pledged a ton of money on the first day to help them appear to have momentum on their huge $100,000 ask, then shamefully backed down towards the end to simply the DVD level. I got the last film we made together in a clearance sale at a Blockbuster Video, but I can't count on that working again. The film has been shot, is currently in post-production, and has yet to deliver. 👍 (Although this project is far from complete, I stand by my 👍. I openly suspect this movie of becoming the best feature film I've ever worked on.)
- Help The Selling get a Theatrical Release - This was that previous film. We had a lovely screening at the Egyptian in Hollywood. 👍
- Jim Bruce: I'm Dying as Fast as I Can - a stand-up comedy special. I don't have an official DVD of this yet, even though I created it and they were delivered. I did attend the taping, do a whole bunch of post production work, and get an official poem by the artist. 👍
- A Show with Ze Frank - I didn't actually work on this, but I wanted to, and I thought I ought to be a backer in order to seem like more than a mere opportunist.
- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Robotic Edition - Another project from the DDMTA / Selling team of Diani & Devine. I backed this out of friendship, but ended up making their book trailer. 👍
Other Projects I Backed out of Friendship
This hasn't happened nearly as much as I might have thought it would. As a big kickstarter user, and a guy who lives in LA and mainly knows people who seem to be struggling to make things, I don't know how I've gotten off so lightly.
- Relatively Prime - An audio documentary series about math(s) by my friend Sam. Not only did this project deliver, but a campaign for a second series is underway right now!
The Price is Right Projects
These aren't so much excellent deals as they are situations in which I bid $1, usually for moral support or just to keep tabs on how they turned out.
- Penny Arcade Sells Out - this was somewhat controversial at the time, and I wanted to follow the updates. Except, there really weren't any, and I stopped reading their site a long time ago. 👎
- Renovate the Brattle Theater - I've never been to this reperatory theater in Boston, but a friend used to be a regular, and I'd like for such things to exist. 👍
- Code Hero - A game about programming. They update sometimes, and might even mean well, but this project is widely regarded as being somewhere between a black hole of ineptitude or an outright scam. (To be fair, if I'd seen it in time, I probably would have been duped by the lockpicks too.) 👎
Today's score: 10 projects backed. With 5 happy returns, I'm going to guess that my ratio so far is better than the final score will be, but maybe that's because a lot of these projects gave some of their money to me.
Next time I'm going to cover some projects I backed without personally knowing anyone involved, and maybe how I totally use Kickstarter as a store, even though they explicitly say not to do that.