Tools to help your project be successful.


What to write about.  Its the day before Independence day.  Everyone has left work early, is “out sick”, or are on vacation.  I could have bailed on this but why?  There is plenty of things going on.  So I decided I would talk a bit about opportunity.  Specifically Kickstarter and IndeGoGo.  These are great tools for an artist, designer, etc to raise money to fund their project.  Usually in the past we needed to find a rich dentist who wanted his actress daughter to be in a film and in exchange he would give you $10,000 and get a useless points on the back end.  Points that legally you could not promise or deliver on if you were lucky enough to sell your film.  You would go do the friends and family route and try to raise as much money as you could to make your “masterpiece” get made.  This process often involved asking for free film stock, getting processing deals via a lesser grade lab, etc.

For designers of camera accessories, etc you used to have to either come up with the scratch yourself, partner with a machine shop or get an angel investor to pony up the bills. Enter kickstarter and indie go-go, two perfect tools to get your project off the ground.  Times have definitely changed and in this case for the better.

I have funded a few projects on both of these fundraising sites.  I think the biggest campaign I have put money into so far has been Carson Garner’s ( @F9photo ) Snow + Guardians .  Not only did the film look great, but the campaign was executed nicely.  The prizes were a big part of the finance push and the value to investors was clear and concise.  The prizes I won were a custom @kesslercrane Stealth slider mini with custom engraving and a nice mug.  The prize was worth more than I paid for it but to be honest I already had two of them and it was really about helping get this film funded.  I also funded @goforjared The Board of Education and @robimbs Game Changers.  All great looking projects who leveraged social media and had heart and genuine interest behind their films.

Now I have not personally used kickstarter for any projects of my own but am considering it for a idea I have for a new camera support accessory.   I have already made the product and put it in the hands of industry pro’s so I know that it works and fills a void which it was intended to do.  So although this post is a bit self serving I plan to launch a kickstarter campaign in a week or so, so that I can offer a product a limited amount of people have been able to utilize.  I think its probably the best way to get an idea out there be it a product, a project, etc.

Wish me luck and stay tuned to Wide Open Camera for news and updates.

Mike Sutton

Follow me on Twitter: MNS1974

Jared Abrams is a cinematographer based in Hollywood, California. After many years as a professional camera assistant he switched over to still photography. About two years ago a new Canon camera changed the way the world sees both motion and still photography. He just happened to be in the right place at the right time.