There is something innately ridiculous about this whole crowdfunding hootenanny. I think every age has its patent absurdities. Once upon a time you had to go before the King or the Bishop to get some sort of patronage. You had to be good to get noticed. And antimonarchist or anticlerical tendencies wouldn’t get you through the door. I remember in the 1980s artists were required to learn the ropes of the granting process. Once upon a time, pre-internet, there was actually a big office, foundation, library, whatever in New York City (heaven help you if you lived in Texarcana) just to help you locate the names of foundations that would donate to your cause. The only problem with that system was that pursuing the illusive grant would then become a full time job. And it really helped if you were artistically (read politically) correct. Today one prepares for the fundraising battle online. And it really depends on how many contacts you have made. How many Facebook friends (over 300), how many Twitter followers (0) how many online groups you belong too (?). The quality of the work becomes less important than the quality of your schmooze.
Of course, there’s the Van Gogh option. Starve. Hope your brother Theo sends you a little more money. Suck on tubes of paint. I can imagine Van Gogh in today’s climate. He’d probably have an aging Mac and bad phone connections. He’d be trying to raise the funds for a few painting supplies and maybe a bit of rent money. Immediately he’d be stumped. He puts his little project notice up on a site. No one gives him anything. Eventually his brother Theo throws him a few kroners. He gets a few francs here or there. But he’s not getting any other nibbles. Gauguin’s still pissed at him. He doesn’t have many friends. Vincent has 16 Facebook friends. He’s not even going to make his measly goal. And worse! Theo’s money is going to disappear too if he doesn’t get it. Who talked him into this madness? Gauguin that bastard! Yeah he gets his Tahiti money alright. What do I get? Nada. Finally he does the only thing he can think of: He starts offering premiums. 20 francs for a Sunflower variation. 500 Francs for an ear. He gets really depressed… And well you know the rest. Finally someone down the road sells one of his Sunflower paintings for a 100 million dollars.
Well what’s this got to do with puppets??? And Gravity From Above? Well the observant soul might have noticed that we have until the 26th day of November to finish raising enough money to get back to Europe for round two of my interviews for Gravity From Above. And I’d just like to go on record as saying that this whole process is as crazy as anything that any other age has come up with to raise funds. But it seems like a model we’ll be using for a while.
The good news… We have accumulated something near 10% of the goal. We’ve had folks donating from far and wide. Last week I had my first French donation. This morning I had a generous gift from Le Théâtre Royal du Peruchet in Brussels, Belgium. So we’ve proved that anyone from any country can give to the project at Hatchfund. It is safe, quick, reputable and even tax deductible. So if you are reading this in Germany, Poland, Japan, Argentina, South Africa, Hawaii or Moscow give it a try. It doesn’t have to be a big gift. Give up some little luxury for a week or two. Gives us a few Euros, Swiss Francs, Pounds, Pesos, Yen. If puppetry matters to you then this documentary should matter too. It’s going to be your documentary as well as mine.
Have you watched this yet?
I think one of the biggest misapprehensions about crowdfunding is that you list your project on a website and it’s like you hit the jackpot. You just sit and wait for the funds to come flooding in. It really doesn’t happen like that. It’s more like a roller coaster that you hope doesn’t crash. An emotional roller coaster. One day you feel giddy because you got $500 from friends that day. A week later you’re depressed because the momentum has stopped. But you can’t give up. You have to contact everyone you’ve ever known since high school. You have to talk about it, remain up, for a month. Your friends who promised to give mean well. They are living in their own world. They don’t know that the sooner rather than later is crucial to the success of the project. Yet you can’t keep pestering them. But eventually you do have to go back and say um…excuse me… you remember… pleeeeeeeze.
Well you know this documentary might be mine for the moment. But if you want to see a serious documentary introduction and overview to puppetry then it’s up to you too. Help us out. Support us today. We’re nearly at the 10% mark. But it’s not a place I want to stay too long. But we still have until December 18th at midnight Alaska time. I really don’t want to offer an ear as a perk.
Above you’ll see a new video to look at… Watch it then go to the link below to learn more and to support Gravity From Above.
November 1st 2014
To support Gravity From Above click on this link: GRAVITY FROM ABOVE.
And watch our latest 2014 GRAVITY FROM ABOVE Teaser Trailer update.