Ohhhh, we got crowdfunding. Right here on the internet! With a Capital C, and that rhymes with “D”, and that stands for “Down with the old way of doing things, this is the future, man!”
If you are cool and hip, like me, you might have put your money on the internet to go into some business that is just starting out or trying something new. I’m taking Kickstarter, or Indiegogo for some of your more counterculture people out there. I guess I have some confessions. I didn’t back the Veronica Mars movie, but I meant to. I also didn’t back Wish I Was Here, but I never was going to. I have only backed one movie on Kickstarter, and it is a super indie film that hasn’t finished in three years yet despite my constant questions.
No, I use Kickstarter for board games and that is about it. But it is the thought that counts.
Some businesses got their start through Kickstarter though and are now financially-ish stable organizations operating in some specific niche that can’t succeed through normal business ways. And sometimes it is a celebrity or older company looking to get back in the game to bring more of what people liked in the past.
This documentary is about how crowdfunding has changed our economic landscape and the lives of a few individuals who have had some crowdfunding success.
This is the type of guy who would appreciate my The Music Man reference up top.
The companies featured include: Freaker! They made some stretchy sock contraption with cool designs to cover your beverage with. I think. They became a success, with constant communication to the consumer, and even got to go on Shark Tank! And then uhh, some bad things. Zach Crain is their main spokesperson.
We have an old computer game company, Interplay, lead by Brian Fargo, who has been trying for decades to get money to make a sequel to his late 1980s game Wasteland. Well, crowdfunding answers their question, leading to one of the most funded projects of all time, and helped lead them to even more title releases.
Finally, we have Jackson Robinson, a man with two last names, who started a kickstarter for Federal Playing Cards, which are basically just really sexy cards. He had a goal of about $8000 and ended up with almost $150,000. However he is just a one man company, with a wife and two very young kids, and his own full time job. He has to deal with the pressure of all of that and feeling alienated out of his own life, while also, maybe, doing a new campaign to get him something even better.
And that is it. Literally the bulk of the documentary is about three successful campaigns and the aftermath of their success and how their lives have changed for better or for worse. Sure, we have other speakers, professors, talking about the idea of crowdfunding in general and any other topic that will pop up. This doesn’t sound like a lot actually happens, but strangely enough it was incredibly interesting to see.
Part of it is to hear the stories, sure. The other reason is that the documentary is filmed with the utmost care of setting up every interview shot with the viewer in mind. It is beautifully shot, which is a surprise given it isn’t about nature or animals. Just people. Just people talkin’ ’bout computers and business. Some of the least sexy sounding words in terms of cinematography. But Capital C makes it work.