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Including Yourself In Kickstarter.com Budget

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Steve Crow
Including Yourself In Kickstarter.com Budget
on May 27, 2012 at 3:15:05 am

Here's my overall question…when it comes to Kickstarter campaigns, is it cool/normal or just weird and wrong for the funding request to include living expenses and/or fees for the documentary filmmaker?

I've reviewed hundreds of campaign pages for documentary films and a few do mention living expenses but most only go so far as saying travel expenses or "other production related costs" - are they avoiding the subject or simply not paying themselves anything at all?

I can understand that the funding public doesn't want to pay for the filmmaker to live like a king (or princess) but one expense for any film to get made is that the people making it have enough food, shelter etc to be alive in order to make the film in the first place. You might say, "well what have they been living on until now? Why can't they use those funds?" - but maybe the filmmaker will have to give up her or her job at Starbucks or wherever in order to have the time to make the movie - no job - no income. So they need to be compensated, yes or am I crazy here? Most docs will never make much of anything so it's a wonder they get made at all.

Perhaps it's just simply considered "uncool" to mention it on the Kickstarter project page but doesn't at least some of the money go to making sure the filmmaker is compensated at least at some minimal level? Is this just an unspoken reality of Kickstarter film campaigns?

My thought is that if a campaign page says they need the funds for production expenses like hiring a great "crew" and traveling to locations that the funding public really isn't thinking that the person behind the campaign is actually one of those "crew" people needing to get housed and paid somehow. What would they think if they knew that it did (assuming it does)?

Steve Crow
Crow Digital Media
http://www.CrowDigitalMedia.com


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Damein Green
Re: Including Yourself In Kickstarter.com Budget
on May 27, 2012 at 7:15:47 pm

I've wondered about this myself. There are a few projects that I'm looking into working on/getting funding for, and I'm wondering exactly how others are dealing with living expenses.

Damein Green
Creative Content Creator
@DGreenTV


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Steve Crow
Re: Including Yourself In Kickstarter.com Budget
on May 27, 2012 at 8:07:27 pm

Hey Damein - ....I guess one aspect to consider is that if the other crew members are "work for hire" and don't share in any backend profits the film makes (DVD sales, distribution fees etc) then the core filmmakers would have an opportunity to make back their living expenses money that way. However, since I don't think most of the films make any money really at all - that's a thin thread to hang onto plus, of course, you have to front money you may not have while at the same time paying others who are working on the film for you

Steve Crow
Crow Digital Media
http://www.CrowDigitalMedia.com


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Jeremy Doyle
Re: Including Yourself In Kickstarter.com Budget
on May 29, 2012 at 1:24:18 pm

I think one of the great things about Kickstarter is that you can run your campaign anyway you want and ask for what you want. Either people get on board or they don't. If you want living expenses, ask for them. If you can convince people that your project is interesting enough, you will have a shot at getting it funded. Just last year there was one project (a year without rent) and all he asked for was living expenses.

Ask for whatever you want. Then be prepared to sell why you need it.

Jeremy Doyle
http://www.jeremydoyle.com


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Scott Carnegie
Re: Including Yourself In Kickstarter.com Budget
on May 30, 2012 at 3:19:58 pm

Paying personel (yourself included) is part of the cost of production, include it.

http://www.MediaCircus.TV
Media Production Services
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


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Steve Crow
Re: Including Yourself In Kickstarter.com Budget
on May 30, 2012 at 3:23:27 pm

Thanks Scott, why do you think this expense is rarely directly called out in the Kickstarter project description by the majority of doc producers?

Steve Crow
Crow Digital Media
http://www.CrowDigitalMedia.com


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Scott Carnegie
Re: Including Yourself In Kickstarter.com Budget
on May 30, 2012 at 4:01:11 pm

Perception of being "greedy". I don't think it's greedy to want to get paid for your time.

http://www.MediaCircus.TV
Media Production Services
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


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Patrick Ortman
Re: Including Yourself In Kickstarter.com Budget
on Aug 7, 2012 at 6:33:23 pm

Exactly. It's not in any way greedy, unless you're like some unscrupulous producers who bask at the pool at the Four Seasons. If I'm funding a campaign, I want to know the people doing it are 100% IN IT. That means we need to make sure they don't have extraneous worries like dying of hunger.

I shoot people.
http://www.patrickortman.com


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Steve Crow
Re: Including Yourself In Kickstarter.com Budget
on Aug 7, 2012 at 6:53:49 pm

Hi Patrick,

Yeah, exactly. I notice too that doc producer on Kickstarter are doing two campaigns - one for production and then coming back again for the editing/distribution phase...perhaps in this way they can limit the amount of the first campaign they are trying to fund, figuring that if push came to shove they would just do all the editing themselves (probably their plan all along actually) and so the second campaign is just extra "butter" :-)

Of course, creating, putting together and mailing out all the "thank you gifts/premiums" for those who donate must take up a lot of time and expense too...the closest experience to that I have is that whenever I sell something on Ebay it always takes me at least two trips to the UPS store - once to get the item packaged and weighed and to come up with a delivery cost and then back again a second time for the actual shipping out.

Steve Crow
Crow Digital Media
http://www.CrowDigitalMedia.com


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