Wanna Be Kickstartin’ Something
Mike: Logan, did you contribute to that Kickstarter project that was going to fund the next Veronica Mars movie?
Logan: I did not. I have never seen Veronica Mars. I’m saving myself for it. I’m saving it for myself. I’m saving it. You?
Mike: I watched the seasons that took place in high school and enjoyed the show a lot. But I did not give any money to the Kickstarter campaign. Maybe if I were a Super Fan I would have considered it, but I also am torn about donating to projects like these. I mean, I have limited dollars to give, and if I give, I prefer to give to smaller no-name stuff. Not that I think anyone who did give money to the Veronica Mars movie or Garden State 2 is doing it wrong! Support the things you love, no matter what they are.
Logan: Right. I think I’ve only given money to one Kickstarter—my friend Kim’s project to build an art installation at Burning Man. Which is a group of words that sounds stupid together, but they already had a grant, and what they were building was really cool, and they just needed this push to do it, and I was like, you’re a best friend, yes, I will give you $20 or whatever. But other than that, no, I haven’t done this. Kickstarting is a little bit like voting with your dollars. Or maybe it’s exactly like voting with your dollars? And yeah. I guess I’m okay with not voting. Let other people cast those votes for me. I mean, as pumped as I am for Garden State 2, like, is my vote or my $20 really what’s going to make it happen? No.
Also like, there was a while where I made fun of that movie before I’d even seen it because that’s what you did as a young person who wanted to be perceived as a certain kind of person, you made fun of Garden State. And then I did see it at some point and probably liked it because that was the kind of young person I was but THEN I saw half of it on HBO last time I was home and I really did not like it. I agreed with my original assessment, that it wasn’t very good.
Mike: I remember liking the soundtrack, but I honestly don’t really recall what the plot was about. What else have I funded on Kickstarter? Lots of one-off publications. Tomorrow is one example of that. There have been a few things that I’ve given $5 to simply because a friend posted their friend’s project on Facebook or Twitter and I thought, sure, why not? Have your friends ever asked you to donate to their Kickstarter projects and did you feel like you were obligated to give?
Logan: Well everyone I know (and lots of people I don’t know!) already know that I don’t have any money. So I haven’t gotten personalized pleas. But I’ve been on emails, I’ve seen Facebook posts, mostly friends making movies. I didn’t realize I had a rule, but I guess I kind of have a rule, that I just feel like, those pleas don’t apply to me right now. Like, I actually do not have the money to be funding anybody’s passion project, even mine. So I don’t even click through usually. I mean, I could just as easily say I’ll give everyone $5, but … I don’t do that. I just sort of have to disengage from that.
I mean, it’s sort of like I have to have the same rules with people asking for money on the street. If I have a dollar or two in my pocket or in my bag, I’ll give it. Or if I have a sandwich, I can give it away. But that’s it. It has to be sort of random and easy and I definitely can’t make a decision every single time about it. It’s too exhausting. So the big decision is made, for now: I can’t afford to give to Kickstarters, I can’t afford to give to people on the street. Unless there happens to be a dollar in my pocket. Unless the request happens to come from my best friend. ETC .
Mike: I’ve only had one bad experience with someone who asked me to donate to her project. She was a friend of a friend I had met once or twice at a party eight years ago? She probably sent me 10 emails asking me if I could donate to her project, and it was awkward for me to be like, “Sorry, I don’t really know you?” But I finally had to say that. To stop the emails. I feel like there should be some sort of etiquette where you can ask once for a donation. Maybe twice max to be like, “Today is the final day!” But otherwise, sheesh.
Logan: I have been trying to find this article I read a few weeks ago by this dude who … produces plays maybe? (I can’t find it.) He wrote that his problem with the celebrity Kickstarters—and Kickstarter in general—is that it is not an investment. If the project does well, you don’t do well. There is no guarantee of any kind of on your “investment.” There is no explicit agreement between the person donating the money and the person who gets it. He said basically, that if he asks you for money, he should be giving you a way to get that money back. And I thought that was compelling.
Mike: Yes, because in Hollywood, the people who fund and invest in movies get to be producers and if the movie does well, they get to profit off of it. It would be kind of cool if they did is so that if, say, Garden State 2 did well all the people who gave money to the movie would get some share of the profit. Like, the goal would be $3 million, and Zach Braff could buy out a third of the movie and be like there are $2 million in shares left! But instead people get posters and T-shirts or whatever. But really, someone else should try that.
Logan: Brb gotta go code some shit.