MCN Blogs

By DP30 david@thehotbuttonl.com

Kickstarting DP/30

The purpose of this Kickstarter effort is more fully laid out on our Kickstarter page, but the short story is that we are shooting over 200 half-hours a year now and while I am pretty happy with the show, I desperately want to bump up the quality of production. That means some new equipment and some additional staff. I have been eating the expense of the show for years and will continue to do so, but rather than wait for moments of need to replace/upgrade cameras, lights, sound, etc, it makes a lot of sense to me to try to do it all at once. And Kickstarter makes the most sense right now to achieve that goal whiie we are still in 2013.

Please take a look at the offering and let me know your thoughts.

Happy to get your feedback… positive and negative.

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15 Responses to “Kickstarting DP/30”

  1. LexG says:

    In a perfect world, Sanj would Kickstart the whole thing in rupees and out-of-focus pictures of his groceries.

  2. lazarus says:

    Well-played, Lex.

  3. Aaron Aradillas says:

    I think we need to start a Kickstarter campaign to raise the $10,000 necessary for Lex to be a subject of a DP/30.

  4. Sam says:

    David, I think DP/30 is awesome, I wish you the best of luck, and I hope you raise a ton of money.

    I can’t help, however, to be skeptical of moving to a 2-camera setup. The single camera, single take is, I think, a big part of what makes DP/30 so spellbinding sometimes. People sense, consciously or subconsciously, that single takes are honest. And it’s the best way to convey the illusion that we are there in the room, sitting with these people.

    If you’re going to cut between different shots at random, that doesn’t really add anything, and it takes away from the illusion that this is all real-time and unedited, even if it remain so. It will reinforce that we’re seeing a work of filmmaking, not sitting in the room with the interviewee, and instinctively approach it with a measure of distrust. There’s the old variation of that old saying: “Film is truth 24 frames per second, but every cut is a lie.”

  5. Don R. Lewis says:

    David-
    I wish you best of luck with this. I enjoy DP/30 but my biggest issue has always been difficulty hearing and watching the interviews. New equipment should fix that issue.

    That being said…
    A while back, during the Braff/Spike Lee Kickstarters, you made a comment or 3 (and I’m paraphrasing here) about poor people or people of questionable intelligence or psychological states giving large sums of money to filmmakers they love and want to support.

    I don’t want to cast asperge….sorry…aspersions on Sanj, but if he were to belly up to your Kickstarter with $10k, would you accept it willingly?

    Also, with your comments about how other people shouldn’t give money to projects they WANT to support, how do you qualify your crowdfunding for $25,000?

  6. Ray Pride says:

    Don, did David say that or was in reflected in the tone of the headlines/links on the front page? That slant would be in my bailiwick…

  7. Don R. Lewis says:

    I’m pretty sure he tweeted it….too lazy to go do research on it though 😉

  8. Monco says:

    I’m stilling waiting for Part 2 of the Edgar Wright interview. Did he ever post that? Oh and I agree with the person above who was against a two camera set up.

  9. David Poland says:

    Sam… the idea of 2 cameras is not to change the uncut nature of the shoot, but to give us visual variety without having to zoom in and out, as well as to pick up things – like hand gestures or an expression – that the camera isn’t in the right spot to catch as it happens.

    No changes to the overall idea. And I would guess maybe 15 – 30 dissolves in real time over the course of a half-hour.

  10. David Poland says:

    Don –

    I still carry a personal discomfort about using Kickstarter for this or anything else. It’s weird. It should be weird. I didn’t fund (or try to fund) MCN from outside sources when we started it. I have never gone out looking for a sponsor for DP/30… just started it with MCN money and have funded it without any real hope of profit over these years.

    That said, my issue with Kickstarter has never been with smaller projects. My only issue – which I still have – is with projects that are commercial projects with access to traditional funding. Even a project like Veronica Mars, which was not likely happening without the event of Kickstarter… I have real problems with WB Home Ent getting proof of value from Kickstarter and then getting all the benefits of distributing without any (or very little) of the risk.

    If I saw a picture of myself in courtside seats at the Lakers game while I was asking people to cough up $25k on Kickstarter, I would want to punch me in the face. (If it turned out that someone gave the seats to me and i didn’t pay for them, I would feel differently, but I’d ask before I punched)

    If a $10,000 contribution came in from anyone, you can be damned sure that I would spend a lot of time considering the source. And since I don’t know sanj, if it were him or someone else who I really don’t know and whose wealth I don’t know, I would get in touch and seriously question the choice.

    I don’t know that I have actually made comments that people should not fund projects they want to support. Pretty sure there was more context than that in whatever I might have said.

    My personal thinking is not too complex here. DP/30 consistently generates over 400,000 views a month. It has over 20,000 people subscribed to the channel. If 10% of those subscribers kick in $15, the Kickstarter is oversubscribed and I can provide a better show every time I do an interview, more than 200 times a year. Or if 5% kicked in $25 each.

    I don’t think this is an onerous request.

    I am not against people trying to get their personal projects made through Kickstarter. But personally, I could never do that. Not a judgement, just my reality.

    Also, I’d be a lot more comfortable about getting $10k funded than $25k. But $10k wouldn’t get the job done. And I wouldn’t want to take too little to deliver what I am trying to do either. (And really, if $10k did it, I would just do it myself, even if I had to wait until March or April. I will have to invest more than that – on top of what I already spend annually – in a 2nd camera person if this Kickstarter is funded.)

  11. Don R. Lewis says:

    Good stuff, thanks for the thoughtful reply. I just think, and have always thought, anyone who wants to use crowd funding has a right to do so. If you don’t agree with what they’re doing, don’t fund it. Melissa Joan Hart failed miserably in her crowdfunding.

    I also disagree that the “rich” shouldn’t use crowd funding. Aside from Mel Gibson, I can’t think of any artist who has fully funded a dream project out of pocket. Maybe Joseph Kahn? It worked out for Mel, don’t know why more people don’t do it. If anything, I think celebrities draw people to crowd funding.

  12. David Poland says:

    I think there are variations in the “rich” notion.

    But for me, if I had a $5m movie that I could somehow get crowdfunding for and it was already attached to a studio because it was an ongoing franchise of some kind, I don’t think that success – meaning millions lining my pocket – would feel so great. I would desperately want to (at least) pay back the people who made it possible.

    Mel Gibson self-funded a $25m movie. We haven’t seen that on Kickstarter yet. But given that he is a guy with a 9-figure bank account, if he crowdfunded a $1m movie next week, I would not think much of him.

    For that matter, if my Kickstarter funds, and someone came along and wanted to put DP/30 in television in 2014, taking the onus off of me producing/paying for the show, I would feel a responsibility to somehow get my supporters back some money in some way, as I would not feel that I had fully fulfilled my 200-episode obligation.

  13. David Poland says:

    Monco – Part 2 went up 3 days after Part 1

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzcm2uA2Zew

  14. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    best of luck DP. It’s a great resource and should be continued.

    I think you definitely needed to have some tech saavy people involved at one point as it’s been a bit shambolic on that front. It’s not rocket science to setup a template for this type of affair and stick to it. And the gear to make it work is very cheap these days.

    I do think you could of easily got Canon marketing to sponsor this series for a couple of C300s. There’s no reason why you couldn’t cover the kickstarter amt with 1-2 sponsorships that wouldn’t damage the integrity of the series.

  15. Monco says:

    Thanks Dave. I appreciate it. I must have missed it.

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