Monday, December 31, 2012

Breath Again Magazine Interview

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I’m joined by the creative force behind Breathe Again Magazine, Terrell Culbert.  Thank you for joining us today Terrell!  

Creative force! Well thats sounds pretty darn awesome, and no prob! Thanks for the cool intro. (Laughs)

So what is Breathe Again Magazine?

To be quite honest, BAM is a fanboys brain just "exploding"! I have been a geek my entire life and there has never been a moment when I was not thinking about comics, toys, cartoons and girls! Not necessarily in that order…at least I don't think so. Anyway this magazine is all those things I just mentioned because "hell", thats pretty much all I still think about! Except the girls part, my wife don't play. No really, I want people to see the cosplayers, artwork and the other cool stuff that might get missed at conventions. So in a way I suppose I want to contain some of that excitement stylize it and put it into my magazine.

Fate Core Interview

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I am joined by Fred Hicks of Evil Hat Productions creator of the Fate role playing system.  Today he is here to talk about his third Kickstarter Fate Core, thank you for joining us Fred.

It’s my pleasure. Thanks for having me!

This is your third successful Kickstarter campaign, what do you think is the secret to your success?  

There’s no secret to Evil Hat’s success with Kickstarter. Shock! But it’s true.

We show up to each campaign with an existing audience that we’ve done everything we can to make sure trusts us and is at least interested in trying out whatever our next crazy idea is. It took us the better part of the past decade to build that audience.

Once we have that audience paying attention to us, we put ideas out there that we’re excited about and where we can communicate that excitement effectively. We build our Kickstarters like they’re tiny little short-term businesses with business plans and everything (however vaguely articulated) -- we know our entry points, our market, our plan for talking to that market, and our exit strategies (you’ve got to plan for at least three exit scenarios: project didn’t fund, project did but just barely, project did and by a big margin -- and know what you’re going to do in each case with your result). Spreadsheets were made. Trajectories planned.

As a general rule, I don’t think “we did the work and built the audience in advance” is much of a secret, so... there you have it. If there’s a “trick” in how we build our Kickstarters, tho, it’s about what I call value compression. Typically we have some kind of tier, fairly entry level, that’s inherited by the higher level tiers as well, where the more stretch goals the project hits, the more folks will get for the same amount of money. While we do pair this with upgrade options that encourage existing backers to increase their pledges (which is a good practice too), the whole value compression thing tends to encourage more people to pile on the more successful the campaign gets, which is a kind of snowballing thing and very good for creating excitement. Excitement is an essential fuel for any kickstarter campaign. You want folks to be jazzed enough that they’ll talk about it, a lot, on their own, in public.

The dollar side of a kickstarter campaign is great, and it’s absolutely what you’re angling for in order to make your vision a reality, but for us the real end product is the creation and support of an ever-growing audience for our games. Because once you have an audience, you’ve got future success wrangled as well as present success. And that’s how you create something sustainable. Something kickstarted.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Pathfinder Online Interview

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I am surprised to be bringing you Mr. Ryan Dancey the CEO of Goblinworks Inc to talk about his company’s Kickstarter Pathfinder Online.  Thank you for joining us today Mr. Dancey it’s a pleasure!

Glad to be here! I love talking to those who want to know more.
This isn’t your first time to the Kickstarter rodeo as it were, the last time you brought Pathfinder Online to Kickstarter you ended up raising six times the goal amount.    This time however you’re asking amount is twenty times your original goal as well as “returning to the well” as it were for the same project.  How much has your prior experience with Kickstarter helped out with the launch of this latest one?  Do you think having multiple Kickstarters for the same project hurts your funding at all or does having well defined “goals” for each of those individual Kickstarters alleviate any feeling of “double dipping?”  

We worked very hard to make sure people understood that the first Kickstarter was for the Technology Demo; basically a small project that demonstrated our team's ability to use all the tools and middleware necessary to develop the game.

That Technology Demo allowed us to secure the funding we need to put the game into production.  But if we can raise additional money, we can make the game bigger, better, and faster than we are currently able.

The second Kickstarter is a chance for fans to help us do exactly that.  Reaching our million-dollar funding goal will knock a lot of time off our current production schedule, and we have even more chances to accelerate the timeline once we meet the initial goal and are hitting stretch goals.

No one has ever funded an MMO on Kickstarter at the scale that we're attempting.  Nobody knows if the platform will be able to marshal the necessary support for the project.  We're hopeful that the success of our first project is an indication that there will be enough support to succeed with the second.

2012 Top Ten Great Games

At this time of year everyone has lists, and I’m not an exception to “the list” syndrome.  This is 2012’s “great games” list for me.  As with all lists this is very subjective so I hope you take it with the grain of salt it’s supposed to be taken with.

Number 10: Mass Effect 3-----------
At number 10 we have Mass Effect 3 which caused quite the stir earlier this year when they turned all the excitement and adventure of the first two games and narrowed it all down to three choices by a “star kid.”  The game caused such conflict here in the Yee household that it was traded away as soon as we saw the ending.  

Ending to the saga aside the game itself was a great continuation of the series.  The multiplayer, while it felt a little tacked on was a lot of fun and still worked in the universe.  Now that the “Leviathan” DLC is out (and earned the Giant Bomb award for “PLEASE STOP”) the game sounds “complete” which might help those who waited or have never played the whole series (like PS3 owners) but for me the story is over and it’s all academic.  Even though I’m torn on the ending the game itself is still number 10 on my list.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

An interview with CJ Draden

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  
Today I am joined by a very talented artist, a one CJ Draden who was recently interviewed by the great Stan Lee.  He has recently launched an intriguing kickstarter called “CJ Draden’s Pinocchio.”  Thank you for talking with us today Mr Draden.

Thank you for the opportunity to talk to your audience. 

What made you decide to bring your project to Kickstarter?  It sounds like you’ve done the convention circuit and even landed an interview with Stan Lee what can Kickstarter provide for you that you haven’t done already?

I chose to launch a kickstarter campaign primarily because the content, subject matter and writing style I have inhabited that represents myself as an artist best is not conventional. I gain emotive inspiration by classic literary masters such as H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe and William Shakespeare; these are not contemporary ways of expression we convey in mainstream storytelling or in our modern ways of communication. Works from these artisans are more poetic and emotional ways of expressing one's inner desires and demons. Many artists and visionary contemporaries may appreciate the works of such masterpieces written by these icons, however I want to revive that specific ideal way of self-expression that I feel it’s more applicable to the stories I want to portray.

I entered the convention scene as a fine artist; I love to paint on glass. I never had a love for comics or a desire to be a comic artist but felt I must keep current with the times and just manipulate certain aspects of the “contemporary ordinary” of storytelling to more of the romanticism that would fit my passion within the “contemporary ordinary”. I believe that is what Stan Lee found so attractive about my work. Even my medium is an expression of myself; I’m an emotionally transparent person (hence the glass). Regardless of writing and illustrating graphic novels, I am not trying to be a comic book artist, I am not trying to mimic techniques of already established artists and comic book artisans, I am simply trying to find and express “CJ Draden”. I don’t want to pigeon hole myself into a category of being labeled as a specific artist because that’s not what art is about. I like the idea of artists being known as philosophers. It’s our job to push the boundaries of capability and provoke thought with new ideas from the psychedelic subconscious. Sure, I’ve been acclaimed by several industry professionals; actor Tony Todd (Candyman), actor Doug Bradley (Hellraiser), author Clive Barker (Hellbound Heart), that offered me beautiful gratitude in great length during conversation, but I don’t feel it’s who we are accredited by that makes a good artist.

Good art is about raising questions in order to achieve self-discovery, “self-discovery”, that’s where the war on originally is being waged. The majority of people openly throw around the statement that “originality is lacking in storytelling”, but I find that to be not true. There is an ocean of originality locked in individual consciousness, all one has to do is turn a blind eye to the mainstream and follow thy heart. I like the convention scene because it has allowed me to establish a career on the primary principle of “following my heart”. Kickstarter breaks that same paradigm away from many industries in a few ways; it allows the individual to present (without industry bias) their passion to the people with equal opportunity for success without conviction from the so called industry professionals dictating the worth of a person’s passions. Therefore it’s not about what I (or many others) haven’t accomplished, it’s what were about to accomplish. Kickstarter is a brilliant in this way.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Super 3D Dungeon Boards Interview

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I am joined by Tyson Koch, the inventive mind behind Super 3D Dungeon Boards. Thank you for joining us today, Tyson.  

Thank you. I am happy to be here.

Let me start off by asking, “Where were you when I was single, young, and had the money to buy these things!?”  Seriously, as a married father of two young rugrats your wonderful product can only be drooled at by the likes of me.  Is that why you brought it to Kickstarter?  To tease us old married gamers?  

Ha! Well, I was probably painting miniatures and dreaming of why someone had not made something like this, too! I brought this to Kickstarter to get a measure on the interest. A project like this will require a significant investment in hardware and materials to do it correctly, and Kickstarter helps mitigate this along with keeping me from going bust if no one ends up wanting it. And hey, did you ever think of justifying buying a board, or two, by calling it a toy for the whole family? Just think of the adventures that could be had by My Little Ponies or little green army men! Super 3D Dungeon Boards are fun for the whole family!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Telepath Tactics

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  
Today I  am joined by Craig Stern of Telepath Tactics, thank you for joining us today Craig.  

It’s good to be here James.

Well your tag line pretty much sums your project up for me, “Imagine that Fire Emblem and Disgaea had a baby, and that baby turned out to be a prodigy...”   How would you describe your game to those who don’t know of Fire Emblem or Disgaea?

Telepath Tactics is a strategy RPG. Imagine chess, but instead of controlling generic pieces, you have armies made up of individual characters with their own stories, personalities, skills, strengths and weaknesses.

So why come to Kickstarter with such a great looking project?  Why not release it directly to the people now through your own site?  I see you are on Steam Greenlight isn’t that enough?  (Full Disclosure: I have voted up this game on Greenlight and back at the $10 level as of this interview)

I'm running the Kickstarter to help  with the costs of getting the game completed and polished. Telepath Tactics is currently playable, but it still needs more sprites, more tilesets, attack animations, an improved interface, a full soundtrack, sound effects, and so on. That stuff costs money, and so this Kickstarter is designed to make it so I can actually pay for that.

Steam Greenlight is not a funding platform, so clearly it's not going to help on that front. Greenlight is more of an investment for the future; once Telepath Tactics is done, I'd quite like to be able to sell it on Steam.

Dicecards Interview

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  
Today I am joined by the clever creator of Dicecards Ian Millington!  Thank you for joining us today Ian.  

Nice to be virtually here. Thanks for talking to me about the project. 

You’re quite welcome, we’re glad you came! So earlier this year I was hit by a novel dice concept and now here you are with another!  Care to describe the concept behind Dicecards and how it all got started?  

Yeah, I was doing some 3D work on a game, where each card had a different random occurrence. I was having to balance the probabilities, when it occurred to me it could be done with dice. Within an hour or so I had a mockup (dice are pretty easy to model in 3D), and sent it out by email to my gaming buddies. Next morning in my email was a whole bunch of suggestions. In particular, on close friend and I worked on ideas for the next few months, until they looked roughly like they do today.

Now if these are such a great concept as I think they are why are you producing them through Kickstarter?  Couldn’t you just sell the concept to some big dice or card company?  Why crowdfunding?  Why Kickstarter when there are other options?

If you’d like to introduce me to some big dice or card companies, that would be cool!

Initially I had a few decks printed for my and friend’s use, and continued to tweak the cards in spare weekends here and there. But when folks see them I often get asked about them, so I hoped there might be a market. I didn’t want to set up a whole business doing this, building the distribution and wholesale relationships needed to get it into stores, taking booths at trade shows, and so on. So putting up $6000 for a print run is a big risk, Kickstarter seemed like an ideal way to remove that risk: if people like it, they get it, if not, nobody is out of pocket.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today the creator of AMERICAN UBUNTU has joined us to talk about her project.  Thank you for joining us today Lenore.

You’re very welcome -- thank you for your interest in my project.

Reading how you created the story of AMERICAN UBUNTU and how it’s grown over the years it seems like Kickstarter was a perfect fit.  So why do you come to Kickstarter now instead of earlier?  You seemed very crowd focused from the word go.  

That’s a great question. I have been backing others’ Kickstarter projects for the last couple years, since attending a 2-day seminar on crowdfunding in London in 2010. This just seemed like the perfect moment -- the funds are needed to go forward, themes in the film are in the popular consciousness, I understand how Kickstarter works -- and I’m finally ready to go more public with my project. Kickstarter really puts you out there, you know!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pariah, Missouri: The Interview!

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today the creator of “Pariah, Missouri: The Graphic Novel” has stopped by to talk to us about his project.  Thank you for joining us today Andres!

Thank you!  It is a pleasure to speak with you about Kickstarter and my project.

So you’ve written a “TV Pilot-come Comic book” and taken it to Kickstarter.  What made you select Kickstarter over other crowdfunding options?  

I first learned about Kicktsarter about 2 years ago, a friend of mine used it to finance his next film project.  I’d been hearing the scuttlebutt about the site but the concept was still foreign for me and I hadn’t thought about how I would use it until last year when I started seeing more creative projects and professional creators using it for financing.  That’s when I said to myself, ‘this might be how I get this puppy made!’  I am familiar with Indiegogo but that’s about the extent of my crowdfunding options knowledge.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Picade Interview

Welcome back to yet another Kickstarter Conversation!  I’m very pleased to be shouting across the pond to England Paul and John of Pimoroni LTD creators of the “Picade: The Arcade cabinet kit for your mini computer.”  Thank you for joining us today!
So as one of the pioneering British Kickstarters I have to ask, why Kickstarter?  Did you wait until Kickstarter allowed British based projects?  Did you look at the alternatives in crowdfunding?  

J&P: We’d been thinking about the idea for Picade for some time but not really had the time to get into it properly. When we knew KickStarter was launching in the UK it seemed like the perfect thing to kick us into gear and get on with it!

I guess one of the big questions for the less tech nerdy of my readers is, “what’s a Mini computer?” Let alone a Rasberry-Pi, Mini-ITX, Pandaboard and the like you’ve listed on your campaign.  

J&P: Yep, that terminology is pretty vague really! For us it means any single board system or micro computer that runs a standard OS (i.e. Windows or Linux) and can physically sit inside the Picade. I suppose in theory you could even squeeze a Mac Mini in there if you wanted, it’s really about size limitations more than anything.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The "No Spill" Kangaroo Cup

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I’m joined by Joe Born of successfully completed “‘No Spill’ Kangaroo Cup” project, thank you for joining us today Joe.

First off let me congratulate you on your successful campaign!  You earned $6,750 of your $6,000 goal what was your first reaction when the campaign closed?

I really felt Lily’s life (and mine) had changed.  To launch an invention at 10 years old is really something to build on!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Dice Rings Interview

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I am pleased to be joined by the founders of CritSuccess, the company behind a fun new concept in dice, “Dice Rings.”  Thank you for joining us, Aaron and Sam.  

It looks like you guys have stumbled upon one of those products that resonates with a large number of folks.  With over 30 days to go you already have over 3,000 backers who have pledged over $100,000!  Did you ever think you would be this big a hit?  Is that why you came to Kickstarter and not a dice company or jewelry company?

Aaron has always been the optimistic one, while Sam has been more reserved about the project. Kickstarter has a huge community of tabletop gamers, and so we thought it would be the perfect place to test out the idea. This way, before investing any money into large quantities of ring styles that may not even be popular, we can build up money and discover which rings are in demand from the beginning. That’s priceless. 

Honestly this product seems to sell itself, but your video just adds extra layers of goofy fun to the process.  Who’s idea was the video?  

We all came up with different elements during one of our underground brainstorming sessions in the Crit-Cave. The jokes and ideas grew as we talked it out, and even more during shooting, based off of the script written by our Marketing Director. We have even more video ideas that we’d like to produce to spark more interest in our product.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The SteamWorld Chronicles Interview

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  I am joined today by one of the co-creators behind the comic Kickstarter project, “The SteamWorld Chronicles” Steven Hoveke.  Thank you for joining us today Steven.  

Happy to be here

I think the obvious first question is, why Kickstarter?  It looks like you have more than enough here to get started as a webcomic, create a fanbase, and then come to Kickstarter.  Why jump straight to Kickstarter?  

Mike Scigliano and myself have worked in and around the comics industry for long time. We both grew up comics readers and fans. For me, webcomics are awesome but they work best when you have a team that is willing to work long term for no pay. Solo writer/artists and creative teams that have strong personal ties (I think) fit this bill better. Our creative team was assembled from a group of friends, but we wanted to ensure they were paid up front for their work, regardless of the success of the books. We certainly could have gone this direction, but we really wanted and love the ability to hold a comic book in our hands, and while we plan to run digital as well, we like the floppies.

Can you give us a brief rundown of the concept?

Sure. It is, at its most basic, an action-adventure story set in a steampunk-styled alternate version of our United States. People will get the connections to Indiana Jones or James Bond, I’m sure. An object is stolen from a train and the government asks our main character to retrieve it for them to avoid the public exposure. Only once he gets there, he realizes that there is a lot more going on and finds proof that a person from his past is heavily involved. The search for the missing object, once identified, and what’s behind it will become the focus of several groups seeking to recover it and will take our hero across the Atlantic to Europe.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Reckoning at the Frontier Interview

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I am joined by photographer Eros Hoagland whose Kickstarter project “Reckoning at the Frontier” has recently kicked off.  Thank you for joining us today Eros.  

Thank you for having me

With such a powerful subject, one that regularly makes headlines across the nation, why do you need Kickstarter to fund it?  It seems a regular publisher would be chomping at the bit to get at this project.  

Unfortunately headlines don't equate to long-term interest. It is always an uphill battle to get photographs of serious issues published at all, let alone in book form. I imagine that book publishers just don't believe in the economic success of heavy imagery. In fact I had one executive of a very large book publishing company tell me he couldn't sell the idea unless every page of my book depicted a murder scene. That was not an option for me. Just unacceptable and he knew it. So I was told I would have to bring my own money to the table to get the thing published. Kind of like a medical co-pay. There are other publishers I will be meeting with soon, but I think I will be in a much better position to negotiate if I have some money behind me.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Ghost Train Orchestra Interview

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  I’m joined by the very talented Brian Carpenter of the Ghost Train Orchestra.  He’s with us today to talk about their new Kickstarter album release Book of Rhapsodies.  Thank you for joining us today Brian.

A pleasure to be here James. 

Kickstarter is a wonderful place where all sorts of creative folks bring their projects, what brings your project to Kickstarter?

Many of my friends and artists have had successful campaigns on Kickstarter. It's a great way to fund and promote projects and help out in the community. I thought the Ghost Train Orchestra's second recording would be a good time to use Kickstarter to help finish our project. It's a very ambitious project with 25 or so people involved.

So what is Chamber Jazz?

I'm talking about chamber jazz here from 1935-1942 as a way of discussing music that bridged jazz and classical music. There is an element of swing, but it's a light swing. And the music is mostly through-composed (meaning any improvisations are bounded within a larger composition). There are elements of classical music such as contrapuntal writings and fugues in Alec Wilder's music.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

An Interview with Don Shinners

Greetings friends!  Today it is my pleasure to introduce you all to my big time boss, the NASA director here at the TDRS White Sands Tracking Facility, Don Shinners.  How are you today Mr Shinners?  
I’m very well, thank you for asking.

Well I’m glad you took time out of your busy schedule today to talk to us.
It’s my pleasure. I had no idea you had a blog and this is the first time I’ve participated in one.

Well I’m glad you let me be your first blog experience. So I guess the first question I should ask is what exactly is your job here at the NASA White Sands complex?  
I am the senior NASA government official responsible for all the facilities associated with the White Sands Complex, (the WSGT, STGT, and ETGT Satellite Ground Stations), the Guam Remote Ground Terminal, and the Australian TDRS Facility in Dongara. Additionally, I am responsible for the health and welfare of the fleet of seven Tracking and Data Relay Satellites that make up NASA’s Space Network.

What is your background that let you land such an important job?  
I have been working in this environment for over 30 years now. I was hired by NASA in February 2008 for this position after managing the Near Earth Networks Services (NENS) contract for Honeywell Aerospace in Greenbelt Maryland from 2005 to 2008. Prior to the Program Manager of the NENS contract position, I was the WSC Program Manager (PM) from 1998 to 2005; I was the WSC Deputy PM from 1996 to 1997; I was the WSC Software Engineering Manager from 1995 to 1996; I arrived at WSC in April 1993 and was the WSC Project Manager of the TDRS-7 project. From 1986 to 1993 prior to coming to the WSC I held several Engineering and Management positions at a Satellite facility in Europe. I worked for Honeywell/AlliedSignal/Bendix for over 22 years in the satellite and ground systems business. So my experience is a perfect match for being the NASA WSC Station Director.

Rebirth Interview

Welcome to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I’m joined by Alex, aka Cutti from the new Kickstarter Comic Project, “Rebirth.” Thank you Alex for joining us today.
What brings your project to Kickstarter?  

As an independent creator I was looking for a way to raise capital for the completion of Rebirth. I was looking for a way to speed up production, raise the quality and reduce some of the stresses involved in taking on something like this by yourself.
Would you care to give us a brief overview of the story of Rebirth?

Rebirth takes place in a future where technology has begun to merge with biology in a big way. The story follows Bishop and his team as they investigate a terrorist group. Bishop and his partner Niko were some of the first heavily cyberized people and hold a unique view into this new world. Bishop struggles internally with the new direction humanity is heading and begins to question his role in this new world. There are a lot of twists but that is the broad set up for book #1...

What was your inspiration for this story? How much Ghost in the Shell have you seen/read?

I am a big fan of cyber-punk! Love Ghost in the Shell.(I have seen all of it) Love The Matrix. I like shows like Fringe and Lost.  I love that sort of story telling. I think there is so much you can say through layers with cyber-punk and sci-fi in general. I grew up watching sci-fi with my dad so I have been a fan for a long time.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Bronycon: The Documentary: The Interview!

Welcome to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I’m joined by Michael Brockhoff executive producer of “Bronycon: The Documentary” which had a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign back in June.  Thank you for joining us today Michael.

Thank you for having me James. 

Where to begin?  You had a wildly successful campaign that ended June 10th in time to allow the documentary to film during the July Bronycon in New York.  With an initial goal of $60,000 did you think you were aiming for the “bare minimum” to film this project?  How did you react when you actually cleared $300,000?

We were initially prepared to shoot the documentary strictly around the BronyCon convention weekend. As additional funds were pledged it was exciting because we were able to expand the concept first to include visits to the homes of people who were planning to attend the convention, then to include international stories and film at Galacon in Germany and B.U.C.K. in the UK.

Ebony Kiss Interview

Welcome to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I’m joined by Del Hewitt Jr, from the new Kickstarter Comic Project, “Ebony Kiss.” Thank you Del for joining us today.
What brings your project to Kickstarter?  

First off thank you for the interview!I am humbled and honored by the opportunity. I stumbled on Kickstarter actually; my friend Carlton Hargro had a successful run on his African American Superhero Anthology. He posted a link to my facebook and that was my first time going to the site and I fell in love! I wanted to be a part of his project and I was hired to do 11 pages which I’m working on as we speak. So I got the behind the scenes look at Kickstarter, being a part of the actual project. Then it dawned on me I have a project I had on my drawing table for four years!

In 2008 my best friend Bernard Busby passed away of cancer. My heart really hurt to lose him and I didn’t want to ever forget what a great person he was to me and the world. I tried to figure out a way, for not just myself to remember him, but the world! One of our greatest bonds was the love of Video games, Anime and comics. We would always talk about his dream of completing a comic called Ebony Kiss. He was doing research and writing the story for at least a year. I was itching to draw his story it would be our first team up in comics but he wanted to make sure the story was the best he could make it! The Cancer came along and he was never able to finish it. So I decided to complete it. I had been nickel and diming this project for four years with little progress because the reality is I just did not have the funds to complete it. So it was a natural fusion for Ebony Kiss and Kickstarter.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Harbinger Interview

Welcome to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I’m joined by Travis Opgenorth from the Kickstarter Comic Project, “The Harbinger.” Thank you Travis for joining us today.

Hey James.  Thanks for having me.

As a veteran of the entertainment industry why come to Kickstarter and not use more traditional funding methods?

Well, honestly, I think that Kickstarter is becoming a traditional place for people to secure funding.  Finding investors to back a project like this is difficult.  Even working professionals in the comic and entertainment industries have a difficult time branching out on their own, and while I have a few connections from DVD projects I’ve worked on for DC Comics and Warner Bros., they’re nothing that I can really pull from to secure funds.  The other side of it is that, as a writer, I’m looking to get my material in front of an audience.   

Kickstarter allows project creators like myself to establish a direct interaction with the people who are eventually going to be my audience.  I’m a big fan of collaborating when you’re working on something creative.  Who better to collaborate with than your audience?  For example, a little later in our funding period, we’re going to offer backers a chance to vote on various creative aspects of the graphic novel.  If I went through more traditional channels it would only be me and a handful of other people hashing out those details.  I think Kickstarter offers you a unique chance to mold your project toward what your audience wants while you’re still working on it.

Divine Space Interview

Greetings and welcome to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I am pleased to be joined by Dodo Games very own Anti A. Danilevski  who is working on their latest project Divine Space.  Welcome Anti and thank you for taking time to talk with us.


With the slow and steady rise in the quality and acceptance of Russian made games in the West why are you turning to Kickstarter for this project?  

We had no choice. It was either Kickstarter or publishers. If it would be publishers, it wouldn’t be Divine Space, because first thing that most of them say - ‘make it with top-down view, casual arcade, with many clicks. And get rid of this a hard sci-fi idea!’.

It wouldn’t be Divine Space. So either it will be Kickstarter, or no Divine Space at all.

Who’s idea was it to do a “Space Council” Kickstarter Video?  It seems like a cheesy but fun and interesting style for a Kickstarter video.  

It was my idea, as a whole scenario. Our film director helped to polish it. I had to remake it though because I’ve expected this movie to be made a bit different, with better effects and not boring (as it was). After I mixed it with gameplay and different locations (some of them I didn’t want to show so early, but alas), it became more interesting and entertaining.

Your goal is $100,000 for a Unity 3D based iOS game that will later be moved to Android, PC, Mac, and Linux.  Is that enough money to pull it off?  

It’s enough money to make first version for iPads. If this version will be finished, we will have enough our own resources to make everything else by self. If we will gather more on Kickstarter, we will make them faster, if not - we will make them eventually.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

BLACK: The Webseries Interview

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I’m joined by Frank T. Ziede creator of “BLACK.” Thank you for joining me today Frank.

It’s my pleasure James. Thanks for your interest in our project.
Can you give our readers a basic rundown of BLACK?  

Black is a high action web series that combines elements of the Call of Duty Modern Warfare video game franchise, the live action film ACT OF VALOR and the successful FOX television show 24. We tell the story of Agent Carnahan, an ex-Navy SEAL, now part of a top secret CIA team created to deal with a terrorist act on American soil that targets the CIA directly.

Why a webseries and not a TV pilot or short film?  Why Kickstarter? As an accomplished filmmaker surely you must have access to more traditional funding methods?

While I have written and directed 8 short films, completed a 30 minutes pilot and written several full length feature scripts, I have found that it is a long road to become a filmmaker. This isn’t a bad thing. Anyone who wants to be successful has to pay his or her dues. To think you can be an overnight success in any industry just isn’t realistic. So as a truly independent filmmaker, I have had to fund most all of my own films by myself. Who better to prove that they have faith in these films than myself?

I chose to branch out into a web series because of the direction the entertainment world seems to be going. The World Wide Web is becoming a solid platform for short films, web series, etc. and we thought that BLACK fit well in the web series format. We chose to go the Kickstarter community because I have had several other filmmakers find success with crowd funding on that website. I also chose them over indiegogo because I really like the all or nothing approach. What good would half of our goal really do for us? My plan is to make a great web series, then hopefully gain more awareness as a filmmaker and have my feature length scripts ready when Hollywood comes calling. As the saying goes: “Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity”.  

A Story to Wear: A Documentary about Jewelry History

Welcome to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I’m joined by Elyse Karlin who is working on a wonderful project entitled “A Story to Wear: A Documentary about Jewelry History.”  Thank you for Joining us today Elyse.  

Thank you for having me James. 

With such a fun and interesting topic why are you coming to Kickstarter to fund it?  Why not just go to PBS, or Discovery Channel or some other traditional production method?

Well, we do hope that eventually there is a possibility we might land on one of these channels. But we felt that we needed to get out film in shape to be shown to media as well as use it to further the study of jewelry history at institutes of higher learning and for the general public. We will need further sponsorship beyond kickstarter but we thought it was important to have raised some of the money on our own before we go to other potential sponsors.