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.