June 9, 2013

Let's Go Ahead And Kill Your Dream Early...

by Chris Randall

I typed up a fairly lengthy rant on the current state of Kickstarter that was largely triggered by this article. I think the author, while perhaps not exactly clear on how capitalism works, makes some very good points. Then I realized what I was really building up to was some rather delicious schadenfreude about The Cabin Sisters. All that by way of saying that 00tz 00tz, the band pictured above, shouldn't feel that bad. You're in the same boat as David Mamet's kids. There are worse boats to be in, mostly operated by Carnival Cruise Lines, where you'll apparently be stuck on the Promenade Deck with David Foster Wallace footnoting the experience as he tosses off another cynical rant about people from flyover states that don't buy his books.

Anyhow, I deleted that tirade. Why? Because it's so fucking obvious. Yeah, Kickstarter have demonstrated that they have malleable morals. Yeah, Amanda fucking Palmer. Yeah, Penny Arcade, whatever. Veronica Mars? There's a stretch goal for the people that give a shit. David Mamet? Sorry girls. Sins of the father, and all that jazz. Plus, it helps to be able to play an instrument before you go off making records. And seriously, music video? 1993 called. They want their marketing (and their joke) back.

Also, I don't want people to confuse me with DFW. (I generally expound parenthetically.)

Basically, it comes to this: there was a brief time from the 1970s to the mid 1990s, where being a musician didn't also mean being a panhandler. That time is gone. Which brings me to the actual subject of our conversation: Flattr. Go peruse that site, then come back here and we'll discuss. I'm intrigued with the idea, personally. Interested to hear the thoughts of the AI readership.


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Jun.09.2013 @ 11:56 AM
i signed up for flattr 2 days ago. i think the idea is good shot at something new. some new possible model for compensating "creators". not sure it'll work but it is reasonable how it's set up. totally up to you and your budget etc yada yada etc.

i hate that they try to get you to sign up w/facebook account or twitter etc.. but facebook wants to be the entry point to everything. i'm rather surprised it showed up at flattr since it's sort of comes from a pirate bay type of open internet keep the internet free yada yada type of place and that to me runs counter to facebook.

annnyyyway... i'm gonna give it a shot.. as a creator.. and see what happens. currently i'm not 100% clear on how someone will 'flattr' my content. there is no badge or whatever showing up anywhere.. i guess it'll all be kinda background but there should be a way to 'like' something on soundcloud etc w/o it being a 'flattr'. fucking quotes.

it's very early stages and has long way to go but i applaud them for trying something different. it could grow change morph into something commonly accepted or it could just disappear and be used by 30 people in sweden.

i've heard of other models that use torrent technology... you upload stuff you created.. people can donate/pay for it through the tracker and the people who download it can reseed it and earn money from reseeding it (from somewhere???) but that part wasn't fully explained to me in the kitchen of this house party where the conversation took place.

just nice to know that people who are young and smart and understand the internet are willing to try new shit are thinking about these things and how to get people paid for making stuff and make it somehow painless for people who can't not get all their media through torrents.

ps - DFW was from fly over states. i hesitate to mention it since i can de_fucking_rail anything w/a DFW conversation. but.. i found "a supposedly fun thing..." less cynical and more just.. hilarious.

Jun.09.2013 @ 12:01 PM
re: kickstarter.. it's worth mentioning that Francis Ford Coppola routinely mortgaged his home and went into to debt to finish a film.

i guess now we just ask the internet

Jun.09.2013 @ 12:06 PM
ugh.. cabin sisters.. just clicked on that. .isn't that the actor in HBO Girls? wtf.. can't they just get together any of the probably dozen people they know in the industry who make movies or direct things or do commercials etc and collect on a favor or pay scale or some other fucking brainstorm and get shit done??? it's pretty fucking lame that the obvious solution is kick starter.

where the punk rock is?

throws hands in air.

Jun.09.2013 @ 1:41 PM
Flattr? A) I find it hard to give a shit about a site that names themselves by dropping the "E" before the "R" at the end. B) 2001 called. Said it wants its vision of micro-transactions back.

Web comics tried this a decade ago. It's a model that has already proven to be a failure. I think I'll stick with the model of "You put out some MP3s that I probably won't listen to, but I want to support you anyway? Sounds like a great excuse to give you $10.", or "You're offering up a bundle of indie games that I won't play, but I can dictate that 100% of my $10 goes to Child's Play? Sold!"

Kickstarter? I have zero problem with anybody asking for money on it. It's up to the supporters to decide what is worthy of their dollar, not the project creators nor the pundits. I've given my money to Wade, Penny Arcade, Veronica Mars, Doublefine, and the interesting custom dice game Dungeon Roll. In all cases, I wanted the product that they were offering. Some imaginary scale of just how "indie" they are, and therefore deserving of the funding, had nothing to do with the choice in any case.

Jun.09.2013 @ 4:05 PM
I just fast forwarded through The Cabin Sisters' Kickstarter spiel video, and saw footage of someone talking in front of a cabin. This would imply that they know someone with a camera, and probably some editing software. So, why do they need an extra $32K for a video? Why didn't they just lip sync their songs a few times while they had someone with a camera there?

EDIT: I figured out why they didn't just film a video: because VIDEOS ARE FOR CLOSERS.

Jun.09.2013 @ 4:17 PM
Here's a question... I can't tell exactly what they're trying to do, but we'll assume the band depicted in the pic is seeking ten grand to make themselves a CD (BTW, whatever band this is was already tired and cliched ten years ago when I frequented the places that kinda band hangs out. They always sound EXACTLY the same- no choruses, chunky chick in a corset with a weak voice, etc.) Why do they need ten grand to make a record? Surely mohawk guy already has a PC (this guy is NEVER a Mac user, trust me) with a cracked copies of Cubase and every plug-in ever created, and the only actual audio in this band's music is tuneless singer girl (again, trust me on this). Mixing and engineering is always done by mohawk guy, so that's a freebie. If they pulled their heads of 1992's ass, they'd know that there's no point in pressing CD's, so it would seem that with $55 burning a hole through their PVC pockets, they've got enough crowdsource funding to make like, nine records.

About five years back, I did just that, but I made CD's, so that was about a grand. And I had it mastered, so that was another $600, and I dropped a couple hundred to record a live drummer. And because I don't do trite goth/industrial, I made many times my investment back in royalties from placements. Best of all, I didn't have to beg anyone for money, like a dick.

This may sound a little harsh-like, but a substantial part of my 10,000 hours (you spent 10,000 hours on your craft, didn't you?) was learning to record, mix and generally be self-sufficient, because never in a million years did I assume I could go sniveling to the general public to prepay for my awesome musical meanderings.

Recently a friend of my girlfriend's friend actually did a Kickstarter so she could buy an apartment in NY. Are you fucking kidding me? She was totally serious about this. When I decided I wanted to own a place, 1) I chose a location that was realistic for my budget (viva depressed real estate market Vegas!), then I tried out a bleeding-edge concept called SAVING UP MY MONEY to get what I want, because I'm not ten years old, thus Non Life Threatening Things I Want That Cost Money (e.g. a house, my very own musical CD, makin' a movie, etc.) are my own responsibility to procure, not my friends, and not the public at large.

Jun.09.2013 @ 4:49 PM
Chris Randall
Well, while you're absolutely correct, the premise on which you built your argument is unfortunately false. To wit:

link [www.kickstarter.co...]

Yeah, they need $10K to make a video. Apparently. Because you do.

This isn't really about picking on OOtz OOtz; that's too easy for starters, and it'll quickly devolve in to some ad hominem shit. If we want to have a conversation about how many people who do kickstarters have zero idea of the economics of what they're getting in to, this could be an interesting case study, but Sean nails that in a pretty thorough way: if you're crafty, you can make pretty much anything on pretty much nothing.


Jun.09.2013 @ 6:32 PM
Wade Alin
I try to stay away from Kickstarter arguments. Try. It stirs up way too many emotions in people. The most personally offended seem to be people who have spent time waiting around to "get signed," missed their calling entirely, or spent $3-5k on a record that went absolutely nowhere and think it was a significant investment. Now these little fuckers who don't know shit about shit . .

The most successful people I know and those who have had those successes within the "traditional" label/artist relationship usually say Kickstarter is "neat." There's not an outpouring of hatred and a "kids these days" bitterness about it.

Personally, I've done 2 successful Kickstarter campaigns. One because we needed money to accomplish our goals (and I didn't _want_ a label involved,) another because I had no interest in doing the project but "fans" did. I can mix. I can do a couple other things. I've put well over 100k on credit cards to finance my music in the past. Reaching my "goal" was never really a question, it was more about how I reached that goal.

I think, ultimately, the argument over Kickstarter has nothing to do with art or music. It has the world to do with age, values, all kinds of shit that never touches on the reality of "project financing."

I have a more serious question. Has Kickstarter created a wave of horrible art, music, movies and projects? I mean, worse than what ignorant, out of touch, corporate entities have been willing to finance in the past? Is there just a higher exposure rate to people's stupid ideas?

Jun.09.2013 @ 7:38 PM
Great article and when I heard about the film they focus on I had the same reaction. I don't really understand what people who get involved are thinking besides "OMG the Internets!". Most of those people would probably balk at paying $10 or $15 to see the finished film, but will give much more than that to people who don't need it sight unseen.

But damn, I wish those guys would finish that Chris Whitley movie, and I would have given them something.

>chunky chick in a corset <

It weird, but the way you wrote that almost made it sound like you meant a bad thing.


Jun.09.2013 @ 7:53 PM
Thank you for foregoing the Kickstarted rant. Any more it seems to me that even coming from someone whose opinions I respect, complaints about Kickstarter basically boil down to "People aren't doing things the way I think they should, and I'm very angry about it!". If you think crowdfunding should be run differently, build your own platform and run it however you want.

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