Archive for the ‘Kickstarter’ Category

Interview done by Michael Wilkerson

MW: Please introduce yourself?

DF: My name is Dennis Flynn, I am the owner/operator of a small food manufacturing company called “Setter Mountain Food Group, Inc.”   Setter Mountain Foods manufactures tw0 (2) types of BBQ Sauce and a Marinara Sauce.  We also manufacture “Wine Jellies”; these are all made from wine that is made in Virginia, most of which are grown within 75mi. from our office/plant.

MW: What project are you using “Kickstarter” for?

DF: We decided to use “Kickstarter” to aide funding for our own company, “Setter Mountain Food Group Inc.”  Having now used Kickstarter, my wife and I are looking at assisting other start-up companies to help them grow and maybe achieve that elusive American Dream!  There are several projects that I’m interested in following.

MW: How much money are you looking to get/or got ?

DF: Believe it or not, that was a tough question to answer.  It would be easy to say “Oh, just a couple of million”, but when all was reviewed and a realistic budget put in place, we asked for $20,000 dollars.  After the allotted time we had only gotten pledges for approximately $4500 dollars.  Alas, we didn’t get any funding from “Kickstarter”.  My wife and I have decided we will try again at a later date.  Our original goals were set up to allow us to purchase larger quantities of consumables and additional advertising.  Setter Mountain is actually already in 7 wineries and 6 small “Mom & Pop” stores in Virginia.  We wanted funding to help us take the next step to becoming a larger operation, maybe get into operations like “Trader Joe’s” or “Whole Foods Market”.  We would have qualified for their minimum requirements had we met our goal.  These larger chains have some very strict requirements concerning distribution and quality control.  By the way, NONE of our products contain, additives, coloring or preservatives.

MW: Have you used Kickstarter before?

DF: As I had stated earlier, we are not ad versed to trying again or funding other projects.  It’s a real interesting system they have going!

MW: When do you think you’ll have the finished project?

DF: Our little company does not have any plans to quit?  We are trying to experience the “American Dream”.  No matter what happens, we at Setter Mountain believe we will survive and become a company people want to purchase products from and will always know we tried our best and presented our customers with the best products we could make.

MW: What made you decide to do this project?

DF: This was truly a matter of survival.  After eight (8) years of poor economic policies put out by our government, the telecommunications company that I used to work for went “belly up”, followed by a long list of other contracts/companies that failed we decided that it was time to do the other thing I was good at doing…  Cooking!  This paid for my education during college days and some bills the rest of the time.  I consider myself a “retired chef”.  I worked in the industry for almost twenty five years, even a small stint overseas in Greece; most of the time though was in Maine and up and down the East Coast.

MW: Give me a day in your life?

DF: First, I’d like to say, that people who believe working for yourself or being your own boss is “ apiece of cake” or an easy way of living… are what I call “just foolish”  Without a doubt, the hardest any person will ever work is when they work for themselves, being their own boss.  In my case, my day starts around 0430 waking up and driving my wife to the commuter lot so she can get a ride to work which allows me to use the car during the day.  By 0630 I’m at my desk answering emails, checking on internet sales, doing “the books” and trying to enjoy breakfast before the dog gets to it (he will drink my coffee too if I’m not careful).  After that it pretty much “full speed ahead”, production lists are created and started, bottles and jars are sanitized and readied for filling, sauce ingredients are collected and preparations are made to cook them.  Obviously, I can’t leave the kitchen while food is being prepared so this time is used for “daily administrivia” etc.  If there isn’t much cooking or packaging to do that day, I am in the car and on the road to tending to customers re-orders or trying to generate new sales leads.  If I’m on the road, I get home about 1900hrs and begin answering the day’s emails and phone calls and doing any warehouse work or inventory work that needs to be done to keep everything running smoothly.  Fortunately for me, when my wife returns home from her job she is almost always willing to help me when needed.

MW: What would you like to say in closing

DF: To the people who made a pledge to “Setter Mountain” I would really like to say “THANK YOU” for your support and belief that we could succeed.  Well in fact we did succeed, we may not have made our pledge goal but what we gained through interacting with folks about kickstarter was very interesting and insightful.  As I looked through some of the other requests for “funding” it became clear that there are quite a few great ideas and great performing arts projects that are really worth getting involved with.  We at Setter Mountain Foods are going to try kickstarter again in the future and as I said earlier, I/we can’t wait to get involved with some of these programs.

Please don’t forget about Setter Mountain Foods, our products are available on-line at http://www.settermountain.com  with the holidays approaching, we do ship our products around the country (We even sent bottles of “Smokey Bourbon BBQ Sauce to Afghanistan).  Thank you!

 

(Food review coming very soon)

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Interview done by Michael Wilkerson

MW: Please introduce yourself?

CL: I’m Cameron Laventure.  I’m in my senior year at Michigan State University, where I’ve been studying film—specifically, the writing and direction of it.  Artistic expression is my jam.

BL: My name is Brandon Laventure, and I’m the producer.  In my free time, I like to cook and dance.  Cam and I make pictures.

MW: What project are you using Kickstarter for?

BL: Our feature-length college comedy, Apocalypse Theory.  Cameron and I started writing it about three years ago, and we filmed it during the first half of this summer on and around the beautiful MSU Campus in East Lansing, MI.  Our cast and crew are all either students or recent alumni, giving Apocalypse Theory a truly authentic college feel.

CL: The film is set two weeks before a prophecized apocalyptic date in 2012.  It’s about two brothers who become embroiled in a doomsday conspiracy theory while trying to make the most of their college experience in uncertain times.  It’s a comedy, though, I promise.

MW: How much money are you looking to get/or got?

CL: As much as we can.  The amount of money we get will ultimately dictate what music we can afford for the soundtrack, which will be essential to the movie’s feel.

MW: When do you think you will have the finished project?

CL: Our theatrical premiere will take place this November on the MSU campus.  We’ll send it to various festivals, as well.  There’s also a DVD in the works with a making-of documentary, a deleted scene, and hella outtakes.

MW: What made you decide to do this project?

CL: We’ve wanted to go into filmmaking together since high school.  When we started attending the same university, we became fascinated with this atmosphere of hedonism in the face of an uncertain future, and saw thematic connections to the 2012 doomsday prophecies.

BL: Looking at existing college comedies, we found that none of them really felt true to our lives at college, so we decided to make our own.  Writing it as students allowed us to work in a lot of real-life jokes and experiences.  A lot of party comedies focus on apparently dim-witted characters, but ours are smarter, and a lot of the humor in this movie comes from their personalities and interactions.

MW: What other things have you done?

BL: I’ve made cheese before.

CL: I was Daniel Plainview for Halloween, and drank an entire beer through a straw in one go.

BL: But seriously, we made a 15-minute dark comedy last year called Frank the Assassin, about an assassin who’s bad at his job.  It won 1st prize among local student films at the Capital City Film Festival.  It’s on Youtube!

MW: Give me a day in your life?

CL: I’m still attending college, but I only have a few classes this semester.  By day, I spend a lot of time working on Apocalypse Theory post-production: preparing voiceover lines, organizing the soundtrack, things of that nature.  I also do some drawing and writing with Brandon for future movie projects, like a dark superhero allegory, a supernatural noir tale, and adaptations of The Legend of Zelda and Metroid that we’d love to make somewhere down the line.  By night I’m usually either hanging with friends or talking online with my girlfriend, who’s in Washington DC for the semester.

BL:  I’m no longer a student, so I usually go to my day job at a used clothing store.  If I’m not there or working on movie stuff (post-production and marketing), I’m probably with my girlfriend.

MW: What would you like to say in closing?

CL: I’d like to thank our family, friends and all our investors for believing in us and getting us this far.

BL:  Then I’ll thank our cast, crew, and everyone else who’s put their unpaid sweat into this thing.  Also, thank you for the interview.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1908315486/apocalypse-theory/widget/video.html

 

 

 

 

Interview done by Michael Wilkerson

MW: Please introduce yourself?

PD: My name is Paul Davis.  I live in LA.

MW: What project are you using Kickstarter for?

PD: I’m using Kickstarter for a feature film that I wrote and directed called “The Shadows of Ants.”

MW: How much money are you looking to get?

PD: We are trying to raise $10,000, which will be the bare minimum to get this movie finished and we are a little over halfway to that amount.  We are a good deal of the way through post-production, the entire movie is edited together and it looks great, now we just need to polish up the sound edit, work on color correction and license a few songs.  If we could raise more than our goal it would be amazing because we’re also sending this movie to a bunch of festivals and those submission entries start to stack up after a while (not to mention getting cast and crew to those festivals, food and lodging).  It would be ideal if we could exceed our goal so that we would not have to raise any more money in the future, but $10,000 will definitely get the movie completed, which is the most important thing.

MW: Have you used Kickstarter before?

PD: This is the first time that I have used Kickstarter, but it has helped some friends of mine complete projects that they were working on.  I’m actually regretting that I didn’t start off the project using it so that I wouldn’t have had to pay for so much out of my own pocket.  That money would have come in hand for paying rent or eating.

MW: When do you think you will have the finished project?

PD: I know that the project will be finished within a month of getting the Kickstarter money.  Aside from writing checks to record companies, the sound polish-upper and the color corrector, there are very few steps left for me to personally take, which is a relief because I have been living with editing this movie for almost a year.

MW: What made you decide to do this project?

PD: The short answer is that I’ve always had a real passion for movies and as far back as I can remember I’ve always known that I was going to make films for a living.  It was just time for that to happen.  The longer and slightly heavier story goes something like this: I started writing what ultimately turned into “The Shadows of Ants” as a play.  It was something that I was going to try and get me and my friends to perform on a few stages in Los Angeles and then hopefully to sell.  I was in a sketch comedy group at the time and we were doing an new hour show about every month, so I knew that I had people to help me put it up once it was written.  But the sketch comedy group was just taking up too much of my time for something that I didn’t want to be doing for the rest of my life.  It was a good time, but I wound up writing most of the material which was sapping me creatively.  It just wasn’t worth it to me to keep writing shows where maybe (if we were lucky) a hundred people at a pop would see it.  I’ve always had stories that I’ve wanted to tell, but I want them to reach as wide of an audience as possible.  But at the time, the thought of taking on a feature film just seemed way too daunting.  Common thoughts I was having were along the lines of, “Now just isn’t the right time but eventually I’ll do it.”  It was this type of mindset that was really keeping me stagnant in my life.  Sure, I was writing screenplays, but letting my stack of writing grow while doing nothing with it wasn’t making me feel very accomplished.  So for about my first three years in LA I was performing and I was writing, but I didn’t feel like I was getting anything done.  Around this time I went through a bad breakup with a girl I had been with for about five years and was currently living with.  Things didn’t end very well and she moved out of the state, so I was staying by myself for a while.  Throughout that entire year my father was dealing with cancer, which was just compounding all of the stress and frustration that I was dealing with in other areas of my life.  After he passed away during the midst of everything, I realized that desperately needed some changes in my life.  I needed to seriously pursue making a film.  It was at that time I met and started courting a girl who was a really positive influence on my life.  She was supportive every step of the way and extremely encouraging when it came to finally buckling down and making a movie.  In fact it probably wouldn’t have even happened without her pushing me.  At the time committing to it and really taking the first few steps were still really scary to me.  We talked about some of the scripts I had written, all of which would have been too expensive if the movie was going to be self-financed, then I told her about the idea for the play I had outlined.  She liked it and we decided that I would write it as a screenplay, then we’d sit down and decide if making it into a feature was something we should peruse.  After I finished the script we both decided that it was.  Movies have helped me get through a lot of not so great times in my life.  The simple act of sitting down and watching a movie can be so cathartic and powerful, or it can just be simple escapism.  Either way, it’s something that pretty much everyone needs.  But now to have actually made a film, to have worked through a lot of really bad stuff emotionally and mentally, has been more rewarding than I could have imagined, and I think that really shows on screen.  Emotionally there is a lot going on in the movie.  And to think that someday, someone might use this film to escape from their lives for two hours, or to get some sort of catharsis out of it if they’ve been dealing with some of the issues that are tackled in the movie, that’s really something I’m hoping for.

MW: What other things have you done?

PD: Throughout high school and college I competed in forensics (which is basically competitive acting and speaking, not cutting up bodies or examining crime scenes) which took up most of my time but really helped to shape me into the person that I have become.  This is also where I met a lot of very talented and supportive people, many who are in the movie or have helped with donations.  This is the first full length feature that I’ve written and directed.  I have written scripts, I’ve helped on a bunch of other people’s features or shorts and worked on a lot of shorts in film school, my own included, but I decided it was finally time to make my own feature.

MW: Give me a day in your life?

PD: For the past year the answer to this question probably hasn’t been very interesting.  Wake up, edit, eat something, edit, watch a movie, edit, hang out with my girlfriend, edit, watch a movie, edit, sleep, repeat.  Now that the movie is completed and there’s only a few more steps to take, I’ll have to find another way to fill my time, which will be traveling to film festivals and getting as many people as possible to see this film.  After that it is time to start on the next film.

MW: What would you like to say in closing?

PD: This entire experience has been amazing.  I’m so glad that I undertook this project, and even though it was scary or overwhelming at times, I couldn’t be happier with the end result.  The movie is really good.  I’m very proud of what has been accomplished.  I hope you get a chance to check the trailer out on Kickstarter and to donate!  Thanks for taking some time out of your day to spend some time with me.

 

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1432521682/the-shadows-of-ants-a-feature-film-by-paul-davis/widget/video.html

Interview by Michael Wilkerson

MW: Please introduce yourself?

T&M: We are Tom De Napoli and Steve Makowski. We are writer-directors based in Brooklyn, NY.

MW: What project are you using Kickstarter for?

T&M: A horror/comedy short called Pig Lady.

MW: How much money are you looking to get/or got?

T&M: $7,500

MW: When do you think you will have the finished project?

T&M: We expect to have a rough cut complete by mid-October and a polished finished short by mid to late December.

MW: What made you decide to do this project?

T&M: We were shooting a video in Steve’s hometown in New Jersey this Spring when he told me the story of a local urban legend called the Pig Lady. We started talking about the Pig Lady legend a lot and all urban legend spots and scary places we visited for fun when we were in high school. Nothing cool or exciting ever really happened when we went to those places so we wanted to make something where a group of teens actually get what they came looking for. Trouble.

MW: What other things have you done?

T&M: Steve and I wrote-directed an Exclusive video for Funny or Die called “Mideast Regime Change: The Game!”. I directed a music video for a Brooklyn based rap group called Das Racist that was in the US Narrative Shorts Competition at Sundance this past year and was on Rolling Stone, SPIN and Pitchfork’s Top 10 Music Videos of 2010 List.

MW: What would you like to say in closing?

T&M: Thank you so much for your interest in Pig Lady. We are really looking forward to shooting it later this month and having a very cool short to show everyone.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/536563123/pig-lady/widget/video.html

Interview done by Michael Wilkerson

MW: Please introduce yourself?

JW: Hi all! My name is Jeff Wolfe and I’ve been in film and television for the past twelve years. I started in the late nineties playing parts opposite Jet Li in Hong Kong films and Van Damme movies. More recently, I’ve been doing TV recurring characters on shows like The Closer, and playing bad guys in The Green Lantern and Drive that opens nationwide on 9/16. I have a 25 year martial arts background that has added to my Emmy win for best action on CSI Miami and the World Taurus Award for best fight on Pirates of the Caribbean.

MW: What project are you using Kickstarter for?

JW: ARCHANGEL is a story I’ve had in my head for years. It’s a take on humanity.. Mans place in the world. There’s a scene in the film Grand Canyon where guys are ripping off another guy and Danny Glover says ” this isn’t how it’s supposed to be..” that stood out to me. We just turn our heads constantly from the reality of what we’re doing. I want to point that out. Give us a chance to look deeper at the why of things… And do it in an exciting action setting.

MW: How much money are you looking to get?

JW: I can do this project for much less than the average filmmaker because of the collection of friends and favors I’ve amassed over the years.Of course, you can’t do it for free! So, I plan to try to raise $40k through kickstarter, match it myself with friends and then go to investors for the balance.

MW: When do you think you will have the finished project?

JW: Depending on how quickly we finance, I forsee shooting in January and having the film edited with effects by summer.

MW: What made you decide to do this project?

JW: I grew up watching Star Wars. Believing in the struggle between good and evil. We all root for the underdog to get his redemption. I think movies have lost that a bit. I’d like to have the affect on others that films had on me.

MW: What other things have you done?

JW: Well, Green Lantern, Drive, Captain America, I second unit directed Kill the Irishman, and am currently acting with Sean Penn and Josh Brolin in The Gangster Squad..

MW: Give me a day in your life?

JW: When I’m not on Gangster Squad, I’m polishing the script, training to be in shape for the film and having meetings with possible investors..

MW: What would you like to say in closing?

JW: Just a thank you to anyone who is willing to add to this dream in any way they can. It takes a lot to step onto that staircase when you cant see it! I encourage you to step out and do what’s on your heart… Especially if it’s got the possibility of affecting another person. We need all the help we can get from each other these days.. God Bless.

Check out the Archangel Kickstarter below:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/77024013/archangel-a-film-by-jeff-wolfe

 

 

 

Interview done by Michael Wilkerson

MW: Please introduce yourself?

DF: Hi, I’m David Fooden. I’m a game designer and artist. I illustrated a lot of RPGs and CCGs in the late 90’s, and am one of the creators of the CºNTINUUM and Chi-Chian RPGs, as well as the board game Oh My God! There’s An Axe In My Head. The Game of International Diplomacy.

MW: What project are you using Kickstarter for?

DF: Oh My God! There’s An Axe In My Head. The Game of International Diplomacy.

MW: How much money are you looking to get/or got?

DF: Our minimum goal is $16,000, which I’m happy to say we exceeded. There’s 35 hours to go as I write this, and we’re at a total of $21,228. That all goes towards printing and shipping costs.

MW: Have you used Kickstarter before?

DF: No, but I did research dozens of successful kickstarter projects and read articles about how to create a good kickstarter.

MW: When do you think you will have the finished project?

DF: The game should be back from the manufacturer sometime between December 2011 and January 2012.

MW: What made you decide to do this project?

DF: We licensed the game to a publisher in 2008, but after two years of them continually delaying its release, we took back the rights to it. Other publishers had considered it, but most were reluctant to put out a game with “God” in the title. Inspired by some of the successful game projects on Kickstarter, we decided to give it a shot there.

MW: What other things have you done?

DF: I co-designed and published the role playing games CºNTINUUM: Roleplaying in the Yet and Chi-Chian and created illustrations for a wide variety of role playing game books and card games.

MW: Give me a day in your life?

DF: It’s not terribly exciting, but sure. I get my daughter, who just started kindergarten, off to school. Then I deal with as much email as I can, promote the game on some social media sites, and either work on the graphic elements of Oh My God! There’s An Axe In My Head, or my website, or whatever else needs doing. The other day it was learning the ins and outs of shipping games to the US after they get manufactured in China (fun!). Then I usually have some errands to run and bills to pay. I’m also looking for work (in graphic design & print production), so I send out resumes and such. If I’ve got my daughter that evening, I’ll pick her up, make us dinner, and get her to bed. Then I’ll get some more work done at night if I’ve got any brainpower left to devote to it. Nights I don’t have my daughter I try to go do something social, like play boardgames with friends, or have a date with my girlfriend.

MW: What would you like to say in closing?

DF: As you can surmise from the “day in the life” description, creative endeavors and working for yourself involve a lot of work. Making games, and making GOOD games are a passion of mine. I urge you to seek out independent creators and small publishers, whether it’s music, art, literature, or games. Large companies put out some great material, but they don’t take risks, the truly creative, forward thinking stuff comes from independent artists. Thanks very much for your questions, and for taking the time to read this. Cheers!

Check out David’s Kickstarter page here:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gamecompany3/oh-my-god-theres-an-axe-in-my-head-the-board-game

Here is a sample video:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gamecompany3/oh-my-god-theres-an-axe-in-my-head-the-board-game/widget/video.html