Kickstarter Addendum 1: What Fred Seibert thinks.

After all that talking about Kickstarter and IndieGogo yesterday, Fred Seibert (of Channel Frederator, Next New Networks, and, originally, MTV) has summed up pretty well the argument FOR it. (Fred was also a part of the panel I was on with Yancey of Kickstarter). And I have to say, like most things Fred says, I tend to agree with his view.

In the world we’re living in, if you don’t get something made and in front of an audience there’s finally no one else to blame but the person in the mirror. If you’re talented, don’t wait for someone else to tell you so. Go out there, find your own audience. They’ll tell you what they think, and after all, aren’t they more important than Viacom, or DC Comics, or Random House? You’ll have satisfaction in doing what you think is right, and if you hit the bull’s eye you’ll make some money too.

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This is, at its core, the argument for capitalism. Entrepreneurial spirit, equality of fundraising allowing for fantastic innovations to be made. Agree, agree.

Once I was giving a pitch to Fred, and it was going badly. I think I said something about pop music – how I didn’t really have much interest in it. He told me he loved pop music. And more importantly, “most people do”.

I’m all for giving the audience what they want… And if you don’t know the audience, making the damn show and finding it.

That said, and in defense of my previous post, we’re talking about a bullseye that is getting ever smaller and smaller in a sea of fragmented attention. There’s so much other stuff vying for space, and sometimes the ‘best’ stuff is the least ‘viral’ (often, I actually think). I don’t believe that just hitting the bullseye artistically is going to be enough. This mythical ‘bullseye’ has to encompass executional quality, genuine appeal, just enough money/resources for you to get it done, but most of all, two things to separate your work from the thousands of other series we see launch every month.

One of those is controllable: your level of tenacity and drive.

The other level is not controllable: luck.

And frankly, satisfaction is the ultimate goal of the artist, yes. But satisfaction doesn’t pay the bills. So sooner or later, someone who will has to come into the picture. That’s my chief concern as stated yesterday – the dual problem of creating more ‘snow-to-signal’ and of artifically deflating budget expectations.

(Thanks to Fred for being smart, and Zadi Diaz for posting it originally).

PS – Was this, historically, a problem? Talented indie filmmakers waiting for people to “give them permission” to make something? It’s the third time I’ve seen someone say that in 24 hours.

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