High-Profile Kickstarter Campaigns Coming in 2014

Last week, we saw the Kickstarter campaign for Reading Rainbow dominate social media. The timing was perfect, as anyone who grew up in the 80s and 90s was more than happy to throw money at the idea of having Reading Rainbow for their own kids. Sure, some people criticized the idea of a for-profit venture asking for millions of dollars in donations, but it isn’t really a Kickstarter campaign without some good ol’ fashioned negative media.

 

Despite the negative attention that many campaigns receive, most of it is moot if the goals are met and the donors make it rain (less Kickstarter’s 5% cut and Amazon’s 3%-5% processing fee). Which is why you can expect to see bigger, and “better” projects during the rest of 2014. Kickstarter isn’t just for small indie short films produced by your brother’s roommate in college. Nope. Don’t be surprised if you see some of these high-profile projects in the near future.

 

Avatar 2 – $250 million

 

 

If Zach Braff can raise over $3 million, why can’t James Cameron raise a quarter billion? Yes, Avatar 2 is already in production and has a budget/funding/major studio support/blah/blah/blah, BUT this is James Cameron we’re talking about. If anyone could find a way to spend an extra quarter-bill, he could (even if it’s making sure the a character’s retinas sparkle JUST RIGHT). Best Donor Perk:  For $10,000, you can have virtual 3D sex with the Na’vi of your choice. Better start growing out your hair now.

 

Jaden Smith’s “I am God” Project – $500 million

 

 

You don’t wear a custom made white Batman suit to someone else’s wedding without having a God complex. And once he sees James Cameron’s Kickstarter, he’ll be all over Kickstarter like white on…a Batman cowl worn by Jaden Smith. The point of his Kickstarter campaign will be a bit unclear, but it will be full of confounding hyperbole. Since it’s hard to connect the dots and figure out how donating to his campaign proves he’s God, he’ll throw in references to “making his own Avatar, but better” and “painting all trees blue.” Best Donor Perk:  When you donate $100,000 he’ll personally mention you in one of his punctuation-deficient, philosophically confusing tweets.

 

U.S. Government – $1 billion

 

 

Sooner or later Republicans and Democrats will be united with the a bi-partisan realization that Kickstarter can be used to syphon more money from the American people. Republicans will be happy, since tax breaks for the wealthy can continue, while the Democrats will be excited at the prospect of looking “hip” to the kids. The only downside is we’ll have to ignore the fact that the cost to produce and run the Kickstarter campaign is projected at $1.5 billion.

Best Donor Perk:  $500 gets you an American flag t-shirt. (What do you expect? It’s the U.S. government. Also the t-shirt is made in China.)

 

Boko Haram Ransom Campaign – $1 katrillionzillion

 

At its core, isn’t Kickstarter already set up for ransom negotiations? “You want to see a sequel to you favorite movie? Give me fifty bucks, or I’ll never release it!” It’s only natural that it would eventually be used for real kidnappings. Plus, Boko Haram has already had success with viral videos, so they’re already dominating social media. Might as well tap into that Vine fame and make some serious money with Kickstarter.  Best Donor Perk: $1 million gets you a “100% promise to never kidnap your village or take over your country.” Money well spent.

 

Satan’s “I’m not such a bad guy” Short Film – $10,000

 

 

After taking a Robert McKee’s Story seminar, the Lord of the Underworld is inspired to follow his dreams of being a filmmaker. The story centers upon a down on his luck writer, who is perceived by the outside world as a bad guy. From what I understand the script is okay with some quirky characters (especially his hispanic roommate Jesús), but suffers from a lack of stakes and clear plot points. Best Donor Perk:  You can be listed as an Executive Producer and hang out on set for just $2,500. You also get the perks from the previous levels, including a digital copy of the script, blu-ray DVD, and poster signed by the cast, crew, and Lucifer himself. If you’re low on cash and want to contribute, you can score a “thank you” in the final credits simply by pledging him your soul.

 

But what about the rest of you, who have brilliant ideas (iphone wallets ARE the future) but aren’t high-profile enough to convince strangers to send you buckets of digital money? You’re in luck, because my research partner, Crystal Hubbard, and I are working on a list of sure-fire steps you can take to ensure a successful Kickstarter campaign. Stay tuned! (aka just keep your RSS feed reader linked to Smash Cut Culture).

 

Evan Shaw

Evan is an alumnus of the 2013 Taliesin Nexus Filmmakers Workshop and writer of sitcoms, screenplays, and blog posts about food/film/popculture. His sitcom pilots "Faculty & Staff" and "Mergers & Accusations" have previously won Silver Prizes in the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards. His work has also made it to the second round of the Austin Film Festival and the semi-finals of the L.A. Comedy Shorts Film Festival. When not writing, Evan can be found chained to a desk in Virginia, working for a commercial finance company.