Crowd Funding – What’s Taking so Long? – Part 5

In our Crowd Funding series we are following in real time the Kickstarter campaign for an independent feature called Mulligan. 
That is: by now we thought we’d be in the thick of it, but as it goes with these things, the start of the campaign has been pushed back twice. Below a short interview with David Mandel, the co-producer of Mulligan on what’s going on.
What was the reasoning behind pushing back the start of the Kickstarter campaign?
Unfortunately, we were just too busy and too rushed, and didn’t want to release a substandard project just because of an arbitrary self-imposed deadline. Since we first started preparing for Kickstarter we’ve had to:
• Find a sound mixer
• Go through and figure out the sound issues in the movie
• Upload footage and sound files back and forth between people on different ends of the country
• Do some minor additional editing
• Coordinate ADR sessions for 4 actors, all of whom are working on other projects in four different time zones. Yes, 4.
• Prepare for and submit a DVD to SXSW film festival
Meanwhile, this same group of people is also busy prepping our next feature, to be shot in March.
That’s a lot to work on when it’s your primary job, but everyone involved in this is already working a 9-5, so to try to make all of this happen AND get the Kickstarter campaign in shape… let’s just say we were running on fumes by last week. So everyone agreed it didn’t make sense to just launch on our original date, especially given that we have nothing to lose by delaying, and everything to gain by making sure that when we do launch, we’re doing it in the best possible way. Deadlines are important, but there’s no need to force ourselves into a corner and put out an inferior product.
What’s been the most difficult aspect of getting ready?
Without a doubt, the video. The video has to do so many things – convey the story, be appealing without feeling too needy, explain what the money’s for and how it’ll be used, show off the footage, and just generally touch people. It took a while to coordinate shooting it – probably unnecessarily so. Then to edit it. Then we started sending out drafts of it to friends and strangers, and the responses weren’t good. So we’ve taken the feedback and gone back to the drawing board for the video. It’s painful, but there’s no question we’re doing the right thing. Had we launched with that video, there’s a chance we wouldn’t have raised the full amount. And there have been – and still are – lots of arguments about how to proceed, what to leave in and what to take out, etc. It’s all good, it’s part of the process.
We’re very lucky in that we’ve got the time and the determination to try and get this to be the best it can be, and again, not be pressured because of an external deadline. So we’ve pushed the launch date from November 18 (last Friday) to December 2 (next Friday). The biggest lesson here is that you should always try to get feedback on something you’re sharing with the world – and that you should give yourself enough time to adapt when that feedback isn’t glowing.

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