Tuesday, June 12, 2012

So, now what?

Today was the deadline for our fundraising campaign on Kickstarter.com. If you pledged money to the project, then you may already know that we were unsuccessful. So now what? Let's first discuss the campaign.

A HUGE debt of gratitude is owed to the numerous backers who pledged. Your support meant so much to me and the dancers involved. We had backers from all over the world, and that was truly amazing and inspiring.

Ultimately I think our inability to raise the whole amount of money came down to not getting the word out. Facebook pages, emails and phone calls only go so far, I think the major failure was in not getting out and meeting with key people in the community in person. Of the people that I did speak with in person and the people who came to meetings, the excitement was there. That excitement led to pledges. I just didn't reach enough people.

Another part of it may have been the amount. It was an ambitious goal, and I knew that going in. My ace in the hole was the dance community itself, and as mentioned before, I failed to get in front of the people who would be interested and would pledge.

So, now what?

I said from the very beginning that if the Kickstarter campaign failed, that it would not mean the end of the project. Too many people have put in too much work to let it go.  So the short of it is: The project WILL GO ON!

The failure of the Kickstarter campaign was a bummer, but it in a sense it was a little bit freeing. No doubt if the campaign had succeeding, the project would have been much easier to complete. With that money we would have been able to rent studio space and shoot A LOT of dancers at one time. We were also planning on hiring a video editor to help with the video content, as well as print books and prints for all the dancers involved.

The other side of that coin is that if the campaign had succeeded, I would have spent a lot of time and effort on printing, packaging, and shipping rewards for the backers. Much of the final budget would have been dedicated to that as well.

So to boil it down, here are some key changes to the project:

1. The project will take longer to complete. Without the money to shoot in a large photography studio and the budget to hire some help, things will definitely be paced differently.

2. Once all the content is produced, the books will most likely be printed through an online print-on-demand service.

3. In order to help fund some of the costs of doing the project, prints and other items will be made available for purchase through Etsy.com and arts and craft shows. As of now you can buy a print of the shot titled "Victoria" at my wife's Etsy shop, Etheloo's.

Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/99905619/victoria-dancer-art-print

So that's that. Again, a huge thanks to those who backed the project. I hope you all will continue to be excited about this project and continue to support us.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Popular Photography and a backer update

The blog has been a little neglected since the project was launched on Kickstarter, so here is a little update: First things first, our Kickstarter project was made a staff pick once we launched, and can be found on the staff picks page at Kickstarter.com


So far 13 backers have pledged a total of $661. We still have a ways to go to hit the goal, but we are off to a good start.

In other exciting news, a photo of Victoria we shot for the project was selected as one of 25 Best Shots of April 2012 at Popular Photography Magazine's website PopPhoto.com. Included in that gallery are some pretty amazing shots, so take some time to check that out.


That's it for this update, please check out our Kickstarter page and share it with everyone you know. Kickstarter fundraising is all or nothing, so if we don't hit our goal, we get nothing.

Thanks for your support!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

We have officially launched!

Today our Kickstarter project was approved and officially launched and is open to accepting pledges!

In return for backing the project, you can get many awesome rewards, such as limited edition copies of the book, prints, calendars and more!

Check out our Kickstarter page and consider becoming a backer.

Monday, April 23, 2012

A project update and a quick story...

Our unofficial deadline for releasing our Kickstarter video was last week and obviously that didn't happen, but it didn't happen for a really good reason. While researching other photography projects on Kickstarter, we came across and project that not only very interesting, but it would have to include a beloved attraction here in Riverside.

For the past 10 years, Carl Weese has been photographing Drive In Movie Theaters throughout America. He has photographed both old, defunct drive-ins as well as theaters that are still in use today. This is a decade long project that Carl has every intention of completing, but now the timeline just got shortened, big time.

Recently some movie studios decided that it would no longer be sending out print film as of January 2013. That means if a theater wants to be able to show movies from that studio, they will have to convert to a digital projection system, which is estimated to cost around $75,000 per screen. This cost can mean going out of business for small, family owned drive-ins who tend to operate on shoe-string budgets. They just don't have the money to make the conversion.

For Carl, this means that he has until January 2013 to photograph the remaining drive-in theaters in America, before they disappear forever. This what his Kickstarter project aims to allow him to do.

Now, why did I spend all that time outlining Carl's project for you? I reached out to Carl via email to let him know that I really loved his project, and that here in Riverside we have a drive-in that not only is still operating, but was able to remodel and upgrade its projection system back in 2006. I wanted to make sure that this drive-in was on his list of places to shoot.

We got to talking and he gave me some really great tips on how to successfully put together a Kickstarter video that people will respond to. It's also important to mention that his project was fully funded in about a day, so his advice is certainly something I should consider.

With his tips in mind I decided to spend a little more time re-editing my video in a way that I think will be more effective, get more people engaged, and make this project more likely to succeed in raising our full budget. Within the next two weeks, I expect to have a video that will work very well and we can launch our page on Kickstarter.

How can you help? As always, spread the word. Share this blog, along with our Facebook Page. People can't support our effort if they do not know about it.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New Video! Preview Shoot with Gelsey Laurie

A couple of weeks ago I got to shoot with professional dancer and aerialist Gelsey Laurie (the product of that shoot was posted here). In addition to the dance shots, we did a short interview and shot some behind the scenes video.

Check out the preview video here:

This video illustrates the story that we are trying to tell with this project. There are some amazing dancers in our community, each with their own history and background. Through this project, we want to show that to you.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Photo Shoot with Gelsey Laurie

The first dancer to be photographed for the project was Gelsey Laurie. Gelsey is a professional dancer, born and raised in Riverside. She is leaving for a contract with a cruise line at the end of March, and thankfully she made the time to be photographed for this project before she left.

I am still editing the video that I shot with Gelsey, but here is a first look at 6 images that were shot for this project.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Upcoming Events

As we move along with the planning and scheduling for this project, there are a few upcoming events to be looking for.

1. We are working on the intro video that will introduce and explain our project to Kickstarter.com and any potential backers. We are looking for a mid-April launch of the project on Kickstarter, and at that time the project will open for backing.

2. In the next 10 days I have shoots scheduled with 3 dancers, 2 for the project and 1 to do head shots. The two dancers that I will be shooting for the project are Victoria Bengard and Gelsey Laurie. Victoria (as most of you know) is owner and teacher at Victoria's Simply Dance and a technical adviser and dancer coordinator for the photo shoots. Gelsey is a professional dancer who will be leaving on a contract at the end of the month so we needed to shoot her as soon as possible. You can see some of Gelsey's incredible work below.

Keep checking the Facebook Page and this blog for updates on these 2 events and many others to come.

And now, some dance videos: