The Kickstarter Blog

A Few Fascinating Project Updates

Project blogs aren’t just a place for the creator to keep backers and interested parties updated on the status of an ongoing project; they’re also a place to track the creative process and reflect on everything running a project entails. Often, it’s insight into the creators mind. Our activity feed is full of great project updates, so we figured we’d share a few with you.

Hadean Lands: Interactive Fiction for the iPhone 

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When video game programmer Andrew Plotkin began his Kickstarter project, he knew he needed a good video. He also realized he needed a pretty good song to include in the video. Rather than violating copyright law and using a Beatles track, or combing through the vast Creative Commons library, Plotkin did what any logical creative with a MacBook would do -– he opened GarageBand.

“I have no background in composition at all. I was in choir in high school, and I knew the purely mathematical side of music theory — but understanding how the twelfth root of two fits into your do-re-mi doesn’t actually give you any leverage on why chord changes happen.
On the other hand, I can hum (or whistle) vaguely melodic variations on a theme until you beg me to stop. So I figured I’d do that, in the background of the video. For a ninety-second track, nobody would notice that I didn’t know what I was doing, right?
So I scratched that, and began messing around with GarageBand. (Because I had it lying around, that’s why.) I did exactly what I do when I’m whistling: I picked a very simple melodic sequence, repeated it, and then began adding notes and squidging them up and down until it sounded good.
Two tracks of that, with variations of each, came out surprisingly tasty. The percussion was harder. (You’d think hitting things was an easy job.) My first try sounded like funkless bongo drums, and “stoned American tourist in the islands” was not the effect I wanted. My second try sounded like a can of beans being shaken by a robot. Eventually I stepped back, pulled up a random track from my techno list, and asked “Zarf, what about this sounds cool?” Answer: flanging. Okay, GarageBand can do that. I stuck the effect on, and presto — it sounded cool.”

Take a listen here.

The Sea Is All I Know

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When filmmaker Jordan Bayne brought The Sea Is All I Know to Kickstarter, she knew she had to raise enough to make sure the film would be completed. The film, which stars Oscar-nominee Melissa Leo, reached its funding goal two days before its campaign ended. (Currently, there are 46 hours left to fund The Sea Is All I Know.) After the film reached its goal, Bayne reached out to her supporters in a touching project update, which enlightened us to her reasons for using Kickstarter and how she hopes it will effect artists in the future. 

“a final note today . i have been thinking a lot about a couple of concepts that are very meaningful to me . the idea of spreading the wealth . paying it forward . and . i have been thinking about kickstarter . and . my belief in this platform . i have felt it even more as it became apparent that we would surpass our goal . here’s what i’ve come up with 

art can sometimes be perceived as a luxury . a hobby . i am a firm believer that art is a necessity . like air . like blood . it changes the world . it unites . it crosses race . creed . religion . great art is universal . touches . reveals . heals .

although i will personally be funding other artists on the kickstarter platform . i’ve decided that should THE SEA IS ALL I KNOW ever turn a profit . that 10% of the film’s profits should go right back into supporting other artists on kickstarter .”

“NORTH” - Animated Film about North Korea’s Prisoner Camps

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Eiji Han Shimizu is a Manga-specializing artist whose art focuses on societal problems at large. Shimizu’s latest work is an animated film about the infamous prisoner camps in North Korea. His latest project update came in the form of an article about the project in a Korean news paper. While the Japanese artist couldn’t read the Korean article, he asked backers to pass it on to their Korean friends in hopes of alerting more interested parties to his project.

2011 Typographic Wall Calendar

Sometimes simplicity reigns supreme. Artist Harald Gleissler knows this well. His latest project update is simple thanks, done in his own unique style.