Every week, we round up some of the stories about projects that made it into the press. We're happy to see them out there in the real world, and excited to share their progress with you! Read on.
Mike Snider of USA Today produced a story chronicling the journey Donald Miller's best-selling memoir, Blue Like Jazz, took from book to Kickstarter project to theatrical release: "Blue Like Jazz didn't sell well initially but gained momentum through word of mouth. At a reading in Nashville about two years after the book's release, Miller was approached by filmmaker Steve Taylor (The Second Chance), who wanted to make a movie out of it...Miller hopes that Blue Like Jazz is just the first of many crowd-funded films. 'It is changing our culture,' he says. 'We will have these minor projects that get made because 10,000 want it to be made.'"
Nadia Rasul of The Atlantic featured the Pakistani Cargo Truck Initiative: "Cargo trucks painted in bright colors, with an extremely intricate level of detail, are a common sight on the the highways of Pakistan. The paintings — often coupled with lines of poetry, religious calligraphy or common phrases — represent the truck driver's identity and regional background. The images on the trucks embody a wide range of themes, including landscapes, celebrities, beautiful women, mythical creatures, religious imagery and national heroes. While these fully functional trucks are used only for transporting goods in South Asia, Asheer Akram, a young American artist from Kansas City, Missouri has embarked on the project of building a Pakistani cargo truck with a Midwestern twist in the hope of mixing venerable South Asian traditions with modern American culture."
Jevon Phillips of The Los Angeles Times interviewed Fran Kranz about his role in Cabin in the Woods, but asked him about his previous work on the Lust for Love project: "I knew what Kickstarter was, but it kind of all blows me away with all the capabilities of the Internet. I just feel like the playing field has been leveled with the Internet. It democratized and created a kind of meritocracy for people to really choose what they want to watch, and it doesn’t have to be the mass-produced stuff. There’s no limit to what you can pull off with things like Kickstarter."
Rachel Metz of MIT's Technology Review wrote about the recently successful Ninja Blocks project: "Whoever has been stealing Mark Wotton's newspaper should look out: He's formulating a revenge plan, and it involves ninjas. Well, technically, it involves Ninja Blocks — little computerized, sensor-equipped boxes that Wotton helped create. The blocks connect to the Internet to carry out preset actions in response to stimuli. For example, via an online service called Ninja Cloud, Wotton could set a Ninja Block equipped with a motion detector to automatically take photos of the paper thief and upload them to Facebook. A Ninja Block might also be programmed to turn on a hall light when a child cries in her crib, or sound an alarm when the cat jumps onto the sofa."
Michael Cavna of Washington Post spotlighted tips from Keith Knight who recently ran the I Was a Teenage Michael Jackson Impersonator project: "It's only now, more than a month later, that Keith Knight fully realizes he didn’t quite know what he was doing. 'I went into it rather naive on what to do,' Knight tells Comic Riffs of his successful $40,000 Kickstarter funding campaign for his comic 'I Was a Teenage Michael Jackson Impersonator.' Fortunately, 'It was with the help of several readers who wrote and said: ‘I know you don’t wanna be rude bugging people about this, but [here’s] something you gotta do if you wanna make it happen.' As for Knight, his 'Teenage Michael Jackson Impersonator' campaign slightly exceeded its goal, as more than 700 backers pledged nearly $43,000. 'The comics community stepped up in a huge way,' Knight tells Comic Riffs. 'Peers were tweeting and Facebooking it, and folks at the Cartoon Art Museum [in San Francisco] were hyping it up, and [San Diego] Comic-Con staff people were donating. 'It was very humbling to see who tossed support my way. It was amazing.' In the wake of his project’s pledge-drive close last week, Knight has decided to share a 'list of things I did right and wrong during my Kickstarter.'"