The Kickstarter Blog

On the Map, Literally

  1. Meet a Backer: Larry Fabulous, Most Antarctic

    To celebrate hitting $1 billion in pledges on Kickstarter, we’re putting the spotlight on the people who made that happen. We’ll be posting excerpts from chats with some notable backers, talking about projects they love and the joys of supporting someone's idea.

     You’ve met our Most Arctic Backer. Now meet his polar nemesis. We first heard from Larry Fabulous when he wrote in to point out a problem with our system (since fixed): he was unable to set Antarctica as the location on his profile. Larry spends 12 to 14 months at a time at McMurdo Station, the main US station in Antarctica, where he checks out Kickstarter over a satellite link. He answered some questions for us while on a visit back to the US. 

     What do you do when you’re in Antarctica?

    I'm a contractor for the United States Antarctic Program. I work in the supply department helping the different science groups get what they need to do their work. 

    Why back projects?

    It makes me feel like I'm helping someone's dream come true, while also investing in something that'll make me happy as well. It's a win-win on the front end and a win-win on the back end! I also really like getting in contact with the talented and bold folks that believe in themselves enough to put their idea out there for the world to get behind. I love knowing people like that because it also inspires me to believe in myself more. 

    The grind of the Antarctic commute
    The grind of the Antarctic commute

     How do you decide what to back?

    Some things I just really want to exist in the world, like Bee and PuppyCat, and the cool swag that's promised me seals the deal pretty tightly. Other things I just think are interesting and I like the idea of giving someone a leg up, like with the Mushrooms of Madagascar project. 

     What's your favorite project?

    My favorite would have to be the Antarctica: A Year on Ice film project. After watching the final release, I was so happy to see that it accurately portrayed life at the station I spend more than a year of my life at a time at. I love sharing what life is like in Antarctica and this film nailed it entirely. Knowing the creators and many of the people featured in it makes a big difference as well. It's also really fun to see my name in film credits. :) 

     What's the best thing about backing projects?

    It’s knowing that I'm voting for what I want to see in the world without having been browbeaten or marketed to. I have to navigate to a page, view/read a proposal from the actual people wanting to make something, and decide for myself. 

     Do you have rewards sent to you there? 

    Yes, I sure do! Since we have an APO/FPO post office I'm able to send and receive mail during certain times of year. It's a US address so anything shipped to or from the States makes it with domestic rates, but sometimes long transit times.

    Does it feel strange to be backing these projects from so far away?

    No, not at all. I suppose, now that you've asked and I'm thinking about it, that distance is probably the easiest, simplest hurdle to overcome when it comes to connecting with someone. Ideas have resonance and the infrastructure of the internet has made it so easy to tap into things that resonate with me. It's a beautiful, amazing world where everything that anyone has ever made or accomplished began as an idea. Distance has nothing on that.

    Check out the rest of our Q&As with backers we like.

  2. A big day for film

    Since 2009, people from all over the world have pledged $200 million to film and video projects on Kickstarter. As a result, hundreds of Kickstarter-funded films have opened theatrically, thousands have played at festivals, seven have been nominated for Academy Awards, and Inocente even won the Oscar for Best Documentary Short last year. Today we’re excited to announce that you can watch hundreds of these films right now in the brand-new Kickstarter room on iTunes.

    The room features a LOT of Kickstarter-funded films, including Veronica Mars, the fan favorite television show turned full-length movie made possible by the support of 91,585 fans. There’s also an amazing assortment of other films, including favorites like Gimme the Loot, Indie Game: The Movie, Putty Hill, Trash Dance, and Buzkashi Boys, an Oscar-nominated short filmed entirely in Afghanistan. There’s enough in there to keep you busy for months.

    Filmmakers everywhere use Kickstarter to fund new projects and build community around their work. Some are well-known artists, others are making something for the first time. There are Kickstarter-funded features, shorts, documentaries, web series, and more — and they all begin with a community of believers. People who believe in filmmakers, and want to be a part of telling their stories. People who believe in the power of film.

    We got in touch with some of those people for an oral history on the return of Veronica Mars and its subsequent transition into feature-length territory. We talked to everyone from Rob Thomas, the show’s creator and director, to Lillian Taba and Monica Foltz, twin sisters who went from freaking out that the film could be a reality, to actually being in the film. It’s a celebration of the power of community. 

    Today's a big day for film and a big day for fans — but it's only the beginning ... 

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