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Jon Reiss' global graffiti documentary follow-up takes audiences to previously unexplored areas of the Middle East, Europe, Asia & more
Jon Reiss' global graffiti documentary follow-up takes audiences to previously unexplored areas of the Middle East, Europe, Asia & more
344 backers pledged $21,350 to help bring this project to life.

It's Harder Than it Looks

Hello Fellow Kickstarters,

I have consulted on a number of campaigns, but never ran one of my own, and I wanted to experience the complete process for myself. I am now personally more obsessed with checking for new backers when I wake up (and every 10 minutes) but what I found to be one of the hardest things to do is to make my own crowdfunding appeal video. It is easy to tell other people what to do (often telling them to go back to the drawing board) – it is another thing to do it yourself. I shot a version in Los Angeles, and it was so awful that I had to reshoot it with the crew of the documentary about breast cancer that I am producing in Baltimore. You'll see the director of that film, Bernadette Wegenstein, directing me in the video. I hope you enjoy all my pain and suffering - I know you go through it too!

Thanks for all of your support!


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    1. Mark Stolaroff on July 16, 2013

      Yes, John, I've felt that pain. I've run two Kickstarter campaigns and I too was shocked at how hard it was to do the video. I do a lot of public speaking, but this is different. You want to sound natural, but you have a script that you've somewhat memorized. I've acted many times in my past and am pretty good about getting "off book," but again, this is different. My advice is to create a video style that allows you to easily cut out the flubs. In both my campaigns, we cut away to a lot of b-roll, which made things much easier.

      And @LisaGuido, you need to have some kind of video, and my preference is the direct address. I've donated to about 75 campaigns and looked at many more (and consulted on several), and there's no bigger turnoff than the filmmakers not having a video. The second biggest turnoff is the filmmakers using a trailer or some other material for their video. Your video message is an opportunity. There's so much you can do with it, and there's no better way to tell the story behind the story.

    2. Lisa Guido on July 15, 2013

      It's better! I'm not convinced that every reluctant director/producer needs to do on-camera direct there a success rule about that now?

      Best of luck w the campaign, it is a grueling thing indeed.

    3. Jon Raymond on July 15, 2013

      I like it. I'm preparing to do this myself and the last thing I want to do is get in front of the camera. But I guess I'll have to. This helps.

      I had a number of ideas, like make it look more like a trailer, with fast cuts and cool music. Film cast members, even the DP. saying just a line or two. A few pretty women dressed provocatively should work, right? (I have a romantic thriller with pretty women)

      I was also considering slugging in images. We've compiled a lot of images on Pinterest in looking for cast wardrobe, hair , and makeup ideas. Also I was thinking images of doing the storyboard, shot list, mundane film prep stuff like that.

      If you look at Zak Braff's Wish You Were Here campaign, I think he has down with the incentives. He doesn't have to work as hard as us on a video. He has a huge fan base. Same for Veronica Mars. But his incentives are to share the production itself. Great idea.

      I love your incentive for the book and the webinars. That stuff is really valuable. I have no problem giving money for stuff like that. I think that's where you have an advantage. You have that expertise to offer, and sharing the process as you are here is great too.

      You can see more on my project if interested at

    4. Dave Bullis on July 15, 2013

      Lol. I meant to add more to that comment.
      I know you'll hit your goal Jon! Best of luck.

    5. Dave Bullis on July 15, 2013

      Keep up the great work Jon! And yes it's tough to run a campaign.