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Whoops, 2 years. :-) Okay, maybe there's still hope.
I was talking with some friends today about Kickstarter. Everyone has a story of a project that was successfully funded and then then was never realized. Some of them went back a looooong time. It's crazy to think back to where I was 5 years ago when I donated to this. 5 years! Since this time, humans launched another Mars rover, landed on a comet, and took selfies with Pluto. Amazing. The $10 was almost worth the trip down memory lane. Almost.
Paul, I'm feeling like my pledge was wasted a long time ago. I'm not looking for a refund. I don't want the whole thing canceled.
What I want is some assurance. We've been waiting nearly two years with sporadic updates. I don't want to sling some low-brow guilt trip, but I'm feeling a completely unappreciated as one of your backers.
What gives man? When am I going to see this thing come to life?
PLEASE REFUND MY $10.00
Can't wait to see the finished project! :) May I ask what's gonna happen to the rewards if people moved addresses?
Guys I'm starting to think we got screwed
The backers of the second Kickstarter received an update on 3/20. Can someone let the rest of us in on it?
A month has gone by since you've gotten your extra $100,000. Any updates?
Presidential libraries, and NACA records.
Tim, KSC did supply a large amount of footage, as did HQ. However, all in-space tape and film is housed at JSC. Also, it's more than just NASA footage. Historical materials have to be acquired from the air force, NASA records, prudential libraries, and other non space related historical footage that ties the story together.
Also, perhaps my message was misunderstood. We start over on fundraising, not the film.
The media center at JSC closed down four months ago--significantly after you were supposed to have finished the film. This is a poor (and convenient!) excuse. JSC is also not the only place to pick up footage from NASA. The KSC Media Center is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern U.S. time, Monday through Friday. I have used them to get plenty of digital copies of NASA archive footage. You can find contact info here: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/news/mediaresources/media-contacts.html
If KSC is too far away, you can try HQ or any of the other centers. Contact info here: http://www.nasa.gov/news/media/contacts/index.html
And, Paul, it isn't the $10 that matters. It is the fact that you've been dishonest. You promised a film for $65k that you didn't deliver for $105k. Now you're asking for another $85k. Your latest plea says we either pay up or you "will have to start over again" when your new campaign page clearly states that "If this Kickstarter is not funded our film will still be released."
This is not how to build confidence in your backers nor build credit with a larger audience for your film.
Tim, I'm well aware of the issues with ITAR. I'm not complaining about SpaceX. Someone asked a question, I answered it. If you don't have anything constructive to say, I'll send you your 10 dollars back.
And by the way, as I mentioned the media center at JSC is gone, so there is no access to film reels at NASA anymore. You can thank budget cuts for that.
For the record: almost no one is allowed to film on a SpaceX tour. They take visitors through the factory itself where rockets and spacecraft are being assembled. Any imagery of that area may be subject to export control, ITAR restrictions, and could expose proprietary company information. Expecting SpaceX to allow an unknown self-styled documentary filmmaker to record the tour is absolutely naive. Complaining that SpaceX that does not want to be a part of your film that potentially bashes one of their clients is unprofessional. I'm confident that more than one company or person declined to participate in your documentary.
I concur with the previous comments that laud your initial efforts and harshly criticize your over-reach. As a financial backer of your endeavor, I feel *cheated* by your behavior.
I am not a documentary film maker and I could tell you that a $65k documentary on something as expansive as the space program was not going to win many awards for thoroughness.I did not expect perfection: I expected a film with the 12 interviewees you proposed. That was it. That was what you promised and did NOT deliver!
It seems that this has been an eye-opening learning experience for you. Learning how to nag SpaceX into giving you a tour, how to get expensive footage via the National Archives instead of using free footage from NASA... all of those are informative experiences (both for you and for us as your backers). I'm glad you have learned so much about how to make an expansive documentary and wish you luck in utilizing that knowledge in the future. For now, please focus on the film you agreed to deliver.
Paul, I certainly appreciate what you're trying to do here, but you must realize that you're in way over your head. Your first kickstarter was funded to 160% of the goal. Now, more than a year past your delivery date, you're asking for more money than the first kickstarter goal. I really wish I didn't feel this way, but it seems clear that your second kickstarter will not reach its goal because a lot of your original backers are disappointed. Your best course of action is to cut your losses and just release a film that shows you care. It doesn't have to be perfect. We all really appreciate your drive and completely sympathize with how you must feel right now. Sticking your neck out and pushing for something you believe in takes a lot guts, and we thank you for trying.
"In 5 days, we will either have enough funding to complete the film and get it onto the big screen, or we will have to start over again."
No, you will not have to start over, you will just have to:
1) figure out how to work with the budget you have; perhaps distribute in a different medium than originally planned (YouTube, etc.)
2) find other investors outside of Kickstarter
3) fund the remaining balance yourself
What I would like to hear from you is that the documentary WILL be released, in one form or another, no matter what. That should be a definite that everyone knows.
With no way to delete my previous comment, i'll just say I read the answer in the second kickstarter. Also, too bad about the lack of SpaceX contribution to the project.
What happens if the second kickstarter goal is not met?
I can appreciate what you're trying to achieve here and I have contributed a second time on the Kickstarter, at a higher tier because I'm a sucker for blu-ray, as this is a very important subject that does need that element of professionalism so I can understand why the money is required but unfortunately it still does not look like it will reach it's goal. While disappointing, people do have very valid claims and concerns and even though you've clearly mentioned why the money is needed and what it will go towards it's not unreasonable or unexpected to think that it might not get funded a second time over.
I want to see this film succeed, though unfortunately I can't afford to contribute more at the moment. I can promise to pester those I know however. I wish you luck, this needs to be seen by as many people as possible.
I feel that I have communicated well with the backers. Regular updates were always posted from interview trips, both on Kickstarter and Facebook, emails have always been answered, and comments responded to. As for the money. I have tried to explain multiple times why we need additional funding to complete the film, the same, I will do another email in a day or two explaining the reasons more clearly.
Sorry, I'm underwhelmed. The general lack of communication up until more money was needed has been discourteous, at best. The first kickstarter was to finish the film. I still don't have an understanding of what went so wrong that this much more money is needed. No sense in throwing more money into the pit.
I still think Fight for Space is a great idea, but I gotta be honest -- this is the first kickstarter donation I've made that I really fear for.
I understand that many movies on kickstarter need additional funds to polish them up and get them ready for release. No argument there. If it was some fraction of the total cost of the project, I would certainly pony up some more cash. But here, you're asking for MORE money than the original kickstarter! I'm no expert in film production or financing, but from a layman's perspective, this is concerning. I really hope you're still able to finish the doc, but I just can't justify another donation. I'm sorry.
I imagine they would be concerned to lose contracts if they comment.
Thanks for the support Ryan! I chased SpaceX for two years and got nothing but false hopes, unfortunately they won't be part of the film. I went as far as standing in the SpaceX parking lot talking on the phone with their PR person, who eventually gave us a tour but wouldn't allow any filming. Elon walked right by us.
Can I add also that I would also like to see an interview from Elon Musk.
Second time backer here. The irony that people here are complaining about funding the second gap on a movie that deals with the lack of funding for Space Exploration makes me laugh. It concerns me that I watch both my young sons pick up model space shuttles or watch video footage of launches and that someday I have to tell them that there will be no more shuttle launches because those in power thought that our tax dollars would be better spent fighting conflicts in foreign lands.
I am keen to see the documentary and more importantly to lobby those in power to think long term about the future of humanity.
I think we should notify Elon Musk to see what he thinks. Maybe he will chip in a little bit to make it happen.
Sorry, but this is all becoming a bit of a joke.
Chris, it's a valid question. I too thought that when we got started, we would never need that much money. Consider that Inside Job, a documentary made in 2010, which was basically a research style film with only interviews and archival footage, had a budget of 2 million dollars. We are doing this film for a fraction of that. Much of our archival footage has to be licensed from major networks. Unfortunately, it's the only way to get it. This archival footage is billed by the second, not the minute, or the hour, the second. Each second is astronomically expensive. We arn't making a youtube documentary, we are making a documentary for television broadcast and to show on the big screen, so there is a certain level of standards that have to be followed, otherwise the network will not show it. As for additional expenses, the music and mixing cost as much as a fancy car, and if we want a film that is worthy of the subject we are talking about, it needs to be done right. A lot of this goes back to doing it right. Sure, we can make a film with one piano track, and steal footage from YouTube, but it won't be any good. And for me, it's about doing it right, not just doing it. Those are just a few examples of the expenses that go into the film. I'll outline additional expenses in a later post.
No offense, but how was 100k not enough to make this film? I've seen others make films farrrr more intricate than this with a quarter the funding. It's a documentary for crying out loud.
Ad Astra. You can do it.
Regarding the lack of funds - at first I was upset; a little angry and didn't want to read it. Then, I thought that this is something I really want to see succeed. I threw in some more cash. I am really excited to see this come to fruition.
Great trailer. I can tell you and your team worked very hard to make it comprehensive, yet succinct. Thanks for the update regarding post. I completely understand about the cost of archival footage and photographs. (In the middle of doing it myself). Just donated. :) Good luck!
PS When I first donated, I asked about ensuring that women and their roles in the history (and future) of space was not forgotten. That has been a piece of every trailer I've seen. Thank you.
Video is marked private on the last update?
Paul, I understand. There are strong feelings on both sides, and I am well-acquainted (and friends) with both kinds of people. So again, I understand your editorial position, but also want to encourage you - now having some claim to authority yourself on these issues - to help encourage people to see that the two positions are not irreconcilable. As I implied, there are wider implications to this issue on the role of public and private institutions in forging a future that isn't totally dysfunctional - which is the direction we're currently headed.
I work on international science issues, and am very familiar with people's tendency to be somewhat territorial and parochial (due to their understandable and not unreasonable emotional attachment to their particular perspectives). I often liken my role to trying to herding cats - it requires a deft touch to help encourage such people (mainly specialists) to see the bigger picture, but it can and does happen. I wish you all the best, truly.
Burke, I understand your concerns. That is actually one of the issues that we struggled with when we began the project. There was a mass amount of people promoting either NASA, or NewSpace, it was a rare occurrence if someone promoted both. We don't take sides on this particular issue in the film, we examine both and present the pros and cons. In contrast to today's traditional journalism, we aren't telling people what to think, but rather we give them the facts and allow them to make up their own mind.
The trailer looks excellent. I'd say it's ready for primetime.
One editorial comment, which comes (obviously) despite not having seen the film. There are a lot of people out there who seem to think it's "NASA versus NewSpace", but this is a false dichotomy. We need both, working as public-private sector partnerships. Until such time as our econosphere extends beyond GEO and private industry in space becomes self-sustaining, governments are going to be the main "customer" for NewSpace. Tyson has an excellent essay (http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/public_sector/why_exploration_matters) on why space exploration should become a national (or international) goal - beyond simply that of exploration itself or science (which unfortunately is not a selling point for most voters). I think this (Tyson's essay) is the best argument for "why space?" and I hope this view is reflected in the film - which I look forward to greatly!
I'd love to see even brief updates at least once a month. Thanks!
Christopher, i'm not ready to give out a release date at this time. I can tell you we have made significant progress recently, and there is a meeting with a high level distributor next month. The issue I posted about is actually quite important if you ever want to see any in depth NASA documentaries made again.
When is this going to be finished? What is your date for completion? I imagine you have a date selected as to when this will be finished and what is that date? Your backers deserve to know what is going on with the completion of the project, not updates on how your contact at NASA is no longer there and you're having issues finding footage.
I agree, can we get another update? Thanks!
Could we have another update? Thanks!
Hi Simon, unfortunately SpaceX declined to participate. Believe me, we tried.
Have you interviewed Elon Musk yet?
Is this still a thing?
I'm still excited to see this documentary. I'm still glad I backed this project. I appreciate your last update, Paul. Would it be possible to get more frequent updates, letting us know more of what's happening? I don't mind the wait, but given that it's delayed by so much, I think we could be updated more frequently with more detail.
I'm excited to see this movie when its completed! Waiting patiently, but still excited. Hope all is going well. :)
So...is this project dead, or what?
2013 is almost over and we didn't hear a word from you in over 3 months. Please update us