The Root Kit: Post-Campaign News #1
Earlier, during the campaign, I just copied and pasted an email I sent to the cast because I thought it was the best, clearest way to address the issues. Before I do that, I want to let you know that I'm going to be compiling an email list of people who want to be kept informed about where The Root Kit is at, as well as my other future projects. If that's you, send me an email: email@example.com with the word "Subscribe" in the subject line. I'll be using MailChimp, which has an unsubscribe button at the bottom of every email. If that's too slow, or you don't feel like dealing with it like that, just send me another email with the word "Unsubscribe" in the subject line.
If you've got any more questions, please send me an email directly (firstname.lastname@example.org), as I don't plan on using the Kickstarter interface anymore. Anyway, here's the email I just sent out to the cast:
I should have sent this Saturday morning, but I was so exhausted, I just didn't have the energy until today. I apologize for my latency. However, when I explain what I've gone through, hopefully you'll understand. I have some bad news, then some good news, then some more bad news, then some more good news, and I want you to hear it from me.
But before I share that with you, I want to thank you all for helping me spread the word of The Root Kit during the Kickstarter campaign. With your help we got The Pitch up to over 11,000 views!
THE BAD NEWS: The Kickstarter campaign didn't work. You probably already know that. You also probably already know (because I've said it several times in several places) that I'll never do another Kickstarter campaign, for anything, ever. It took 3 months of preparation and then 31 14 hour days straight to actually run it. It totally burnt me out.
THE GOOD NEWS: Again, as of the writing of this email, The Pitch has been viewed over 12,500 times. That's extraordinary! What's even more amazing is that by the end of the campaign it had been viewed just over 11,000 times. But, here's the wild part, of those 11k views, 637 people contributed, that's nearly 6%. My brother owns an ad agency. The numbers he gets that make him happy are 2%. We obliterated his numbers. We did INSANELY well. We targeted the geek/tech community and penetrated deeply into it, so deep, in fact, that some of the backers were the tech media, including people from This Week in Tech, BoingBoing, ycombinator, and NYC 2600 (aka The Hacker Quarterly)! If you've ever heard of the last one you know just how big a deal that is!
THE BAD NEWS: Since the campaign failed, and since I have no intention of ever doing another Kickstarter campaign, I'm rewriting the script to pitch it to the studios. This is good and bad. It's bad because it means I'm going to have to make some compromises. But, it's good because it means I can write without a micro-budget in mind. And, let me tell you, the story has radically improved because of that. It's WAY more intense.
"How is that bad?" you might be asking. Well, it's in the compromises. Studio execs are always the best/most creative people. And, that's understandable. They have to make movies that make money. And, if TRK gets picked up by a studio, I'm going to have to listen to their notes. There are some things I won't compromise on, but everything else has to be negotiable. So, it's got it's ups and downs. One of the things I'm going to have to negotiate is the cast. Yeah, that's the bad news.
THE GOOD NEWS: I'm going to pitch TRK to the studios, under several conditions: 1)They can't fire me as a writer; 2)I'm directing and they can't fire me as director; 3) The story must be true to what hackers are really like. This will never end up like Swordfish, or a thousand bad movies that portray hackers foolishly. 4) Women will not be objectified or sexualized. My initial argument for this was what I'd been saying all along, that there are intelligent women who are into computers and I want to show that. However, that can be shot down fairly easily. So, instead, I'm going to pitch it with a PG-13 rating, making the argument of why I wrote the script in the beginning, to make more geeks. To achieve that, it must have the broadest audience possible. However, I believe it's impossible to write this story with any truthfulness and get a PG rating. So, PG-13 eliminates nudity/overt sex.
The fact that I'm familiar with this world gives me an edge. That means the movie will be true to the way hackers really are. It means this movie is going to be original and awesome. And, because I'll be directing it, it also means I get a pretty big say in who gets cast. Not complete creative control, but a lot more than if someone else were directing it. And, because of that, I'm going to try and bring as many of you along with me as I can, because you're good at what you do, because you supported this project when there was very little money involved, and because you earned it with your support! I can't promise anything, but you better be sure, I'm going to fight for you!