Use this space to cheer the creator along, and talk to your fellow backers.
Have a question?
At least we got an update concerning the product instead of childish slander. Seems that discussions about legal proceedings is the way to go.
I long long ago gave up on getting any reward from the project. However I would donate to a GoFundMe that had a specific plan to serve Ken if the goal of the legal proceedings was to force him to surrender everything related to the KODT KS (financials, footage, etc.) to ZOE and Kenzer. At this point Ken can keep his ill-gained equipment ... I have no desire to not allow him to eat. But because I love KODT and massively respect Jolly Blackburn ... if a legal proceeding allowed this chapter to close ... I'd support it.
Now we apparently have a service address, do we want to look at some sort of crowdfunding campaign to force the issue in the courts?
Looks like Mr. Whitman finally has an address, at "Whit Studios", for anyone interested, for serving legal notices, attorney general letters, etc.
Address below. Nice place, and nice to see he describes funders as "sugar mommas & sugar daddies", and that the equipment he's still using from this project as "his own". Classy as always.
Chad I guarantee it's not finished. If it was he'd be crowing about it. Posting little clips, etc.
If that footage that is done is the same footage he uploaded a year ago, then no its not done. Its full of glaring problems that can be fixed. The final episode looked akin to being filmed by my old camcorder.
I have a fairly low standard at this point for the project, but I do want something that is watchable and not making me grimace. As for a digital only download of the product, I'm so disgusted by that idea that I'm going to leave this here and go for a walk.
No, it wont happen. Ken is too proud to allow anyone else to "take credit", hence why the opening gambit was a proposal that would ensure that he got it.
I think the footage is done, so there's no need to hand it over to ZoE. I'm confident the question is one of Furfilment now.
Ken needs to step up, be honest about where the project is and what he can reasonably do to bring it to a conclusion.
I agree 100%, Tash. Ken is not a child . Nor is he a green creator. As he boasts, he's been publishing and producing for over 25 years. He is the ONLY person he knows the status of this project and the ONLY person with any power whatsoever to finish it. And if he can't do that he's the only person who can communicate what is needed and where a helping hand can be lent.
Unfortunately all trust has been destroyed.
For this to move forward he has to step up and lead the way.
But that's not going to happen.
Oh I'm 100% certain he's broke.
for me, all I want is for him to admit he can't finish it on his own and give the footage to ZOE so they can get it out for everyone.
That would be the best outcome as far as I'm concerned.
Okay, lets presume that he was lying, and he's just trying to kick the can down the road, there is no car accident (which I'm inclined to believe - hence my post in the first place).
We're looking at a guy who doesn't have his (ex) wife's expensive hotel, doesn't have regular income from Rapid POD, Doesn't have a product to sell, and has had to in the course of 4 or 5 kickstarters had to go to some petty minor things to try to get the money coming in. There doesn't seem to be much in Ken's income column.
Ken obviously will need money for living expenses - Rent, Food, etc. Logic dictates that he must have some outgoings.
I honestly believe the guy is broke, even if he's lied about everything else, everything up to date I think leads to that conclusion. He has no money.
There's no point in hounding a broke man for money, even if he wants to give it to you (and I don't put Ken in that category).
The question is what do we do now. The way I see it the three routes are:
1. Force Ken into bankruptcy (which means finding him, getting a court to make an order for breach of contract damages, then going to court again when he doesn't pay up - all of this is going to cost us money).
2. Somehow Normalise the situation. Agree to change things so Ken can actually deliver. I've tried this, I think Jolly's tried this. Ken, If you are reading this, the only route I see is to see if backers will take the product in the state you can deliver it without further cost.
3. Cut our losses and forget the whole thing ever happened.
I don't know what that means for Jolly. If the KODT footage is in the state that Ken is supposed to deliver it, then there might be an argument that the footage is already your property Jolly (I'm desperately trying to remember my property law classes, but the textbook sadly, well, see the comments as to what happened to that, and in any case probably wouldn't be that useful as it would be Scottish law, which is based on Roman property law and not Common property law like I imagine the US is) and you might be able to force him to hand it over in court. Although delivery is not due to be done until the condition of delivering it to us is complete, maybe there is an arugment in there that as he has no apparent intention to deliver it to us, he's not dealing fairly with you and that condition should therefore be set aside.
Chad, you seem like a nice guy. And you're trying to help.
but I'm sorry, Ken's comments to you have a distinct smell of BS to me. I just can't trust anything he says, and I strongly believe his delay till next year has nothing to do with not being able to afford shipping and everything to do with holding it back on purpose out of spite.
I don't believe any of that stuff about his car either sorry. And I don't think he's using a cent of the cash he's earning from filming to finish our project off.
he has a LOOOOONG history of lying and he's trying to catch you in his web.
Sorry, Chad, you seem to have had a critical failure on your "resist persuasion" roll
No one has EVER asked for credit on this project other than what's already on the episodes just to be clear. Ken knows that. This hasn't just been about Ken not having the money or being able to work. It's been largely about his lying. Not turning over the footage to ZOE as he agreed over a year ago so they could prep it for DVD burning. The ball has been in Ken's court entirely for a year now. He has SIX projects to complete. SIX!! And we all know he has no money. We all know he's not actively working on these projects. We've begged, used mediators, bent over backwards to work with him. As well as good friends of his and impartial parties.
As I said in my email we are finished with Ken. His project as he has constantly maintained and his problem to sort out. Help has been offered MANY many times to no avail.
I think those backers who want to see legal solutions should do so if they see fit to go that route. And I think they have a right to "bitch" honestly. Ken squandered the opportunity he had here. And he squandered a lot of GOOD WILL. I think backers would have gladly pulled together to help him had he not treated everyone across the board so poorly. Now that he's feeling the heat? It's a lot of excuses and the victim card being played. He's always willing to listen to a sympathetic ear, trust me. But he never follows through on anything. Just look over the past year. Not ONE productive step forward. Not one. No blooper footage. No digital uploads (which would have cost zero) for those backers who only bought the digital downloads. ZIP.
So again, I'm done with Ken as far as jumping through his hoops. Should he ever, just ONCE demonstrate a willingness to move forward that doesn't involved excuses and asserting blame toward others it might be different. But I can tell you, two and half years dealing with this guy, talk in pointless when it comes to Ken.
But good luck with your efforts.
Getting out of the hole.
As they say on the Simpsons "Dig Up".
I think, we as backers, can start to do a few things to resolve the situation
1. Stop bothering ken about filming stuff, even if he is using equipment that is allegedly ours or bought with kickstarter funds. We can worry about that some other time. If Ken is using that equipment to get funds to pay to ship this stuff, then he's effectively using the equipment to make this projet happen.
If you want Ken to release anything then he's going to need money, that means he needs work. Bitching to the Atlanta Actors guild or putting pressure on his clients is counter-productive. Let him get on with it so he can eat and do our stuff after hours.
2. I think we backers now need to look at how we can ease Ken's load so he can earn money and work on this project
So I'm taking the initiative and asking you if you'd accept ditching the disc and taking a download instead, I've got a survey here to work out if this is a viable option: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/7GCRHR9
Unless Ken is willing to be frank with us about the current state of the project, I'm not sure what else we can do at this point. He has somewhere that will produce the product, and we can't come in with a financial rescue unless we know what is needed to rescue him.
I hope this spurs Ken into action.
This did result in a reply. I will not give the full details of the reply, as I think it has more detail than I need to put the public record right, but the summary is this:
In May, Ken had an alternative means of self-employed income that was reliant on a car being available. This vehicle was involved in an accident, Ken has not recieved compensation for this accident, but has lost access to the car.
This has left his finances more pressured than previously as he has lost that income and needs to replace the vehicle, as well as spending money to seek compensation for the accident. Kickstarter backers do not appear to be his only credators, he appears to have more mundane ones as well.
Ken was unable to give me the detail I sought as he was too busy dealing with all of that.
Following that last communication, I haven't recieved any emails from Ken, but the whole Louis situation happened.
I am therefore lead to the following conclusions:
1. It is likely, but no means assured, that the KODT: LAS product exists in some form that could be distributed to backers more or less immediately, at the very least digitally if not on Disc.
2. Ken appears to be attempting to put things right, but I fear from what I'm seeing the water is well far over his head. I think he needs a hand up/out, but being a proud man I'm not sure he knows how to ask.
3. This is also probably related to his pride, but I don't think Ken knows what to do to try and resolve the situation. He doesn't want to lose face, but he doesn't want to disapoint us either.
4. I don't think there is any point in backers trying to sue him. Is Ken in breach of contract? Probably. However, you can't squeeze blood out of a stone.
Okay, looks like the deadline has passed.
I don't take breaking a confidence lightly. However, I think given that Ken has given statements that are in my view, aparently misleading about the status of the project I think the public interest, the interest of my fellow backers, and the interest of other rights holders compel me to as Ken either will not, or due to his personal circumstances cannot put the record straight.
This is a whistleblowing action that has only occured after multiple private and public statements to Ken encouraging him to do set the record clean. As such, I think its clear there is no other alternative for me to act, except for let the public record stand with incorrect information.
I will limit my comments to what I think is the minimum required to correct the record, and inform my fellow backers as to what is going on. There is other information that I am aware of that I frankly think is either none of my fellow backers business and/or the disclosure of which is too invasive to Ken's personal situation.
On July 17, Ken issued his updates to this, and other kickstarters, with statements including:
"Sorry it has taken so long, there have been many sit backs in my life, and there are a few backers that actually follow and harass me online, effecting my ability to make a living and produce this product."
"I tried to produce the product without the knowledge of the true cost of production. Many companies producing 60 mins, of content kickstarter for $300k+. I have been spending my own time and money making-up for the under capitalization. "
These statements together imply that the current status of the KODT project is that it is not yet complete, that Ken needs more time to work on the product. It is these statements I believe to be misleading.
In the comments of the "The Harrasment continues" post, Ken posted this on July 25.
Ben - project is done. Waiting on Traveller to be finished up, so I can ship at the same time and save money thats I don't currently have.
This comment suggested a very different situation - that the project is indeed complete, but Ken is holding it back for other purposes.
Seeing this as a potential opportunity, I emailed both Jolly and Ken with a proposed solution. Since the problem apparently was Logistics, specifically looking at the cost of Shipping, I suggested that if Ken needed a better bulk discount to ship (as the leaked messages between him and Luke indicated that Ken was expecting from being able to ship along with Traveller) then would it be possible to have Kenzer do this at Ken's cost (with Dave Kenzer proposed by me as middleman rather than Jolly), and thus allow Ken to tap into their discount. In return for getting the KODT product out of the door, the same solution would also be used for Traveller. Additionally, Jolly would not seek, nor recieve any "credit" for this solution (as getting the credit for the project seems to be a big deal to Ken).
I won't reveal Jolly's answer, but his some of his reservations about the solution I think are in the comments already. If Jolly would like to say more thats up to him. What I will say is that I think his reservations (both public and private) are fair and well warranted, and I couldn't find any fault with them, and are based in business sense rather than simply animosity towards ken.
Ken however was very enthusiastic - he replied very quickly (5 minutes!) after I suggested it (and before Jolly did). He said he'd be happy with the outcome if that could be done.
As Ken did not express any reservations about having a product this lead me to believe that the completed KODT product exists in some form. I do not know whether it is burned to disc, or requires burning.
I also proposed three other solutions, which I present to the community now:
1. Ken's apparent plan A - Hold the KODT product until the Traveller product is ready, so it can all be shipped together. I made it very clear to ken if he was going to follow this route then he really needed to correct the public record and make it clear this is what he was doing and why.
I told him that many backers would probably be upset by this, but if he's clear, open and honest then we'll probably be more understanding than with the current way he is dealing with the situation.
2. The solution I dubbed the "Shadowrun Online" solution. For those of you unfamiliar with it, Shadowrun Online is another kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1964352341/shadowrun-online) for an online version of the popular Pen and Pencil RPG.
After the initial launch the developer hit a snag, and some business units had to declare bankruptcy, meaning that some post-launch products could not be supplied, and others would be delayed.
Rather than be ambigious, the Shadowrun Online team were open and honest about the situation, and negociated with the Shadowrun IP holders to offer backers a solution for backer rewards that could no longer be furfilled, swapping physical rewards like minitures for eBooks. Not only did the developer recieve a good response for these swaps, many backers offered to forgive the requirement completely.
How would that apply here? I'd suggest that Ken open up a survey asking us backers if those of us who are currently slated to recieve DVDs, Blu Rays and other physical rewards would accept digital versions instead.
This then reduces how much Ken needs to pay to get those products out the door, and helps this all draw to a close quicker.
3. "Round Two" or the "Hero-U" option. Hero-U is again another kickstarter project, this one a spirtual successor to Sierra's Quest for Glory series. It did run out of money, so they did come up with a second Kickstarter to allow the project to continue.
How would that apply here? Well, lets be frank, I don't think any of us are going to trust Ken with money directly.
The way it would work instead is that Ken would come up with a full and frank accounting of what it would take to get the product from its current state.
A second round of crowdsourcing would happen. However, not one penny of this would go to Ken directly. Instead, a mutually acceptable trustee would instead hold the funds, and release the funds directly when an invoice is recieved to whomever is actually doing the work.
Ken did suggest a third party that people can trust. I'll not name names, but I will say its a prominent name most backers would probably recognise.
That name offered to take over furfilment of the product, subject to costs etc, being acceptable and fundable by Ken. This name does already have businesses who do this sort of thing, and has links to others if it was out of their current ability to do.
That name reached out to other names at Kenzer, and all started to look good. So good I apologised for some of my behaviour here thinking we had a solution at hand. I offered to vouch for Ken that something was happening, and encouraged him to set the record straight.
I now believe I was counting eggs instead of hatched chickens.
Ken on the 26th of July promised a response the following day. Promise not met.
I chased him on the 1st of August asked:
Have you been able to sort a solution with (prominent name) and (person at Kenzer)?
Are the discs burned and ready for shipping/packing or do they need that too? Have you given any thought to a community manager to help take that off your plate?
Have you considered asking backers to accept digital rather than physical delivery?
Seeing no reply by the 5th of August, I emailed this:
Still haven’t heard anything Ken…
I think you at the very least need to correct the public record as to the status of the project.
This did get a response from Ken, but just to kick the can down the road. I was told he was dealing with a "serious problem" and he'd be in touch the following monday. He wasn't.
On the 12th, I emailed:
Still waiting to hear from you Ken,
Are you going to update the public record? I will have to consider whether or not I should if you can’t.
No reply. But in response to a kickstarter comment, I emailed this on the 14th
>>>Phil Marshall 2 days ago
>>>Six new demo reels from Ken's actor's co-op posted in the last week, shot on our equipment. Imagine if Ken put that effort into producing our DVDs.
Are you telling me the truth Ken, or have you been trying to kick the can down the road.
If I don’t have a response very soon, I will have to consider whether or not I have a duty to clear the public record for you.
Part 2 to come
More radio silence it seems.
If Ken hasn't put the public record right by Friday, I will let everyone know what I've been able to divine about the status of the project.
Another shameful display by mr. Whitman.
I have a feeling that this project has been reported so many times that pressing that button just gets ignored. So posting a very specific report on the issue took care of it. My guess is that if someone else used the same method I did to report the last update ... the whole update might be deleted.
Hmmmm ... Jolly, I did a generic report about Ken's late update to KS as it was outside their code of conduct and saw they didn't respond. So when Ken posted personal information about Louis I tried a different route. I went in and tried this route:
Support / My Pledge / Picked KODT / Pledging / Trouble with My Pledge /
and then typed
"Sorry ... could not find any way to report this. The Creator of the project is posting personal information and non code of conduct comments to the Comments section against one of the backers. Could not find any way to report it ... but the information should not be allowed to be listed. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/d20e/kodt-live-action-series/comments… and https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/d20e/kodt-live-action-series/comments…"
To my surprise I got an email back from KS that said:
"Kickstarter Support (Kickstarter)
Aug 17, 6:39 PM EDT
Thanks for getting in touch about this. If you spot something you’d like to bring to our attention, the easiest thing to do is use the “Report this project” button at the bottom of each project page. We have a dedicated Integrity team that reviews concerns about projects on the site, so they’ll look into this.
It’s a huge help to get reports from the community and we really appreciate you taking the time to let us know.
Then today this:
"Kickstarter Integrity (Kickstarter)
Aug 18, 11:06 AM EDT
HI Impact! Miniatures,
Thank you for writing in and notifying us of this activity. We will be taking the appropriate action with the creator and this backer.
Surprised they deleted Louis's comments as well and definitely didn't even include Louis in the initial report.
Which is curious - all the person attacks against me on the last update have been left untouched despite the reports.
Looks like they were deleted Chad. As well as Ken's replies to him. I guess KS did a scrub.
Louis, can you email that email chain to email@example.com ; it will help me decide whether or not I need to break a confidence in the public interest.
Ken, I think you have an obligation - now - today - to put the public record right about the current status of this project.
The response that notanotherdime has recorded you giving louis suggests you have no intention to do so.
If you have no intention to do so, and the recent emails I've had from you are dicking me around, then I will do it for you.
What did louis post, I don't see anything
Still waiting for you to reply to me Ken, I am beginning to wonder if the replies so far were a stalling tactic.
Cyberstalking a backer Ken? Really? When I thought you could not sink any lower.
Ken your comments only reinforce your actions (or lack thereof as regards to fulfilling any of your promises) and prove that you are indeed one of the most disgraceful people that I have ever had the displease to have to deal with in any form.
@Louis People in glass houses my brother. Please move on. Let Jolly fight his own fight here. You are not helping.
I do want to say publicly, as many disagreements that Jolly Blackburn has with me, I can not take away thats he is a good father, a good business man, funny as hell, and someone of GOOD MORAL CHARACTER.
Louis, not so much.
Random and irrelevant ad hominem attacks aside...
So you're saying that you had money to buy new recording equipment for new projects but still don't have the necessary funds to ship the DVD's that you've committed to providing?
Is this a bad time to ask about the single Pencil Dice I backed?
I am editing Spinward Traveller today. And look, I waisted 2 hrs on line dealing with made up stories and people who harass me. TA DA!
@Phil I make demos to help me stay alive, At $100 each (why so cheep, because Im helping actors get agents), I would have to make 6 a week to live min wage in Atlanta. Also, what is "our equipment"? I am shooting on "My equipment" I recently bought. Equipment I shot on two years ago is out of date, technology changes quickly, things break. Hope that clears things up.
I think 10 emails "IN 48 HOURS" from "Louis J Desy Jr" is considered Harassment.
Yep that's the Ken I know. Thanks for the upate, Louis.
Six new demo reels from Ken's actor's co-op posted in the last week, shot on our equipment. Imagine if Ken put that effort into producing our DVDs.
tick, tock, tick, tock... Another flip of the page on the calendar as we head into year 3.
To be clear ... the offer was more one of ... if the product was already shipped to the KODT people ... then I'd be willing to help Ken out with the $250 he lost in shipping by sending KODT out early when he started sending out Spinward. Just to get the KODT items which he claims are finished out the door right now.
To be clear ... I don't expect that offer to be considered because I am 1) pretty sure KODT is not finished and 2) Ken does not have the $3000 to start sending out KODT even since it is finished ... so it is more a theory post of ... in a perfect world I could see backers trying to help you out with that minor cost savings to not wait on Spinward.
IE ... I was not suggesting anyone should under any circumstances send Ken money ... but if this played out like a responsible company would handle it ... I could see that minor cost savings being recovered. I know I've had it happen on some of my KS projects where the postage rates went way up between KS end and shipping.
Ken's gone quiet after some early optimistic moves. I hope he will come back to me.
Impact, second rounds aren't unknown in kickstarters (Hero-U Rouge to Redemption did it), but in Ken's case I think we would have to do it in a situation where no funds ever went to Ken/D20, and instead were held "in trust" by someone we all could trust - Ken, Jolly, and the Backers - and that trustee pays the bills direct.
However we would need to have a full and frank assessment on where the project is - Is it at the "pick and pack" stage, or does he need the discs to be burned.
If the discs need to be burned, then I think Ken would be better off looking what the folks on the Shadowrun Online Kickstarter did when they had to declare one of their business units bankrupt/insolvent. They were no longer in a position to provide some of the promised returns (however, in their case, the core product had at least been released). They asked the backers if they'd be willing to exchange some goods for other goods (other licensors of the shadowrun RPG license stepped in to offer Downloads of sourcebooks, etc), and many backers offered in return to simply forgive those rewards completly, helping them get back on track to work on promised updates.
I think to get this moving Ken should actually ask backers if they'd be willing to exchange phyiscal furfilment for a digital one. I get the impression that these days most of us wouldnt be too bothered about having a disc, when we can just download it.
Something that Ken desperately needs though, and if anyone out there is considering a kickstarter in the future this kickstarter proves you need this too - is a community manager.
Someone who can take all of the comments, questions and emails off your plate, if only so you don't have to read the hatemail. Your Community manager can collate the questions so you're not having to reanswer all of the questions all over again, and can collate constructive feedback to help improve the product. They can spend their time doing all of that, so creatives like Ken can get on with what they'd rather be doing (and frankly are better at, Ken, your customer service skills leave a lot to be desired).
Yes, it is going to cost money, probably not as much as you might think though (I'm sure there are many communications students in universities/colleges who would gladly take on 10-20 hours of minimum wage work just to have that on their CV), but its worth it.
Honestly I would not advise anyone to give Ken money or contribute to some sort of fund to burn/mail the dvd unless that money went to a 3rd party and was handling all the details. Saddens me to say that but as someone said - all trust has been destroyed.
I honestly doubt that you'll find many people willing to give mr Whitman more money. It's my opinion that his lies, deceit and personal attacks vs mr Blackburn has destroyed the trust of the community. If someone else handled the shipping however, it might work.
The only way to end this sorrid mess seems to cut away mr Whitman from the process and let a professional part close the deal.
@Chad H. .... maybe ... but at this point I bet there would be folks who would give Ken the $250 to start shipping KODT now if he was capable of doing so. I'd contribute myself if we started getting word from Ken that they were shipping. If he started shipping the 482 Backers not in Spinward and we started hearing awards were arriving ... I bet he could get the $250 to offset that savings that he says he is delaying to get.
So its 5% of the total cost. Not insignificant I would say.
Very interesting. Thanks for posting.
Posted by D20 Entertainment on Jul 25 2016 on Update #136
"Ben - project is done. Waiting on Traveller to be finished up, so I can ship at the same time and save money thats I don't currently have."
A lot of people do not see the comments behind backer only updates.
So this post is to show 2 things:
1) The post by Ken stating that KODT is done
2) The math behind his claim of savings by delaying shipping.
If you take Spinward Traveller and KODT and only pull out the backers needing shipped a product, the numbers are:
940 Unique Backers (757 USA and 183 International)
59 Backers in both KODT and Spinward (54 USA and 5 International)
482 Backers in KODT not in Spinward (378 USA and 104 International)
399 Backers in Spinward not in KODT (325 USA and 74 International))
Using current postal rates, the savings delaying shipping would be between $250 and $300. The projected total cost of shipping both these KS projects will be between $5000 to $6000.
Doubt it will help, but I reported the project for abuse. :/
I can't really share much guys, but please hold fire for now. There is communication going on.
I see I am not alone in finding Ken's attempts to illicit sympathy (seriously?) and continue to libel Jolly Blackburn and the folks at Kenzer way out of line!
Ken, here is my take on this situation, as one who put $250 towards this project: You screwed up. You have two choices now; either make it right or run away from it and fail. Which will it be? We don't want to hear excuses, about petty drama in your life or anymore crying about someone being mean to you. You earned it and you've said far worse to others (I've read some of the exchanges). Man up, stop whining and be a man who either fixes his mistakes or have this follow you for the rest of your life! It's that simple. The people you let down will leave you alone once you deliver as promised. All the crying, complaining, etc. is only serving to turn people more against you, not against Jolly and Kenzer! Stop getting into cyber fights with people you disappointed and suck it up. Focus on the work that needs to be done, finish the project and it's over. I don't care about your problems (did I ever ask you to read about mine?), I only care what you deliver. How you make that happen is your problem and what you contracted to do. Now shut up and get on with it. You still have a chance to recover your reputation...don't **** it up!
I also agree with those commenting below. Please provide project and product updates only.
I echo David Bordelon's statement below. I expect updates about the product, not petty insults and smear campaigns.