Tuesday, January 7, 2014

On Filming for Kickstarter

Another neat thing about Kickstarter is how amazingly often projects get funded. If you look at the statistics, you’ll see that a whopping 50% of projects with video presentations get funded vs. the 30% without. Why this big difference? Well, Kickstarter is based on the idea that the backers are the final arbiter. A video, of course, is the closest the internet can get to looking someone in the eye. People are remarkably good at 'reading' another person, and a video is the best way to give them that opportunity.

We spent a good full day mid December filming content for our video which we are even now wrangling into a shape that's fit for light. Let me tell you, it is harder than I thought it would be. I normally consider myself a pretty confident and eloquent fellow, but in front of the lens, under the lights? Suddenly I found myself incapable of speaking in complete sentences. I have started to call the area immediately in front of the camera the “Zone of Incompetence.”

How we want to appear on screen.

How we actually appear 99% of the time.

I don’t know if I learned any hot tips for the camera shy, but remembering that you’re having a conversation with the camera helped a lot. Having someone behind the camera firing questions at you, prompting you for talking points was far more effective than reading from the script, too: people are also really good at knowing when you’re giving canned responses. I have a new found respect for actors, politicians, and just about anyone in the public eye. It isn’t easy. But the things most worth doing rarely are!

I expect we’ll have plenty of material for the blooper reel. All that to say, hopefully the awesomeness of the minis will let them speak for themselves (because we're clearly not awesome at speaking for them!)

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