Get Lamp, Kickstarter Moviemaking, and so forth.

There's a bit of a fluff going on about 'big name' movie makers taking known properties and going to kickstarter with them. On the one hand i get the grouchiness  Between Zach Braff and the whole Veronica Mars things I can see where people would think 'The Industry' is now trying to double dip by using fans to spend their money instead of the studios own money on a project then reap more profits when it's a commercial product, often times from the same fans that donated in the first place. Also having Big Names around would lessen the visibility of other projects from obscure and or unknown people that can't shop around.

Thing is I can see where Veronica Mars and 'Wish I was Here' could use Kickstarer in spite of being Names that have a following. Apparently both were shopped around in the traditional manner, schmoozing, pitching, and came up empty. Of course with Zach Biff it gets more complicated in that his project now has commercial support, so my first thought is now that it has a traditional backer close the kickstarter down and thank the fans for showing interest.  Then again what if you want your project to be Yours instead of having to make changes to appease studio backers that you know will drastically alter what you want til it's not something you would recognize?

Plus Biff put up a bunch of his own money. Whoopie so did Kevin Costner for Open Range and it got studio backing... Eventually. Anyway if he's getting money to do things the way he wants cancel the kickstarter and add a list of all the would-be backers in the credit with a note stating they're the reason he got enough exposure to get 'real' backing and allowed to go the direction he wanted.


Where does Get Lamp fit into all this? For those that don't know Get Lamp is Jason Scott's documentary dealing with the Text Adventure genre of games (Zork, Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Colossal Cave, and so forth.) Jason Scott is not a new guy to all this. He's been running a site called textfiles.com for Years and has been trying to preserve all sorts of related memories, text dumps, and interesting tidbits from the 70's, 80's and so forth since we're slowly losing that generation and t's perspective on computing.

Yes this comes with the Get Lamp DVD
Sadly the coins are nolonger available and there's only, as of a couple weeks ago, a thousand copies left (Pretty sure there will be another run when enough orders have been made. Plus worst case there's always the option to Download.) Wait what? Yes Jason Scott's cool with people downloading his material. All of the interviews are up on Archive.org. His one complaint to pirates when they posted Get Lamp was they got the chapters out of order.

Why is this documentary important? Because Jason Scott, as obscure as he might be to mainstream circles, is actually apparently a Big Name in parts of the web. At the very least he's done things like help get the source code to the prince of Persia (the original apple][ source complete with how the RW18 copy protection system worked) onto github. This matters because Jason Scott Knows People. He's progressed past his kickstarter where he managed to raise money to just goof off for a few months til he could figure out what to do with himself long term. Yet even now. Years after the BBS Documentery he still needs to go to Kickstarter to get funded for his DEFCON Documentary. That kickstarter isn't like the Zach kickstarter in that it didn't quadruple it's goal. He barely got above his goal (yes eighteen thousand dollars is barely when your original budget projection is $100 000. You have to have a tight budget, plus there's the cost of getting the rewards out to backers.)

People like Jason Scott need kickstarter. He isn't going to get his projects funded any other way. Yes he works for archive.org and he does talks at Derbycon, DEFCON, and a few other -cons but that's just part of his job and as much as he probably loves doing it since he is huge into preservation and spreading the word on why archiving is important it doesn't cover for other projects.
Kickstarter ends June 1st. Give them Money.

And then there are people that don't even have Jason Scott's level of fame trying to make a dent in the world with products of their own. People can get interestingly creative with their designs, but since they are No Names they can't get the sort of backing they want unless you get an investor that is going to want to take ownership of whatever you want and after you get your payout your part in the process is over.

I'm all for No Names and Maybes getting empowered since not everything comes from the Big Studio or Giant Corporation. The lone inventor and garage tinkerer are not dead. Sure you won't build the next home PC in a garage... well not from scratch anyway there's some awesome stuff being done for or because of the Raspberry Pi.

I don't want Kickstarter to become a mining pit to squeeze money out of people's pockets by the Big Guys. However i can see why otherwiseKnown People would want to go crowdsource for funds instead of go through traditional backers. When you create something you want to keep the rights to it and retain control. Take me for instance. I could've gone shopping around for my book ideas, sold a few scripts, and I would still ike to do this after I get over my different hangups and improve. However i'd also like to have a few things happen that aren't standard (IE having non-commercial attributed use of my works be absolutely OK and kosher.)  Yes TOR does creative commons licensing, but in all fairness? i don't feel I'm ready or publishable by mainstream sources. But that's a story for another day isn't it?

I'm going to leave off with a little youtube going on about ARchive Team and what they do.
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