November 29, 2017

Last Chance to Enter Your Backer-Influenced Project to Kickstarter's New Commissions

Bleach Blonde Baby
Do you have a film that would benefit from some serious audience participation?

In the past, you may have offered a crowdfunding perk that involved input from backers. Name in the credits? Easy. Role in the film? Maybe. Entire film somehow engineered with ideas and input from backers? Whoa! That's the idea that Kickstarter is pushing in Commissions.

From Kickstarter:

Personalized rock songs, customized storybooks, and tweets transformed into comic strips. These are just a few of the rewards we’ve seen emphasizing the spirit of backer-creator collaboration that’s always been at the heart of Kickstarter. Now, we’re putting this type of collaboration front and center with Commissions, an open call for projects that invite backers into the creative process. You could make drawings based on your backers’ dreams, write personalized poems, or create custom ceramics incorporating your backers’ favorite colors. It’s a way to push your practice further, and to make something new that couldn’t exist without your backers’ input.

Is this different than just adding a perk in a regular campaign that offers a personalized reward? It doesn't have to be. Kickstarter gives an example of a previous campaign for a music video where Titanic Sinclair offered a $5,000 reward to create a 5-minute documentary about the backer. That’s the type of thing the Commissions is riffing off – except here, the entire project could be built around the collaboration between the backers and you. Personally, I think it’d be cool to see a short film where backers got to pick the plot points, Mad Libs style. Or where backers play all the roles, either in person or via video chat. (You can surely think up a plot development for that one, right?)

Kickstarter's film example is the successful campaign by Titanic Sinclair.

Take a look at a few of the live Commissions projects to get some more ideas. So far, there's a lot of art and music-related projects, with only a handful of videos. They all seem to be fairing quite well in the contributions department.

Caveat? To get in on the ground floor of the new Kickstarter initiative, you'll need submit by Thursday, November 30.

According to Kickstarter, here’s what you have to do:

  • Launch a Kickstarter campaign by Thursday, November 30
  • Use “Commissions” in the title and email the live project to commissions@kickstarter.com
  • Kickstarer will share your project
  • If your campaign is successful, use your Kickstarter survey tool to collect input from your backers
  • Make a cool, collaborative film!

If submitted by the deadline, your project will be featured on Kickstarter with a Commissions tag and badge. Some of the projects will even be featured on the landing page, KSR newsletter, and social media. That’s a definite perk, because if you’ve used Kickstarter before, you know how valuable getting extra eyeballs can be to the success of a campaign.

If you don’t have a project quite ready to launch, it should still be interesting to see how the open call plays out. It’s certainly been intriguing to watch new platforms like Patreon grow, which emphasizes a commissioning aspect to ongoing artists’ work.

Anyone have a project launched as a Kickstarter Commission? Share it in the comments so we can see how it turns out!      

Featured image: Still from upcoming 'Bleach Blonde Baby' video, an inspiration for Kickstarter Commissions.

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