2:03 pm Aug. 30, 2012
Since the crowd-funding platform Kickstarter launched on April 28, 2009, the site has hosted over 8,000 projects based in New York City.
More than 4,500 of these projects have successfully reached their fundraising goals—which means around 3,500 have not.
From time to time we'll take a look at local projects still trying to make it on Kickstarter, starting today with four quirky projects that look cool to us. If a customizable watch band can get $10,266,846 in 30 days, surely these guys can pull through, right?
In advance of the 40th anniversary of the game in 2014, the Brooklyn-based production companies Iconoscope Films and Westcope Films are trying to create the definitive chronicle of D & D, from its lowly origins in a Lake Geneva, Wis. basement to its world-changing influence on the international gaming community.
“Any computer game you play, any role-playing game you play, any online profile you fill out, have their elements and DNA rooted in Dungeons & Dragons,” the creators write in the pitch. “Imagine 'The Social Network,' the creation of Facebook, only no one gets rich.”
The project has received endorsements from former D & D addicts like Ta-Nehisi Coates, a senior for The Atlantic, and David Ewalt, a senior editor at Forbes and author of Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons and Dragons and the People Who Play It. The creators are asking for a lot: $150,000 in order to shoot the film, though they add that $500,000 will be required in order to finish it. But is that really so much compared to the $3,429,236 raised last weekend for these fantasy figurines, which can be used to play D&D?
Backers of the documentary have given $34,000 so far, with 18 days to go. Kickstarter’s website notes that, of projects that received 20 percent of their goal, 82 percent were successfully funded. And this one has received 22 percent of its goal.
Or, if you prefer, BERO: This is an open-source robot that can be wirelessly controlled through Bluetooth on an Android device—though, if successful, the developers plan to introduce an iPhone capability as well.
Marketed as “The Ultimate Smartphone Companion,” the plastic four-inch robots are voice activated and capable of reacting to smartphone notifications. They come with infrared transmitters that enable them to detect obstacles 3 to 5 inches away. They are also capable of playing WAV audio files through onboard speakers and amplifiers, and come with LED eyes headphones that light up when music is played.
The two men behind Reality Robots Limited were inspired to create the devices after seeing Google Bug Droids at Make Magazine’s annual geek extravaganza Maker Faire. With 31 days to go, backers have contributed over $10,000 toward the $38,900 pledge goal.
This one-hour theatrical show combines live performances with stop-motion animation. Scheduled to premier at the Clemente Soto Velez Theater in Manhattan in February, the show “examines the technological paradoxes of modern and archaic human life,” according to the pitch.
The project's campaign video provides a kind of object lesson in how to ask for cash on Kickstarter. Rather than resort to the common if frequently cringe-inducing strategy of young entrepreneurs filming themselves as they earnestly beg for money, two stoic, bearded puppets appear on a stage, one of whom heckles the other: “Ask for money, man.”
Prior to launching their campaign, Vuk Metevski and Gökçen Ergene—who make up the collaborative theater, dance, film and animation collaborative Kalpazan—had already raised $27,500 toward animation and production costs.
So what's the money for? Not every New Yorker realizes how unbelievably expensive it is to rehearse live performance here. Plenty of plays never get off the ground just because the rent and insurance on running a rehearsal put it out of reach. Kalpazan, for instance, needs another $7,500 to cover the costs of rehearsals. (They've pulled in over two grand with 21 days remaining.)
This gritty feature documentary about the underground world of bike messengers should float some New Yorkers' boats. Daniel Leeb, the founder of Cinecycle, a film production company in Brooklyn, conceived the idea for the film 10 years ago. He has been documenting the sweaty subculture ever since.
The campaign has raised over $10,000, but it’s still about $49,000 short of its ambitious $60,000 goal, which they have to reach by tomorrow. Leeb calls the sum the absolute minimum required to bring the film to completion by November. Are you the one to swoop in and save it?
More by this author:
- John Holmstrom talks about founding and editing 'Punk,' the chronicle of late-'70s New York
- Ups and downs of the Great New York City Chicken Frenzy