Announcing Kickstarter Stretch Goal: $60,000

Yesterday, two weeks almost to the minute after launching our Kickstarter campaign, we reached our initial fundraising goal (actually exceeded it by a nice margin, thanks to a $5,000 pledge!).

This morning we rolled out our “Stretch Goal” of $60,000.

The way Kickstarter works is that the initial sum is all-or-nothing, meaning that at the end of the campaign, anything shy of $27,000 would be lost. Now that we’ve reached that number, there is no risk of losing our funding. Because of that initial risk, we set our goal at the bare minimum we would need to return to Nepal in January 2013 to complete filming.

But two really important things happened in the course of this Kickstarter campaign:

  1. We learned we aren’t the only ones who think this is an important and timely film–Kickstarter screened our little trailer well over 3000 times (20% of those were completed, which is a great metric!), 2100 people “Liked” the KS page on Facebook, and feedback from audiences at our screenings just floored us. We are getting traction, in a big, and growing way. And from 100% grassroots marketing efforts.
  2. We learned we are to be awarded a (brand name) grant, which we can’t name or really even talk about yet, but which is a HUGE validation of our efforts. It also puts us in the company of films with much larger budgets than ours.

Until now, Amy and I have been doing this thing by basically just inventing it out of whole cloth. Not really KNOWING there was going to be a ‘market’ for it. But the great upwelling of support and the grant have convinced us that we ┬ácan–and indeed MUST–do this film on a higher level than the bare minimum.

Making documentaries is expensive. We have tapped out our industry friends for favors, and need to start paying to get things done. We need to have all our footage translated professionally. We need to hire a super talented editor (Amy is a great editor, but we’re too close to this project to do it truly right). We will need to have professional color correction and sound design. We will need studio time to map out and archive all our footage. There is so much to do!

$60,000 is a lot of money, but when you start talking about what it costs to produce and market a quality feature documentary it begins to look a lot more modest. Our footprint is small, and the feedback we’ve gotten about our budget is that it’s modest but doable.

We are SO excited to get back to work making this film!

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