For good or for ill, musicians, artists, filmmakers, and other creative types have turned to Kickstarter
to help make their dreams become a reality. By now you should know the drill with the site and its model, but if not, I recommend hitting up the Kickstarter FAQ
page for the details.
You may have qualms with this type of digital donation system, as local singer/songwriter Kasey Anderson does
, or you may think it's the bee's knees. But, as my editor put it: "You can agree or disagree with this kind of model, but it's happening and we ought to be paying attention to it."
So, each Friday we will present you with a different Kickstarter project, give you the particulars, and use our editorial judgement to say whether we love or hate it, and to predict whether it's going to end up being fully funded or not. Whether you want to donate to the project or not is entirely up to you.
Also, if you want to hip us to a project that you think should be highlighted here, e-mail us at email@example.com.
The project: Heaven Adores You (an elliott smith project)
Who's behind the project? Filmmaker (and Portland State grad) Nickolas Rossi, producer JT Gurzi, and producer/editor Kevin Barker
Why do they want your money? The above trio are looking to put together a film that is "a celebration of Elliott Smith, his contributions to the music industry and exploration of his posthumous influence on the artistic endeavors of those within the global community."
What are they offering? Depending upon the size of your contribution, you'll get either a simple mention of thanks in the credits to a co-producer credit. They will also throw in one or multiple DVD copies of the film in relation to the amount of your pledge.
How much are they asking for? Their goal is $12,500 [which they achieved today].
Will they be fully funded? Looks like they did! The organizers state outright that this will be about "the impact that [Smith] had on his fans and other musicians today," not about tracking Smith's life and work in any strict biographical sense. It's an interesting take, but one we're a little surprised people have been blown away by. Too, there isn't really any indication of what musicians are participating in this project.
Our final assessment I've been having a hard time getting the root of what purpose this documentary is going to serve. The biographical documentary on the life of Elliott Smith has already been made (2009's Searching For Elliott Smith), and he's already received the tribute album treatment at least three times over. Not to mention the fact that Smith's entire recorded output is available for mass consumption. What new insights are they going to offer? What are fans going to gain by listening to an hour or more of songs and musicians "influenced" by Smith that we wouldn't be able to earn by putting our copy of Roman Candle on the turntable? I'm ready and willing to be proven wrong on this front, but that won't potentially happen until the finished product is in my hands. And I'd much rather take my chances with the cost of rental fees than dropping $25 or more on something I'm not going to be able to enjoy until January of 2013 at the earliest.