Cracking the K-nut

Attention screenwriters: we added a fantastic new backer reward for the Kickstarter campaign! Now, at the $1000 donation level, Joan and I will do a full evaluation of one of your screenplays. Both of us are experienced readers for competitions, and both of us have had more than a few of our own scripts torn apart by some of the best analysts out there. More details are on our project site.


It’s something I felt could add value to this funny business of asking people for money. If we offer a real service as a benefit for your supporting My Shanghai, then the perk is suddenly more than a token. I can’t tell you how much time I spent agonizing over what to offer with each donation category. T-shirts? You have to deal with sizes. Mugs? Pretty heavy to ship, though I want one. Posters? We have to print posters at some point, but you need mailing tubes…

Hats are essential. One size fits all, easy to mail, and I just happen to like hats. I’m waiting for the final design, a beautiful Chinese seal that my friend Dan Lucas is designing and carving with traditional Chinese characters. It’s gonna look sharp, red on a black hat. You’ll see the seal on the poster too… as soon as we get posters…

So, Kickstarter. It can be a hard nut to crack. Many thanks to everyone who has donated so far. A lot of people still don’t know about Kickstarter, or they want to think about donating and it slips their mind. Studio System News has a good article comparing Kickstarter to a few other crowdfunding sites. I explain that it’s like pledging to PBS, only there’s no bank of phones behind me and there’s no money in front of me if we don’t reach our goal of $20,000 by June 1. Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing deal.

Now, as I’m writing, a mouse has run between the piano and a big chair three or four times. Each time I get up and move the humane mousetrap where he can get a sniff of the peanut butter inside. I love peanut butter so I don’t know why he didn’t run in there immediately. Should I leave it undisturbed and wait, or change out the peanut butter for something else more enticing? Some other nut, perhaps? Would he like a t-shirt?

Maybe I should just get out the camera and put him in the movie. Ah! There he goes, back under the piano…


© 2013 First Straw Films

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