Monday, 29 February 2016

How and what can you learn from top Kickstarter Videos

What and why? Kickstarter made a huge leap into project funding. Frankly speaking, it made a revolution. Top 100+ projects have raised 1 million USD in total. Is there a link between them? In fact yes. What they did is a video that pumped their project funding. They sold a product that didn’t exist then. Since then Kickstarter made video an project essential element

How to build trust

If someone is driven by the project he backs it up with his funds (thus becomes a backer).  To do so he or she needs to begin trusting that the video creator can and will deliver the promises. 
You can and will benefit from Kickstarter if and when someone believes what you have to say. 
What works? Try to make an expert or a trendsetter to feature in your video or even promote it.
Check Pono Music for instance. A bunch of famed music maker stroll on the music player quality. Just imagine yourself in a viewer’s seat? Will you not believe multilateral music stars? But those of us who is not chatting over with Sir Mick over a cup of tea? 
Remember Pebble iPhone? The creators mentioned their previous utterly successful Blackberry watch (they had a living proof). Pebble raised over 1 million in the first run. And twice as much in the 2nd Kickstarter campaign with much more elaborated video.

Be personal

Before trusting an idea (project or smth) your viewer has to trust you. Tell your audience about yourself. But don’t be a party crasher. You don’t have to read your unabridged autobiography out loud. One phrase will do. Just your relation to the project. A first impression. The second impression is built on the way you describe your project.
Don’t forget your sense of humor.  Kickstarter audience (as a rule) adores good laugh. But not every project can be humored. Health, money and beauty and their next of kin bear no humor.

Some ideas however are fruitless without humor. Imagine if a card game Exploding Kittens was presented seriously.  What a backer would expect? Killing cutie little fluffs for real?

Don’t underestimate a proper product display

Do you know which Kickstarter project raised over 75 million USD for the development? Well, it was a video game. A Space simulation called StarCitizen.  The said record-breaking sum was collected by March 18th 2015. The crowd funding campaign was pulled by a video. It showed the images of the gameplay and game universe. If you donated USD 1K+ you received a better spacecraft. And boy the backers did!
Another example was with the Coolest Cooler (multi0functional cooler). A video depicted the world without such a device.
Simple Story Videos did a film (an explainer video) on NuDock. To do so they showed simple everyday incidents EVERYONE experiences. The first Indiegogo (another crowd funding platform) doubled their goal. That happened on the very first day! 
You should demonstrate clearly what your product is intended to do. But don’t dig deep with the details else the audience gets frustrated and bored. Please remember that the total timing would not exceed a 5 minute video. Convince your viewers don’t be a characteristics Wikipedia.

Why should I back your project? What do I get?

Believe it or not, you should clearly state what your backers receive as their funding reward. Even a super brand with super fans might aim at high tier reward to catch. 

Always remember (and demonstrate that freely):  your project would never exist without their support. Tell them, if the Kickstarter message doesn’t get through, no shop or e-shop ever sees this product.  You can tell the people what their money will be used for. How it improves the product quality. Zach Braff launched a Kickstarter campaign for his movie Wish I was here so that he had artistic control to make a movie how HE WANTED TO. That worked like charm!


Tell your viewers how you came up with an idea. Don’t say My idea will make ME RICH. It’s no good. The majority sticks with I always wanted this product but it wasn’t there so I decided to make one on my own.  But  there’s one better option. You can try to state that there’s a need for this and that at present, no product existing can satisfy it but yours can.

Making your video

OK, you are ready to make a really working video for Kickstarter. But how can this be done?
First you can try to shoot one yourself. Second - hire a professional studio (Prime Cut, for instance). If you are ready to try on your own be aware of:
the video equipment and corresponding software huge cost;
time consumed in learning how-to;
the resulting video might be miles away from your expectations.
Your Kickstarter project video is the first thing your audience sees. You bet you need to make an impression. To do so the best way would be to hire a professional video production team (see the examples at prime

Sunday, 28 February 2016

100 numbers on Kickstarter

The First 100,000 Funded Kickstarter Projects in 100 Numbers

Kickstarter is the world famous crowd funding platform numero 1. Lately they celebrated their successfully funded 100K projects. Here's how they got that far

On February, 7th, 2016  Kickstarter (a renowned project crowd funding company has declared that the 100000th project has been successfully funded via the platform. 
It became a photography project dedicated to the Falkland war Falkland/Malvinas: One War, all Wars

Some 7 years ago the platform did not exist at all and now Adriana Groisman (the photographer in charge of the said project) and her 99 999 idea-driven soul-mates before her was able to reach the audience’s hearts and purses.
The whole Kickstarter venture was and still is a living proof of the creativity existing in the world as we know it.  We took the liberty of collecting some facts on the crowd funding and Kickstarter as the parent of such..

1. Between  April 28, 2009  and February 7, 2016 - 100 000 projects were successfully launched and finished 

2. The total number of categories for theses projects (Architecture to Zines) equals 165
3. First hundred successfully funded projects were processed within 121 days

4. The last hundred successful fundings were performed in 3 days

5. 86101 innovators launched these 100 000 successful projects

6. 8539 creators launched more than 1 successful project on Kickstarter

7.  Top number of successful projects per creator was 94

8. 40 current Kickstarter employees were successful in launching their own projects

9. 70, 58 % successful creators also took part in someone else’s project funding 

10. 803 creators donated more money on other Kickstarter venues than they had received for their ones 

11. One project received top international support. The donations were performed from 169 countries

12. The average distance between a project location and it’s backer equals 2317.09 miles

13. 100 000 projects were funded by only 9,088,422 people

14. 1,037,723 project updates were provided within these 100 000 projects

15. One project was updated 301 times - the peak amount of updates

16. The most popular project category is Music - it received 22 133 projects

17. 15 Kickstarter-funded albums/compositions/performances ranging from 
Rhythm & Blues to Latin Jazz have been nominated for a Grammy

18. 4 Kickstarters won a Grammy

19. Kickstarter-funded album has reached 7th out of 200 on the Billboard chart

20. 6.22 8* 10^- 8 meters long was  DNA fragment stretched to a full length. It was used in Music of the Spheres featuring music recorded onto DNA molecule

21. One project was a documentary chronicle about the search for a world’s loneliest whale. It produced the highest pitch of 52 Hz

22. The first emoji book acquired by the Library of Congress lists 1339 spouting whale appearances 

23. 1 million live oysters are needed for the New York Harbor 100 acres of oyster reefs restoration project

24. 69  ms long rebar built for a Living Sea Sculpture in an underwater museum in the Caribbean later becoming a coral refuge.

25. Almost 586 successfully funded projects were dedicated to sculpture (all the way from Ai Weiwei’s “Tree” installation to an award-winning full-body 
reconstruction of a dryptosaurus

26. 12,8% of these 586  projects that were created for Burning Man

27. Wafaa Bilal will use 1000 empty white books for an installation dedicated to the University of Baghdad’ library restoration project 

28. There are 5300 Baghdad’s FIKRA Hackerspace members. This group was 
inspired by the Global Entrepreneurship and Maker Space Initiative project

29. 585 backers were driven by the project set by the Children’s Museum of 
Pittsburgh regarding seven makerspaces for kids

30. 3200 students performed the experiments in ping-pong-ball satellites at the height of 100,000 feet above Earth

31. Smithsonian conserves (it was their project) Neil Armstrongs’s spacesuit. It consists of 21 layers.

32. The Mini Musem Exhibition showcases space objects. Their project focused on eight asteroids they preserve (all from Vesta asteroid. Their approximate age is 4,5 billion years

33. The Planetary Society devised a revolutionary spacecraft on solar energy.  Their project was a testing one: can sunlight power be used in solar sailing. The speed of this craft was set as 150 thousand mph.

34. 38,5 grams is the Light Phone (the world smallest cell-phone as big as a 
credit card). 

35. There is a Canadian project aiming at resurrecting Nelvana of the Northern Lights comics series (previously out of print for 67 years!) 

36. 3521 Comics projects were funded (including comic books, comic-cons, webcomics, anthologies, and graphic novels). These included each and everything from Veronica Berns’ doctoral thesis (state chemistry in the form of a comics book) up to Tom Tomorrow’s This Modern World 25th anniversary compilation.

37. Bill Plympton hand drew 40 000 frames for the project Cheatin (animated feature)

38. Manhattan Lower East Side Npop-up wedding chapel officiated 136 marriages

39. 1 backer married 1 project creator (a certified fact)

40. Tahir Hemphill set a searchable hip-hop lyrics database. It says that there are 48414 songs containing the word Love

41. 1359 backers donated for Marina Abramovic hug project

42. 1334 projects are exploring the heart issues in a creative way

43. 758 projects are exploring the mind issues in a creative way

44. OpenWorm (aimed at brain research and computational neuroscience) built a digital organism brain with 302 neurons

45. 71 typefaces (fonts) were created within Kickstarter (from Aerial Bold with giant letters all the way to Sigmund Freud’s handwriting inspired one

46. Kickstarter-funded psychological horror film The Babadook was rated 98% (Tomatometer) on the trusted Rotten Tomatoes

47. In total 48 community gardens were saved/brought to life from Bloomington to Garden City

48. 200 accessible fruit trees are planted in the Endless Orchard and Urban Fruit Trail (located in California)

49. The threatened rainforest reserves occupies the territory of 4874 square km. This area is filled with solar-powered listening devices detecting  llegal logging and poaching sound profiles

50. 10000 classrooms for 3-9 year old kids in LeVar Burton, Reading Rainbow is funded with various literacy tools by 105,857 people

51. For the project The Oldest Living Things in the World Rachel Sussman photographed  400-600K old  Siberian actinobacteria. 

52. The documentary about seniors participating at the annual Ultra Senior Tennis National Championships was filming 80-84 year olders. 

53. The Portals (a network of gold-painted shipping containers with video and audio) connected 10000 complete strangers (coming from such distant spots as Havana Vs Kabul).

54. Mine Kafon, the wind-powered minesweeper was designed to disarm 5-7 million undetonated landmines left in Afghanistan

55. MoMA’s collection of modern and contemporary art took 4 Kickstarter projects for their exhibitions 

56. The Museum of Food and Drink exhibits The Puffing Gun (a machine puffs cereal explosively) is weighing 3200 pounds

57. Bayeté Ross Smith composed  the 15-feet high «Got the Power: Minnesota," a site-specific musical sculpture and soundscape out of 80 vintage boom boxes

58. Olafur Eliasson devised the solar-powered Little Sun Charge to help 1 billion 100 million people worldwide without electricity access.

59. Public Labs project to make anyone aware of contaminants in their environment inspired 7417 persons to DIY the spectrometers

60. 910 people were inspired (and became backers of Kaki King’s music/light experience “The Neck is the Bridge to the Body”

61. 275 hours were shot to produce “Flex Is Kings”  (a documentary abut the urban dance Flexing

62. 11 Kickstarter projects were nominated for an Oscar

63. I film was actually awarded an Oscar

64. 16 Oscars were the creators of successfully funded projects

65. 16 trash trucks participated in a trash-truck ballet (set in the City of Austin)

66. 307393 viewers had seen the 23 hour live Ballet Marathon (World Ballet Day Live) featuring the San Francisco Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Royal Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, and Australian Ballet

67. Start Crap Maethod, a dance venue featured 480 minutes of pure adrenalin

68. Cards Against Humanity  received 28986 5 star reviews on Amazon

69. The Michelin-chef led pop-up restaurant What Happens When lasted for 9 months

70. Among 25 Best Inventions of the Year  by  TIME (2013 -2015) 20% were  successful Kickstarter projects

71. Molly Dilworth covered 50 000 square feet with painting on Times Square for her project Cool Water, Hot Island

72. 50 people are cast and crew of We Players, the performance of “Hamlet on Alcatraz,” the first-ever artistic residency on the former prison island

73. 274 Shakespeare-inspired projects were funded

74. 170 Cthulhu-inspired projects  were funded

75. 1 Shakespeare vs. Cthulhu projects was funded

76. 197 masks were created to illustrate Jorge Luis Borges' classic The Book of Imaginary Beings

77. The sea monster depicted on Calamityware  (a Blue Willow-patterned porcelain dinner plates) was fused at 1500 degrees

78. It took 23 days for the artists to travel from Vancouver to Shanghai on board of an innovative cargo ship-based residency

79. 2633 Canadian projects were successfully funded on Kickstarter (from Shane Koyczan’s book “A Bruise On Light,” to the first-person survival game  “The Long Dark,” set in the Northern Wilderness

80. Kickstarter backers funded 150 video-games that can be played on Steam. Now!

81. 3742 square miles (an area of 18 real-world cities) were mapped in 8-bit (to make it look like old video games)

82. 981 RPG games were funded (including a cowboy-themed steampunk adventure, or out-of-control robots taking over Mars

83. A 15 -foot tall robot (weighing 12350 pounds) was created  to participate in the world’s first giant robot duel (with 2 people inside)

84. Exactly 219 times"robot" replaces the "n-word" in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Robotic Edition, a satirical remix of Twain’s classic published to protest censorships

85. Wordnik was created to return 1000000 English words to the major language dictionaries

86. The Noun Project visualized and catalogued 150 000 words (it is the icon library anyone can understand)

87. 26 endangered alphabets were tracked down and preserved through hand-carved works of art

88. Lenka Clayton and Michael Crowe hand-wrote 2132 mysterious letters to perfect strangers to connect everyone in the world

89. The same Lenka and Michael still need to write 7,400,345,312 letters 

90. 761  World Music projects were funded — compilation inspired by endangered South American bird songs, to a compilation of music collected from cellphone memory cards in the Saharan desert

91. 15 defunct payphones were transformed into public art as part of the Pay Phone Revival Project (on yje territory interventions across East Austin

92. 30-40 % of hives beekeepers lose annually (per The Beez Kneez, a Twin Cities-based organization working to “Revive the Hive”)

93. 92 lost lives are counted in the experimental criminal justice reporting site Homicide Watch DC, working to change the way crime is covered

94. Copper Canyon Press discovered and intents to publish Chilean poet and Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda’ 20 lost poems

95. There will be a documentary praising 86 years of the poet, civil rights activist, and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, Dr. Maya Angelou

96. 128 creative works and cultural artifacts will be preserved, restored, remastered, or reprinted thanks to Kickstarter backers (from the Joaquin Orellana masterpieces to the President Lincoln’s 1830s horsehair-upholstered sofa

97. You can watch (on iTunes)  277 Kickstarter-backed films (from Spike Lee’s “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus,” to “Our Nixon,” the three White House aides archival documentary)

98. A film of white paint drying on a wall meant to encourage a censorship public dialogue lasts for 607 minutes

99. The first-ever FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) machine submitted 2217 requests to more than 1,000 government agencies.

100. 100% creators enjoyed creative freedom bringing new ideas to life with a community of supporters — building a more inspired, diverse, and creative world in the process

Thursday, 25 February 2016

How to get ready for an interview

Describe your project/idea to a friend

Struggling to understand what to tell about in your first video? Picture explaining your project to a friend. What to say? What might they ask you? How to make them believe you’re serious, prepared, and capable of doing something great?

Here’s a quick list of questions that might help:

  • Who are you? (Make a personal introduction - Introduce yourself, your team. Describe any similar finished projects (examples always help)
  • Describe your idea. The more details, the better (but don’t overflow the details). Use whatever sketches, samples, prototypes you’ve got. These are needed to rise your backers and share your excitement.
  • Where did your idea/project come from? 
  • Explain how you came up with the idea? What problem are you solving? How much were you able to accomplish? 
  • History helps your audience understand you and your job.
  • Why is your project unique? What is the difference with the same projects? 
  • Is there any plan? Do you have  a schedule? A timeline should be clear so that the backers know what to expect.
  • What’s your budget/the total project cost? If you transparent the people get the idea and that you know what to do and that you can spend funds reasonably and wisely.
  • Why care? Why are you passionate? Why are you committed?


  • Track your speech timing (not more than 1-2 minutes)
  • Record your speech with a voice-recorder
  • Your viewer should ask questions. Write them down, provide the answers. You gave no right to miss any single detail.
  • Ask your viewer to retell your presentation. So that you know if the key ide is delivered
  • Listen to your speech again and edit it. Make it short and interesting.


Repeat your speech aloud. A few times. Try to remember a whole paragraph. Difficult parts should be rephrased. Simplicity is the key. Repeat in front of the mirror. Watch out the gestures, the body language. Retell the whole text  using tips only. Don’t step away from the text. Record your text using a voice recorder and listen to it. If you like the recording you are ready for your first interview.

Should you have any questions please feel free to email us at


How to create your first explainers video

Each project at a certain stage is ready for the world.
Lately, some resources made video obligatory (e.g. Kickstarter).

If you are ready to make you first explainer’s video we have some tips and tricks. You might find them useful.

  1. You can begin with a company logo or some relevant image
  2. Start with your video content. Make it easy. Screengrabs or a simple interview will do. why are you doing this? To introduce yourself. To let your viewers see what you are doing. Like through the keyhole. Don’t try so hard making it stylish or cool. It should be simple. And explananatory.
  3. Any helping text (subtitles, captions) help. It is here to get to the people. To make them understand you and embrace your project. To make them a part of your project (they may have some difficulties or disabilities. So what?).
  4. Think outside of the box. Transfer positive vibes. Don’t afraid to be funny.

Doing your first video try to avoid some most typical mistakes. This how-not-to-do-video can help.

Are you camera-shy? Just a bit? 

— satisfaction guaranteed.

Your first video task is just its presence! You’d better apply a professional team and equipment. Check this for a professional interview filming approach: - It's not expensive, trust us!

In Prime Cut you can order an interview filming. 
Just e-mail us at

After your first video you may consider something of a better quality.

If you need more professional video ask Prime Cut.

What your explainer video is about

You are not sure what to say in your first video? What would you say to a friend? How you’d describe it? Figure out their probable questions. You want to make them believe you are serious, ready, capable of something great? How do you do that?

Here’s a quick list of questions that might help:

  • Who are you? 
Briefly introduce yourself and the team
  • What are you? 
Describe your background (give your job examples (if applicable))
  • Tell your plans.  
Provide all the details. The more - the better. Use any samples, images, drawings, working prototypes. Involve your backers. Share your excitement.
  • Describe your project roots. 
Where you for the spark and the idea? How far have you advanced? The project story is needed for the viewers to understand you and your goals. And, of course, how you go get along it.
  • The viewers expect a clear schedule and plan. 
They need to know when and what to expect. A timeline always involves the audience and helps the understanding.
  • Be transparent about the funds. 
What’s the budget? The people should know that you have a workable plan. Make the viewers trust you. What’s your budget? A simple breakdown lets people know you’ve thought things through and have a workable plan, so they can trust you to use funds wisely.
  • Why care? 
Share your passion? Tell the people about your project commitment

If you need more professional video ask Prime Cut.