I am a documentary film director. Subjects of my films have included love, sex, 9/11, indigenous fisheries, hurricanes, refugees, HIV/AIDS orphans, and visualization of God. I am best known for the Real People, Real Life, Real Sex series of documentaries that simultaneously explore the vital role of sexual pleasure in committed relationships and the problematic place of explicit sexuality in cinema. This is my "Safe" blog.

Putting the Y back in DIY (regarding the Kickstarter suspension)

Posted: March 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

If you scroll down to the bottom of the previous post, you’ll see that earlier today Kickstarter suspended our fundraising efforts for the stipend portion of our SubGenius Grant and Residency Fellowship.

In plain english what that means is that we’re still offering 5 days and 4 nights of quiet isolation, but for now whether or not we can make this easier for someone of modest means is in doubt. We just printed a new title, BRETT AND MELANIE, plus reprinting three back catalog titles, so as much as I wish I could personally provide a stipend, we just can’t afford to make the commitment right now.

But I still believe in the idea. Here’s why.

When I first came to New York, I got offered all kinds of interesting jobs, jobs I couldn’t take because they didn’t pay shit. “Who can work for $200 a week in New York City?” I thought. I’m a little wiser now and realize the people who take those jobs are the ones who have daddy paying the rent.

Don’t get me wrong, nothing against you if that’s you. My dad was a doctor and that gave me a leg up on thing. I had family connections in New York and that gave me a leg up on things too. No matter who you are, you probably have a leg up on things verses someone else. That’s life.

But when I came up with the $500 number, what I had in mind is that $500 would mean someone from the West Coast could apply without worrying about what they were going to do if they were accepted, as in “Oh great. I got the fellowship, now I’ll I need to do is come up with $500 for the damned airline ticket.”

So anyway, for the rest of the day and through tomorrow we’re going to set aside half our sales as a starter in this very modest goal of raising $500. Buy a DVD, or tell a friend, or if you think it’s a good idea (or if you just want to tell Kickstarter, “Guess what? We don’t need you.”) make a pledge.

Also, there’s a certain irony in this. Quoting from my answer to Andrew Sullivan about our other other Kickstarter project:

Unlike the MPAA, these places don’t give notes on what needs to be changed to meet their Terms of Service. You just get denied, or you maybe you don’t, until you’ve invested months or years in staking out your digital space, only to wake up one morning to find you’ve been declared in violation and your investment of time and effort is gone.

Did we get a reason from Kickstarter? Of course not. Did I sent out about 200 e-mails yesterday, e-mail to some of my most valuable contacts, lettting them know about what we were doing? Of course I did. And now I look like an asshole.

Don’t worry, Kickstarter, I won’t make the same mistake twice.

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