Kickstarter the holiday spirit all year

We had been warned that engaging in a Kickstarter campaign is quite an emotional experience. Still it’s astounding. So amazing to have people invest in one’s project. The generosity. We thought it might pinch that some friends don’t  contribute. It doesn’t, submerged under the flow of giving. Plus, it’s a free country.

photo by MiniboyJim

Reading the names of the contributors is such a thrill. The contribution of people we didn’t expect to care is particularly sweet. They’re all sweet. It feels a bit mercenary to equal love with money, I suppose we’re all susceptible to concrete marks of friendship. Each contribution like a drop of gold. We’re awed. Really humbled.

We had backed three projects on Kickstarter plus a couple others on Indiegogo, before we even thought about a campaign for Vodka Rocks! It feels good to think about that money flowing, that generosity flowing to finance the production of artistic projects, in a world where everything had seemed to motivated by gain. Contributors finance someone who’ll later finance someone who’ll finance someone, hopefully. Instead of spending that $50 or $100 on a dinner or a pair of gloves, the money circulates widely financing as it goes a huge range of artistic projects. A kind of vast cooperative, or self generated credit union, that bypasses foundation committees and banks’ closed doors.
What’s a bit less generous is the 5% perceived by Kickstarter. That seems like a large fee considering the easy money they’re getting at this stage. When they launched they needed funds to finance their setting up the system. But now? Their involvement with projects which are bringing in millions of dollars is limited to reviewing the suitability of the project and answering questions. They’ve limited their accounting costs by subbing to Amazon who perceives another fee. Kickstarter sure are making sweet money from the creativity of the campaigners and the generosity of the donors. Additionally some projects work as a small business investment source, or pre-sale – not so sure these fit well with the spirit of the other campaigns. They gather a lot of money, and Kickstarter tends to feature them more on their favorite or home page. Other platforms are emerging, the competition will hopefully make the fee more competitive.
Again, we thank all our supporters, those who have yet to contribute as well as those who already have! Plus usually thanks to Yaphet, Carolina, James, Div, Vina, for pitching in campaign!
posted by arabella

Vodka Rocks!’s John Rubino & Michael Blake “Like” East Village Radio. A lot.

Morricone Youth Devon Levins, Vodka Rocks! director John Rubino and composer Michael Blake

It was good to talk with Devon on the Morricone Youth show because he knows his stuff. And because he’s really into the fact that it’s all live musicians, not the usual computer generated film score. We had an amazing line up of NY musicians. John Lurie had been on the show a couple of weeks prior to our interviews and the lot of the musicians who contributed to the Vodka Rocks! score have worked with Lurie. Listen to the Dec 18, 2011 radio interview!

John listens to Michael talking of his experience composing the score of Vodka Rocks

I’ve contributed some to the score, but it’s really Michael Blake, the composer, who brought an incredible variety of genres and rhythms to the score. It’s like an encyclopaedia of the coolest music and film score of the 20th & 21st century! It was fun being on the show with Michael because we know how to fill out each other’s sentences at this point having hummed melodies and traded obscure music clips for months. It came as a surprise to be asked about Lotto Land. It kind of brought to the forefront the radically different processes that I had with the 2 films in terms fo the music, and even the radically different nature of the musicians themselves. The Holmes brother have like a song to be able to play it. Once they have taken the music into their heart , then their amazing technical skills come in.

Devon Levins on his Morricone Youth show plays Vodka Rocks! soundtrack.

The jazz guys, Steve Bernstein, Daniel Sadownik, Owen Howard, Michael Blake of course, and even others such as Napoleon Maddox, Jeni Shakti Fujita, Teddy Kumpel, they know each other so well day in day out, improvising together comes easy. You place a complex piece of music in front of them and they can play it. Whatever the groove, wow, they’d play it twice and that was it, still blows me away to think of that. It was amazing to have this community of musicians come together to contribute to the score. I wish I had mentioned Kelly Howard on Devon Levins’ (pictured left) show. She’s the violinist who brought her string quartet, another group of top of musicians, from the classical tradition this time, who contributed to the level of excellency of the sound track.

John Rubino, director of Vodka Rocks! and Lotto Land

Ps- Our Kickstarter campaign ends Jan 8, 2012, still time to give by clicking here!!