My friend Jed is a developer and filmmaker. We went to high school together. In July 2014, Jed and his friend Jake launched their project App: The Human Story on Kickstarter. I immediately jumped in to support and tried to help spread the word as much as I could. Over time, they've continued to impress with their care and consideration and overtly expressed gratitude for their 2,165 backers. Obviously I'm a fan and a backer so I'm excited to see this project take shape and look forward to it coming to complete fruition. I thought I'd share what I've noticed Jed and Jake have done really well as a community-backed project. So below, I list out several observations of why they're the best project on Kickstarter I've ever backed (to be fair, they are tied at the top with my friend Daniel Young Skateboard Hawaii and his campaign!)
Why App: The Human Story has a Kickstarter game that is on point
Story. This is clearly an opportunity and a story that needs to be told. Apps and the iPhone have fundamentally changed our lives and there is a story about the humans behind the apps and the evolution of this phenomena that needs a great storyteller to do it justice.
They're hustlers. Without a doubt. They went and did their diligence and laid a year of ground-work before they launched the campaign, created a plan and made a list of the people they knew they wanted to interview - and then they went and interviewed them. I believe they even pitched John Gruber cold for the project... And then ended up filming John's event because his videographer for the day fell through.
Quality. A quick look at the Kickstarter video and teaser trailer (see the 15 min rough cut online premiere on vimeo here) and you can see these guys are not only legit, but have a keen eye for beautiful shots and modern and sexy design. But what's really great is that it seems their interview skills are on point. Because, let's face it, if they had beautiful cinematography and terrible interview content, well the film would pretty much be garbage. Creating a list of questions and interviewing people can't be easy, especially with the volume of individuals they expect to talk to. From what I've seen thus far I have no doubt they will splice together an incredibly powerful narrative and observation on this journey of apps and app makers.
Transparency. The team has posted 30 kickstarter updates in total, 18 since the project ended which means they average more than 1 update per month. That's an impressive clip especially considering the fact that they are producing short bonus clips, featurettes, etc on a consistent basis. They share their content while they're making it. You as a backer are now a part of the journey, not in the dark for 18 - 24 months while the movie is being made. It also helps that they're darn good writers and their updates aren't boring, but concise and direct with the right balance between business and humor. All this leads to credibility so when things might be a bit behind schedule, you don't sweat it as a backer because you know they'll come through.
Kickstarter is the beginning, not the end. For the App film team, Kickstarter is a launching point. They clearly have a bigger vision and goals and they've secured multiple sponsors and are definitely seeing this as more than just a small film, but an opportunity as storytellers to share the passion these app developers have to create software and in the process influence society. I would venture to say they take that responsibility seriously. I'm sure given the quality of what they're doing that they will win some awards and maybe even a nice distribution deal.
Follow along with Jed and Jake on their journey and support them! Spread the word and check out http://appdocumentary.com for exclusive video shorts, shop some sweet swag, read blog updates, and more.