When A Kickstarter Campaign Fails, Does Anyone Get Their Money Back?

Too many people look at crowd funding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo as “free money” – but what happens if when a project fails or grows beyond the original conception?

NPR poses the question and reports on a few projects that missed their marks.

The Question Of Refunds

One entrepreneur who raised $10 million to build a “smartwatch” that streams email and text messages just missed his first delivery deadline. One of his backers demanded a refund, to no avail.

Another entrepreneur, David Barnett, released a Kickstarter campaign video where he bounces and steps to raise money for PopSockets, a snazzy iPhone case with a headphone cord wrap.

“Did you see that?” he asks in the video. “My cord didn’t even get tangled. And with all that dancing.”

But a year later, there are still no PopSockets. And the money has reportedly gone in fees to prospective manufacturers and lawyers.

Barnett — whose day job is being a philosophy professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder — decided to pay back 40 of his 500 backers.

“I think it sets a bad precedent,” he says. “Once I did that, I could tell that it started creating the impression in some of my backers that they had purchased an item. And I think as Kickstarter grows, there’s more and more of an impression that it’s just a big store for people to go get deals.”

NPR | Read the Full Article

Kickstarter responded on their official blog:

Since Kickstarter’s launch in April of 2009, nearly 30,000 projects have been successfully funded by more than two million people. These projects include documentaries, albums, art, products, video games, plays, books, performances, food, and much more. The number of creative projects that have been funded and produced on Kickstarter in the past three years is enormous. Many could not exist otherwise.

But of course not every project goes perfectly. Delays do occur, especially with more complicated projects. Some creators get in over their heads dealing with processes that are new to them.

We take accountability very seriously at Kickstarter, and the questions raised by NPR are important ones. We’ve addressed a lot of these questions through the press and in various places on the site, and today we want to go over how accountability works on Kickstarter.

Kickstarter | Read the Full Article

“Sweater” – A music video using 3 projectors to create virtual environments

Rear Projection has been a staple of Hollywood special effects – this music video directed by Filip Sterckx for ‘Sweater’ by Belgian band Willow modernizes the old technique, projecting an environment on two walls at the floor.

Willow – Sweater from Filip Sterckx on Vimeo.

Zacuto Looks at the Canon C100

Steve Weiss and Jens Bogehegn as they take a first look at the Canon EOS C100 camera.

Zacuto got a sneak peek at the prototype and we have been building rigs & accessories just for this camera ever since. The big development was the C100 Z-Finder, just like our Z-Finder Pro but we made a wider skirt extension and change the lens to accomodate the much wider screen on the Canon C100. Also, with the removable grip on the C100, like the Canon C300, you can relocate the grip to the handgrip of your rig with our Grip Relocator.

10 Auteurs and the Typefaces They Love

Directors don’t just have a visual style – sometimes their cinematic identity is tied to a style of typography as well.

Submited by: Martine Keston

Typeface design has played a crucial role in cinema from the very beginning, when silent films relied on intertitle fonts that were both stylistically memorable and easy to read. Today, there’s an entire industry dedicated to movie title design, and typography plays a crucial role. But rather than tailor their typefaces to explicitly depict a film’s content graphically or pictorially (as many of Hollywood’s big blockbuster producers like Spielberg or Disney are wont to do), some directors prefer to make a more understated use of type design that reflects their artistic vision. Here’s a list of some of the most iconic love affairs between bold directors and the fonts that we can’t imagine seeing their movies without.

Ingmar Bergman

The master of heartbreakingly bleak Swedish cinema took the typeface of his titles and credits very seriously. Bergman typically used simple title sequences that, often like the films themselves, drew an intense power from their quiet minimalism and unobtrusive beauty. Perhaps the most notable font favored by Bergman and used with relative frequency in his films is Windsor, which was more famously adopted by Woody Allen. The custom Scandinavian styled typeface featured above, however, is used in several of Bergman’s most personal and devastating works, including Persona and Hour of the Wolf.

Flavorwire | Read the Full Article

Perhaps the Earliest Color Motion Picture Ever – from 1902

The past wasn’t in black and white, but it’s easy to forget that because all our representations of that era are in sepia and tinted monochrome. Here is an early test film by Edward Turner, using an experimental color process from way back in 1902.

In 1899, just five years after British audiences first saw moving pictures, Edward Turner, a photographer and, and Frederick Marshall Lee, his financial backer, patented the first colour moving picture process in Britain.

A complicated process, it involved photographing successive frames of black-and-white film through blue, green and red filters. Using a special projector (which you can see in the gallery) these were combined on a screen to produce full-colour images.

Turner died in 1903 and Charles Urban turned to early film pioneer, George Albert Smith, to perfect the process. After working on it for a year, Smith deemed Turner’s process unworkable and it was abandoned in favour of his own, simpler, colour process. Marketed by Urban as Kinemacolor, this became the first commercially successful colour moving picture process and made a fortune.

Between 1901 and 1903 Turner had created a number of short test films which Urban kept. By using digital technology and following Turner’s method exactly, we have been able to reveal the full-colour moving images on these films so that they can be seen for the first time in 110 years.

National Media | Read the full Article

Hat tip:

A Panoramic View of China’s Cultural Revolution

Li Zhensheng trained as a cinematographer but Mao Zedong’s disasterous Great Leap Forward (1958-61) put his filmmaking career on hold. But he never stopped taking photos eventually getting a job in photojournalism – his photographs of the Chinese Cultural Revolution (started in 1961) are perhaps the most complete and nuanced pictorial account of the decade of turmoil. Hiding the negatives under a floorboard, he has now released the photos in a book as he notes in this interview with the New York Times.

Ouyang Xiang, son of the former first secretary of Heilongjiang’s provincial party committee, was dragged outside the North Plaza Hotel, persecuted for sending an unsigned letter to the provincial revolutionary committee defending his denounced father. Three days later, he was pushed out of a third-story window of the building where he was held. The official report called his death a suicide. Harbin, Heilongjiang province, Nov. 30, 1968.

On National Day, schoolchildren carried red-tasseled spears and wore Red Guard armbands, parading past a Russian-style department store. Harbin, Heilongjiang province. Oct. 1, 1966.

Most events I went to there were positive pictures and negative pictures. Some slogans were actually not all that positive but as long the crowd’s mouths were open and fists pumping air — that looks positive in the photographs. And I’d leave some film for “negative,” “useless” pictures.

We were given film each month according to a ratio: for every picture published, we earned eight frames. I would process all my own film. And I did all my own enlargements. I would have to process all the film for the other four guys in the paper too because I was the youngest and the newest on the job. When I was unhappy in the darkroom, I would sing.

I knew I had lots of “negative” frames, so I would quickly dry them and clip them off, to not let other people see them. The only fear I had was the others would complain that I was wasting public resources, shooting pictures that the newspaper couldn’t use — and I would leave the positive ones hanging to dry.

I would put the “negative” negatives into brown envelopes in a secret compartment in my desk. In the spring of 1968, I sensed that I would be [searched] soon, I took batches of the negatives home every day after work. I sawed a hole in the parquet floor at home under desk and hid them there.

My wife stood at the window, watching out. I sawed the floor slowly, for over a week. It wasn’t like now when we have electric drills. I sawed it bit by bit. I needed to hide my things. My negatives, plus two Chiang Kai-shek and Yuan Shikai coins, my stamp collection which had images by Goya of naked women — they were all valuable. Not just my negatives.

Later, I took the negatives with me when I moved to Beijing in 1982 and became director of photography in the journalism department of a local college. I just kept my negatives and kept quiet about it until 1988, when there was an exhibition of Chinese photography and they asked me for images from 1966, 1967, because that’s what they were lacking. I gave them 20 pictures — both “positive” and “negative.”

The New York Times – Lens Blog | See More Images and Read the Full Article

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