I am a big fan of Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Being a fan directly supporting musicians, artists, movie makers, designers, etc.. is what I have always wanted to be able to do. Not being like a full time philanthropist (I wish I had that kind of money) but just telling someone that I really like their work and hope they make more. I would always try to buy a t-shirt or CD from a live show or from their direct website (even if I already had it). I figured that this was the best way that I could support them the most. Sure, I could buy the CD at the store or even a used CD shop for cheaper, but I knew that the artists themselves would get little or no money from that sale. If I liked a band, I wanted them to be successful and be around for a while.
Sometimes, I wished I could do more. Sometimes, I even tried...but it was always awkward for all of us. Most bands/artists, just don't expect someone, even a fan, to come up and try to give them money. They weren't sure how to react, and usually just refused. If taken, there was no guarantee that the money would actually be put to a use for the good of the band. I like to thank that it helped the band record their next album, get to their next show, or even eat a healthy meal on the road...but I was often afraid that it went to alcohol or worse. There just wasn't a better way to support someone at the time.
There have been many times I have thought to myself "I would have bought that." After hearing about some band that broke up because of money stress, leaving an album have finished and unreleased. Or the great movie that never got made...but they couldn't find a studio to support them. Or that idea that sounds awesome but its such a niche product that it doesn't get made because of the risk of a small market. I used to think this all the time, but thanks to Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and others; I can now say "Shut up and take my money."
Here is one of the projects that I am currently supporting: Is This Heaven?
This is a film about Frank Meeink, an ex-skinhead who became a civil rights activist, going on a journey of spiritual discovery and examining different faiths and religions (feeling conflicted with rise in hate speech used in religion nowadays).
There are several reasons that I am supporting this film. One of the biggest is that I have met Frankie and find his story of overcoming hate to be inspiring and optimistic for the human race. The second reason is that it is a local project, I like supporting local projects because I think we need to nurture our local culture and artists. Finally, I just think it could be an interesting film...I am not religious but can see religion used for both good (hope and helping people) and bad (fear and denying people rights). I think Frank's journey will be interesting and show that people of different religions have more in common than not.
I think it is a worthy project. Join me in supporting it.