Thursday, 11 April 2013

That Kickstarter Video In Full (Plus Outtakes)

I'm sorry to make pretty much every post ever about my upcoming Kickstarter project but I want to make sure this is all perfect and for that I need feedback and I need people saying either "that's good" or "that's bad". In that vein I don't have a podcast for you this week but I have something that's better and worse at the same time; a video. This is the first take of my video pitch for Kickstarter, as well as a short round of outtakes that whilst not amusing, I kept.

The actual video itself:
I have two problems with it already. Well two things I perceive as problems:
1. I have to sell myself and my work and I've never been very good at that. I did try to talk myself up a bit in the video but it really is something I've never been very good at. I don't know if I did a good enough job here.

2. Emotion. In the end I had to read from a script so I sounded professional and clean, but as we've learned from my podcasting I can't read a script and still pour in emotion. This is a very personal project and a very personal book. You guys are invested in me and you know what I've been through, but I need the average joe to know that too.

So now you've (presumably) seen the video, and you know what I want feedback on, enjoy some outtakes including my cat sat on me. I complain that she jumped off because she was sat there for about a minute before she jumped off just as I pressed record.

Two last little things to note. One is that I initially recorded it when my laptop was on batter power. I thought I would have more than enough power but it turns out I didn't. My computer shut off as I was reading the LAST line. Genuinely I was just about to sign off the video when the computer turned off. The second thing is that I had to lower the brightness of the video because my face is seriously shiny. I'm not kidding.


  1. Again with the earbuds man. Take 'em off.
    "...but I'm sure someone will be interested." Oh my. Ya blew it.
    The "put my own money in" thing was good, but you shouldn't have shown the negative side after that I think.
    So yeah, major problems here: you're selling yourself short. You lack excitement. You should be hella pumped over doing this, but it doesn't exactly show. Also, yeah, feel free to mention how much you've grown and such, but don't make it all mopey sopey and negative and all that. People are less likely to put money towards a project of which the creator seems insecure about the whole thing.
    Another major point: try and see if you can get your hands on a decent camera, borrow one if you need to. If you do resort to using your laptop's webcam, don't put it on your lap and hang in your couch like that. Take a chair, sit down, lean forward a bit. You now also have the freedom to make small hand gestures.
    Also, post a little snippit of the book in the KS description, if you haven't already.

    God, dude, how many times have I told you to keep your cats out when you're busy with things. Please just listen for a change. ;D

    But yeah, I went kinda harsh on you. It's needed though, as you probably know. Take those points into consideration, make a couple of new versions (you didn't expect to be able to finish in less than 10 tries, did you? :D), review them, post the best one, and repeat.
    Good luck!

  2. Fang is brutally honest but after reading him I agree with most of his points....more confidence!

  3. Everything Fang said is valid and he's given you a fair critique and it's clear he's not being rude, he's giving valuable insight.

    I would add a few things to what he said.

    You need to open with what your Kickstarter is for. "I will be using the funds to do x, y and z.

    You need to make eye contact with your audience. You have a tendency to roll your eyes and to look away quite a bit.

    I think the background is still a bit dark. If you can manage it, I think a white background would be best.

    Also, how do you plan on promoting the Kickstarter?

    Again, I'm giving you constructive criticism, not criticism for the sake of being mean. You don't need us just saying "hey that's good" as that won't help you hone this video to perfection.

    Best wishes Mark.

  4. I have been super sick lately so this is the first I have heard of the Kickstart project. Not that I really know about what I am talking about, but here is my opinion from my own experience. If you even took the whole $2000 that you raised and put it towards "advertising" that is still not going to get you the results that you want. Most people that become famous with minimal investment on the internet...I believe it sort of happens like this: Some Big Cheese who is reaching A LOT of people discovers you and likes you, then posts something about you on their site. The Big Cheese has lots of other friends who are Big Cheesesss (whatever the plural of big cheese is)and they see you too, and if they like you as well, they put something about you on their site... and that gets the ball rolling. The other option is to submit your work to publishers who will invest in you, and get the word out for you. So, being that you need publicity, I don't see why these videos are not on youtube. You might get negative comments, but all publicity is good publicity. (Though being that you launch right into asking for money perhaps it is better that you did not put them on youtube.) I know of a site I have never used it. The whole point of the site is to raise money for creative projects, though I think it's primarily geared towards independent film makers. I suppose you could always make a documentary film promoting the Kickstart project. You might want to look into that.

    1. Or I don't know... maybe the site you are using is better. I don't really know! Just brain storming here. Anywho, I am poor, and not really of much use to you, unless you accept Burger King coupons in your collection plate! :_(

  5. nice....will come back for the vid because the stupid filter here at school blocks video...and podcast....but i will be back because i def want to see this....

  6. I agree with Anne - eye contact is key. You did a good job of talking yourself up without sounding found a great balance!

  7. Holy crap, you have a british accent!! Wait, I knew that. I noticed that your cat doesn't have a british meow though.

    I do have a criticism. You kept looking away from the camera like there was porn on the ceiling. You need better eye contact. Other than that it was good.

  8. I think you pursuing the Kickstarter deal is phenomenal! I want this to work for you. I believe it needs a bit of tweaking though. I'm going to speak with honesty but I hope you know it comes with only respect too.

    Many of the things others have said is true. I wanted to walk away from this feeling excited and pumped about your project. I wanted your energy to be contagious! Instead I felt it lacked some enthusiasm.

    In the beginning I wasn't quite sure what the video was for. I showed it to my husband and he wasn't sure either. I think you may want a bit more detail like you you outlined in your post the other day. If I'm giving money, I prefer to know where it's going.

    I understand wanting to personalize it and having a person empathize with you but maybe you could do that after the pitch? Also, maybe consider keeping it to a sentence or two? I don't want to take away from you as a person, I am simply trying to keep the focus on the actual project.

    I found you to be dressed very professionally. I love the clean cut look. You may want to lose the earbuds though and turn down your speakers if possible. I thought I heard mail coming in? Not sure how that all works.

    I understand the cats bring you much comfort but I heard them and they distracted me from what you were saying. My dogs do the same thing for me. Distract me from writing. The great thing about cats, you can quiet them a bit easier. My dog's bark is much louder. Is there a way you can put them in a different room for a bit?

    This may sound a bit strange but is there any way to do the pitch in a room with sunlight coming in? A kitchen table with a window above it or something like that? Just to brighten up the atmosphere?

    Finally, you are awesome! Don't back peddle to tell us you're not.

    I hope this doesn't result in us no longer being blogger buds. It was pretty rough but I thought what I would want and this was it. Best of luck, Mark. You deserve it because you have worked your ass off for this!!

  9. As some of the others have said, excitement is key. Leave us excited. Also, yes, tell us what it's going to be spent on. How. Why should we give you money? Not just why should we give you money, but why should we be EXCITED to give you money?

    Also, to go along with what Fang said, just this ONE time kick your cats out. Really. Whether it seems like it or not this is a professional video, and you wouldn't go into a job interview with your cat on your lap, meowing, would you? Also, I think I heard your phone going off at one point (text message alert?). Silence that thing. We don't want to hear or see ANYTHING that will distract from your sales pitch.

    It's tough love, I know, but we just want to help you be successful. :)

  10. You've had some great advice Mark but honestly I don't think that this video should be important like, anyone who knows you will get good vibes off you and give you positive support and it's the same for those who do. Just keep at it mate, honestly, I like both videos.


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