A month or so ago, I tweeted:
It was in reference to a Kickstarter for the documentary “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry”–which was successfully funded and is now enjoying a good theatrical run.
But I still have not seen the finished film and that makes me feel left out, unappreciated and sad.
The documentary makers have done everything right. By all available accounts, they made an excellent film, so right there, I got what I paid for. They post regular updates (they are getting a lot of screenings) and they have explained why those of us who paid for DVDs and downloads (I backed at the digital download level) have not gotten them yet. The delay in distributing reward copies of the whole film was part of the necessary negotiation in getting a theatrical release deal.
I’m an attorney–I understand how that works. I am a practical person–I know that it was the right choice to delay backer rewards for wider distribution and a better chance at success. I’m also not completely foolish; I know what my role was here and I recognize that my position accurately reflects that.
The filmmakers are apologetic about the delay; they remain in contact with their Kickstarter supporters; they are also backing other projects. Again, they are doing everything right.
But the model of Kickstarter, which is selling the idea of being part of something, cannot deliver the reality of being part of something. Those of us who backed this project are getting exactly what we were literally promised: satisfaction at helping the creation of a work that seems value to us (as well as some material rewards, eventually). Nothing more.
Suddenly, it’s all less like a barn raising and more like paying $20 for an autographed promo photo at a convention.
So it looks like I’m going to pay again to see the film (one week only screening in March at the Music Box) . In many ways, that’s not a problem for me, as I like supporting the Music Box. Also, I’m excited to have a date certain when I can see the film. I won’t be sorry; just a little wistful and foolishly feeling left out.