Interview Laurence Szucs - Kickstarter

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Interview with Laurence Szucs on his Kickstarter project for Splinters and Cinders.

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Interview Laurence Szucs - Kickstarter

  1. 1. January 18, 2014 The Kickstarter Effect" Interview with Indie musician Laurence Szucs about crowdsourcing his new album Splinters and Cinders ! Laurence Szucs has started a 45 day Kickstarter campaign to fund production of his new album Splinters and Cinders. After the first 15 days, he has raised over AUD 4,000 from 28 backers - we talked to him about the project." Your Kickstarter project for Splinters and Cinders is 15 days into the campaign - how do you feel about this? I feel all to aware of the 75% still to go I am excited... and anxious. Achieving 100% funding for this Kickstarter means a lot to me. I have put over 2 years work into making this album and started recording it 13 months ago. I have a lot riding on the success of it and as a result I have strong feelings about it. I think we are in a good position, 10 days in, 25% funded, however I feel all too aware of the 75% still to go. I am excited to see that there are passionate supporters who share my excitement in finishing this album and in turn, I feel a great sense of gratitude towards them. As a result, I feel that if I don't make my target, I 1
  2. 2. January 18, 2014 am letting these early supporters or 'pledgers' down. The fear of letting pledgers down by not reaching my target is definitely an unexpected campaign anxiety! Do other Kickstarters feel like this? Is this normal? Is this a thing? Do all Kickstarter campaigns have to prepare themselves to spend a campaign on an alleged edge of pledge dread gratitude? If it wasn't a thing, it has a name now so it probably is a thing from here on in, sorry everyone. I also feel a little lost. I don't know what to expect or what is normal. I have read about how to make a successful Kickstarter campaign but I have little to no idea what the journey was like for other campaigners and as such, I don't have much to compare my current position to." What's your ideas and strategy with rewards? Our ideas and strategy with rewards are to give people a broad range of interesting, rewarding rewards. We wanted to find a balance between ridiculous, fun things people could do with the band, such as being sunset serenaded on a hot air balloon ride and rewards which showed direct value such as pre-orders of the I'd be lying if I said it has been easy. album, download or CD. I really want people who pledge to feel that they are founding members of the band who are making this record possible, so we built rewards around that! There's a number of very personal rewards such as concerts or skype concerts but in particular, an opportunity to appear in our next film clip. I hope that the rewards help people get to know the band." 2
  3. 3. January 18, 2014 ! You are trying to raise AUD 20,000. How much of your own money are you investing in this project? It's impolite to ask about money but I guess it's even ruder if I dodge your question. Well, I've invested around $15,000 so far into recording this album, not including travel costs and related costs of recording a 9 piece band out of town. There has been a large investment in time too. I mean, making this album inhibits me from a 9 to 5 job to fund this record as I regularly need weeks off to work on it. I have been very lucky to have found work doing short term contracts but I'd be lying if I said it has been easy. It has become unfeasible to keep living/working/recording/writing music this way and if I kept trying to do it, it would take another 13 months to finish the record! So far, the investment has not been all mine. Even before the Kickstarter was conceived, many people had gotten on board to help however they can. Some people have been very generous with money, others with their time and talents, such as J Walker helping out, the film clip crew, writers, musicians and Andy Stewart, my producer, has invested countless hours off the books to try and get this record over the line. Really, this album is very much a team effort; there will be a lot of us celebrating if this crowd sourcing is a success." ! 3
  4. 4. January 18, 2014 What was the immediate feedback of friends and colleagues? My friends and colleagues are keen to get on board. They seem genuinely interested in the project and excited to get an opportunity to be a part of it. Where I was nervous at first to share it with people as I felt maybe they would see it as me asking for a hand out, the reaction was quite the opposite. My friends and colleagues are glad to get on board and want to be an active role in the story; some pledgers have even been messaging me for ongoing updates. On the whole, most of the feedback has come in the form of pledges. There is one particular written piece of feedback from someone I'm yet to meet in China which is inspirational to say the least. They said my music is 'So beautiful, like fresh air, spring water of the mountain'. I really enjoy both fresh air and spring water, so it's encouraging feedback." What's the level of anxiety? The level of anxiety is very high, so, just slightly more than usual. I'm coping though as I'm no stranger to anxiety, a lot of the songs on this record were born from it. There is so much riding on the success of this campaign that it is hard not to feel anxious, however, it is outweighed by hope; I really hope we make it. I know if we do, we can give back something great and I want to show people that. I have a copy of all of the songs unmixed, so I know what I'm working with from here. I'm not anxious about being able to deliver a great album, I know with some funding and help over the line, we can do that." ! Any advise you would give to other musicians who would like to start a campaign? I'm not sure if I'm in any position to give advice at this stage but as with all things, research. We put a lot of time into reading what has worked for others and what hasn't. I think it helps to spend 90% of your time thinking about your problem and researching it, and 10% writing it up. The whole crowd sourcing topic is pretty interesting too, so you'll find it somewhat of a page turner. " Any other feedback on KICKSTARTER – what's good and what could be improved? 4
  5. 5. January 18, 2014 It's great how easy it is to support projects. For me, it's about getting in early and being a part of interesting goings on. One thing I'd like to see, is it would be great if rewards could also be an equity stake. You pledge 100 dollars, you make your 100 dollars back with the percentage of profit, like a stock. I think it’s a great idea and would entice more people to put some money onto other people's projects." Thank you very much and good luck!" " Uli Kaiser" ! ! Links: Media Dropbox
 Please email ulikaiser8@gmail.com for invitation to the dropbox containing music video, songs, photos etc." Kickstarter Campaign 
 http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1383847755/splinters-andcinders" ILDIKO Facebook
 https://www.facebook.com/ildikomusic?ref=hl" ILDIKO Youtube
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zo6a82vu3dY" Laurence Szucs Facebook
 https://www.facebook.com/szucie.twist?fref=ts" ! 5

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