Kickstarter campaigns, the new gamble for funding web series

In a world of gambles, Kickstarter campaigns could be the riskiest for aspiring filmmakers but it can become the best funding option for growing web series and films. Kickstarter is the world’s largest online fundraising platform for creative projects, ranging from comics to fashion lines to films.

“It’s a complete emotional roller coaster,” says Julia Grob, creator and executive producer of the web series “East Willy B,” one that follows a Latino bar-owner and his struggle to prevent a business takeover. “It’s a gut wrenching experience,” she adds.Kickstarter campaigns, the new gamble for funding web series  trans news NBC Latino News

“East Willy B” is in its final hours of its Kickstarter campaign, “$50,000 in 50 Days.” They have 481 donors so far, and are only roughly $2,000 away from their goal.

Successful Kickstarter web series have almost doubled their goals, such as “The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl,” which follows the title character and her friends through life, love and awkward situations. Another project that has seen success is Aurora Guerrero’s “Mosquita y Mari,” a feature length, coming of age story, which was officially selected for the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. But some campaigns can see a sour ending to their story.

“It’s all or nothing,” says Grob.

Those campaigns that do not reach their goal, don’t receive the money they raised. Donors are not charged until after the campaign time is up, leaving the creators with nothing. One such campaign, Grafighters, a fighting game for drawings and doodles, set a goal for $20,000 and were only able to raise about $3,000.

“[That goal] seemed realistic at the time,” says Eric Cleckner, co-founder of Grafighters. “We failed pretty bad actually,” he adds.

However, unlike other unsuccessful Kickstarter campaigns, Grafighters found hope during the holidays from a German investor who signed his letter of interest, “Father Christmas.” This investor donated ten times their original Kickstarter goal: $200,000.

“At the time we were pretty disappointed with Kickstarter,” says Cleckner. “We thought we failed but it actually worked out. What we learned is that the value of Kickstarter isn’t always about the funding but the visibility,” he concludes.

Grob suggests setting a reasonable goal for new Kickstarter campaigns.

“I think you have to have a very strong team and a vision for the whole of your campaign,” says Grob. “Set a goal that pushes you but nothing outside of your reach,” she adds.

“East Willy B” is very close to becoming another Latino Kickstarter success story, with nearly 95 percent of its funds.

“We’ve always prepared for a win,” says Grob. “We’ve really structured the campaign in that positive thinking,” she adds.


  1. […] Julia Grob and Yamin Segal, have not even turned 30, but they knew something was missing in the world of Latino entertainment. They set out on a quest into new territory – creating a web series about real Latinos in an authentic Latino neighborhood. They named it “East Willy B,” and funded their first season through their “50k in 50 days” campaign on Kickstarter. […]

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