Last night was very hard to swallow for me.
As others were getting into the New Year’s spirit, Ricardo and I were working feverishly to get our next video update done for you. 聽Our Kickstarter campaign was finishing up that night at 9:38p PST. 聽In South Africa, we are ten hours ahead of California. 聽Our intention was to get it up around 10a PST so that we could rally additional backers that would get us over the hump. At that stage, we were only $900 away. 聽I had been feeling relatively confident that if people saw the quality of stories recorded in South Africa, they would be happy to come on board with the Producer’s Pass. After all, the day before, we had a great day of filming in Soweto, building with reggae musician and freedom fighter James Mange, amongst others.
Kickstarter says that 95% of the projects that reach 30% ultimately are fully funded. We passed 30% about ten days ago and as of several days ago, was at about 80%. 聽In the back of my mind, however, I kept thinking if I came up just a little short, I personally would make up the difference. 聽I had a sneaking suspicion that this is why 95% of the projects that reach 30% ultimately get fully funded. And I was prepared to play the game.
So, Ricardo and I are editing the video that we had just shot with Keno, the local filmmaker who signed on to the tour yesterday. All of a sudden, Farid, Ricardo’s brother-in-law, started hassling us. 聽” You Americans don’t know how to chill like South Africans. 聽Come on, have some Crab curry…It’s New Year’s Eve! 聽Just put this thing away and pick it up tomorrow.” 聽At this point, both Ricardo and I become annoyed, but keep our cool. 聽”You’re wasting your time!” 聽I think about explaining the critical timing with our Kickstarter campaign. 聽”I’ll unplug you now,” he says. 聽I think to myself, there will be some extreme consequences to such behavior. I refrain myself and engage him in a short but focused conversation about crab curry after which he left, and we proceed to finish up the video with a sigh of relief.
About an hour later, when the video was almost done (see work-in-progress below), I received an email from Kickstarter saying the campaign had ended without reaching its goal. At first, I was flabbergasted. I thought perhaps Kickstarter had ended the campaign prematurely. 聽I sent a couple notes through Kickstarter’s contact form to this effect. 聽I was distraught at the same time, realizing that the funds I needed for the tour (or at least a portion of them) had slipped through my fingers. 聽I couldn’t fathom that I had got the time wrong. 聽But when I went back to my emails, I realized, to my dismay, that the campaign must have correctly ended at 9:38a , and somehow I had been wrong about the campaign ending time.
I was upset. How could I make such a critical mistake? I wondered out loud how I could be so stupid. 聽After about 10 minutes that seemed like an hour, I pulled myself together so that I could join the New Year’s festivities. 聽In the back of my mind, I recalled Ricardo saying that “something good would come out of it.” 聽We chuckled when we realized that Farid may have been right all along – we had been ‘wasting our time since the Kickstarter campaign had ended.
But here’s the interesting part. I started asking myself what story I wanted for my life. 聽Was I going to keep moving and somehow make the tour happen, or return home with my tail between my legs, a cowardly lion. 聽As I brought in the New Year, I resolved that I was going to do everything I could to make lemonade out of lemons. 聽So, I created a new narrative! It was better not to get funded than to be under-funded, and with me making up the difference. Once in South Africa, I had realized that $4,500 was insufficient. 聽I also realized that we could leverage the gripping footage we had shot to raise the money needed. I also knew this incidence would change the way we approach The Tour.
So, we’ve decided to keep our original itinerary. 聽Look for us next in Lesotho, starting tomorrow.
Please take a look at the video below. It reflects where we were with the edit, when we learned that our Kickstarter Campaign had ended…unfunded.
Stay tuned for details about the re-launch of The Tour, and opportunities for you to get involved. 聽We are considering a second Kickstarter campaign, but it is not clear whether Kickstarter will grant us the opportunity to do so. We will continue with updates on this site for the meantime. 聽If you like what you see, please leave a comment. 聽If you like what you see and want to contribute, then please send me an email. I will make sure you are kept up to date.
Yours in story,
Collective Liberation Tour – South Africa