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How to find Kickstarter Backers (Successful Project Guide)

The campaign I'm referencing can be found here

There are many tips out on the inter-webs, and I feel like I've read at least a hundred of them. The common theme is the strength in building your own personal following before launching a campaign, which in itself is possibly the most daunting task.

Safe to say you probably are having just as much trouble as I am building that crucial following. Today is day one of my Kickstarter campaign and this is my road map to a successful 30 day project:

Blog Posts - I am going to increase my blogging during this 30 day period on topics related to both Kickstarter, and areas where my project category coincide. These blog posts will all have direct links to the campaign, and the right post has the ability to pull in tons of free traffic. If you are reading this phase 1 of my plan is working and I'm drawing you in with related content with the ultimate goal of converting you into someone who is interested in the campaign overall.

Email Blasts -  I spent a large deal of time gathering email contacts of parties I thought would be both interested in the project, and have the influence necessary to spread the word to a larger audience. I also gathered a few press contacts who I thought would be interested in covering Orahs. I created three basic html draft emails, an introductory email, a Kickstarter launch email, and the press inquiry.





Facebook Advertising - After launching the campaign I immediately took to Facebook. I made an appeal for pledges, and shares on my personal page as well as my fan pages. I then boosted the post initially for $25. I also created a Facebook Ad, investing $50 in total.

Create YouTube Videos - The hope of a video going viral springs eternal. I planned out 4 videos that I will release periodically during the course of the campaign. If one video does go viral it will be a huge help to the campaign. Despite the slim odds, it's another free alternative to explore. Paid promotion via YouTube is also a viable option but while it may drive video views, those clicks might not make the jump over to Kickstarter.

Instagram - My final plan is to take pictures through the entire process. Instagram is excellent at gathering views. Each eye ball could possibly drive a word of mouth share, and most importantly it's free.

Physical Fliers - I'm approaching my $50K goal as a more reasonable 5,000 initial user sign up. So I'm printing up 5,000 fliers to try and reach real world $10 backers. The only real success I've seen thus far has been the power of real interactions.

Finding a large audience is difficult, on almost any medium. I found that having direct conversations is the most effective way to turn a stranger into an evangelist, but that method is slow and very difficult to scale. In the end we have to settle for any and every eyeball we can get onto our campaign, in this numbers game a pledge is important but earning a share can be equally as powerful, and in the long run more valuable.

Photoshoot Complete! Pandora & Devine



I did a photo shoot on 11/03/13 for Pan & Dev. It was a very cold Sunday morning, the talent was late, and the batteries in my flash were half dead. Even with all those negative factors in play, the images that followed are some of the best I've shot so far. Now although I thoroughly enjoy making videos, I have to say switching hat's and flexing the photography muscle has been a fun. I still feel like I have a lot to learn, before I can consider myself a full fledged adult photographer, but I definitely think I hit my awkward photographer puberty phase.


My favorite shot has to be of those eyes, something about that pic just speaks to me. As always the full album can be found in the photography section.

Cheers and Perfectly Exposed Teddy Bears!

Orahs Press Release.

Tech Startup Orahs Aims to Make GeoFencing Mainstream.



NEW YORK CITY, New York - September 19, 2013 -  Orahs is a New York based Tech startup that aims to change the way we discover and share content by allowing users to leave content in physical locations. The focus of Orahs is allowing users to cultivate a local audience, discover local talent, and preserve local culture. In the same breath, the app aims to allow for a similar type of viral sharing facilitated by the internet via a real world network of people. This network is updated by the natural flow of people in and out of an area, combined with the ability for content to become “nestled” and move passively with users from place to place. The larger goal of the company is to make geofencing technology simple, and accessible, for everyone from their mobile devices.


“When I say we are making Geofencing accessible, the follow up response is usually, ‘What’s Geofencing?’ The technology is powerful, but it’s only now really being experimented with by big business as a means to effectively communicate with customers” said Joshen McEwen, the 26-year-old founder of the Company. Orahs will allow it’s users to create “GeoFences,” which are virtual perimeters created in real world locations. When users enter these fences, they can be presented with text push notifications, photos, video, or even audio. The messaging a business wants to provide a customer at home may not be the same message they want to deliver to a customer in front of their store. With Geofencing, businesses can provide the right message at the right place and time. The company has made public statements that current mobile advertising is ineffective and unimaginative. It interrupts the mobile experience in such a jarring way that the message, no matter how compelling, is often lost. “The goal is for there to be no way to differentiate an ad from content. Ads should not interrupt the experience they should provide an experience” said McEwen.


With Orahs, the space is defined by you and what you create. Musicians, Photographers, Filmmakers, Creatives, Consumers, and Businesses should all feel at home on the platform because we designed it to be the right tool for the right person. The app gives the user the freedom to manipulate real world space any way they want to. Whether a user wants to create a web series where viewers have to travel to points of interest to discover the next episode, or if  they wants to archive precious memories, so they can re-discover and relive them at a later date, they can do it. Your content defines the space and enhances it.


Orahs is currently still in development through Twin Engine Labs. The app is planning an initial release to Android and iOS, with a future release to Google Glass. The company is planning a Kickstarter campaign to reach their final funding goals and push through the final stages of development. According to McEwen, “without crowdfunding, Orahs wouldn’t be more than just a grandeur idea. The barriers to entry seem impossible when you are trying to create impossible things. Crowdfunding, and the success of so many other larger than life projects, really kept hope alive for us. When the world believes in you, there is no impossible.” To find out more, please visit http://www.Orahs.com


Press Contacts:


Whitnee Layne
Orahs
Whitnee@Orahs.com
(347) 635-5766


Tiffany Waddell
Orahs
Tiffany@Orahs.com
(347) 394-7152

###

Orahs is the next step forward.


www.Orahs.com understand some people want to skip my thoughts, and musings, and just learn more about this wonderful app.

I'm sure that everyone from casual mobile users, to social media gurus are looking for the next big mobile app. What they are really looking for is our next advance in sharing the human experience. The mobile space is literally exploding, and I believe that mobile computing, and wearable devices have a very real chance of one day replacing the desktop computer completely.  Today we exist in what I feel is the technological renaissance of the world. My contribution to that renaissance is Orahs.

Orahs in it's most simple form allows a person to share content to a real world location for others to discover. We love to share, we have shown this with each upload to Instagram, with every minute of video watched, and shared to Youtube, with every like, and every tweet. We are constantly reaching out to each other, and our sharing has reached such a critical mass that the message we so desperately want to be received is being lost. Our greatest communication channel morphs instantly into our most alienating. It's hard to imagine but for some the internet is deafeningly silent, and lonely.

We need to take a step forward.

What is needed is a platform that can reach a global audience, as well as a local audience, without any compromise. We need to leverage the vital technology we carry with us to deliver relevant content based on where we are in the moment. We need a platform which doesn't interrupt the flow of life, but seamlessly becomes a part of it. This is the step forward we take with Orahs.

I was persuaded once to go to a multi level marketing meeting. I'm very vocal to the fact that I personally do not subscribe to the MLM business model, but a friend was in pretty deep so I went for the moral support. The night was a complete waste with the exception of two things. One, I had the most amazing shrimp tacos I ever had in my entire life, and two the speaker had a quote with a bit of insight. He said "Make what you love your hobby, but make what the world loves your business." It instantly rang true with me. I'm positive that the world loves to share. It's coded into our very DNA, that need to connect with another human being. Communication is our true timeless industry, and I will continue to look for ways for us to relate more efficiently. Every step we take forward, every advance links back to us being a social creature. In the very end all that we have done, and all that we will do was in the pursuit of a connection. Allow me to facilitate your connection, whether it's connecting to someone else, or connecting back to ourselves.

I offer to the world the next step forward.

Cheers!


Who Doesn't Like A Big Bag of Goodiz?


I have a long standing relationship with the big Bosstress over at CookiBox LLC. So when there is a chance for us to collaborate, and help each other achieve our goals I'm all over it. We joined forces, and enlisted the aid of Mrs_Shiba and did a co branded photoshoot. The day was long, the drinks were delicious, and the women were beautiful, always a good time in my book.




I cant say enough that Mrs_Shiba is one dope model, she's funny, patient, and definitely not afraid to attack some chili cheese fries. I thank her for coming out, and putting in all that work. As with any photo's that appear here the full album can be found in the photography section.


Look out for the Goodiz brand, it's pooping up all over the place and they are indeed taking orders. My suggestion to you is to get your hands in the CookiBox before it's all sold out.


I love it when I get a model just being herself, candid, natural, and just chill as fuck.


Cheers and Strike a Pose Teddy Bears!

Iconic Image Hunting

When I look at this picture, it makes me feel like I wasn't even in New York, When I took it.


I've been on the hunt recently for timeless images. Although I'm searching for these images purely for commercial application, that shouldn't really take away from the value of the art I create as a bi-product.



I discovered this wandering photomon thing I'm doing to be a quintessential "win win" as I get to trounce around looking for suitable marketing material, and improve my image capturing chops. I'm actually just really enjoying the process. I'm also discovering the pain of the missed moment.



More specifically the moment when the perfect image is right in front of you, and by the time you realize it's already too late.



I'll most definitely be doing more of these. For every hundred shots I always get that one Iconic image,  and these days I need about nine.


The complete album can be found in the Photography section under Photo Journey 2013.
Cheers and Photogenic Teddy Bears!

Custom Social Media Buttons (Business Dont's)


Well I was doing a bit of Photoshop work today. Nothing fancy, just designing some custom social media buttons for a landing page I was working on. I thought it would be wickedly creative, and a deep breath of fresh air to link to my social media entities, and stick to the common theme of my new page.

Then I thought to myself, "wait a minute maybe, this could get me sued" and after a bit of research I found that I was right. So while it may seem like a creative way to spice up the monotony of sharing those some old boring logos, by all means go with the boring. 

Quite frankly any person (but I'm sure they save extra special litigation time for Businesses that violate) that violates or misuses a companies trademark, (they do have guidelines) can be sued.

The good news is that companies usually do provide the safe version of buttons for you to use, here are twitters guideline safe buttons. 

I guess the simple Business tip here is to avoid simple pitfalls that can potentially get you sued. Sounds simple but you would be surprised just how tricky avoiding the court room could get.



Cheers and Industrious Teddy Bears!

Designing with the Golden Ratio Photoshop Layer.

Inverted Design while cool is for the blog only.(It does have a very Super Saiyin feel to it)

I am by no means a professional graphic designer, and I say this, because I feel that I'm not at a comfort/skill level where I would design for compensation. I do however create my own logo's, and graphics, all the logos on the service page were designed by me, and created in Photoshop. With all the disclaimers out of the way I required a new logo for an upcoming project, and decided that it was time to try and expand my graphic design skill set, so I attempted to design with the Golden Ratio.

I first came across the concept of the "Golden Ratio" as David Cole was debunking the concept that Apple's logo is designed mathematically to these stringent proportions (Quora Answer). I later found out that my coveted rule of thirds is considered by many to be inferior to the golden ratio, so I thought lets give this thing a shot.

It took me a while to figure out why this rectangle containing a smaller rectangle and square was so special. Rather than flat out ruining your day with some long winded math heavy explanation, I'll sum it up in two sentences, and an infographic.

Golden Rectangle
You take a rectangle and divide it into a big square, and tiny rectangle. If the length of the square divided by the length of the tiny rectangle is also equal to the whole length of the entire large rectangle divided by the length of the inner square you have a golden rectangle


The cool part is that golden rectangles can be divided infinitely to make more golden rectangles. The constant number you reach while dividing is 1.618....more commonly known as Phi.

Now that I had the basic understanding of golden rectangles, what I needed was an overlay I could put into Photoshop so I could get the proportions. (which I found and will share with you Download). Essentially it's a custom shape that you can draw into a transparent top layer, and use as your guide.

When I finished my Logo adhering to the golden ratio, I was left with this


I was happy with the overall look, but because of the nature of my logo I had tons of dead space which I wasn't too thrilled with.


I decided to crop out the dead space maintaining the aspect ratio of the design but destroying the golden ratio, which left me with the following


On the other hand I could have adhered to the golden ratio, and simply stretched the image giving it a wider feel. Both are nice but the wider image doesn't pop out to me as being dramatically more aesthetically pleasing, so I stuck with the original design. I could be wrong though, if it's better leave a comment below.




In the end I think using the golden ratio isn't a matter of adhering strictly to Phi, but using it as a generally accepted guide to proportions. Art can't be created with math, only enhanced. So this exercise, while very enriching, only reinforced what I already believed.

  • We must first understand the rules in order to effectively break them. 
  • If it looks right that's good enough. 

So load your editor setup your guides, and then eyeball the hell out of it till it works for you.

Cheers, and Graphic Design Teddy Bears!

Who's Your Daddy? Paternity Test Show.



The Concept is simple.

A paternity testing show, without the over dramatized, and outlandish conflict. To finally hear the uncensored, un-scripted, thoughts of real people, on a very real, and serious issue. The hard part was getting past the stigma that current media had created of filming the paternity test process. Who would want to do the test, on camera, when they know the goal of this generation is to create a DNA test spectacle of all those involved? In my search for a subject I feared that one of my greatest ideas would not be realized because I couldn't find a subject. Thankfully, Michael Ash found us. Michael understood immediately what we were trying to do, was very vocal in protecting, and advocating for his son, and most importantly he wanted to share his thoughts, because he needed the test.

July 15th 2012, We met at the Health Street office, and I shot hours of something I hadn't seen broadcast anywhere. We saw a father who genuinely loved his son, but was not afraid to admit that he had doubt. Michael knew that this very doubt would have an impact on his future relationship with his son if it wasn't put to rest. This was not me attempting to make a funny YouTube video in the hopes of going viral. This was me shooting the next phase of my career. I'm sure that as simple as this video is, it's a turning point for me both as a professional, and as a creative.

It's almost a full year later and I finally have the means to edit, and release, what I've been calling the most important footage I've ever shot....for now. If you know me personally you would know that I come up with a "million dollar idea" on a daily basis, but I feel that this by far has to be one of the greatest ideas I've had an executed in such an elegant way. I finally see that my concepts can be as big, in reality as they are in my mind. It's very exciting.

Stay tuned for the thrilling conclusion to the Michael Ash case.


Cheers, and Accomplished Teddy Bears!

Location Scouting. Just Do It.

Still image from my storyboard

I know inquiring minds want to know exactly why I've been absent from the creative scene for so long, and you most definitely deserve answer. Unfortunately you won't find that answer within this post.

Today I want to highlight the importance of location scouting, despite how small your production may be. I'm working on a new short film, and I'm deep into pre-production. I've found 90 percent of the cast, and I'm certain I'll be doing a one man run, and gun because of the simplicity of the project. That said I'm using some of New York City's more iconic locations, (no permit) and although I've been to these places a million times I still decided to go location scouting, and this is the exact reason why that decision was the right one.




These are recent photo's of Battery Park. It looks like it was hit by a bomb, and that bomb's name is probably hurricane Sandy, but because I hadn't been to the park since the storm I expected it to be in it's pristine business as usual form. In your creative endeavors no matter what you're doing the last thing you really want to do is leave anything up to chance, so go location scouting. Make sure what you see in your minds eye can be translated with the setting available to you hell, while you're out you may find a new location suitable for your current project or a future project down the line. 


If you've never gone location scouting before here's my technique.

  • I storyboard every project, and instead of using hand drawn stick figures (how I learned to storyboard), I go out take a still frame of the scene, It's a great way to get your composition just right, and it forces you to physically go see your location.
  • After I head to the locations I know, I tend to wander around the neighborhood aimlessly. Snapping photos on the fly of spots that would make a suitable substitute for my shots.
  • Use  Google maps. Enter keywords, and see what's nearby while you're pounding the pavement.  
  • In NYC there are many studios for rent. Some offer living room and kitchen setups, and some are bare. 
  • There is also businesses that are committed to providing you with film locations. The first location that comes to mind here in NYC is ProductionParadise. The problem with this route is that it's gonna cost you, so be prepared to have a location budget (a few thousand dollars is a good start). 
  • Ask people you know if you can shoot at there Homes/Business for free (aim for times when it will inconvenience them the least).
  • Rent a room for the day, motels, hotels, apartments on craigslist. Sometimes all you need is a room, and some imagination.
The setting is a major part of storytelling, and the right location can make or break your project. The very least you can do is go see what you have to work with, you never know when you'll find that perfect shot.



Cheers and Hot Set Teddy Bears
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