Saturday, June 23, 2012

Setbacks

... and Deadlines

I am still unable to access online banking which is frustrating. I called the bank three times yesterday and I went to the bank today. When I got to the bank they told me the system is down from today to Monday..... well That sucks. However, I was at the bank already and surely they could just look up recent transactions so I can verify my Amazon Payments account. NOPE they can't access that information. how ludicrous is that? This! This is the problem with "The Cloud" and other means of digital information storage where everything is plugged in to the same whatever and it's all through cyberspace and if that main thing has problems, you can't access anything. how ridiculous is it the bank can't give me a transaction history? like isn't that a major function of Banking? being able to monitor account activity? they should have some sort of backup.

Blegh.

New thing on my To-Do list: order new business cards because I just put mine in with my laundry... :(

I cannot find anyone today to help me shoot my video, so that's been put on hold but I booked a friend for tomorrow and it should be fun.

-Kevin

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Lull

Sitting and Thinking

I regretfully report that not too much has been happening the last two days. it has been extremely hot in Binghamton and so it's difficult to concentrate. I'm still waiting for my bank to allow me to access my account online, which is a pain because then I have to wait for Amazon Payments to verify that and let me get money from KickStarter Donors.

I tried to record myself for the KickStarter video today but it is remarkably brain-erasing, the experience of being in front of the camera instead of behind it. I was also using a tripod with no screw so I was worrying about my camera falling off and smashing.. I might have cried... which also worried me.

That experience inspired me toward a new idea for the KickStarter video. People on the site like to see personality, right? People don't donate to an idea, they donate to You, which means I need to be myself and that just wasn't happening when I was trying to teach my camera about "A Greater Binghamton" which is what I've decided on as a title. (more on that later). So the idea I came up with whilst struggling with my camera-audience is this: I will have a friend help me out tomorrow and I'll go around town explaining my idea to strangers so my excitement will not be lost in nerves. so the camera gets set up, I'm mic-ed up with a Lav and the camera will be on a Tripod so it'll look like I'm talking into the camera and breaking the fourth wall but I'm going to be wearing a different shirt each time and in a different location, but at the end of that little segment of my explanation I will have a still shot of me talking to the stranger and the camera next to them.

Hopefully that style of video will not only hold people's attention but also show I am not afraid of talking to strangers, give a glimpse of the Greater Binghamton area and allow my personality/excitement to come across through video. :p


So I've decided on "A Greater Binghamton Area" as my title because I am focusing less on the historical factor than I had originally planned so the "Triple Cities" is a footnote and less accurate for the overall theme of the Documentary.

I bought a Tripod for $100 today. I realized that it is unwise to skimp on gear for your career. believe me, I am sort of a cheapo, so $100 isn't just fliff I'm throwing around. like if I see Bacon at the store for more than $4 I don't buy it unless it's special or a special occasion or some other rare occasion and I <3 bacon.

Lesson. If you care about something don't skimp on it. that goes for loved careers, hobbies and family.

-Kevin

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Financial Confusion

What is the web address of your business?

...What? I signed up for Amazon Payments today. It asked me a bunch of quesions like how much does my business earn on a yearly basis, how long it has existed, what my corporate web address is or something and all sorts of stuff about my bank account. I answered the best I could and I used this blog as my "Web Address". Because I have to verify my bank account I also had to bike to the nearest First Niagara which isn't that far away but it was 91 degrees with 75% humidity so that was challenging. but I got there just in time to set up my account for online banking so I can monitor my amazon payments account and all that.

I also got my Press Release drafted up so Woohoo! I also drafted up my Campaign description and got that looked at by a few friends. I woke up late which is rare for me, but when I did wake up I found an e-mail from David Currie of the Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition and he is very interested in meeting with me for an interview and seems like he will be very helpful so that's exciting.

All in all, today I hit very minor obstacles (not knowing anything about financial speak or taxes) and it was a productive day minus the heat.

I'm starting my Campaign video tonight.

Thanks for keeping up with me, everybody!

-Kevin

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Drafts

Write Write Write!

It's a really good thing I took a class called "Write To Publish" in high school. We had to complete at least 100 pages of creative writing every 1/2 semester and it was a year long class. 400 pages of writing!!!!! but anyway, through that struggle I have been trained for this week.
I have drafted up four long e-mails to specific groups of people I know all saying the same things but in different ways so as best to adapt to my audience. I have also been drafting up my KickStarter campaign. I'm trying to keep my description short but that's not working... should I include an "about the director" section? hmm.... maybe. maybe not. idk blast. I'm not an impressive person, I don't have credentials, I can't say "the director, Kevin Hallagan, has worked on many critically acclaimed documentaries such as (something cool). nope, this is my first documentary BUT how can I convince people that doesn't mean I can't make it a good one?
Hmph.

So I went around today getting some footage of Binghamton so I can edit it and make it look nice so it's something for people to look at on KickStarter and see that I do actually know how to use a camera :p

I also pounded pavement informing local businesses about my project and that I will start fundraising soon and "would it be ok for me to share the link to my campaign on your facebook page or website"?

I got a lot of noncommittal responses but every little bit counts.

Today was productive and I didn't hit any real obstacles so that was good.

Tomorrow I will be working out of my basement b/c it will be 92 degrees out and I have no air conditioning. Mold Spores GO!

Alright that's it for today. sorry my adventures weren't too exciting but I hope that's still informative.

-Kevin

Monday, June 18, 2012

Compromise, Win, and Worry

Anxiety: a legitimate concern


COMPROMISE

 I rode my bike to The Instant Face Place, my last hope for a fully local print shop for KickStarter incentives. I walked in and saw a tag hanging out of one of their example t-shirts. instead of asking where the shirts themselves were produced I took a peak at that little white slip. "50% Cotton - 50%Polyester - Made in Honduras"... I searched for another tag "50% Cotton - 50% Polyester - Assembled in Mexico". So disappointing, so I got out of there. I have decided to order reusable water bottles as an incentive instead of t-shirts and I'm going to order them from TeamWorld. TeamWorld is located in Binghamton but orders from elsewhere, HOWEVER, they told me I have the option of getting my order made in the USA which I guess is better than nothing.

WIN

 I woke up today to an e-mail from a Caroline Quidort thanking me for my interest in the city of Binghamton and she's sorry but Mr. Abdelazim is no longer with the city of Binghamton (I'm assuming she meant he moved or quit or retired but just now I realize she might mean he's ... "no longer with us"... like he died) I hope he's not dead, if you remember from an earlier post he was basically the perfect contact for me to make for this project. perfect outlook and areas of expertise.
          the "Win" portion of this situation is that Miss Quidort said she would be happy to discuss these issues with me and I have an appointment with her next Tuesday afternoon for an interview.
[Question, how do you refer to a lady in a professional manner if you don't know her marital status? saying her first name seems unprofessional, but Miss or Mrs. might offend her if I choose the wrong one]

WORRY

 If you follow me on Twitter ( @K_R_Hallagan ) you will have seen that last night right before I went to bed I got a response to my KickStarter inquiry. I had planned on raising $15,000 as my goal and donating any amount I received above that to some local non-profits who do good work pertaining to my subject, for example education of adults, environmental cleanup, and helping people find jobs.
           The response I got from KickStarter was kind but to the point:

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for writing in. No aspect of a Kickstarter project can contain charity elements, and that includes where proceeds can go. Hope that clarifies!

Best,
Katherine

When I read that e-mail I realized how much I have been relying on the nonprofit thing for people to meet my goal and for me to be able to do some good and that was no bueno. I went into a crazy spiral of doubt and once again realizing how much money $15,000 really is and how impossible it will be to reach that goal if I can't get a really good video and some convincing marketing going on. Then, like Mr. Furious in Mystery Men I began to doubt my powers.
  • Am I good enough to earn this money?
  • if I can't raise that money how do I think I'll be capable of making a whole documentary?
  • What have I gotten myself into?
  • Does my concept even have grit?
  • How am I going to convince people to donate without having any real footage yet!? Talking heads are BORING! 
 By this time I had logged into KickStarter and was studying successfully funded videos and only being able to find ones that basically had a talking head before a full-scale movie trailer, Which, by the way, is impossible for me because I have no footage!
So I lay down on my bed to calm down and stop my head from spinning when I remembered something Cortney Zamm told me once. She told me that I was the strongest filmmaker in the BU Cinema Department. and I am aware she said that to calm me down because at that time I was, once again, freaking out about my future and doubting my powers. [for the record I am not the strongest filmmaker in the BU Cinema Department, I know that and Cortney knows that, she was jsut saying that to make me listen to her advice]
Anyway, that memory gave me the courage to get off my bed, grab my camera and go shoot some stuff. I don't have to have a trailer for my KickStarter campaign, all I need is a good and honest explanation and some video/editing prove myself to funders.

Anxiety is a Boggart, so pick up your wand, think of something ludicrous and shout "Riddikulus!"

-Kevin

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Today's Issues, Tomorrow's Conquests

An ideology about overcoming obstacles

Destroy them. Obstacles get in your way and slow you down. Power through them! Knock them down, blow them up, tackle them, don't let them drag you around.

I found out today that I might not be able to take any excess funding and put it toward the local nonprofits I have been doing so much research on. I mean once it's my money I can do whatever i want with it, I guess, but KickStarter is against it so I've sent them an e-mail explaining my situation and exactly what i want to do. I'm waiting for their response.

I have officially begun drafting up my campaign, I decided enough was enough and I should stop beating around the bush and Tackle it. I've also done a lot of networking today and have drafted up some e-mails to be sent out as soon as I launch my campaign.

well when I write it all down it seems like I really didn't do much today, but trust me. I did.

-Kevin

Ps. does this sound interesting/enticing and important and stuff? "A hopeful yet realistic glimpse into the future for many newly impoverished areas of the United States."

That's the short blurb I drafted up for kickstarter. Any suggestions? I only have a 135 character limit.

This Week?

Am I Unprepared or Scared?

Today I am drafting up e-mails to send out to select groups of people once I start my KickStarter campaign. my groups so far are Family, Video Professionals, Friends with related career goals, Gossipers (people I know will enjoy spreading the word to their friends), People I have been actively bouncing ideas off, Networks (like the cinema department listserv etc.), Professors, etc.. I want to have the initial e-mails drafted up for each of these groups as well as for individuals before I start my campaign so it gets sort of kick-started (see what I did there?). I will be e-mailing them all multiple times throughout the campaign with updates (and they can always just check this blog) and I'm sure my e-mailing methods will be sort of fluid throughout the whole process because if I've learned anything these past few months it's that almost nothing works out how you plan.

I also have to draft up a basic timeline of the story I predict myself telling through this doc. though once again, almost Nothing works out how you plan... am I just putting off fundraising because i'm nervous?

After that I need to begin drafting up my campaign. what I'm going to say/show in the video, what the description will be, etc.

This is so exciting! (and nerve wracking)

Jessi Jaramillo has agreed to help me curate my campaign because she is an expert at social media marketing :) and I am a total novice.

I will probably update the blog again later today but I needed a break from drafting up e-mails so I decided to share my goals for the day with you good people.

-Kevin