Good afternoon to all our amazing Supporters,
It's been 2 days since our 120% campaign success and I'm just starting to recover from the whirlwind of emotions that has been this experience. If any of you have ever crowdfunded, you know how hard it is and how it tends to pull you all over an insane emotional scale from start to finish. You expect certain people to support and they don't even reply to your messages, or you don't think someone has the money to support and they come in with an amazing contribution and the most supportive message that just warms your heart. That kind of up and down of disappointment and exhilaration has been what Kelsey and I have been living and breathing for the last month, and it has been quite overwhelming. Luckily for us, we now have nothing to be disappointed by and so much to be excited about and thankful for, most importantly all of you.
To be a little candid and share some of what this experience was like for us, our campaign did not start out as well as we had hoped. Kelsey and I were guaranteed coverage of our campaign on some of the same sites that featured our web series "Kelsey." We were somewhat banking on the idea that a good amount of the fans of our web series would get behind our next projects and fund the biggest chunk of our goal. However, about 2/3 of the fanbase never went on to like the series on Facebook, follow on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter. They were exclusively watching our episodes embedded on these press sites. We knew they were engaging with the content and us through comments on the site, but didn't give us a way to access them outside of the sites. So, our Plan A for this campaign was to get the press we were promised, see what comes through the fanbase and then assess from there. Because of this, we tried to shape the campaign around the "Kelsey" fans while also making it as inviting as possible for new supporters, and always staying true to the material. However, when we launched, it was implied that we're not gay enough due to the brothers film in our campaign, and did not get the press we were hoping for. As a result, I'm fairly certain that at least half of our series fans don't even know that we were crowdfunding. I'm not going to comment on 'not gay enough' much because I have very strong opinions on the matter that I think make for better discussion than rant. But I will say that regardless of the content we're making, Kelsey, herself not just the protagonist of our series, is out and proud, and that seems 'gay enough' to me and definitely worthy of support by the community. It was just very disappointing to be put in a box in a way, and to have the same aspects that these sites seemingly loved about our webseries (portraying queer characters as 3 dimensional people who exist outside of just the confines of their sexual orientation) then held against us for these short films.
Anyway, I said I wouldn't get ranty, moving on to the positive. What happened then was that we were limited to just the portion of our 'Kelsey" fans that were on Twitter (and Facebook, if we were willing to pay to Boost posts, which we didn't want to do). Thankfully, many of you, our supporters, are in fact "Kelsey" fans that we reached through social media. I'd just like to say that we're so humbled and touched by the fact that you enjoyed our series so much that you wanted to support us in our next creative projects. Thank you for that. We're going to work our hardest to keep giving you content you enjoy! With that said, the majority of you, however, are in some way related to me or Kelsey, through family, friendship or as being part of the same working community. I don't want to speak for Kelsey, but I've spoken with her (extensively, since we talk to each other all day everyday) and I know she relates to all of what I'm about to say. We knew that at some point we'd have to turn to Plan B (which was realistically always part of Plan A) and start sending messages to everyone we ever met in our entire lives to garner support for this campaign. It's the crowdfunding way. But, to be honest, I was hoping that I wouldn't have to do that with literally everyone again because I had done it twice before on Kickstarter, successfully; and I, for the sake of my pride, was crossing my fingers that I wouldn't have to reach out to those same people. But, of course, as many of you know, I did and, because you're receiving this update, you're the incredible ones that without hesitation jumped in and supported. I'm so grateful and just want you to know that I'm well aware of the fact that you've supported my crowdfunding efforts before and now here you've done it again; and this is something I'll never forget. You're my foundation. You're the ones who've been there with me from the beginning and who I'll take with me to every step I grow. And lastly, to the overwhelmingly supportive few who have no relation to us whatsoever, and from what I can tell weren't too familiar with our past work but chose to contribute to us and join our team, we say thank you. The truest thank you you can imagine. We warmly welcome you to our team and hope you'll be sticking around for future collaborations!
To all of you, we will do our best to make you proud of your investment in us and these films, and will make sure you feel part of the process. When I say this is our film, I don't mean mine and Kelsey's or mine, Kelsey's and the CongestedCat team's. I mean OURS, all of you included.
Kelsey, the team and I are going out to dinner tonight to celebrate. It's also sort of a birthday celebration for me, Chris (CongestedCat co-founder) and my fiancé since all birthdays are within 5 days of each other. But we'll absolutely be toasting to the success of this campaign and all the new members of our team! We'll take a group photo to send as an update this weekend.
Next week, we'll be finishing up our social media thank yous and adding our eligible contributors to the films' IMDb pages with their Special Thanks and/or Producer credits: NOLR & WHP. We'll also be holding callbacks for Chris in NOLR, and hopefully will share our final 'Meet the Cast' video by the following week. We've already secured our locations and the rest of our crew. As more progresses with our film, you'll know about!
Have a lovely weekend,
Christina (on behalf of myself, Kelsey & the team)
P.S. For all the fellow filmmakers who supported us, definitely reach out if/when you need support for your own campaign(s). Also, if anyone would like to subscribe to our monthly newsletter for updates about all our projects and our free film screening series IndieWorks, feel free to sign up on our homepage: http://www.congestedcat.com/