Kickstarter

Best of Kickstarter, 8/29/11

Best of Kickstarter, 8/29/11

We’re starting off the week with an update on all the great Kickstarter projects we’ve featured so far. What am I talking about, you ask? What’s this Best of Kickstarter thing we’ve been blogging about every Monday? Well, it seems like everyone is pitching their idea to Kickstarter. We think that’s great, but with great power comes great responsibility, and while the 23-person Kickstarter team does their best to filter out the winning projects from the thousands and thousands of proposals they receive, there are still literally tens of thousands of new projects that launch each week. That’s a lot of ways to spend your hard-earned five bucks. Too many ways, actually. How can one person sort through it all? Relax, we’ll do it all for you.

Worst of Kickstarter

Worst of Kickstarter

The whole point of these Picks is to keep you up to date about new Kickstarter projects that truly deserve your donations, but this last week the good stuff was hard to come by. I don’t know if the Kickstarter crew is on vacay or what, but some major duds definitely slipped through the cracks. Take the $5 minimum donation for these and treat your landlord to a beer, or, hell, just drop the money on the street. Whoever picks it up is more likely to put it to good use. And with that, I give you this week’s worst.

What I'm lusting: the LetterMPress iPad app

What I'm lusting: the LetterMPress iPad app

If you caught my recent post on letterpress wiz Alan Kitching or the bit on my personal blog about how letterpress, specifically the tactile qualities of rolling bright, glossy ink over weathered, wood type is like porn for me, then you know why the iPad app LetterMPress is nothing less than titillating. Sadly, I don’t own an iPad (donations…

Weekly Kickstarter Picks, 8/15/11

Weekly Kickstarter Picks, 8/15/11

We’re starting off the week with our second batch of donation-worthy Kickstarter projects. What’s this all about, you ask? Well, it seems like everyone is pitching their idea to Kickstarter. We think that’s great, but with great power comes great responsibility, and while the 23-person Kickstarter team does their best to filter out the winning projects from the thousands and thousands of proposals they receive, there are still literally tens of thousands of new projects that launch each week. That’s a lot of ways to spend your hard-earned five bucks. Too many ways, actually. How can one person sort through it all? Relax, we’ll do it all for you, starting right now with this week’s Kickstarter Picks.

Our weekly Kickstarter Picks

Our weekly Kickstarter Picks


It’s no secret that Kickstarter is pretty much a godsend for enterprising musicians, filmmakers, designers and anyone with a good idea and no money. It’s been around since 2009, but in the last two years it’s rapidly become the go-to place for the capital deficient to pitch their project to those with even just $5 to invest. That may not sound like a lot, and yeah, it’s not on its own, but consider this: of the 1,203 people who backed the +Pool (the plus-sign-shaped floating pool in NYC), 559 of them pledged only $5. That adds up to just under $3,000 – pretty good for a fiver.

Now it seems like everyone is pitching their idea to Kickstarter. We think that’s great, but with great power comes great responsibility, and while the 23-person Kickstarter team does their best to filter out the winning projects from the thousands and thousands of proposals they receive, there are still literally tens of thousands of new projects that launch each week. That’s a lot of ways to spend your hard-earned five bucks. Too many ways, actually. How can one person sort through it all? Relax, we’ll do it all for you, starting right now (and every Monday) with this week’s Kickstarter Picks. And while there are a ton of investment-worthy ideas out there we don’t want to bombard you, so this week we’ve chosen two editor-approved projects we can really get behind.

Bike-touring musician inspired by "the trembling music of water"

Bike-touring musician inspired by "the trembling music of water"


As a musician who tours by bike and train with the Pleasant Revolution, and also powers performances by pedaling, Heather Normandale already has a lot of green cred. But her environmentalism doesn’t stop with her methods of traveling or amplification; She also finds the inspiration for her music in the natural world. Her current project looks to the source of all life on the planet: water.

Urban gardening meets wall art: Urbio

Urban gardening meets wall art: Urbio

Urbio Urban Vertical Garden from Enlisted Design on Vimeo.


Urbanites with no yard space can get pretty creative in finding places to start a garden: from fire escapes to vacant lots. A new concept, Urbio, allows you to stop searching for space and start gardening: if you’ve got a wall, you’re good to go.

Sundance Institute Connects With Kickstarter, Facebook

Sundance Institute Connects With Kickstarter, Facebook

Looks like it just got easier for new filmmakers to raise money and promote their projects. The Sundance Institute has announced plans to team up with online crowdfunding company Kickstarter to help the Institute’s artists and alumni – including lab participants, grant recipients and festival filmmakers – place their projects on Kickstarter.com with Sundance branding…

PARIAH filmmaker starts donation campaign

PARIAH filmmaker starts donation campaign

Dee Rees, Director or PARIAH You might think a young filmmaker talented enough to have her first feature film selected to make its worldwide debut at the Sundance Film Festival would have it made in the shade. But, for Dee Rees, whose PARIAH, a coming-of-age story about a Brooklyn teenager juggling disparate identities in a…

Searching for sustainable community… by bike

Searching for sustainable community… by bike

It might be tempting to label the “journey across America in search of ______” motif a clichĂ©… except it still resonates powerfully. From 19th-century travelogues to Kerouac’s On the Road to Albert Brooks’ Lost in America, the idea of traveling the US as a quest for meaning captures out imaginations, and gives us space for a bit of introspection.

Ryan Mlynarczyk and Mandy Creighton went beyond the dreaming about such adventures most of us do, and decided to set out on their own quest across the country… this time in search of sustainable community. In 2008, they ditched almost everything, and set off across the US on bikes to explore ecovillages, communes, collectives… every form of simpler, more sustainable communities they could find. They’ve visited over 100 communities across the country, and are now pulling footage of their journey into a feature-length film titled WITHIN REACH.

Put A Egg On It

Put A Egg On It

Put A Egg On It #2 from Put A Egg On It on Vimeo.

The makers of Put A Egg On It, the quirky zine about food, are not your typical foodies. Sarah Keough and Ralph McGinnis are artists, not food writers. But the coupling of their unique design sensibilities with the subject matter of food has created a rather unique zine. It’s like The Joy of Cooking for poor Brooklynites. It’s smart, easy to look at, and funny. And it has bean recipes!

The Art of the Fund

The Art of the Fund

We know times are drastically different in the world of film financing when suddenly fiction filmmakers are creating and mastering a new nifty little form: the fundraising video. For years in documentary, one first shot some footage and then crafted a “trailer,” used really as a funding pitch reel for both grant and private equity opportunities. In fiction, of course, this was never needed (“Let’s wait for the studio to cut a trailer once we sell this thing for a MAJOR profit!”), but times they have a-changed. Some of those studios don’t even … exist anymore.