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By Mark Bell | May 31, 2011

As I’ve been hinting at for a couple entries now, the original pitch and pitch video on both IndieGoGo and Kickstarter have been seriously lacking. Over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, I finally finished the re-tool of both.

Due to the verbose nature of the original pitch, I’m going to link to it instead of pasting it in here for comparison. Since it takes too long to get through as a pitch, you’d probably stray before even getting to the new stuff. Even now, I delay with words. Check out the new pitch text, then check the original. Massive difference:

Film Threat was founded over 25 years ago. From the beginning, Film Threat magazine dominated the print landscape as the source for conversation about independent and underground cinema. In 1997, the print era ended and Film Threat magazine focused its sights on the world wide web; was born. Since then, the website has continued the tradition set forth by the magazine; a lone voice shouting into the void of mainstream media, reminding the world that there is more to film than summer blockbusters and celebrity gossip. Alone… until now…

With your support, Film Threat will be returning as a magazine in 2011!

Why a magazine? Why not just stick with a website? Because there is an erratic collection of transient, ever-fluctuating, film websites requiring short attention spans to digest spliced information that is easily forgotten mere seconds after consuming. A magazine is a measured, engaged, focus on a topic of importance; a snapshot in time and a document of history that can be viewed and appreciated within its own historical context. Just as the old Film Threat magazine serves as a record of the careers of Richard Linklater, Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith as they occurred and were contextually framed, so too will the Film Threat magazine of today. It will provide a reference and history of our current filmmaking climate to the filmmakers and film aficionados of the future. There is value in our past; sometimes you need to use new technology to rediscover, enhance, and improve upon that which came before. We can provide meaningful content for those who appreciate independent and underground film; we will extend what and how we cover this world beyond the website.

Starting September 2011, in addition to the daily content available on, the new Film Threat magazine will be released as a quarterly, publishing each Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer, in both digital and print editions, and will include even more in-depth coverage on independent film, film festivals and the art of filmmaking. The digital edition will be available online at and as part of the new Film Threat app, optimized for iPhone, iPad, Android devices, Kindle, Nook and whatever technology comes along. The print edition will be available as print-on-demand, home delivery subscription and in very select retail outlets.

Film Threat Magazine returns this year, but we need your help:

In order to design, create and develop a year’s worth of magazines (four issues) for both digital and print editions, as well as finish development on the Film Threat app, we need to raise $30,000 (or more). The money will cover all aspects of magazine creation, including payment to our team of writers for the magazine’s content. Many other business are doing their best to stop paying their writers; we’re trying our best to pay them more.

Please support the Return of Film Threat Magazine (in its various forms) today by pledging money to our campaign, and spread the word to anyone you know who loves movies, makes movies or even just wants something a little different than what is already out there.

Be Different, Be a Rebel, BE A…

I think the above gets in and out better than the original text, but I also know that just because the text is improved, doesn’t mean the project success will, especially if nothing else changes. Since the video has been an issue for a while, I finally got a new cut. Check it out below, and then you can see the older cuts at Vimeo (Video 01 and Video 02).

Now, based on what I saw in other videos, this video had to at least be shorter AND more visually interesting than the first takes. Much like my writing, even my initial cut of this video was too long at just under four minutes, so I got it down to under three. I’d prefer to have an even shorter video, but I felt that this video needed to address:

  • What Film Threat is/was
  • Who I am
  • Why Film Threat as a magazine, and not just a website, is important
  • How the magazine will be released, and when
  • What formats the magazine will exist in
  • The amount of money we’re looking to raise
  • Where that money is going
  • How you can help

To get all of that in, as succinctly as I’m seemingly capable of, took just under three minutes. I didn’t address the project rewards, but many of the videos I saw for successful campaigns never mentioned them either (though I did add a new $5 reward tier). The dominant themes of those videos seemed to be Who, What, Where, When, Why and How, told as concisely as possible.

This video is not without some of its own flaws; I may’ve edited too judiciously and some sentences don’t flow quite as nicely, and I’m not much of an After Effects whiz (oooh, I can rotoscope and rotate backgrounds; still can’t properly light a green screen to save my life). In fact, the rotating background, in the first cut, rotated so fast that my wife, upon watching it to give me notes, actually got motion sickness. At least I fixed THAT…

We’re coming up on the halfway point of the campaign, with about a month to go. Everything is a work-in-progress, and I’m not saying I won’t tweak things more (I know I will), but this foundation feels steadier than the last.

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