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Hello there friends!
Iiiiiiiiiit’s Joey! So here we are. Just over half-way into our Kickstarter campaign. Over 1100 (!!!!) backers ready to dive in with us. And, already, we’ve reached our goal!
Needless to say, this has been quite an exciting, emotional, cathartic and humbling couple of weeks. If I could find a way to thank each and every one of you for your enthusiasm and support, I WOULD. And honestly, this being my first venture into the world of Kickstarter, I had NO idea what to expect. SO: to get the ball rolling on our “pulling back the curtain” aspect of this process, I thought I’d share with you what was going through my head the day before we launched this campaign…..
CUT TO: WEDNESDAY MARCH 27TH — DAY — MY APARTMENT
Even with the weeks of bubbling excitement, juicy brainstorming sessions, and overall “HUZZAH! WE’RE GONNA DO JUDAS AGAIN” morale among our team, the impending Kickstarter launch had me terrified. Unlike the seasoned KS veterans Brian and I were working with, I had no real concept of what would happen over the next 30 days, how people would react to it, or when (if at all!) we would meet this lofty goal. All I was 100% sure of was the “Why”. The “why” was the catalyst. It pushed us to this point. But was “what” we presented enough for people to understand the “why”? Would those who hadn’t experienced this play like we had previously be able to get on board with us? These questions haunted me in the days leading up. Like Marley’s Ghost……..please forgive that awful reference.
A few days before, we had shot our footage for the video and sent it over to our PIC’s in Chicago to edit and shape. After so many conversations over phone and text with Julia, Brian, Lauren, and Corey, I felt pretty confident that I could smoothly and concisely express my feelings towards this project. I was DEAD WRONG. I rambled like a turn-of-the-century town drunk. Guilt set in over the next couple of days knowing that Corey and Julia would have to sift through my 40 min+ of footage to find the few fleeting moments of clarity. I genuinely believed I might have messed up the entire concept of the video.
This is a photo of me being mad at myself for what I had done:
Now, on the eve of what may be the beginning of this entire project (Julia had sent it in for approval on Tuesday night and had been fine-tuning the page and video for a possible campaign launch on Thursday), we had a rough cut of the KS video to view for any finals notes.
It was, by all accounts, a fine video. It covered all the bases. There were a few things that needed to be fixed (music, certain edits, title cards, etc) but what I was watching was, more or less, the video we were about to send out into the internet ether. However, there was something about it that seemed off. It’s always weird to watch yourself perform on tape, ya know? But when you’re watching yourself speak casually about a subject you’re passionate about on tape, it’s even stranger. I figured that must be it. So I probably sent over a “thumbs up” emoji or something on our text stream and moved on.
About halfway through the day, Brian and I showed a friend the video to get a second opinion. Well, let’s just say it was not the opinion we wanted to here at this point. It was like going to one doctor and having them say, “Oooh those chest pains you’re having are just cramps! You’ll be fiiiine.”And then the doctor you go to for a “second opinion” tells you that ACTUALLY your heart is failing. He brought to light a number of issues regarding the video that, deep down, I knew were a problem but didn’t have the heart to tell Julia that morning, knowing what a long and arduous process it was for her and Corey to put that video together.
As expected, I was immediately thrown into a mental breakdown and Class J (for Joey) panic attack. In that short period of time spent addressing these problems, some pretty absurd solutions were thrown around between Brian and I including: “Maybe we should push the Kickstarter launch back!!!”, “We’re gonna need to film all of this over again!!!”, “AAAAAAAHHH!!”. But when the dust settled, we realized the responsible and right thing to do was to contact Julia and talk through these notes as best as possible. AND WOULDN’T YA KNOW, our fearless leader was having the same thoughts!! As soon as we got on the phone, we learned that she and Corey had been feeling the same uneasiness about the video all day. More than fear of failure, we all felt a sort of relief that we had spoken up and communicated these issues early enough where we could fix and improve upon them. We communicated. Rather than let these things eat away at our insides during what could have potentially been the entire campaign, we faced them head on and more importantly, together.
I’m a very non confrontational person. Not to say that I don’t have leadership qualities, but if I feel like a peer is more qualified or experienced than me, I’m more likely to take the back seat and let them make decisions. My role as a producer on this show is both exhilarating and scary. I’ve never been in this position before, and certainly not on a show this ambitious. And DAMN do I love experiencing the pre-production process. But “when the going gets tough”, as Billy Ocean said in a fantastic song I heard at the grocery store once, I sometimes find myself unable to speak my opinion for fear of disrupting flow, stepping on others’ toes, or offending peoples’ prior decisions. Luckily, I’ve already jumped that hurtle thus far with Judas. And THANK GOD that I’m working with such compassionate and loving friends who want this process to be both efficient and collaborative. Suddenly, those uneasy feelings I had go away, and I’m reminded that I can tell these people anything and that it’s ALL GOING TO BE OK. And guess what? It was. Even though we second guessed ourselves at the last minute, we went with our gut. Changes were made that we just knew were necessary and it’s certainly a decision we aren’t regretting. It’s usually the most significant decisions that are the toughest to make, right? ;) After almost 7 more hours of KICK ASS work from Julia and Corey, we had the KS vid you see today and, in the blink of an eye, the fire inside me rekindled and I had caught the Judas bug yet again.
We got a good team here. People that I deeply love and respect. And if that wasn’t enough, we now have ALL OF YOU!!!! It’s pretty amazing what can happen in only 18 days :) Now, ONWARD!!!