Mar 182012
 

A sneak peak at some of the women we cast in the upcoming Evelyn Avenue feature film ONLY CHILD…

I’m more excited about ONLY CHILD than I ever have been about a film this close to the start of a shoot, and a lot of that has to do with the cast. For me it’s all about chemistry. I’ve worked with some fantastic actors, some of whom are returning for this film. But I don’t think I’ve ever worked with such an interesting intersection of performance styles. WOMAN’S PICTURE segregated its actresses through its anthology format. ONLY CHILD keeps putting them in each other’s way. They run parallel in their own stories but make interesting collisions and confrontations throughout. All of the women in ONLY CHILD have some quality I want to explore on screen. All are very strong, and very different:

Grace Zabriskie

I think I first saw Grace Zabriskie – or at least really noticed her – in WILD AT HEART, a performance that left me pretty shaken. I saw it with my partner at the time and couldn’t talk after we left the theater. I had a hard time understanding how anyone was talking, and I resented being expected to. It wasn’t just the explicit violence in the movie. It had to do with the violence of the performances, too, and Grace’s was for me the most intensely realized. David Lynch works with a lot of actors but keeps bringing people back, and I always wait for Grace to show up again. Her role in INLAND EMPIRE was one of my favorite things on film that year. There was no real reference point for it. Like something in a dream, it had recognizable reference points, but everything was twisted just so; there was a menace to her performance you can’t really put a finger on. I feel like Grace understands David Lynch very well, and he understands her. When they work together you feel like they’re taking each other to places neither might get to alone. I watched Grace in BIG LOVE and was fascinated by how much there was to her that I hadn’t seen or sensed before. The arc of Lois, her character in the series, was one I can’t imagine many other actors navigating so well. There were parts of that series involving Grace that I could barely stand to watch. They felt too real, like you were seeing an actor bring a little more into the part than most people could withstand. It felt confessional in some way. I wrote the part of Delores in ONLY CHILD with Grace in mind, and could picture her in every room like she’d always been there. Grace makes no compromises when it comes to character. She allows whoever she’s playing to be complex and often inscrutable.

Amy LaVere


I first saw Amy on screen in Craig Brewer’s $5 COVER. She’s such a natural on screen, performing in a way that can feel almost documentary. Working with her on WOMAN’S PICTURE was a creative highlight for me, because she had very strong ideas, her mind was always working to get inside the character of Loretta in a way that authenticated her. She worked hard to understand where I was coming from, so that she could make sure, I think, that she was doing right by me, but not without doing what she believed was right by Loretta. When she first read the script she said “I know this woman” with a confidence that made me nervous. I thought, Uh oh. Here we go. But she really did know her, so well that I can’t imagine anyone else having played that role. Loretta was written for Amy but at the time I’d never exchanged words with her. Ultimately I learned a lot about Amy and a lot about the character I’d written. I wrote Loretta but Amy created her. It’s rare that someone inhabits your character like that, introducing you to her as if for the first time. Amy brings a lot to her music, to her live performances. She makes a narrative out of her stage act. She’s a storyteller like few musicians are. To see her bring that to the screen was exciting and eye opening. She’s one of the smartest actresses I’ve worked with in the most intuitive way. The tiniest decisions she makes are the best and make you truly feel the character.

Lindsey Roberts

Another thanks I owe Craig Brewer. I saw Lindsey in THE POOR AND HUNGRY years ago, before I’d ever made a film, and haven’t been able to stop thinking about her since. I’ve written a part for her in everything I’ve done, but it’s only now that we’re working together. I wanted to write a role that would make up for lost time, and LANA, her character in ONLY CHILD, is my love letter to Lindsey and her unique talents. You never know what Lindsey will do, what direction she’ll take a character in. Her characters can feel like loose cannons even when they’re perfectly still. You know something’s coming. She has some of the best comic timing I’ve ever seen, and can somehow make her characters feel real no matter how awkward or manic they might look. She has that combination in a comedically gifted actress I admire, mixing broad gesture with more nuanced details. The laugh always has weight to it, playing around with gravity. So many actors look at someone they’re playing opposite and you know they’re not really seeing them, they’re not really there. Lindsey always feels engaged, present in the thing. Lana is a little bit of a motormouth. She has a lot of anxieties and constantly struggles with them. She’s sunny but forecasting storms. Lindsey is the perfect person to play her because of what she can do with that kind of inner tension, the way she can make it come out in every gesture and expression.

Angela Dee

Aside from Savannah Bearden (see below) Angela Dee is the closest I have to a repertory performer. If I could, I would put her in everything. I would wake up in the morning and my biggest decision would be, What can I do with Angela Dee today? When I first saw her I thought, This is probably what Robert Altman felt when he met Shelley Duvall at that party in Houston. Why is this woman not in every movie ever made? What kind of film can I possibly hope to make without her? Who would possibly want to see a movie she isn’t in? Angela draws from places that always surprise me. She uses her body more effectively than anyone I’ve ever worked with. It’s musical. Like Lindsey Roberts, she does a mixture of comedy and drama that pushes all my buttons. A member of Upright Citizens Brigade, Angela is uniquely talented when it comes to improvisation. A lot of people, faced with the prospect of improvisation, go cold or freeze, or come up with things that suddenly drop all the work they’ve done to build a character. It’s a risk I’m not always comfortable taking with someone. I never feel insecure about it with Angela because she drops nothing; it all comes in with her and comes out fully realized. Her presence in a cast instantly elevates everything, and putting her opposite anyone else is the biggest gift you can give that other actor.

Savannah Bearden

I’m so close to Savannah and so much of our friendship and rapport ends up on screen that it’s hard to talk about what makes her special on film. So much of it is there off screen and it can seem to just kind of translate when you point a camera at her. She’s my go-to actress here in Memphis. I know that anything she does will be worth watching, let alone filming. She seems like she could have been a movie actress in any era, from silents to mumblecore. Her face seems timeless to me and her chemistry is at once contemporary and retro. I feel like Savannah gets very close to my sensibility on screen and she’s something of a female surrogate for me. I feel like if anybody has trouble understanding who I am as a person they can look at Savannah in my films and get the picture. As a collaborator, she’s incredibly supportive, but doesn’t fall prey to taking me too seriously, even when my ego would prefer it. She has great range tonally. She looks like a million bucks. She’s sarcastic and can do that well on camera but always with a bottom line warmth that complicates the role, moving it away from cynicism. She’s generous in the sense she brings so much of her personality and point of view into the character that she transcends my intentions. She plays Meredith in the WOMAN’S PICTURE series, the sister of my character, MACKIE. In ONLY CHILD, she plays LANA’s neighbor. Turns out Meredith lives down the street. Of all the characters I’ve written in this ten year series, Meredith is the one I’m most curious about seeing ten years from now.

 Posted by on March 18, 2012
Mar 122012
 

Zurich perfumer Andy Tauer talks about the upcoming fragrance Loretta ( October 2012), second in the Tableau de Parfums line…

Loretta, the second fragrance in the Tableau de Parfums line created by perfumer Andy Tauer, doesn’t officially launch until September of 2o12. Inspired by the character of the same name, played by Amy LaVere in the series, Loretta is a surprising take on tuberose, as full of mystery as its namesake.

There’s been a lot of advance interest in Loretta since we announced the Tableau line in 2011 with Miriam, our first fragrance.  This week, we’re adding the fragrance Loretta to the available incentives on our kickstarter page for Only Child, the next film in the WOMAN’S PICTURE series.

If you haven’t checked out our campaign, please do. It’s easy to make a donation and there are many new perfume packages for people who love fragrance. Your support will help us reach our goal and make the film. If we don’t reach our goal, we won’t be able to use any of the money raised and Kickstarter won’t allow any of our incentives to go out.

See the ONLY CHILD campaign and read more about the incentives we’ve added here.

We’re excited to provide this sneak peak of Loretta, because it’s a pretty fantastic scent, a uniquely moody take on tuberose, something of a departure for Andy, and we want to take this opportunity to share it a little early with our supporters.

Recently we talked to Andy about his thoughts on both the character and the fragrance…

EVELYN AVENUE: Can you give a few thoughts about the character of Loretta? When you started thinking about her fragrance, what were your initial impressions?

ANDY TAUER: Contrary to Ingrid’s fragrance, scheduled for 2013, and the fragrance Miriam, launched last year, Loretta was easy. Super easy. I watched the movie and by coincidence or not, I knew immediately how to create it. I knew that I wanted to create a fragrance that is as a dreamy as Loretta is.

Loretta is a dreamer, she is lost in her dreams and we cannot reach her. She is incredibly sensual and in my eyes she is also very sexy. And I felt a contradiction in her, a paradox …I am searching for the right word here… an incongruity: She seems very vulnerable, yet she is not, but in the end she might be.

In Loretta’s dream world there is this man who falls in love with her and wants to take her with him to save her and to start a life with her. Loretta’s dream world is quite romantic and I feel very close to her there.

That’s how I experience her, seeing Loretta on the screen. Now what do you do with these impressions when you create a fragrance? Maybe our readers want to dream their own perfume here, too. I dreamed it on the rich, sensual and dark side. It could be a fragrance from the eighties. Notes are ripe dark fruits, a velvet rose, a spicy and powdery tuberose, a note of sparkling orange blossom, all nicely arranged on a queen-size bed of dark patchouli and woody notes with vetiver, ambergris, a touch leather and sweetened orris root.

EA: Does the Loretta fragrance relate to Miriam in some way? What makes these Tableau fragrances different than the Tauer line?

AT: I am pretty sure that a creator is the wrong person to ask about his or her creations. I am actually convinced that others like you or perfume lovers out there can make more sense of my creations than I can. I can speak of lines and notes and language, but I am much too much linked into them.

Having said this: From an eagle perspective, looking at the aesthetics, the language of the scent, I do not think that Loretta and Miriam relate strongly. Miriam is referencing back 60 years; it is a modern fragrances but reaches out to the grand perfumes of the thirties and forties. Aldehydic, heady, floral it speaks a different language than Loretta.

Loretta references the fragrances of the eighties. Please do not get me wrong: the goal was not to copy/paste a perfume from the past. I am just pointing back to a time where I was making my steps into university and wore super large glasses and had these shirts that are so hilarious to look at today. But some of the fragrances created in this time period are great! Of course, Loretta and Miriam relate to each other in the sense that they are inspired by characters that you created. There are many forces that hold the WOMAN’S PICTURE universe together.

EA: How do you feel fragrance relates to film? Do you feel there’s a connection at all between the way a fragrance works on you and the way a movie does?

AT: Yes and no. I rarely smell fragrances that touch me so much that I get tears into my eyes. Movies do this quite often. That’s the no. The “yes”: Movies and perfumes have the magic of transporting me to another place where memories and emotions are at home, where I forget time and where I am at peace.

 

 Posted by on March 12, 2012
Mar 092012
 

We’re offering vintage Vera scarves on our Kickstarter page, signed by actress Grace Zabriskie, who wears them in ONLY CHILD, our next film. If you pledge for a scarf on the Kickstarter page, make a selection here and send us an email through the kickstarter site to let us know. We’ll be marking these “called for” to let you know which are still available. Two of these scarves are chiffon and are noted as such underneath.

#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

#6

#7

#8

#9

#10

#11 (called for)

#12 (called for)

#13

#14

#15 (called for)

#16

#17

#18 (Above scarf is chiffon)

#19

#20 (Above scarf is chiffon)

 Posted by on March 9, 2012
Mar 062012
 
Musician/actress Amy LaVere talks about her role in Only Child, the next film in the Woman’s Picture series…

After seeing Amy LaVere as the character Loretta in our first film, WOMAN’S PICTURE, filmmaker Ira Sachs said that it was one of the best performances he’s seen in years.

If you haven’t seen that film, you can by donating only 15 bucks to our Kickstarter campaign for ONLY CHILD, the film we’re shooting in April. You get a download with your donation. The trailer is on the kickstarter page.

It’s well worth the price of admission. What Amy does with the role I think would probably surprise most people who think they know her. In some way, she puts on film, in that performance, many of the characters she’s sung about for the past several years, bringing them life in a different way. Loretta is a quiet, slightly vacant character on the surface. It’s hard to play that kind of thing. It’s hard to be still on camera. Amy gives her so much depth with so much subtlety that it completely complicates what you’re seeing on the surface, making Loretta a much more dynamic character than she might have been.

ONLY CHILD picks up with Loretta a few weeks later, and introduces her estranged mother, played by Grace Zabriskie, who comes looking for her daughter when she disappears. When we started the Woman’s Picture series I told Amy she’d have to feel pretty comfortable with Loretta, because they’d be stuck together for the duration (the series will last 10 years). I wasn’t sure where we’d take Loretta, and she wasn’t either, but she said great, okay by her.

A lot has changed for both of us since we first filmed Loretta together. Recently I asked Amy some questions about the character.

Evelyn Avenue: How do you see Loretta, your character in the Woman’s Picture series?

Amy LaVere: I see Loretta as having evolved into this helpless mess but she’s also far more uncomplicated than the characters she interacts with or even the audience realizes. Her edges are rounded. She’s numb in reality and electric in her imagination.

Evelyn Avenue: It’s been a few years since we filmed the first part of Loretta’s story. Now we’re filming something that takes place several weeks later. So a lot’s changed for you – but probably not for her. How do you approach getting back into a character like that after some time away? And are you trying to bring new insights to her this time?

Amy LaVere: I relate to Loretta in a way that I’m finding pretty difficult to clarify here without sounding really strange. When reading the WOMAN’S PICTURE script I really knew her. I could feel myself in her skin. Now that I’ve met her mother and learned a little more of her past through the reading of ONLY CHILD I feel that I understand her somewhat less. I’m going to not concern myself with trying to figure her out too much as she wouldn’t be curious to know herself any better either – again, I’m not sure that I can  make this make sense.  Loretta lives almost totally in something like a state of dreamy dull bliss that she doesn’t wear on her face. Her face says something sadder and more lost. She has an awareness of reality but mostly doesn’t live in it, only “tries it on” from time to time. Her longings and desires can be periodically lived out pretty successfully through her fantasies. In this film I think Loretta continues to try on love and sexuality like a child tries on her mother’s or father’s clothes. I will be “trying on” Loretta. The new insight for us all will be discovering how she reacts when forced to see her past.  Even I cannot predict whether she will awaken dangerously, with acceptance, fear or not at all. The process of being her will lead me there.

(Photo from Woman’s Picture by Tommy Kha. Left, Amy LaVere; right, Corey Parker)

 Posted by on March 6, 2012
Mar 052012
 

How psychedelic, geometric, nostalgic vintage Vera scarves seemed like the best fit for Grace Zabriskie’s character in Only Child…

When we started thinking about the character of Delores, one of the principal figures in our upcoming film ONLY CHILD, and it came time to talk about wardrobe, Grace Zabriskie, who plays Delores in the film, mentioned scarves.

She wouldn’t call herself one probably, but Delores is a hoarder. We decided she would dress pretty basically. Clothes don’t mean much to her. It’s the accessories she likes. More to collect. One day bleeds into the next and she loses track of time. She falls asleep in her motel room with the TV on and the curtains closed, and when she wakes she’s wearing the same outfit she had on the night before. A scarf marks a new day. Delores has probably dozens of them, and finds more every day, combing through thrift shops. Her luggage is stuffed with them.

Once we decided on scarves, I called up April, a friend of mine who, like Delores, collects a lot of old things. I knew she’d have scarves. Turned out – again, like Delores – she had a suitcase full, all rolled up and set in rows. She let me pick whatever I wanted for the film, and after I’d made my selections she pointed out that I seemed to like the Vera scarves the best.

I’d never heard of Vera Neumann, but at one time, apparently, she was practically a household name. She made scarves between the ’50s and the ’90s, after starting out in textiles. During WWII the fabric she needed was scarce, and she came up with the idea of using parachute silk. No shortage of that. She got into scarves, made a ton of them, then everybody else got into them. You’ve seen Vera’s work even if you’re not familiar with her: in the last photos taken of Marilyn Monroe, she drapes a chiffon Vera scarf over her body. It’s easy to miss the scarf under those circumstances, but generally a Vera scarf stands out.

For a long time Vera painted all the images printed on her scarves. They come in all different styles but the color is always great, and my favorites are her bold geometric prints. At one point, a series of department stores curated a traveling exhibition of Vera’s work, hanging the scarves like pieces of art. They were art, really, designed by Vera to bring art off the walls and onto the body. I wasn’t surprised to learn about the department store exhibit, because when I first saw my friend April’s Vera scarves I thought they would make amazing wall hangings, more interesting than most of the art I see.

I’ve collected as many Vera scarves as I could find and afford for ONLY CHILD, and for the Kickstarter campaign I decided to offer them as an incentive, autographed by Grace after she wears them in the film. I like the idea of combining our art in the film, then putting Grace’s name next to Vera’s as a sort of tribute, partners in crime, and sending them back out into the world to hang on someone else’s wall. And since we’re offering perfume, it seemed even more appropriate to offer the scarves, as something to hold the scent.

I’ll be posting pics of all the scarves we have in the coming week.

 Posted by on March 5, 2012
Mar 052012
 

In creating Dark Passage, the limited edition fragrance available at the kickstarter page for the next Evelyn Avenue production, ONLY CHILD, Andy Tauer and I thought a lot about how to remain playful and imaginative, and somewhat free, as we move forward together making films and perfume. Here Andy talks a little about that thought process, and about the Snapshot line of fragrances, our latest endeavor mixing film and fragrance.

EVELYN AVENUE: Dark Passage is what we’re calling a snapshot fragrance. It’s still within the Woman’s Picture universe but different than the portrait fragrances. What are the differences to you (not necessarily between the smells but between the concepts and practices of creating them)?

ANDY TAUER: The idea of coming up with some “snapshots” for the Woman’s Picture universe allowed me to come up with fragrances that fit this universe but are different from Miriam and Loretta and Ingrid, the first three portrait fragrances in the Tableau de Parfums line. These three are inspired by woman portraits in your film, Woman’s Picture. Snapshots are different in many ways. Allow me to dig into this question in some detail.

As some of your readers may know, I live from my hand’s and nose’s work since more than two years. In order to do so, to live my passion and continue my way and build my brand Tauer, I had to grow. Thus, you find my creations increasingly in more places, especially in Italy. This comes with a lot of obligations. It means a lot of registration and legal work, it means protecting the intellectual property, building complex supply chains and fighting with stock and a lot(!) of communication. Bringing products to the European Union, especially, becomes expensive and troublesome. Thus, whenever I launch a new scent I start an avalanche: labels, bottles, raw materials, paperwork, pictures. And there is a financial risk and this gets bigger, of course. Here come the snapshots.

The snapshots allow me to go back to where I was 6 years ago, playing with scents in all seriousness and sharing them with perfume lovers who care, without having to worry about logistics and supply chains. I do not have to make thousands, just 100 or 300 smaller bottles. And it is easy to get a liter or two of a scent done. Of course, without registering it in the European Union.

On a side note: I was thinking a lot about it, in fear of disappointing many perfume lovers who do not like the idea of limited editions or fragrances only available for once and then gone. But in the end, I thought, that 95% of all fragrances launched this year will be gone next year. And I would rather present 200 bottles of an interesting scent than none, because I cannot keep up with logistics.

Snapshots are also different from an aesthetic point of view. Let me be very honest with your readers here: I tried not to worry about a scent’s success when I launched it in the past. Yet, still I am convinced that the creative process is sublimely infested as soon as you start creating anything that addresses a larger public later and that will allow you to make a living. I’ve wandered with these questions for years: to what extent does the recipient of a creative endeavor influence its creation? The snapshots do not aim at being sold to a large crowd, nor will I make a living from them. We talked about this in conceiving them: They come wrapped in innocence 🙂

Finally, I hope that we will one day a project together where I make the snapshot and you make the film. That would be cool.

(editor’s note: Dark Passage is available only until the end of March, and only on our kickstarter page)

 

 Posted by on March 5, 2012
Mar 042012
 

When I was about ten years old, I canvassed the neighborhood soliciting funds for a Miss Piggy puppet.

I remembered this while we were filming the first Woman’s Picture feature length film a year or so ago, and realized not much has changed.

I was obsessed with the muppets as a kid, and when Fischer Price announced they were releasing a version of Miss Piggy you could hold in your very own sweaty hands, I had to have the thing. I asked my mom if we could get one. I was scared they’d sell out quickly. I couldn’t imagine I was the only one that obsessed, and thought if we didn’t get to the store fast enough I’d be the only one left without.

My mom was busy getting ready for work at the time and told me we couldn’t afford it. I was shocked and upset because it seemed so little was keeping me from having the puppet, when really it was such a simple thing to get, and after my mom left I sort of sunk into a depression, which lasted only about twenty minutes. Then, as now, my mind immediately started figuring out how to get around the immediate obstacle keeping my fantasy from becoming a practical reality.

I walked up and down the neighborhood, knocking on every door. I told my neighbors I wanted to start a puppet troupe, and that for a small donation I would do whatever chores they needed done around the house. I mopped, swept, vacuumed (I have a memory of vacuuming someone’s living room while Randy Newman sang Short People on the record player). I organized closets. Cleaned out garages. It was humiliating to ask for money but offering something in return seemed fair and practical to me, and leavened the discomfort. The feeling doing this gave me, something close to highly organized begging, terrified me. But not having a Miss Piggy puppet terrified me more, so I was almost supernaturally motivated to succeed, and by the time my mom got home from work I’d made exactly what I needed.

I was sitting on the bed in her room when she walked in and I told her I needed her to drive me to the store so I could get that Miss Piggy puppet we’d talked about. Like me she’d been out working. Unlike me she was exhausted, and annoyed, because we’d been over this already. She told me again we couldn’t afford it. I think now that not being able to get me something I wanted so badly bothered her more than anything. I held out the money and said that actually we could in fact afford it.

The shock on my mom’s face was that look parents get when they realize their kids aren’t quite as dependent as they imagine. Actually, in my memory, my mom looked at me like some alien might have taken over her son.  I didn’t like feeling like an alien, but if being weird was part of the bargain I was willing to accept the stigma. She was only more shocked when I explained how I’d gotten the money. We drove to get the puppet and when we got home I couldn’t stop staring at it. I sat it on the shelf when it was time for bed and couldn’t sleep. The moonlight was coming through the window and I could see Miss Piggy across the room.

A week later I cut her hair and ruined her, but I’d earned her and could do what I wanted, and knew I could always raise more money if I needed to.

This week, launching a kickstarter campaign for our next film, ONLY CHILD, I remembered all that, because it struck me how similar the experiences are. I’m knocking on a lot of doors, asking for money, trying to figure out something I can offer in return. As a kid I didn’t stop knocking until I had what I needed. I need a lot more now so I’m knocking like crazy. I keep thinking, if every neighbor would just give me ten bucks, I could give them something cool in return, and start my next troupe.

For a long time I was ashamed about the whole Miss Piggy thing but shame is kind of a waste of time I think.

 

 Posted by on March 4, 2012
Mar 032012
 

For the ONLY CHILD Kickstarter campaign, perfumer Andy Tauer created a limited edition fragrance called Dark Passage. The fragrance is available only for the remaining days of the campaign (26 left now). After the campaign it will never be offered again. We asked Andy a series of questions about Dark Passage and will post them here over the next few weeks. Here are the first of his responses.

Evelyn Avenue: Where did the idea for Dark Passage come from?

Andy Tauer: In a sense, the idea of Dark Passage comes from the past. I went mentally back a few years. Back then I loved to work with dark and rich raw material: Birch tar is a good example. I moved on since these days where I created my first fragrances. I discovered the joy of working with aldehydes, of composing lighter, more airy scents.

One day, the day when I got my hands on two new raw materials, I realized that the time has come to reach back to these days. I got samples of a special patchouli and I got samples of a cocoa that is colorless and nevertheless keeps its richness of roasted aromas, this tobacco note, bitter and dark. I foundthe cocoa wonderful and wanted to compose a scent where it is allowed to play an important role.

On the other hand, the idea goes back to a discussion that the two of us had a while ago. We were talking about the rough, wild beauty of patchouli and vetiver and other naturals. We both agreed that often this wildness is tamed to a point where the beauty actually goes missing. Thus, I wanted to bring the two together, the patchouli and the cocoa, but not doing a typical sweet and nice gourmand patchouli cacao pudding, but by making a patchouli-centric fragrance that comes with a dirty, rooty, earthy, animalic line linked into it.

 Posted by on March 3, 2012
Mar 032012
 

Everyone knows it’s hard to raise a lot of money in a limited time.  And many filmmakers can tell you that even on Kickstarter there are many obstacles and challenges to reaching your budgeted goal. What they don’t tell you is how hard it is to get a kickstarter campaign STARTED.

We launched our campaign today, after a couple of weeks getting everything ready, the last three days of which were practically all-nighters for me and my co-producer, the amazing Eileen Meyer. If we don’t raise 23k by April 28th, it’s all for naught, maybe, so we’ll be working very hard over the next month to get the word out (feel free to help). There are all kinds of links online about running an effective Kickstarter campaign, but precious little literature on how to get one ready to launch.

I figured I might share my top five tips with you:

1. Come up with really good incentives for people who pledge to your campaign.  Then throw all that out. By the time you have all your ducks in a row and are patting yourself on the back for how smart you think you must be, Kickstarter will have issued a whole new set of restrictions, and half the things you planned to offer will be disqualified. Somebody put raw meat on their incentives list and someone’s grandmother in Georgia pledged, and got botulism, and now we all have to suffer.

2. Prepare a list of screen names, user names, and passwords. You’ll need them for your Twitter account, your facebook page, your newsletter service, your Amazon banking page, and for various sites you will visit seeking relief from exhaustion and mental duress. The talkative elderly lady where we bought some props for the film told me that she just uses the same name and password for everything, but judging by her appearance and the condition of the chair she was glued to in the crowded shop, I’m guessing she doesn’t get out much. Create a document where you can store all these various passcodes and usernames, and count on forgetting where you put it.

3. Shut off all logic. It won’t do you any good. This is Kickstarter’s world, Amazon.com’s world. They make the rules. If they tell you to drive to Alaska for a bag of frozen peas, don’t ask questions. Why can’t you buy the peas in Memphis, you might ask? You won’t get an answer. The peas must come from Alaska. Plain and simple. And when you get them they must be thawed, and separated into individual containers, and each pea, once thawed, must be re-frozen again, and mailed to different parts of the country, just because, that’s why. Before you mail them, you will need to sketch a still life on each using egg tempera and a safety pin.

4. Get yourself a nice cozy place in a room with four computers and at least three mobile devices. Perhaps an I-pad. You’ll be working on one computer and it will freeze. It will be plugged in maybe and somehow mysteriously unresponsive to your delicate pecking. You’ll have ten windows open on each monitor. Some of them will refresh when you want them to. Some will be like, “Don’t rush me, what’s your problem, it’s not MY campaign. I don’t need twenty thousand dollars by tomorrow.” You’ll need to call people to cry and behave irrationally. You’ll need to text friends to beg for help. Your phone will run out of battery because you’re charging your laptops. 4-a: find a room with an abundance of outlets.

5. Wear clothes you don’t mind getting a bucket of crumbs on. You will be stuck in this room for a long time, eating pringles from a can with a laptop bearing down on your groin.

 Posted by on March 3, 2012