public funding

Kickstarter’s Competition; Joan Rivers Slammed by Fashion Police Writers

Kickstarter’s Competition

I’ve posted about Kickstarter, with my own personal mixed feelings (I’m not against it if the project is really interesting and the company really needs the money to get started). I’ve also posted about how Hollywood types like Spike Lee are seeking funds on Kickstarter, instead of mortgaging their own mansions (a $10 donation gets you a signed post card from Spike…I’d rather flush $10 down my toilet than give anything to anyone with as much money as he has, and he still has the audacity to hock people for more money). And now there’s something completely new, thanks to a law called Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, that President Obama signed with what seems to be the hope that depression era laws that kept startups restricted can now flourish again.

And now…which is illegal with Kickstarter right now…investors can receive some of the profits. I know nothing about those depression era laws, however, I would assume they were put into effect to keep corruption down. It’s been known to happen that there are people out there who will, and do, take advantage of other people for monetary gain.

Here’s how it works: Now, startups are required to pitch investment opportunities to individuals rather than broadcast them to the masses. But Title II of the JOBS Act allows those seeking money to advertise investment opportunities on TV or via Facebook or Twitter — wherever, including at crowdfunding sites.

Potential investors must be “accredited,” defined as an individual (or married couple) with a net worth of $1 million excluding their primary residence or an income exceeding $200,000 in the two most recent years ($300,000 for a couple). Under those rules, about 9 million Americans qualify. “It opens up access to a lot of capital for filmmakers,” says Jason Best, co-founder of Crowdfund Capital Advisors. “There’s a lot of people who are passionate about film but can’t make one themselves, but they want to be a part of one. Soon, they can.”

So far Kickstarter has no plans to get into crowdfunding. Give them time.

It’s an interesting article, and possibly a sign of our times (share the wealth), and you can read more here. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few bigger publishers get into something like this. I know that sounds a little far-fetched right now, but I never thought I’d see the day the likes of Spike Lee would be asking for money via the Internet. Lucille Ball and Desi Aranz put every cent they had into the I Love Lucy Show. At the time, it was a huge gamble. As far as I know, they didn’t take out an ad in the newspaper asking for donations to fund their project.

On the other hand, we’re all free to invest our money wherever we want.

Joan Rivers Slammed by Fashion Police Writers

This article is about a month old, but I missed it and I thought it was interesting enough to share because it’s about writers, and how Joan Rivers did not stand up for her writers on Fashion Police. For those who don’t know, one of the first significant jobs Rivers had in show business was working as a writer for the old Candid Camera TV show. I read that in one of her bios.

However, when the writers sought help from Rivers about getting a fair contract with E!, they said the 80-year-old comedian didn’t give them the support they were hoping for. As Skinner puts it, “And then when we got to the point where we needed to talk about how we were treated and how we were compensated for doing all this work for her, she shut down.”

Masterson adds, “We went to our meeting like normal and we were like, ‘Let’s just ask Joan,’ so we got together and were going to ask Joan. As soon as Ned said one sentence and boom, we were shot down.”

I think writing has to be one of the least respected professions in the world when it comes to compensation…unless you get very, VERY lucky. Most of the time you never stop fighting.