Problem solving can kick start a creative project

Sometimes creativity just needs a platform. So often a creative idea is stopped before it can begin because of funding, space, availability, time – the list goes on. Sometimes a creative person just needs to decide he/she is going to create something and do it, leaving excuses behind. Other times, the excuses are genuine reasons. Art installations, photo projects, fine art exhibits, sculptures, music ventures and films all take money, among other things. The ability to see past pitfalls is where a different kind of creativity comes into play.

When I see people in the world solving problems in order to make success happen, it restores my faith that creativity, like love, can withstand and push through, despite the challenges.

Recently, Rob Thomas, a Hollywood writer/producer, started a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a movie he’s wanted to do for six years. He turned to Kickstarter because, even though most of the cast was on board, studios wouldn’t touch it – they didn’t think the popularity of “Veronica Mars,” the TV show from which the film would be based, had the audience for it, especially six years after the show was canceled three seasons into its existence on UPN and The CW.

So, he turned to Kickstarter, which delivers a platform for artists to raise money to fund and complete their projects. If the monetary goal is not met in the time frame allotted (usually 30 days), the pledge dies and the donors owe nothing. The burden to hit the goal and rally the troops is on the artist. Typically, said artist will offer up incentives for different levels of contributions to entice more pledges.

Thomas’ goal was to raise $2 million in 30 days – more than the website had previously raised, ever.

I’ve had friends’ careers pushed forward by projects on Kickstarter, so the fact he went that route was no surprise, especially after getting turned down by studios. Warner Brothers, which owned the rights to the TV show, pledged they would help with distribution if the money was raised to produce the film.

On day one, in the first 10 hours, the project surpassed the $2 million goal. With 25 days to go in its 30-day run, 55,400 people raised $3.6 million. Granted, the show has a widespread fan base that includes Hollywood super nerds like Joss Whedon (“The Avengers”), but it’s no “Dark Knight Rises.” The fast funding even surprised Thomas.

The moral to this story is, Thomas almost thought it was a foregone conclusion that his creative vision for this film would never be realized. The obstacles couldn’t be cleared. The twists and turns couldn’t be navigated. Although fans seemed to want it, and actress Kristen Bell (Veronica) was consistently asked on talk shows if the movie would ever happen, it seemed to be a pipe dream, fodder for fan sites. Creativity is more than coming up with the idea; it’s about solving the problems that get in the way of it becoming a reality. And, in the end, the journey is worth it.

Tiffannie Bond is a media relations specialist at Imagine Communications.

Email Tiffannie at tbond@weareimagine.com

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