My new project is a documentary webseries about the people of video games.
From the pitch:
STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT is a documentary series featuring human stories about real people. Some of them make games. Some of them play games. Some of them just happen to be caught in the crossfire. All of them are helping make the video game community one of the most vibrant and exciting collections of humans on Earth.
I’ve spent my own money producing the first two episodes. I’ve launched a Kickstarter to raise the rest.
Why spend my own money? There are a couple of reasons.
First, I didn’t want backers to have wait a year or more to see what they paid for, like happens with some Kickstarters. The first two episodes of this webseries will get published whether or not the Kickstarter succeeds. The rest will come each month afterward.
Second, I put up my own money to prove I’m serious about this. Yes, I’ve done this kind of work before, at media companies with media company money. But when a media company gives you a lot of money to make content, their reasons for doing so can be … questionable. I’ve yet to work for a media company willing to invest in quality content for the sake of creating quality content. When the market shifts, so do their spending habits. And I’m sick of it.
I believe there’s an appetite for quality content. I believed that four years ago when I helped found Polygon. I proved it when I produced the Human Angle webseries, and other features for Polygon. And although the winds of the ad-driven content model may have shifted, I still believe it.
The demand for well-told stories about interesting people doesn’t end just because ad dollars dry up. People who want to be inspired don’t stop wanting to be inspired because the dollar is weak. And I didn’t get into this business to work for advertisers.
By spending my own money, I’m hoping to send a message that I care enough about telling these stories to tell them whether anyone pays me or not. And if that means something to you — if you want to be inspired, and you want to watch the stories I’m telling — then maybe you’ll help me out.
Either way, two episodes of this webseries are getting produced, and will be released in about a month. But man, I’d really like to produce the rest of the episodes.
To help me spread the word, or back this Kickstarter, check out the project page.