I have been asked by a few people, my father included, to have the episodes of the Bald Explorer made available on DVD. While it is lovely to have each exploration online either on Vimeo or Youtube and embedded into the website, there is an audience who enjoy what I do who either do not have access to the Internet or would prefer to watch the programmes in the comfort of their living room rather than hunched over a PC or laptop. The length of the video and the style lends itself to a television preview.
Other people have said they enjoy the videos so much but do not like having to wait between each episode. They fully understand the time it takes to produce an episode of the Bald Explorer, but it is a shame to have to twiddle their thumbs while I go off make the next one.
So I have been thinking of crowdfunding and the possibilities of adopting that funding source for a number of special episodes to be shot all in one go and I would be interested in my viewers opinions and thoughts on that.
The idea is simply this. I would like to produce a four episode box set DVD of the Bald Explorer, each programme lasting 30 minutes and each as part of an over all theme. I would be looking at pre-orders of £9.99 plus postage and packing for the DVDs and a target of 500 sales. This would give me £5000 production budget to be mainly spent on travelling costs, hotels, sustenance and fees for additional helpers. Sales above that figure would help to pay for my time and/or go towards future episodes.
I don’t think 500 sales is too unreasonable to ask, if the idea is promoted and placed on a crowdfunding website.
The four programmes I have in mind is based on one overall theme and that is about the phases of English towns. Over the two hours, the Bald Explorer would be travelling across England to discover the reasons why towns evolve and what causes them to grow. He would be looking at the stages of architecture that reflect the various periods of growth and the thinking behind them. From town walls, castles, stately homes, assembly rooms, promenades, quays, docks, mills and Victorian terraces to canal, new roads, back streets, public houses and theatres, towns have a huge story to tell and I could only scrape the surface.
At the same time, the Bald Explorer would also be building a computer graphics town featuring all the aspects he has discovered on the way resulting in a generic ‘Every Town’ CG model.
It is early days at getting the full details of the project on paper, but I am sure it would be interesting to my regular viewers and hopefully to a new audience too. So what do you think? Have any experience with crowdfunding? Does it work? I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.