Tips from Gary Hustvita

Yesterday, a meeting was held at the Polytechnic Museum with the American documentary filmmaker Gary Hastvit, who successfully used the public finance method for all of his projects. His lecture “Crowdfunding and the society of the future” and the display of the Hastvit design trilogy were organized by the Beat Film Festival team in collaboration with For an hour, Gary shared his experience, answered questions from the audience, and also chatted on Skype with Charles Adler, co-founder of the Kickstarter website.


The Planet’s operators recorded the entire lecture from beginning to end, and soon we will post a video with a Russian translation, but for now we will briefly talk about what was discussed.

The main idea that Khastvist was trying to convey is that crowdfunding is not begging: "You are not asking for money, you are inviting people to become part of your project." Crowdfunding is co-creation, and the main task of the authors is to engage the target audience so that the campaign becomes an entertainment for both parties: it would be interesting for shareholders to follow the dynamics of the project and feel part of it, and the creators would be interested to communicate with the audience and receive invaluable information from it feedback. For example, for his Olympic City photo project, Hastvít and a partner announced a vote on the topic: “Which city hosting the Olympics should be included in your photo project?” Strange as it may seem, Moscow took the first place by a wide margin, the second - Berlin and the third - Tokyo. And this is one of the reasons for Khastvit’s visit to Moscow.
The second relevant thesis: “crowdfunding is not magic!”, As many people think ... This is not a magic action or a generator of easy money, you need to work hard, proving the uniqueness, consistency and necessity of your idea, project. Goals should be modest.

Hostiv also noted an important component of the crowdfunding system - trust in the authors of projects. “Perhaps this is exactly what the Russians lack? There must be successful, recognized artists, artists who would use crowdfunding to implement their projects, then things will go in Russia. It is necessary to create a critical mass of interest so that people see the completed projects. ”

Charles Adler spoke on Skype about trends in the world of crowdfunding, and how the nature of projects has changed over the past three years. Adler noted that “project authors do not always understand what cultural mechanisms are involved in crowdfunding,” and that “now project authors are increasingly analyzing their risks on Kickstarter, rather than looking for like-minded people,” as it was originally intended. And as it seemed to us, this did not make him particularly happy, since all the Kickstarter co-leaders are creative people and are engaged in different types of art.

At the end of the lecture, Gary answered questions from the audience. We learned that Gary is a big fan of David Lynch, that he does not watch TV and does not understand why he is needed at all, and why we need a distribution system if there is Internet and you can build relationships directly. And also that “good graphic design is my weakness, the project immediately looks more real!”. Speaking about the future of crowdfunding, Khastvit emphasized that he can solve many problems, including social ones. It is good that more and more platforms for public financing are appearing in the world, as people have the opportunity to promote projects in their country: “I wish you success. Above all, don’t give up! ”

Screening of films by Hustvita "Objectified" and "Urbanized" will take place on November 21 at 19.00 and 21.00 in the Lecture Hall of the Polytechnic Museum.

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