So we’ve been following along a Kickstarter that launched about three weeks ago mainly because we have a friend of a friend of a friend who’s involved in the project and told us to keep an eye on it. We've read the Kickstarter updates, all of their Facebook poosts and Tweets and gathered as much info as we can. 

Successful Kickstarters like Veronica Mars has legitimized how to run a proper campaign to get fully funded. The TV show that eventually got made into a movie also had name recognition, a cult following, big unanswered questions like is Veronica in the FBI? Logan or Piz? (what can I say, I’m a #Marshmellow) that factored into raising over $5,000,000 with 91k+ backers. Which leads us back to the Kickstarter we’ve been following for Desolation. With 4 days to go and less than $5,000 to reach its $57,000 goal, this will be a super close one. Hopefully, the next time someone reads this article, it’ll be used as a reference as to why the Desolation Kickstarter was such a success.

At first glance, we’re not sure what Desolation is about but the Kickstarter page description says “Help actor David Moscow’s directorial debut, the thriller Desolation, fund its post production.” It’s clear from the beginning what the money was going to be used for and who needed it. The next question is, who is this actor David Moscow? For some of you who’s been living under the reality show rock who can name all of the members of the Karshadian clan or repeat one of the drunken Housewives’ slurring phrases (#TeamLisa), David didn’t rely on that gimmick to get noticed. Instead, he had another plan.

Launching a Kickstarter can be daunting given the gigantic amount of other Kickstarters out there. Luckily Moscow had a couple of tricks up his sleeve to make his Kickstarter for Desolation the talk of the town. Using some of his star power, he’s had one heck of an acting career so far. Depending on who you ask, you will get a different response on where they recognized Moscow from. He made his feature film debut becoming “big” in Big as the younger version of Tom Hanks’ character, Josh Baskin. He learned to sing and dance in Disney’s Newsies. He tried to stop Ashton Kutcher from getting hitched in Just Married; sold drugs in Penny Marshall’s Riding In Cars With Boys; hung out in Restaurant; hit on and got hit by Honey; and grew up in the WB Network’s Zoe, just to name a few things he’s done. While weaving his way through the tumultous nature that is Hollywood (and somewhat unscathed), he’s had TMZ status of dating Scandals (also unscathed), married the love of his life, and he's come along way and ready to open up a new chapter in his life as a Director in Desolation. Here's the synopsis. 

The movie is a psychological thriller in the vein of Polanski's The Tenant. Small town KATIE meets heartthrob actor JAY. Jay charms Katie, brings her to L.A. where she falls hard for him. When Jay gets a movie and has to leave town, Katie awaits his return. That’s when everything begins to unravel. Katie is robbed, her keys and wallet taken. When she reports it, the police question and then attack her. Terrified, with no money, and stuck in L.A., she keeps calling her friends at home, but just gets a "wrong number."  Frantically, she asks Jay to wire her money and come back, but neither he nor the money show. When Katie's home town newspaper is delivered to her door in L.A., it includes her obituary. And she realizes there is some greater evil at play.

To get the ball rolling, David probably made a few calls to get his actor friends to help get the word out and garner support. 

Michael Rosenbaum
Emmanuelle Chriqui
Melissa Fumero
But that wasn’t going to be enough. He needed something and that something had to be BIG. 
Always with that Thing 

We all know that you must have a kick-ass Kickstarter video to set yourself apart from the others. It sets the whole tone of getting funded by the fans. In this case, David had the perfect idea to do that. Except his idea wasn’t just a thing, it was THE thing. Megaphoning into the internet’s wet dreams for anything nostaglic, David decided to recreate the iconic Zoltar wish scene from Big. This time, he didn’t wish to be bigger, he wished to get money to finish his movie. A truly clever idea. 

"The quickest way to the Internet’s heart is to remix, re-create or reinvent a beloved property from decades earlier" - Zap2It

Always with the Rewards

While some may want to pledge to the Desolation Kickstarter out of the goodness of their hearts, we all know that having the right kind of rewards will go a long way. If you’re a fan of Big or Newsies, then this Kickstarter has it all for you. If you’re looking to just chill out with David, he’s got a chance for you to join him. If you’re looking to break into the Hollywood scene, David and his producers got you covered. 

  • Pledge $25 (or more) and get a signed Newsies post card from David Moscow.
  • Pledge $250 and get a signed and framed original Big or Newsies movie poster from David Moscow.
  • Pledge $400 and get a speaking role in the next UnLtd film with your character's name in the credits.
  • Pledge 1,500 and get a two-hour consultation (on-line or in person) discussing acting, screenwriting, directing, producing, or other aspect of your choice of the film industry. (Keep in mind, Moscow’s done it all).
  • Pledge $3,000 and get an Associate Producer credit, a ton of Big or Newsies memorabilia, tickets to the Desolation world premiere and after party. 

We noticed that they were even taking the “personalized tweet” as part of the many rewards quite literally. Click on each gif and you'll see what we're talking about.  

Always with the Updates

One great way to keep everyone updated is to actually keep up with doing them. In the earlier stages of the campaign, it's always exciting to see the daily updates as to how well the Kickstarter is doing. On Day 3, the Desolation Kickstarter had 91 backers and raised over $13k! Which is an increadible feat! It was even a KSR Staff Pick! David embraced a solid online presense with daily updates on the Kickstarter page, Facebook posts, and mulitple tweets and retweets. Backers were given regular status updates on all the pledges coming in especially in the first week. But maintaining that kind of momentum would be tough week after week, although we noticed that this thing was getting traction.  

After week one, the Desolation Kickstarter had reached 33% of their goal of $57,000. It needed to get the word out fast and wouldn’t be able to solely rely on just social media for the exposure. Moscow got that wish. He did a couple of interviews and was featured on a few podcasts as a way of getting the press ball rolling. The first big one came from MoviePilot who did a “where are they now” piece. From there, articles about the Desolation Kickstarter started popping up from US vs. Film, Ratter, and Horror News Network

By the end of the second week, the Desolation Kickstarter moved up to 50% of their goal. They were half way there and pretty sure living on a prayer too. 

Entering week three, this is where things got real interesting. We mentioned that this thing was getting traction and boy did it ever. Suddenly the bigger (mainstream) sites started covering the Desolation Kickstarter from the Big Zoltar wish reenactment angle. Sometimes it takes a little bit for the internet to catch up but it did. The Kickstarter got a huge push from, ABC News, EW, Huffington Post, Zap2It, and Too Fab. We could only imagine what David and his camp must have been feeling when that happened. Which leads us back to the beginning of this article. 

With 4 days to go and less than $5,000 towards the goal, will you help make someone’s dreams come true? We definitely wanted to be a part of that.

Watch and donate to the Desolation Kickstarter!

Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. Join us in supporting the #DesolationKickstarter!



Starring: Margaret Cho, Tim Gunn, George Takei, & Dan Savage
After a break-up with his boyfriend, journalist David Thorpe embarks on a hilarious and touching journey of self-discovery, confronting his anxiety about "sounding gay." Enlisting acting coaches, linguists, friends, family, total strangers, and celebrities, he quickly learns that many people — both gay and straight — often wish for a different voice. In Thorpe's feature-length documentary debut DO I SOUND GAY?, what starts as a personal journey becomes a chance to unpack layers of cultural baggage concerning sexuality, identity, and self-esteem.