Nashville film project could be #1 U.S. online crowdfunded creative project, so far

To be honest, I had not heard about the crowd-funded creative project that has several Nashville connections until I read Michael Hyatt’s post this morning about the “Save Blue Like Jazz” project. Currently, the project is ranked as the #1 all-time most successful project listed on Kickstarter.com, the site reflecting the type of internet-based “crowd-funding” I’m referring to in this post.* By comparison, it has over $300,000 in pledges (the crowd-funding stops at midnight tonight) — that’s $100,000 more than the funds raised by the highly-publicized diaspora project.

For those who don’t know, Michael is the CEO of Nashville-based Thomas Nelson, the 600-employee, 200-year-old Christian book publishing company that is constantly embracing new media into its way of doing business and creating products. Hyatt, perhaps more than any CEO of any large corporation I’m familiar with, has demonstrated the marketing and business potential of personally embracing (note: not turning over to the PR folks or IT) the tools — and, more importantly, the ethos — of social media).

His post this morning, however, is about a project that was not conceived in the hallways of Thomas Nelson. However, it’s about how some fans of an author, Donald Miller, and how much they didn’t want Don and some of his friends to give up on their plans to create a film based on his 2003 book Thomas Nelson published, Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality.

[Bonus Nashville connection: One of those friends, I learned after a few clicks, is the film’s director Steve Taylor, a Nashvillian.]

Quote from Michael Hyatt’s post:

“Two guys from Franklin, Tennessee, Zach Prichard and Jonathan Fraizer, refused to let the movie go. (Note: Miller has blogged on September 16 that the project was dead.) They weren’t investors. They hadn’t even met Don. They were just fans of the book and wanted to see the movie made.

So they got creative.

After a little research, they discovered that that movie could still move forward if they could raise at least $125,000 before October 25. After that, the actors, production crews, and equipment would have to be released for other projects.

They got busy and created a Web site called Save Blue Like Jazz. They used a funding platform for creative projects called Kickstarter. It allows individuals to pledge money toward a project in whatever amount they want. If all the money gets pledged, the project gets funded and moves forward. If it doesn’t, the would-be donors get their money back.

Zach and Jonathan launched their Web site on October 1st. They included the video embedded above. It quickly went viral. People used blogs, Twitter, and Facebook to get the word out. It took on a life of its own. By October 10th, they had raised $125,000.”

[Read the entire post.]

*Kickstarter.com is narrowly focused on creative projects like “a new line for a fashion label, recording a new album, building a game. Projects that are specific and finite.” In other words, it’s not a site for non-profit fund-raising or soliciting money for a startup. To me, the site seems like a natural spot for many Nashville-based creative-types to seek funding for a project. Indeed, it is.”