Kickstarted follows the stories of three creators who turn to the 'crowd' in order to pursue their dreams. These creators all recognized that crowdfunding has opened the doors of opportunity to anyone who wants to bring an idea to life. Seemingly, all you need to do is ask for support. What they soon realize is that once you put your dream out into the world, the really hard part begins. Crowdfunding is just the first step – whether you reach your financial goal or not.

In this film we see the entire process from campaign through to completion in an effort to explore what it means to chase your dreams when you have a crowd watching it all unfold. 

At the center of the film is Brad Carter, a musician suffering from a neurological disease that is taking away his ability to play guitar. A high-risk brain surgery gives him a one last opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream: record an album. Racing to complete his mission before his skills fade forever, he turns to the crowd for the funding and support he needs. It's only after he is successfully funded that the odds are truly stacked against him. With the pressure of having to deliver something he's promised in an extremely public manner, Brad fights to relearn his craft, faces the possibility of another brain surgery and attempts to overcome his own demons in order to see his dream through to the end. 

Kickstarted also features interviews and insights from many of the leading names in crowdfunding including Amanda Palmer, LeVar Burton, Emily Best, Ryan Grepper of the Coolest Cooler and more.

Brad's music features throughout the film, check out some of the tracks on his EP 'Fieldhand' below.

How this film got made

Directors Jason Cooper and Jay Armitage had first met when the former was a producer at NBC and the latter an owner of an ad agency. Years later, Jason shared with Jay a story about Elixirs of Pain Hot Sauce, an early Kickstarter project that was overfunded by 8000%.  They decided then and there that the stories of the ‘crowdfunding revolution’ and the experiences happening to creators would make for great content. They then spent much of the next six months developing and filming what would become Kickstarted.

In 2013, to fund their film and intimately learn about their subject, they turned to Kickstarter itself. They were able to raise over $86,000 in 30 days. During the campaign they gained a good deal of publicity when they helped expose an on-going fraud (The Kobe Red Beef Jerky project). You can read about that story in full here.

 Since then, we’ve spent the last two years casting and filming Kickstarted. In total, we followed all or part of eight different campaigns and interviewed over 100 experts and creators. It’s been a wild ride, but we think we’ve put together something that gets to the heart of the modern creative experience. We hope you’ll enjoy the film.

BRAD CARTER - bringing the house down at the El Ray Theatre, Los Angeles

BRAD CARTER - bringing the house down at the El Ray Theatre, Los Angeles

DALE CONSTABLE - Inventor, trying to raise $100k for his latest invention.

DALLAS KING - Filmmaker, trying to raise $75k to make his first feature film.

The hard luck musician: Brad


Brad has been playing the guitar since he was a young kid, he's very talented but has never made an album. He's also a talented actor having appeared in Dexter, True Detective, Sons of Anarchy and Longmire.

The never-say-die filmmaker: Dallas


Dallas is on the brink of greatness, full of energy giving off a positive vibe all around him even after tearing his achilles' heel! Can this UCLA Film Student get what he needs to make his first feature?

The 'old school': Dale & Fred


Dale and Fred are inventors and engineers based out in the desert on Route 66. Can  a couple of old dogs learn some new tricks?