I sent the below as an email to all the contributors of The Lost Generation campaign, which aimed to gain money to fund the editing and distribution of the film back in 2012.
The film has since gained more money and a distribution deal from a formal film company, Safecracker Pictures UK. Some people who’ve donated to the campaign, however – are yet to receive their prizes and even Thankyous for donating. One of them includes a very good friend of mine who doesn’t exactly have money to throw away. Another one is trying to piece her life back together after having everything taken.
It means it’s important to put my words here, where it’s safe, where it can’t be deleted or taken away without due notice. Nevertheless, it’s still open to comment, trolling and rage (yes: those most unspoken T&Cs emanating from the privilege we have of the Internet).
Again, as the below will make clear, this is not aimed as a jibe or as critique: it is very simply (god, all the fuss for this doesn’t even seem worth it!) a professional, informative note to all contributors who may have not had their perks yet. It is also a factual apology from myself due to the state of events, having been connected with the project’s marketing and PR, because that’s the right thing to do.
Any indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, of which its campaign partners usually return ‘Perks’ and favours in return for set monetary donations that allow something creative or new to happen, will have given its funders the said Perks and promises by the time the project is complete. There are no legally binding terms for this, but it is accepted through trust that “if your Perk fulfilment is behind schedule, let your contributors know. You don’t want to keep them in the dark.”
18 months is plenty of time, really.
I appreciate the contributors may have had contact from the film’s director previously in generic Future Artists chain emails -but not the indiegogo ones- and were perhaps even invited to the film’s premiere (to which I was not, as much as the film’s director absolutely insists in a pleading Facebook message; however any proof as to otherwise would be very welcomed); but I have had contact from people who have not received their promised items in return for philanthropically donating to what was so heavily branded, indeed by myself due to my job role, as an independent campaign which champions independent art.
I originally posted the item on 22nd December on the ‘Comments’ and ‘Updates’ section of the website. If you look at the site now, all those comments are gone – poof! Like magic! Luckily, the email had already been sent out before it was censored. It looks like this.
Please forward all your concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi everyone, this is Jane.
This update dated 22 December 2013 is to declare I have had nothing to do with; nor the opportunity to help those who did not receive their promised perks and ‘thankyou’ from this crowdfunding project for UK film ‘The Lost Generation’, which ended on June 1st, 2012.
I quit Future Artists amicably with notice in August 2012 – but then was immediately asked to leave by director Mark Ashmore without the notice being honoured, with just a “you should just go now” as afterword – despite me working effectively, helping raise serious interest in his company and never receiving disciplinary action (AKA Doing My Job) to warrant being asked to leave right away after I simply asked to leave quietly.
I asked Mark prior to August 2012 what was happening with Perks, Thankyous, and never got an answer; instead being asked to manage social media campaigns for Future Artists. I’ve not even had a thankyou myself, especially as I am now aware that Mark must have assumed the copyright of my marketing copy (I have the original dated content – but this is my stupid mistake for never signing an employment contract) which are now used by Safecracker Pictures UK for tangibly profitable purposes.
Mark Ashmore is the Director of the Film and the person who continues to maintain the name ‘Future Artists’. He is the direct beneficiary of this financial project.
However, I continue to wish Mark all the best as a Film Director, just as I did when leaving to find a more stable job for my family.
Please forward requests to email@example.com for your Perks, promised Merchandise and Thankyous if you’ve not already received them.
If you haven’t, please let him know as it would be a breach of the guidance laid out by indiegogo in honouring people’s donations. I would report it myself, but it would better for him to deal with as he has records of who he has sent what to; and it’s better for him for legal reasons since signing a distribution deal with Safecracker Pictures UK and Distrify.
This update is to confirm I’m rendered completely unable to help any contributor and I really wish I could; and for that I am sorry, I wish I could help you.
Mark Ashmore is the legally declared Director of The Lost Generation film and has since signed a deal with Safecracker Pictures UK, who are distributing DVDs for sale of this film [information correct since hyperlink inserted above accessed 22 Dec 2013 at 22.00]