Locally-based doc has big ambitions, big financial goals to fulfill in waning hours of crowdfunding campaign

Even the best Kickstarters don't get backed the first time around.

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Right now, a crowdfunding campaign to bankroll the production and promotion of a locally-based, nation-blanketing documentary has a long way to go. PLAY, a film about the importance of play and how it provides therapy and psychology through interaction, aims to travel the country exploring cities and the people within them. It has raised less than 10 percent of its $35,000 goal, but Ryan Swanson — the brain and engine behind non-profit Urban Conga — knew it would be a tough task to raise the capital.

“We knew [the goal] was very ambitious, but we feel it’s necessary to get this idea of play out to the masses,” Swanson told CL in a message. Swanson turns 27 on the day the Kickstarter campaign ends, and his plan is not to spend the money on “cameras, lenses, or massive beach balls” in order to make the film . “We have those things,” he wrote on the campaign page.

Instead, he outlines how the budget will go towards music licensing (scored original music, local musicians from each of the cities visited) and local film crews who will work with Swanson at each city (“we believe in paying other artists who help us tell our story”). Deeply committed to bringing the completed project to as many ears, eyes, and minds possible, Swanson has also budgeted in film fest entry fees and travel to help him and filmmaker Michael J. Flanagan collect the best possible footage.

“We want to film to have a mass appear to show how play can impact not only our lives, but our communities,” he wrote.

There are still several hours until the door closes on PLAY’s campaign, and while the goal is still off in the distance, not hitting the mark shouldn’t spell the end for the film. One of Kickstarter’s biggest successes — a cooler on steroids that raised $10.3 million dollars (20,805 percent of its goal) — was a bust the first time around only raising $102,1888 of its $125,000 goal.

Have a look at the trailer below, and get more information here.

About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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