More Kickstarter Abuse: Tower Records Documentary Raises $92,000, Delivers Nothing…

Funding Level: $92,025

Date of Successful Funding: July 14th, 2011

Date of Delivery: Unknown

Good films take time to produce, especially on a tight budget.  But these Kickstarter backers are starting to wonder if their promised documentary on Tower Records will ever be produced.

One frustrated backer, who approached Digital Music News this week in confidence, says he’s seen little signs of a finished product, much less a timeline.  The group, headed by Tom Hanks son Colin Hanks, has been sending out more updates recently but seems nowhere near completion.

It’s not difficult to see why the project got financed in the first place.

Neither Hanks, nor anyone on the documentary team, has responded to an inquiry on progress.  They have, however, sent out t-shirts and stickers.

The Kickstarter page is here.

12 Responses

  1. XiX

    You got the story wrong: they contributed $92K to NOT produce the documentary

  2. Knob Twiddler

    Why does a ruch kid like Colin Hanks need anyone else’s money? Zach Braff part 2?

    • Visitor

      Oh man, I would love to bend her over inside a Tower Records store while listening to Porcupine Tree’s first LP.

    • I Pork, You Pine...

      that’s a Twitter account

      not a documentary

    • Paul Resnikoff

      I’d agree: those are sporadic updates about stuff, not a timetable or dedicated level of communication. The backers would not be complaining or calling Colin a ‘thief’ if they had something reasonable in front of them, even after 2+ years.

      If I hired you to build me a bridge, and after two years you are telling me that you laid some concrete over there, and have been dredging a lot, I’d probably fire you (though that’s probably good enough for many municipal governments, ha ha).

      But there’s a big hazard here with Kickstarter – hopefully they are looking at this. In music, we have situations where money is being basically stolen: Animal Collective and Daphne Carr (though I hear Carr is saying she’ll give the money back, but let’s see…)

      Back to the Tower Records project. Will it ever get done? I’d say doubtful. Too bad the money was committed upfront.

      • @mattadownes

        I think a side issue to this is Colin Hanks who’s financial situation is enormously different than an indie musician who’s raising money for their album, tour, whatever.

        There is a breach of moral responsibility here…give us updates every month or SOMETHING.

        • Paul Resnikoff

          I wonder how widespread this sort of thing is on Kickstarter. After all, we’re only checking out issues in music, and not even taking a comprehensive, audit approach.

          Earlier, the sentiment on Kickstarter was that abuse or non-delivery was near zero; that people could be trusted and everyone was happy. As platforms grow, the hairy realities seem to creep in, unfortunately. And this isn’t always the result of malevolent intent: sometimes people bite off more than they can chew, or misassess the budget or realism of a project getting done.

          But, there may be simple solutions to remedy this. For example, only releasing funds after certain thresholds, etc. Airbnb, for example, only releases the funds after the first 24 hours of a stay, just to make sure that everything is as agreed.