This year Sydneys Hyde Park celebrates its 200th Anniversary. Life on Top of Hyde Park is a multimedia tribute by Plum Jungle commemorating this event. Featuring the talents of Pete Longworth (photography) Michael K. Chin (music) and Chris Baron (film), Plum Jungle secured an 'Official Selection' at the New York Independent Film Festival. The funds raised through Fundbreak allowed for the group to travel to New York for the festival. After already being exhibited at the Festival de Cannes, screened at the Court Metrage and receiving an 'Official Selection' at the End of the Pier, Plum Jungle was awarded best 'International Experimental Short Film' and the 'Audience Award'. "I wish we had raised money to physically get us to the other festivals," Michael says "just being at there really publicised us and our work."
Plum Jungle at the Sydney Apple Store
Currently available for purchase on iTunes is the soundtrack, composed by Micheal K.Chin, Life on Top of Hyde Park. The soundtrack features Yama Sarshar on tabla and Phil Sander on Steinway piano. On the 7th October 2010 Life on Top of Hyde Park was released on iTunes. To coincide with this Plum Jungle were at the Sydney Apple Store giving their retrospective on their work.
The event attracted Plum Jungle fans of all ages, especially their main demographic early thirty men and woman interested in multi-platform art. "We made some early relationships with Apple and they were really excited by our work. Both visually and musically" says Michael. "Being on iTunes has definitely increased our fan base." According to Pete "iTunes, much like FundBreak, is an essential building block that helps in its own little way."
Plum Jungle and FundBreak
To raise the money needed to travel to America Plum Jungle advertised their project on FundBreak. "We worked on our current individual fan bases which naturally tripled when we collaborated. Pete had various clients who bought his artworks and I had fans of my music" Michael says. E-mail was their biggest tool used to gather support. They would send out a primary e-mail alerting fans and then a reminder e-mail was sent afterwards. "Consistent contact with those people supporting you was a key to how we got so many supporters. It keeps the interest levels up" Pete believes. These e-mails were sent out in waves rather than continuously to create an ongoing energy for their cause. "We did little JPEGs and PDFs about our FundBreak page and sent them to family, then friends, then acquaintances. We also had little blinks which would lead people to our page. We also used worldwide social networks like Twitter and Tumbler and these really worked for us. People all the way in New York were donating and offering us places to stay. By the time we got there there was already a buzz about us and out work" Michael says.
According to Pete, rewards also played a big part in Plum Jungles FundBreak success. "A lot of time went into the rewards. Decent rewards let people be a part of the process rather than them just being people funding a project. Rewards are there because you have to help people along and convince them." Michael agrees that the reward system plays a crucial part in gaining supporters. "Big money should equal big rewards. Personalising the rewards is a good move because it lets people be more involved." Even though they raised the money to fund their trip looking back both Michael and Pete felt that some things could have been done differently. "If we had more time I would have liked to have done more video blogs that were updated continuously. Just to let people know what was going on" says Michael. "I would have loved to have used different forms of media," says Pete, advertising on the radio and stuff like that. But it all happened so quickly."
TOP THREE TIPS FOR FUTURE FUNDBREAK USERS