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May 9, 2014 06:24 PM

Pepin Kickstarter

Jacques Pepin and Isaac Mizrahi are men with a plan. Their proposed show, The Artist's Table, would focus on the myriad forms of creativity.
Several years ago JP did a special which was a filmed conversation with Itzhak Perlman, about food and art. If the new show is anything like that special, it will be a true treasure. The Kickstarter campaign begins May 15.

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  1. I will mark my calendar. I have always been a huge fan of Jacques.

      1. re: greygarious

        Thanks. Did you pledge ? I going to give them a + 1.

        1. re: emglow101

          Yes I did. BTW, Jacques' mother turned 99 yrs old yesterday!

      2. Just curious. Why would 2 people with personal financial resources (most likely), long and impressive track records, and access to people with assorted skills, talents, and financial resources, need to go schnorring to the public through Kickstarter?

        3 Replies
          1. re: rockycat

            With Mizrachi in particular - this sits uncomfortably. Particularly since the amount they're trying to raise (~$300k) doesn't sound that much. In this particularly case it would feel better to me if they said they were crowdsourcing to gauge interest - and that if they met their $X goal, they would contribute the other half from their funds as producers.

            Because as we all learned with Zach Braft - once the project is crowd sourced and made, the creator (in this case Pepin/Mizrachi?) can turn around and sell it to distributors. Which in theory I don't have a problem with because I'm a general fan of the notion of patronage of art that I like that ultimately supports the artist to be able to continue to make work. But Mizrachi seriously couldn't take one of his royalty checks from his line of Kleenex boxes to cover this?

            1. re: cresyd

              I have always been a big fan of Chef Pepin, but this didn't sit well with me either. Really guys? You want us to finance your project when you have like a gazillion dollars in the bank?

              I have to pass on this too. It seems a bit cheesy to me.

          2. The campaign failed, with less than a tenth of the goal amount pledged.

            13 Replies
            1. re: greygarious

              Grey, do have a link? I just googled it and couldn't find that info. I am very curious. I think it was a bad idea.

                1. re: greygarious

                  Excellent creds and track records by all, of course. I would presume Chef Pepin was convinced by those more familiar with the concept of crowdsourcing and perhaps made a bad call here.

                  Won't hold it against him, but it was a mistake. Good concept, but bad execution.

                  Thanks, gray, for the link.

                  1. re: sandiasingh

                    Yes, it was a bad/misinformed or greedy mistake on his part. The funny thing is if it wasn't for Chowhound and this thread I never would have heard about it. I now hold him in low esteem.

                    Lucky for him most people will never hear of it.

                    1. re: miss_belle

                      Too bad. I have worked with celebs in his age group and sometimes they can be persuaded by youngers they trust. Not to say Chef is not to be held responsible, but after seeing Izaak on QVC many times, I have to wonder where the idea came from.

                      Claudine, Chef's daugher, was promoting it on FB, but again, I don't think it was well thought out by the Pepin family.

                      Anyway, end of story.

                        1. re: sandiasingh

                          Claudine! Ah, there's the explanation...not the sharpest crayon

                      1. re: sandiasingh

                        I think the Pepin/Mizrachi team also wildly misjudged who the folks are who are participating in crowdsourcing. Projects that have been funded at high levels and very quickly (Veronica Mars and Zach Braft's film), have a pretty solid younger (i.e. almost entirely 40 and younger) base.

                        And then projects that I'm familiar with that have been somewhat less mainstream have involved a LOT of self promotion. Basically people appearing on every podcast, media platform, etc in order to sell/hype their project. The show 'Drinking Made Easy' (which some formation of had appeared on Travel Channel/Spike/etc) did a successful kickstarter to raise at least $500,000 for 6 episodes. I've never watched the show - but I heard an interview by Zane Lamprey (the host) - and basically it was 60 days of running heavy self promotion. And he was still about 60% away from meeting his total goal with a few days left, and I think at one point did some ridiculous number of hours of straight podcasting to get attention.

                        I'm not comparing Pepin to a travel show about getting drunk abroad - but my point is that while Zach Braft may have been able to toss up his kickstarter campaign and forget about it, for most larger projects - it involves a lot more work than putting out a nice page. And given how low the pledges are, I suspect they didn't do much more than that.

                        1. re: cresyd

                          Agree cresyd. Sorry but I don't agree with grey, below. It doesn't matter if the Chef or Izaac are rich or "extremely wealthy." Point is we all know they probably have more than we do and could most likely fund a $300,000 start-up.

                          I think a lot of Kickstarters are successful because a) people want to fund an unknown underdog type of project/person, or b) you are someone like George RR Martin who just raised twice the amount he was asking for to donate to a wolf sanctuary (he lives in Santa Fe). There were a lot of GOT fans who wanted to be part of it. THAT, to me, is a smart way of using your celebrity to do good things.

                          1. re: sandiasingh

                            After seeing Mizrachi's "designer" box of Kleenex, I have a very hard time thinking that he couldn't cover the entire $300k. But Pepin to me is in that Zach Braft area - I assume both men have far more money than me, but after that who knows.

                            I honestly think that the projects that work do so because the artist/creator connects with an audience. Whether that's through proactively trying to make a connection for the campaign, or via their previous work. Whatever people think of Garden State, it clearly bonded with people strongly enough that when they had the chance for a "potential Garden State 2" - plenty of people were thrilled to be apart of that.

                            Personally, the only thing I've ever participated in crowdsourcing wise was for that Lamily doll (the more realistically designed doll) - and the level I contributed came with getting one of the first dolls. It was a project I'd read about in another article and then when I heard about it again, I was into the project. While this definitely counts as more of an underdog project - had this project been connected to a wealthy celebrity, I still probably would have contributed.

                            1. re: cresyd

                              I think you're right about connecting with the audience, cres. I follow the Chef and Claudine on FB and Twitter and the first I heard about it was when they posted a pic on FB with Jacques and Izaac toasting a glass of wine to the launch of the project. Huh? I was kind of stunned they would be so misguided, but hey. What I do I know? I was only in marketing for 30 years and they are the guys with the big bucks. In other words, it hit me wrong from the get-go.

                              Anyhoo, I don't wish anyone to fail, but I think this project is in the dust.

                              1. re: sandiasingh

                                Agree. They just clearly weren't up for the degree of promotion that this kind of campaign requires. I'd put my quick and dirty analysis of these campaigns is that you either make your amount in the first few days - or you are in for a promotional grind.

                                Not to mention that I don't think that Pepin's and Mizrachi's core audiences are the primary crowdsourcing groups. That being said, I can think of a few authors - and I don't care how rich they might be, but if there was a kickstarter for them to write a new book - just the chance of getting more writing for them (even with the risk of it being a bad book) - I'd be thrilled to contribute some amount.

                                1. re: cresyd

                                  Totally, cres. I'm there too. Love good writers!

                2. Wow. First time reading this thread and watching the video. Don't know much about the other guy other than what I've read here, but Pepin really embarrassed himself by trying to nickel and dime his fans. I'm glad it failed.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: miss_belle

                    People are assuming that both men are extremely wealthy. I have no idea what they earn vs. what their expenditures are. Maybe they could have footed it all and if so, it may be that they went through Kickstarter not so much for the money but for the networking. It you get hundreds of people interested in the success of the project, there's more social media momentum going, which in turn makes it more likely that corporate sponsors will be willing to underwrite, and TV stations to buy, the program.

                    1. re: greygarious

                      Someone older and wiser told me years ago:

                      "You really never know about another person's financial situation".

                      Truer words were never spoken. One never knows do they.

                      1. re: greygarious

                        Making no comment about the financial situation of Pepin (though with Mizrachi, it's hard not to make certain assumptions about his income level) - I think they failed to properly understand who uses kickstarter and the amount of self selling that is involved.

                      2. re: miss_belle

                        Pepin has been a part of the PBS system for years, where he was required to pitch in for hours of pledge breaks, as well as to line up corporate sponsorships for his shows.

                        I really don't see how this is that much different.

                        Kickstarter and crowdsourcing via social media are still relatively new, so there are probably not a lot of people who are experts (yet) in using these methods.

                        1. re: pamf

                          I agree that there aren't "experts" - but there's a variety of people who have had success with larger and smaller campaigns. I listen to a number of podcasts, and a number have either had guests running crowd sourcing campaigns or the hosts have run their own crowd sourcing campaigns. And from what I've picked up from the Pepin campaign - they just didn't do enough promotion.

                          First they're appealing to a crowd that's not exactly the Veronica Mars/Zach Braft group. So it's not a fan base that's incredibly familiar with crowd sourcing - and would to sell and explain that idea. Second, they really needed to pitch for it throughout the entire period when donations could be collected.

                          Fair enough crowd sourcing is still new, but based on previous campaigns I'm familiar with - those are the two basics. If you don't have a base that will meet your needs in the first few day, they need to be told why you're crowd sourcing. And two - you need to promote that campaign for the duration of the funding period.