The Edge: Mu-Ming Tsai Documents the Maker Movement

November 26, 2013 3 min read

MuMingTsai - Novedge Blog

Novedge: Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do

Mu-Ming Tsai: My name is Mu-Ming, I'm a film director and also the founder of Muris, a production company based in Taipei. I have worked on music videos short films and commercials. I am also the director of the film Design & Thinking

Novedge: Why a documentary film about the Maker Movement?

Mu-Ming Tsai: When we screened our previous film, Design & Thinking, we received feedback about not having enough voices of Makers. That's when we started doing research on the Maker movement. For our initial research, we read and saw some films, and noticed that most of them focused on the technological side of the Maker Movement. We realize the Maker Movement isn't exclusively technical, so we decided to focus more on its impact on innovation and society as a whole. 

Novedge: What has been your process in planning and filming Maker?

Mu-Ming Tsai: First we did a lot of research. Usually, when we have an idea, it takes us about a month to start working on it. We generally start going for it once we have a 70-80% understanding of the subject. Once we talked about Maker to our producer, YuHsiu Yang, he gave us a list of potential interviewees, and helped us set up meetings with them. He was planning a trip to the United States at the time and we thought we'd go with him as well. It took us two trips, 10 days each, to film the needed footage. Everyday we filmed about 2-3 interviews. After that, we started editing and planning for our Kickstarter campaign. Right now we are in post production and planning for our release in May 2014.

Mu-MingTsai - stills_01

Novedge: Is there anything you discovered while making this movie that really surprised you?

Mu-Ming Tsai: We were interested in the ecosystem of the makers. There was this conception that Makers are loners, one-man armies who develope products from scratch by themselves. In fact the Maker Movement is actually a group of like-minded people working together and trying to make ideas take shape, whether utilizing rapid prototyping, crowd funding, or crowd sourcing.

Mu-MingTsai - stills_12

During our interviews we learned a lot about local manufacturing and global manufacturing. A lot of small, local factories, are able to co-exist with overseas manufacturers as they have different roles in manufacturing, which was really interesting because we had this idea that all factories were very corporate and big. So getting to visit a small, independent factory was eye opening.

Novedge: What were some of the Maker Movement's most amazing accomplishments?

Mu-Ming Tsai:The Maker Movement is amazing in its prototyping and capacity to empower. Seeing so many companies roll out with great concepts and innovations is really refreshing and it gives a sense of empowerment. Rapid prototyping has allowed innovations to go from idea to product in a way that used to only be doable by big corporations. As a founder of a three-person company, I find that inspiring.

Mu-MingTsai - stills_02

Novedge: You received great support on Kickstarter: what advice would you give to anyone looking into financing their project using that platform? 

Mu-Ming Tsai: What you need to know about Kickstarter is that the most funding you will be getting won't be from strangers. Most of the initial funding comes from friends and family, and some from friends of friends. Strangers won't automatically discover great projects, so fast planning and promotion for the campaign are needed. For us, our fanbase from our previous film, Design & Thinking, helped with a lot of our initial fundings.

Mu-MingTsai - stills_04

Mu-MingTsai - stills_14Having a good promo film helps a lot as well. The promo video needs to be short, informative, and it needs to leave the viewers wanting more. Excitement is what will prompt people to support your cause.

As we are promoting Maker, we also learned that backing other projects helps! Kickstarter is a big and tight community and it always helps if you show that you care.

Novedge: What's next for you? 

Mu-Ming Tsai: I'm still interested in making films about innovation and design. It's a niche and for now we want to focus on that.

 

Visit the official website of Maker – A Documentary on the Maker Movement and connect on Facebook and Twitter.

And if you want to delve into this topic, check out our interview with Chris Anderson, Jim Newton and this series of posts featuring Makers.

 

novedge
novedge


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in NOVEDGE Blog

Autodesk Solutions for Remote Work
Autodesk Solutions for Remote Work

March 23, 2020 1 min read

Working together we'll be able to come out the other side of this challenging time and be back to business as usual.

In the meantime, the whole staff at NOVEDGE is here to help you.

Read More
ARCHline.XP, the Gateway to BIM We All Need
ARCHline.XP, the Gateway to BIM We All Need

March 18, 2020 4 min read

Perfect for Architects, Interior Designers, Decorators, Product and Furniture Designers, and Home Staging Professionals. ARCHLine.XP is the BIM tool we all need.
Read More
Introducing 2Shapes a powerhouse for Jewelry Designers never seen before!
Introducing 2Shapes a powerhouse for Jewelry Designers never seen before!

March 11, 2020 4 min read

2Shapes, is a product that solves most (if not all) issues I found frustrating in the past. The aim of 2Shapes is to transform the way jewelry is sold by turning customers, salespeople and manufacturing managers into co-designers, and having them involved in the process.
Read More

Subscribe