Just Crowdfund the $&*# Movie!: 2011—Our Year in the Crowd


Welcome to Just Crowdfund the $&*# Movie!, where indie moviemaker Jayce Bartok talks about the dos and don’ts of crowdfunding from the trenches of his own crowdfunding campaign. Have a question for Jayce about his movie, Tiny Dancer, or just crowdfunding in general? Ask away at .

2011 was the year of the Arab Spring, of Occupy Everything, of people taking to the streets with placards and doing it themselves. I’m glad I’m around to see another great social movement sprout. As “Hollywood types,” it’s often easy for Tiffany and I to feel like egomaniacs, disassociated from any larger socio-political movement, but I have to admit that this year—the year we took the plunge into the D.I.Y. movement to crowdfund Tiny Dancer—we’ve felt like a part of the zeitgeist.

Many of you have been occupying the D.I.Y. landscape for a while, but for us, it was relatively new. It’s been an amazing experience, and we’ve seen firsthand the generosity and support that exists, even in these difficult economic times, for artistic projects and small, locally-minded startups. As I mentioned in last week’s blog on the passing of the Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act, there is a building momentum behind crowdfunding as more and more people recognize it as a viable way to revitalize and subsidize both business and the arts.

I’d like to wrap up 2011 by recapping some of the highlights of our year in the crowd and by saying a big thank you to all our donors, the readers of this blog and to MovieMaker Magazine (especially my editor, Rebecca Pahle) for giving us a forum to spill our guts weekly. So here goes: Tiny Dancer, 2011.

  • In the spring, we got to call “Action!” on a real set of our own.
  • I started blogging for MovieMaker, a magazine I’ve read for years, in July.
  • We met Mikhail Baryshnikov (!!) at Tiny Dancer‘s September fundraiser.
  • Also in September, we launched our IndieGoGo campaign. In November, we reached our goal, raising over $10,000 from 159 backers and an additional $10,000 through our fiscal sponsor, the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA).
  • We have over 1,000 friends and followers on Facebook.
  • Kevin Smith Tweeted for us (I had to say it!).
  • We got press in Playbill and TheaterMania.
  • We reconnected with thousands of people through our intense campaign of e-mailing every single person we know.

I have a feeling that 2012 will bring about the completion of Tiny Dancer, but who knows what else will happen? 2011 has been a great year in the crowd. Thanks to all of you for reading about our exploits. Have a wonderful holiday, and we’ll see you again starting in January, when Just Crowdfund the $&*# Movie! goes to Sundance. In an odd twist of fate, a film I did—Predisposed, starring Melissa Leo and Jesse Eisenberg—has just been added to the lineup. It’s going to be an interesting festival!

Jayce Bartok is an actor and moviemaker who runs Vinyl Foote Productions from Brooklyn with his wife Tiffany. Currently, you can see him on USA’s “White Collar” and in the upcoming feature film Predisposed, opposite Melissa Leo. Follow The Independent Collective at twitter.com/ticnyc to stay updated on the Tiny Dancer crowdfunding campaign.

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