Just Crowdfund the $&*# Movie!: With a Little Help from Our Friends…

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 .

Happy (early) Independence Day to all you independent filmmakers and artists hustling to make it happen outside the regime. Let’s all light a roman candle and say that if a few scrappy Americans could throw off the Brits (no disrespect, I love my Brits), then we can certainly make our movies. But one thing we can’t do it without is friends. A few good friends can mean more than thousands of dollars added to your budget.

For example, when we set out to shoot a few days’ worth of footage for Tiny Dancer last year, Tiffany reached out to an old high school friend, Randy Wedick, who works for an awesome camera house in N.Y. and L.A. called Band Pro Film & Digital. Rumor has it Randy and Tiff went to some sort of prom together, so I was a little suspicious… until Randy, out of the goodness of his heart and the desire to test the new Sony F3 camera, sent us one for camera for free and, through his friends at New York’s TCS rental house, got us another to use… again, for absolutely no money. If you’re not familiar with the Sony F3, let me just say it’s an absolutely amazing camera that retails for around $16,000. Needless to say, I’m a fan.

Randy and John Fishburn were in town last week with Band Pro demoing even cooler cameras than the F3, if that’s possible. The Sony NEX FS-700, a stepchild of the F3, has possibly the most incredible slow-mo feature (see how techie I am not!) I have ever seen. I highly recommend that you reach out to Band Pro and demo this bad boy. Randy, who now happens to be a friend of ours, did just that at a friend’s wedding, where he shot with no lights and something like a shutter speed of 16,000 (um, OK, I suck at this lingo). What I saw blew my mind. It’s David Fincher for the price of an old Chevy Tahoe!

Randy and John were also showing off Canon’s EOS C300 LSS 1080p Camcorder, the fully-loaded, battle-ready, feature film-friendly version of their 5D and 7D DSLRs. It’s got a badass hand grip to steady that dainty, beautiful sucker, which helps if you tend to jiggle like a restless toddler when you’re shooting (as many of us, myself included, have been known to do). All I could think while checking out each of the cameras is that I wanted to stick them under my jacket and run for the door! No, seriously, I was inspired by the images they produced and left the demos dreaming about what I could do with either one. Luckily, both cameras are well within the reach of an indie moviemaker. (Compare that to the old days, when you weren’t likely to have a Panavision 35mm camera just laying around your office.)

Needless to say, when we resume filming Tiny Dancer, I’ll be calling and e-mailing Randy and John to see if they need me to “demo” the latest equipment for a few weeks… please?!

So this 4th of July, let’s celebrate the friends that make it happen for us and help us start our own revolution!

Jayce Bartok is an actor/producer/writer/director who runs Vinyl Foote Productions from Brooklyn with his wife Tiffany. He wrote, co-produced and starred in The Cake Eaters and can currently be seen in USA’s “White Collar” and in the upcoming feature films Predisposed, opposite Melissa Leo, and Price Check, both of which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. To stay updated on his Tiny Dancer progress, follow @JayceBartok and @TICNYC on Twitter.

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