Just Crowdfund the $&*# Movie!: Hello, Sundance


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 .

Tiffany and I submitted our 20 minute work-in-progress cut of Tiny Dancer to Sundance in the outside chance that someone would think it was brilliant and program it in the shorts category. Did it get in? No. But I have been acting in a few films this year, and one in particular, Price Check—directed by the talented Michael Walker (Chasing Sleep), produced by Sundance alum Dolly Hall and starring Parker Posey—did get in! Price Check will have its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2012. So now Tiffany and I are wondering: Do we walk up and down Main St. in Park City, setting up meetings to help get Tiny Dancer into production? I say: Yes.

In the numerous years I’ve been working as an actor, I’ve had the privilege of going to Sundance twice before, with SubUrbia and The Station Agent, and both experiences were unique. With SubUrbia, I was young and nervous and unaware of the hustling that needs to be done. In retrospect, I feel that I was at the center of something I didn’t understand. With The Station Agent, it was a much happier, more carefree experience—I was a part of a wonderful gem of a film but not at the center of a career-defining moment. Tiffany and I basically saw films and snuck into parties. Oh, and we did go the festival right before we were about to have our son, as a last gasp attempt to make some things happen for our other projects. How did that go? Fine… but we didn’t get another film made.

It’s always great to be seen at Sundance stomping around like a star, but now that I am older and wiser and in need of $175,000 to finish Tiny Dancer, I have to figure out a different strategy. For example, what’s the best way to go about setting up meetings? Maybe something like this: “Yes, I am in a film here. It’s called Price Check. I also happen to be directing my own film. Do you have a second to grab a coffee?” Or do I walk around with the Tiny Dancer trailer on my iPhone, screening it for Ted Hope or whatever luminaries I can grab?

I’m almost done with an outline for Tiny Dancer. Yes, I am outlining a script that I’ve already rewritten at least seven times. Why? Because I’m trying to take everything I’ve learned in the past six months and use it to make sure the script is as simple, smart, well-polished and—considering our new estimated budget of only (gulp) $100,000—short as it can be. We’ve also been submitting new grant proposals—boring, but vitally important.

Before yesterday, when we got the news about Price Check, I felt like time was speeding by—another Sundance come and gone without yours truly. But now I feel like a gambler with a problem turned lose in Vegas. The chance to roll big or meet the person who could help get Tiny Dancer made fills my mind with delusions of grandeur.

Will it happen? Keep reading!

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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