Just Crowdfund the $&*# Movie!: The Kindness of Strangers


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 .

“I have always depended on the kindness of strangers”, says Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire. This quote should be the mantra for all crowd-funding campaigns, past, present and future. All you strangers out there have made Tiffany and I cautiously optimistic about the IndieGoGo campaign for our film Tiny Dancer (www.IndieGoGo.com/FinishingTinyDancer); we are now approaching the $6,500 mark, with two weeks left to hit our goal of $9,000.

As I mentioned in my post last week, I’ve done some work on A Song Still Inside, directed by Gregory Collins and produced by Patricia Beaury. Before I started work on the film, I had emailed Patricia about the Tiny Dancer campaign, thinking that she would never have time to click the link while she was in the middle of producing a micro-budget feature. However, when I arrived on the set last week, I found that she was ready to make a contribution… a sizable one, at that! The kindness of strangers, indeed.

You never know where a donation might come from, and it’s best not to leave any stones unturned. In the giant undertaking of emailing everyone on our contact list about our Tiny Dancer fundraising efforts, we’re on the letter S. The campaign been a great way to reconnect with long-lost friends and acquaintances but, more importantly, it’s also helped raise money for our film. And not just by way of contacts who have the ability to contribute $100; many of them have been reposting our campaign links to their own networks. We have been getting roughly 10% of our donations from complete strangers, which just blows my mind.

Tiffany and I are still gripped with a sense of terror that we might not make our goal, but every day we push ourselves to generate something. A lot of film festivals that programmed The Cake Eaters have been posting the link to our IndieGoGo campaign on their sites, and numerous people have been supporting us via Twitter. One of those is our media savvy friend Simon van Kempen (@SimonvanKempen) of “The Real Housewives of New York City” fame, who has over 65,000 followers. On the night he linked to our campaign with “R indie films still important or have we gone Footloose & perm’ly gone the way of studio remakes ad infinitum http://t.co/4mf7gbL6 Got $20?,” a flurry of comments erupted about Footloose, and we got 30-some clickthroughs. I’m not sure if any resulted in donations, but everything helps, right? Thanks, Simon!

We also asked the producers of The Cake Eaters to reach out to the many Kristen Stewart fans out there with a series of tweets about yours truly struggling to make his new film after scripting one of her most respected performances. After they did, those fans retweeted and commented.

Until recently, our trailer was sitting on YouTube (www.youtube.com/watch?v=76qoRsXeK_k) being completely ignored. But last week someone picked it up, and it got reposted something like 2,000 times. Maybe that’s not a lot by YouTube standards, but it’s a lot for us. Moreover, we started getting some really encouraging comments.

My point is that, in this era of complete and utter interconnectivity, all indie moviemakers must learn to rely on the kindness of strangers.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.