Just Crowdfund the $&*# Movie!: What to Write About… When There’s Nothing to Write About


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 could say I was heading off to direct a low-budget horror movie in L.A. or am taking “meetings” about Tiny Dancer. However, the truth of the matter is that currently the only meeting I’m taking is with Andres Karu, a DP friend of mine and Tiffany’s who I’ve been talking with about re-cutting my acting reel. What can you do and say to keep the fan base you’ve bled for interested, involved and thinking you’re moving forward when, right now, “moving forward” means entering contests and applying for grants? Putting a stamp on an envelope doesn’t really capture the same magic as meeting with investors, does it?

Don’t get me wrong. We’ve been doing our fair share of meeting with investors, but right now it feels like there’s no drama, no excitement… nothing to write about. Do I lie? I mean, I could say I got a part in a film with Jason Bateman called The Longest Week, but doesn’t that obfuscate the mission to make Tiny Dancer?

Well, we are getting ready to send out our perks to our (thankfully) long list of donors, and I think that will be a good way to reconnect and let them know we are on track. And the rewrite of the script… one day that will happen!

And there are always inspiring stories from the battlefield, like what Hal Hartley is doing on Kickstarter these days. If you didn’t come of age in the swinging indie ‘90s (as I like to call them) and didn’t see his films The Unbelievable Truth, Trust and Simple Men, you should Netflix them. Hartley has an almost Pinteresque approach to drama—his characters are always running from some mysterious or dark part of an incredibly routine relationship they’re caught in. Like the best of us, he’s turned his eye toward crowdfunding, raising over $51,000 for his new film, Meanwhile (www.kickstarter.com/projects/260302407/meanwhile).

Hartley has been keeping in touch with his donors on a bi-weekly basis, posting interviews with his lead actress and numerous inspirational nuggets (www.possiblefilms.com/2011/11/meanwhile-kickstarter-video-3/). Here is someone obviously from a different era of moviemaking who has adapted remarkably well (better than us!) to this new DIY model. In fact, as I write this, I have an image of Hal sitting in his office laboring away on some creative endeavor, and isn’t that how we all want to be perceived? Not affixing a stamp to an envelope, but engaged in an artist’s work. We should all cultivate our inner Hal Hartley.

Have a great Thanksgiving… we are sure thankful for all of you donors and readers. I’ll be taking next week off, but you can expect another Tiny Dancer update two weeks from today.

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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