Just Crowdfund the $&*# Movie!: What’s Working (Not What Isn’t)


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 .

The dust has settled from our Tiny Dancer fundraising event, and Tiffany and I have started to pick up the pieces. We’ve embarked on a colossal project: Working our way through our entire contact list from A to Z, emailing each person and letting them know about our IndieGoGo campaign (www.indiegogo.com/finishingtinydancer). We’re looking at about 15,000 people, and presently we’re up to the letter E. I have to say, it’s working!

Already, we’ve raised at least $1,000 through this tedious but surprisingly effective process of personally reaching out to old friends, acquaintances and long-forgotten moviemakers from festivals past. We have form letters tailored to three groups: Those who came to our event and donated, those who came and didn’t donate and those who are green to what we are doing. We add a personal paragraph to each email, then off it goes. It’s always a surprise who decides to donate!

Each letter takes about three hours of typing, which we try to knock out early in the morning or late at night in front of bad reality TV. Statistics indicate that it’s best to send out these kinds of emails between 9 a.m. and noon, because that’s when people are getting to work and poking around on the Internet, and their minds are fresh.

In addition to the Great Alphabet Quest, we are also getting some great follow-up from our event. We got a $1,000 donation from a good friend who attended (yay!), and we’ve had one lunch with a possible investor who is reading the script. We’ve collected most of our Silent Auction funds, bringing the total tally from the event to around $3,000.

The encouraging thing is that, wherever I go, people who’ve been reading our Facebook and Twitter posts greet me with “Wow, looks like you had an amazing party! Congrats on finishing your film!” To which I respond, “Oh, we’re just starting.” And they look at me completely confused until I launch into the whole crazy odyssey. I certainly feel like I’ve already made the film.

I’d like to leave everyone with the knowledge that doing this is possible. Just Google “$100,000 raised on Kickstarter,” and the film I Am I pops up. Director Jocelyn Towne managed to exceed her goal of $100,000 by over $11,000. Man, oh man… I’d better get back to the letter F!

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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