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 .
As many of you may remember, when we held our last big fundraising event in October for our film, Tiny Dancer, many people came, but few donated. Dare we tempt fate again? What else are we going to do? On June 4th, Tiff and I are having what we’re calling “The Producer’s Dinner” at the loft of Patrick and Kate Morris (who produced The Cake Eaters, our last film). Patrick and Kate are donating a dinner for 20 catered by Food Glorious Food and sponsored by Medea Vodka. We are selling tickets in advance starting at $1,000, which will entitle the buyer to an investment in Tiny Dancer as well as a spot at the dinner, where Capitol Records recording artist Susan Justice will be performing. Our goal is to raise between $25,000 and $75,000, which will close our budget gap and allow us to begin production on Tiny Dancer this fall.
Presently, we are in the process of closing down our account at NYFA and leaving our non-profit status so we can accept investments. At the same time, we’re taking meetings, coffees and lunches with anyone who has expressed interest in investing in Tiny Dancer. After much research and advice, we are going to focus on accredited “friends and family” investors living in the New York area. (What is an accredited investor, you might ask? Check out my post from last March on the intricacies of film investment to find out.) By focusing on these investors, we’ll be keeping everything aboveboard. With the new JOBS Act passed, it’s only a matter of time before this kind of small-scale, “unregulated” investing is commonplace. Of course, we will present our investors with a basic business plan and a subscription agreement for them to sign.?
But the clock is ticking… We have one month to sign up 20 dinner guests. Gulp. I feel sick just thinking about it. Maybe this is what we need, though, to break on through? It’s always scary to leave your comfort zone. In a way, it’s psychologically easier to always be in the process of “trying” to make your film than it is to actually make it. This is especially true of Tiny Dancer. We’ve shot 20 minutes of compelling footage and had what felt like a real shoot. It would almost be easier to say, “Hey, we did that… we tried… it’s all good. It’s tough to get movies made, isn’t it?” No, no, no. This movie has to be finished!
Stay tuned as Tiff and I try to secure a celebrity host and sell tickets for the June 4th dinner. Oh, and it’s high time I rewrote the script in preparation for our fall shoot. If any of you are interested, our intern, Sarah Kuck, has assembled a strictly narrative cut of Tiny Dancer that leaves out the documentary-style footage we’ve been flirting with. I’ll be grappling with whether to incorporate documentary elements into the new draft or stay true to my original vision and Sarah’s new cut. On top of that, we’re still at the stage of submitting to labs, grants, programs, etc.; the IFC Lab submission is complete, and we’re gearing up to apply for a Jerome Foundation grant. I figure if I write it in my blog, then I really have to do it, right?
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.