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 .
OK. It’s become apparent to me that, as with camera tech-y talk, I have been avoiding any discussion of social media in my posts. (Thanks, Tiffany!) One of the big issues when embarking on a crowdfunding campaign is where to build your home, your base of operations, your platform for all things “my movie”-related… and, most importantly, how to not dilute your movie’s message by splitting your fan base between the gazillion social networking options (need I name them?) currently out there.
With Tiny Dancer, Tiffany and I worry that we may have ended up splitting our fan base between the Website for The Independent Collective—which we use as our fundraising hub—our Tiny Dancer and The Independent Collective Facebook pages and the Website and Facebook page for our production company, Vinyl Foote. And then you have the Twitter accounts: There’s @TICNYC (for the film and The Independent Collective), @vinylfoote (for the company) and @jaycebartok (for me). What the heck? Just the fact that I had to yell to Tiffany in the kitchen to make sure I had all our accounts is a bad sign. Don’t be like us. Streamline that sucker!
How did things get this way? Well… maybe we didn’t really think it through, and, um, we started The Independent Collective to make Tiny Dancer, which would be produced by Vinyl Foote, which in turn is owned by Tiffany and I, and.. OK, I’ll stop. So where do people go to hear about Tiny Dancer? Good question. We’ve certainly posted updates on all these platforms, but say you were a rabid Tiny Dancer fan and needed up-to-the-minute news… where would you go?
The Independent Collective is where the trailer and all things related to the making of Tiny Dancer live (but it’s not named after the film—brilliant, right?) We have problems. And that brings me to my main question: What is the most effective way to get the word out about your film? Do you have a Website where you send everyone? But, wait, Websites don’t have “friends”… so do you relentlessly Facebook the hell out of people? But Facebook is getting very savvy to that kind of behavior, which means you could end up blocked from your friends’ feeds. Do you spend your days giving status updates on Twitter? Easier said than done; keeping people interested in fewer than 140 characters while avoiding corporate speak and not coming off as completely narcissistic takes mad skillz. “We got another investor today, happy us! #makingtinydancer” Snore.
I guess I’m not really helping all of you out here. Rather, I want to raise the question of where crowdfunders should set down roots for their online promotion. Analyzing our data, I feel that The Independent Collective’s Website has actually been very effective as a place to direct people who want to learn about Tiny Dancer and our movement in general. Movement? Oh, let me explain. When we started this journey, we had the grand notion that we would be able to use crowdfunding to make one film a year, and that after we finished our own, we would work on other peoples’. Using a Kiva-like method, members of TIC would see their money come back to them to be re-loaned to another film or artistic project… thus the name The Independent Collective. One of the pros of having TIC’s Website as one of the destinations for Tiny Dancer info is that we’ve been able to garner some great press about our grand notion of a self-feeding arts collective. The cons… well, you can see that we are splintered all over the place.
Tiff and I spend hours a day wondering how to fix this. And when we finish the film, what then? We sort of abandoned the Tiny Dancer FB page a while back because (gossip) it was populated by friends of the past director of the project. But it would seem pretty logical to get that page all cleaned up, try to move the community over there (or not), start populating that page for the larger life of the film and let the other homes go empty, maybe. Overall I think the changing landscape of social media makes it very tricky to have a home that everyone goes to regularly. But thinking it through and keeping things simple from the get-go is the best approach.
A little news I have to share: One of the films I acted in that premiered at Sundance, Why Stop Now (formerly Predisposed), is opening in theaters August 17th and is now available On Demand. Check out the trailer!
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.