The Five Dollar Movie takes you on a journey to one of the most innovative and oddest versions of the gig economy: Fiverr.com. But it is also a meta-documentary that uses its subject to create the film—a documentary made about Fiverr, with Fiverr.
In 2013, I discovered Fiverr, an online marketplace where every seller offers a service for only $5. The more I used the site, the more I became fascinated by the strange, sometimes ethically questionable services available for sale: buying an online social media following, photoshopping your ex out of a picture, even having someone juggle a chainsaw while shouting fake news.
I also began to wonder why people were on the site. Was it really about the money or was it something more? It just didn’t seem like you could make a living working for $5 at a time.
To investigate, I started making my first feature documentary film—and making it only with services I found through Fiverr. That means the film’s voiceover, music, illustration, sound effect and animation were all purchased online, $5 at a time. In the five years I’ve spent making this movie, the internet and Fiverr along with it have grown-up; but the problems I was interested in when I began making this film haven’t gone away. An increasingly interconnected but unaccountable world is still wrestling with low wages, fake followers and fraudulent product reviews.
This documentary takes you on a journey to one of the most innovative and oddest versions of the gig economy.
It’s amazing the rage of things you can get done on Fiverr. From someone delivering you a video message while brushing their teeth to 1500 words of translation for only $5! Each user has their own story to tell and we’ve tried to do those stories justice in our documentary.
Stephen Wright sits down with the film’s producer, Arthur Jones, to discuss the rules that go into making a documentary about it’s own creation.
In October 2013 I travelled to New York City to meet the people behind the Fiverr website. I had made provisional arrangements to meet them for an interview, but on the day of the visit I hadn’t received a confirmed office address. This is what happened.
Can you get a good movie poster designed for $5? We put this to the test when buying the poster design for The Five Dollar Movie on Fiverr.
The film began with a Kickstarter campaign which was intended to turn our $5 investment into $1000.
ALLERGY WARNING: MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF THE GIG ECONOMY.
WE'RE OUTSOURCING AS MUCH OF THE FILM AS WE CAN TO FIVERR.COM, STARTING WITH THE POSTER.