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 making The Five Dollar Movie I seek to tell some of the Fiverr community stories. But I also use that same community to help create the film through the purchasing of music, special effects and voice over gigs (to name just a few). In that sense, this is a meta-documentary: a film about its own creation.
When I explain this meta-concept to people they often liken it to previous documentaries they’ve seen. I’ve spent the last few months watching as many of these as I can. Here are a few of the highlights:
Morgan Spurlock directs a documentary about product placement paid for entirely by product placement. The ultimate meta-documentary and probably closest in tone and approach to what I’m trying to create.
A documentary that follows Joseph Garner for a month of travel across the United States, solely supporting himself via contacting people on the website Craigslist. This is touching story of personal discovering but doesn’t explore the world of Craigslist in enough depth.
A documentary about privacy and surveillance in the UK. Director David Bond tries to put the system to the test. After anonymously setting up private investigators to trace him, he tries to disappear.
Documentary maker Brian Herzlinger sets himself 30 days and a budget of $1,100 to try and land a date with actress Drew Barrymore. I like the transparency of his budget and have a similar onscreen ‘budget counter’ in The Five Dollar Movie.
A documentary about the Motion Picture Association of America‘s rating system and its effect on American culture. The meta-narrative kicks in at the very end when the documentary itself is given a ratings certificate by the same organisation it investigates.