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 its earliest form, the concept for The Five Dollar Movie was simply to tell the stories of some of the more interesting sellers on Fiverr. However, very quickly Arthur Jones (Producer) pointed out that there was a lot more that could be developed here. Since Fiverr is such an abundant resource for affordable tasks (including film production gigs) we thought it would be fun to use the website to outsource as much of the film as possible; things like the voice-over, animation and marketing.However, we didn’t want to be limited to just Fiverr. This film is about the internet, and the free, or very cheap services, it offers. The internet opens doors, allowing people to realise their goals in-spite of geographical or financial limitations. So why not, we thought, start the film with a budget of just $5 and see if we could turn it into more money using only the online resources at our fingertips.
The aim was to raise enough money to pay for all the Fiverr gigs we’d need to make and market the film. A quick search on Fiverr lead us to Marty Koenig, a sort-of Kickstarter guru, who sold a gig titled:
This taught us everything we needed to know about creating a Kickstarter. In fitting with The Five Dollar Movie ethos we decided to raise money in $5 increments. That meant only offering one reward priced at $5. In addition, we only wanted to raise $1000 . While this is not enough to make an entire film, it should be enough to pay for all the Fiverr gigs we need to make the documentary.
Note: as we already work for a film production company, we already have most of the equipment and resources we need to make the film.
I am personally really grateful to everyone who contributed to the Kickstarter and hope they are looking forward to seeing themselves in the film (this was the reward for a $5 pledge). I’m also really pleased that we managed to attract people outside of friends and family. For a deeper look into how the Kickstarter campaign performed I’ve included some infographics below.
As you can see from the chart above over a quarter of our funding came from random people browsing Kickstarter. Because we fell under the category of a ‘Small Project’ (we were only aiming to raise $1000 when the average on Kickstarter is between $10,000 and $15,000) and were reasonably popular as a project, Kickstarter’s algorithm kept us on the small project homepage for almost the entire duration of the campaign.
Despite our success on the small projects homepage, direct traffic proved most effective with 30% of all pledged coming through that. On day one of the campaign I sent out a personalised email to 200 friends and i’m assuming that the links on this were responsible for most of the direct traffic. It’s also worth mentioning our social sharing page which i created using the templates found on a very useful blog post by Tim Ferriss titled ‘Hacking Kickstarter’.
The above graph plots the funding progress over the duration of the campaign. We had a steady flow of backers throughout with the only two abnormalities at the beginning and the end. The sudden rush of pledges at the beginning was causing by my mass email and the slight increase at the end was a result of us releasing a limited edition poster as a $25 pledge.