Every year, the Slamdance Film Festival opens with a performance of a poem written by co-founder Dan Mirvish. If you can’t be at Slamdance to see Dan’s rendition, I hope being able to read it will make you feel that much closer to the insanity that is the 2011 Slamdance Film Festival…

“Crowdfund This”
by Dan Mirvish

Back in the day, yes proverbially
That to make a film, or two, four or three
You needed permission, you had to be knighted
Only a studio or investor could make you greenlighted.

You needed someone with money
To say go ahead
We’ll pay for your movie, even your overhead
But as costs have gone down, there’s no reason for that
To make a film now, you might as well pass a hat

No need to bow down to rich child molestors
Nope, you don’t need them now to be your investors
And you don’t need a Gates, or a Bloomberg or Buffet
And if they insist just tell them to stuff it

We now live in the age of distributed wealth
Bush tax cuts for all, and Obama-Care Health
Everyone has some money, though many are suffering
Enough to help every film, though perhaps not for snuffering

You see, in this age of media that’s social
It’s like the French bread, that we’ll call here brioche-al
Soft in the middle, and a little bit yellow
Like the Man of the Year, that Zuckerberg fellow

Set yourself up on a site funded by crowds
You don’t need inheritance or to be endowed
Try Kickstarter, maybe, or the Gogo for Indies
Good for Christians and Jews and for Sikhs yes and Hindis

Then promote your film on the Facebook with gusto
To your indifferent friends who at first are nonplussed, Oh
you’ll wow them with video and amazing boasts
You’ll inundate their inboxes with incessant posts

And speaking of French bread, you’ll send a baguette
To that fellow Mark Bell, who now runs Film Threat
And you’ll use the Twitter, it’s so much to cope
You’ll try getting retweeted by Mr. Ted Hope

You’ll get donors and backers and pledgers galore
Like a (Meg) Whitman Sampler, you’ll feel like a w***e
Not that there’s anything wrong with turning your trick
You’re just pimping your film, and for now that’s your schtick

You’ll come up with goodies for all different levels
But the problem is detail, in which there are devils
You might promise a t-shirt for a 5 buck donation
That you bought for 10 from an online Croatian

Or you’ll give away parts in the movie you’re making
For just 20 dollars the lead role’s for the taking
You’ll auction off crew jobs, as the money comes faster
Your mother’s Aunt Trudy just became your Prop Master

And as you near your target and your deadline approaches
You get even more fervent, desperation encroaches
You’ve run out of ways to harass and to hector
So for the last 40 dollars, you just sold “director”

The good new is you finally just made your goal
Everyone else makes your film, and you sold your soul
You’re tired, exhausted; you feel like the undead
You didn’t make a movie, but at least you’re crowd-funded!

(Slamdance Co-Founder-at-Large Dan Mirvish recently had a successful Kickstarter campaign for his new movie, an adaptation of the hit Off-Broadway play “Between Us.” He starts preproduction right after Slamdance. His first film “Omaha (the movie)” becomes available for streaming on Microsoft Xboxes this week.)

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