What’s Amy Jo Johnson’s crowdfunding secret sauce?

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Rick Yaeger: Hey, everyone. It’s Rick Yaeger here with One Question Interviews, the show where I get the golden opportunity to talk to a celebrity, then I waste it on some totally random question. Sitting across the Internet from me today is my first official returning guest. She’s got a new movie in the works and she’s here to tell us how we can help her with that. Please welcome Amy Jo Johnson.

Amy Jo Johnson: Hi. Thanks for having me again.

Rick: Thanks for coming on. The last time you were here, it was only three months ago.

The Space Between Indigogo Campaign

Amy: I know, right? Right after the interview, I filmed “Shooting Blanks,” which is the seven minute prequel to “The Space Between,” which we’re actually going to launch in the middle of the Indiegogo campaign. That is going to be the end of October into November.

Rick: This interview is being published at the end of November, so this is…

Amy: No, October.

Rick: October. I can’t get my calendar right. Looking at the calendar, it’s October 23rd. You just launched an Indiegogo campaign. Tell people what it’s about and how they can get involved.

Amy: We’re doing an Indiegogo campaign for The Space Between. It will be my first feature film as a writer/director. I’ve done three shorts so far. On November 9th, we’re going to launch Shooting Blanks, which is my third short film, which is a prequel to The Space Between. I’m just putting it out there on YouTube. We all can watch it. It sets up the premise for The Space Between.

I do have to preface. I’m not really quite sure what to do about this. The short film takes place in the fertility clinic. The whole first scene is this man getting a sample.

Amy: Enough about Shooting Blanks. More about The Space Between  and the Indiegogo campaign. We’re trying to raise $75,000. The feature will take about $250. We’ll get money, hopefully, through grants. We’re going to shoot in the spring. The Space Between is about a man who finds out, in the beginning of the movie, that his new baby is not his own child. He freaks out.

His wife, they had been trying to have a baby for years and she took his infertility into her own hands. He basically was shooting blanks. He sets out on this quest to go find the father of the baby. It’s a comedy, but it’s a heartfelt comedy. It dives into all kinds of different issues. He meets up with this woman on the road, Samantha. She’s 22 and she just left rehab. A whole bunch of stuff happens.

That last half of the movie all takes place during a burlesque festival.

Rick: Goodness me.

Amy: Michael Cram, who was on “Flashpoint” with me, plays Mitch. He’s the leading role of the guy who finds out his baby is not his own. My friend Sonya Salomaa is Jackie. She, actually, was on Flashpoint as well. She played Rico Colantoni’s wife on Flashpoint. Then David Paetkau. Late Show, Paetkau. That’s how you say it! If you didn’t know, it’s David Paetkau.

Rick: Paetkau. OK.

Amy: I always say “pet cow.” Anyway, David’s in it as well. He’s in a smaller role with me. I’m also in the movie as well. We’re casting right now. There’s a bunch of others. It’s a whole ensemble cast. There’s some other really great roles that we’re in the middle of casting.

The Perks

Rick: From today, we have about a month to go on Indiegogo on your campaign page and contribute. How does it work exactly?

Amy: There’s perks. There’s some really great perks. There’s some pretty cool, fun, awesome perks that are geared towards, hopefully, making people happy and want to contribute.

There’s ways to become part of the film. There’s a perk where you can actually be an extra in the film.

One of my favorites is a 15 minute Skype session with me.

I’m doing the song, sang for you again.

There’s a Twitter follow for people who are into that.

One of my favorites, it’s $500, but I’ll write a song for you and also I’ll paint a picture. I don’t know if you see the picture behind me. I painted this myself.

Rick: Wow.

Amy: All over my house are my paintings. I’ll paint a picture. I’ll write the song and paint the picture based off of a letter that you write me. It’s limited. It’s a limited perk. I can’t remember how many are there. There’s only a few of those.

You can become a producer.

There’s the normal ones like the download of the movie.

I don’t go to Comic Cons because I’m so busy trying to make a movie and being a mom. There’s one where you can send me a box of anything you want signed and I’ll sign it and I’ll send it back to you, for people who like to have their different stuff signed.

There’s a couple actual physical packages where there’s the script and the script notes and headshots.

Oh, I’m going to do an acting photo book, a 20 page book of different photos through the years of my acting career. The last campaign, I did a Power Ranger personal photo book and a Flashpoint personal photo book. This time, I’m going to do my entire career photo book.

Rick: Combined.

Amy: Yeah.

Rick: You mentioned that some are limited. I remember, in a previous campaign you did with “The Song Sang For You.”

Amy: Over 100 I had to do, yeah.

Crowdfunding 101

Rick: You’ve become an expert on crowd funding.

Amy: Well, I don’t know about that, but I kind of love it.

Rick: A lot of people are standing at the sidelines, wondering, “That might work for my idea, but how do I go about it?” You’re definitely more of an expert than they are. What have you learned from crowd funding that you could pass on to filmmakers that haven’t tried it or have maybe tried it and haven’t had much success with it? What’s the secret sauce?

Amy: The secret sauce really is the fact that I’m not an expert. The only reason why both campaigns were successful, and hopefully this one is, is because of people who support me from Twitter and Facebook. It’s all the social media. I have never really gone to my family and friends and asked for money or anything like that. It’s all going through Twitter and Facebook and just trying to create the perks to be something that is a win-win situation.

They get something that they want, and then I get to make my movie.

Rick: Yes, which is also something they want.

Amy: The best thing about crowd funding, I think, is that it gives the movie a life before it’s even made. There’s already an audience and people into it. I highly recommend it. I think you need to have a support system and a social media—I just have a little one.

Rick: Yeah, but like I said, you’ve got to have a tribe. You’ve got to have those people that are on board with what you’re doing.

Amy: Yeah. I like that word. When I was putting together this thing, somebody, a PR person or something was referring to fans, and I don’t like that word. I don’t like it. “Supporters?” But “Tribe”, that’s a great word. It’s the only way that I’ll be able to make a movie, is with my tribe.

Rick: With your tribe. It’s the best way to make a movie.

Amy: Right? Then it means something. I’m not alone in a room.

Rick: They’re invested in this movie before the lights go down. It’s amazing.

The Interview

I’m going to get to the magical one question. I’ve got the hat.

Rick: As you know, the show is called One Question Interviews. I have almost 1,000 different questions ranging from the profane to the profound. We will choose one at random. You’ll answer it seriously, or in a funny voice if you like, and everyone goes home happy. Cool?

Amy: OK.

Rick: OK. I’m going to grab me a stack of cards here. We’ll riffle down the side and you tell me when to stop.

Amy: Riffle.

Rick: I’ve got to get it in a riffle position.

Amy: Like tarot cards. I said that last time. OK, stop!

Rick: Stop? Do you want the top or the bottom?

Amy: The bottom.

Rick: All right. Amy Jo Johnson, what skill have you persistently developed, even though you weren’t a natural at it?

Amy: Most!

Amy: What comes to mind, it’s not abstract, but a little bit, is confidence. I definitely was not born a confident person. I was very insecure, even at 19, 20, even through my 20s. Oh my God. Really only in the last five years have I found my footing within myself and have the confidence to be able to go after the things that I really want to do. That’s a skill, in a way, right? People have to have confidence.

Rick: It’s definitely a skill, and it leads to other skills. If you don’t have confidence in yourself, you’re not going to have the juice to say, “I can take on that task. That’s not beyond my ability. I can do anything.” That’s a good skill. What is the secret? What gave you that confidence? Where did you find it?

Amy: Definitely being a mom helped me find it. I think just really getting away from the noise. When I moved to Montreal and just sat with myself and started to gain my own…how do you say that word? An-in-in…?

Rick: Anonymity.

Amy: That one! I think within that, I started to not care what other people think about me, and that it comes from.

Rick: You’re going to find out who you are when you’re alone.

Amy: Not comparing yourself. You’ve got to get rid of all that to find your confidence.

Rick: I can concur with that. I’ve found, in my own experience, it’s almost the “fake it to make it” thing, as well. If you want to have confidence, you should just have confidence. You’ve got to grab hold of it, even though you don’t really have it.

Amy: Totally.

Rick: You’ll find out that you have the ability.

Amy: Yeah, because everybody has it, right? Innately, it’s within everybody. You just have to stop floundering.

Rick: Floundering is a good word. That’s a good word for it. Good answer. See?

Amy: Yey!

The Wrap up

Rick: All right, Amy Jo, thank you so much for being on the show, and again, everyone head over to the Indiegogo campaign, that link that’s right below her face, again.

Amy: Join the “Stage It” show that’s on November 9th and November 23rd.

Rick: Tell us about that, what’s Stage It? I’ve never been.

Amy: StageIt.com is actually a musical venue where people go on and do shows where I’m sitting like this, but I’m with my guitar and I’m singing, and then on the side is a chat room. You guys can sit there and chat and I can read what you’re saying. We all have a conversation. On November 9th, I’m going to do that with Michael Cram. We’re going to sing songs and talk to you guys and we’re going to launch Shooting Blanks. It marks the midway of the Indiegogo campaign.

Rick: Are you going to take requests?

Amy: I can only sing my own songs. I can’t do covers.

Rick: Do you publish a list of your songs and then we can make requests from that list?

Amy: OK

Rick: That makes sense.

Amy: Yeah. Somebody always picks the weird, obscure one. Then, on November 23rd, marks the last day of the campaign. The last day of the campaign, we’re going to do a Stage It show, just as a party and sing. I’m going to be with my friend Laura Lyn, who has an amazing voice. We’re just going to do the countdown to the ending of the campaign and say goodbye to everybody and hang out. It’s StageIt.com and just look for my name. The show is free.

Rick: Everyone, you should also check out Amy Jo’s music on SoundCloud, CD Baby and iTunes. Search for her name. She’s on Twitter, of course. @_amyjojohnson. All the links that we’ve talked about, they’re all over at OneQuestionInterviews.com, along with the transcript of this interview. Check that out. It’s a lot easier than searching. Typing. Who wants to type?

Amy: No one.

Rick: Thanks, everyone. Thanks for watching and thanks even more for subscribing to the show for free on iTunes and on YouTube. You know what? That’s it. This is Rick Yaeger for One Question Interviews. I’ll see you next time. Bye-bye everybody.

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