By Michael Dorausch, D.C.
With taglines that read Produce a movie with the Stars for $1, The 1 Second Film project has all the ingredients of a brilliant social media and viral marketing effort. The 1 Second Film (if you’re not familiar with the project, check out the web site for more information) is the brainchild of Los Angeles-based filmmaker Nirvan Mullick. Along with efforts from his team, Nirvan has consistently and successfully been applying guerrilla and viral marketing strategies, and has benefited from a number of online social media networks.
In this post, I wanted to point out some of the strategies used successfully by those involved in the project. The project incorporates star power, charitable contributions, guerrilla marketing strategies, corporate sponsorship, support from a social media savvy audience, and much much more. It also doesn’t hurt that when you meet him, Nirvan comes across as an honest guy who really wants to make a difference in the world.
While the film is only one second long, the list of producer credits is staggering, and that list includes a number of Hollywood celebrity figures that have already come on board. Stars that have signed up include names such as Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, Pierce Brosnan, Spike Jonze, Christina Ricci, Tom Green, Andy Dick, Tom Arnold, Seth Green, Stephen Colbert, Woody Harrelson, Pauly Shore, and others.
1 Degree of Separation
The fact that one dollar can get your name on the list of credits along with other producers (including celebrities) provides all sorts of opportunities. The way the film credit structure works, a donation of $9.99 or less will get you an associate producer credit, donation of $10 to $99.99 will get you a producer credit (myself and Stephen Colbert), and a donation of $100 or more will get you and executive producer credit (such as what Kiefer Sutherland has). I donated my $20 to the 1 Second Film while standing out on the street in downtown Los Angeles and I just couldn’t hold back from sharing the news with others.
Besides having their own web site, the 1 Second Film has been making considerable use of mediums such as video sharing site YouTube and photo sharing site Flickr to get the word out to others. The film project also has a MySpace page, Facebook profile, and Twitter account. The web sites press page (which has dozens of news stories from media outlets) has gone popular on the media sharing site called Digg.
Nirvan and his friends bought a bus on eBay and converted it into an RV that they could drive across the country. They recently returned from a tour of the United States and an attempt to meet with Oprah Winfrey, in hopes of getting her to make a donation towards the film. Along the way, they stopped at major US landmarks, met with people, shot video, and got plenty of photos for their Flickr pages. Their video with Kiefer Sutherland, which can be seen on YouTube, was filmed with an ordinary hand-held digital camera.
From the videos I viewed, I thought this first one was the best. It has some scenes with Tom Arnold and Stephen Colbert. It’s been viewed nearly a 140,000 times already and it’s only one of numerous videos related to the film project.The team traveled to film festivals such as Sundance, the Toronto film Festival, and AFI, to meet with celebrities and create buzz for the project. They’ve also received corporate support from companies such as Apple, who provided them with a powerful editing package for completing the documentary about the making of the 1 Second Film.
Doing all this for a good cause makes it really hard for people not to want to participate. From the web site: Any and all profits raised by our finished film, including the sale of the original artwork, DVDs, and ancillary merchandise, will be donated to an independent charity called the Global Fund for Women*, a non-profit grantmaking organization that supports women’s human rights around the world. While the films creator tells me he’s been learning this all as he goes along, he’s done a remarkable job so far. To date the film will be crediting over 8700 producers from 54 countries and the project has raised just shy of a quarter million dollars.