Park City-based crowdsource website helped fund ‘Director’s Cut’ |

Park City-based crowdsource website helped fund ‘Director’s Cut’

Adam Rifkin's Slamdance film, "Director's Cut," featuring Harry Hamiln, left, Missi Pyle and Hayes MacArthur was funded through, a Park City-based crowdsource website. (Slamdance)

irony surrounding Adam Rifkin’s Slamdance film "Director’s Cut," which was written by Penn Jillette, is that it’s about a fictional crowdfunded film that is, in reality, crowdfunded.

The point of pride for Park City is that the crowdfunding facilitator,, is based in town and founded in 2013 by Parkites Scott Tilson and Bill Zanker.

The two established to fill a void in the market that was left by other crowdsourcing websites, and, Tilson told The Park Record.

"Both of those are very successful, but they’re really do-it-yourself companies that offer no real assistance, help or advice to the person who wants to use crowdfunding to raise money for something that they are most passionate about," Tilson said. " was founded on the idea of providing a turn-key, complete-boutique solution for someone who may be an expert on making movies or creating music albums, but has no idea how to go online and raise money." helped Jillette raise more than $1.3 million from more than 5,400 contributors for "Director’s Cut."

"We help the fundraiser every step of the way from creating and executing a campaign, so people successfully reach their goals," Tilson said. "We meet extensively with people to discuss the size of the goal and then we have a complete team that helps with everything from titling the project to figuring out what a realistic goal is, to establishing the price levels and rewards for people who donate."

The team also communicates with constituents, including donors and potential donors once the project launches.

"The beauty of crowdfunding is that you can raise any amount of money for any project," Tilson said. "You don’t have to go into debt. You don’t have to go to a bank and beg for money. If you have a project that you think is a worthwhile cause that resonates with people, crowdfunding is an alternative and new way of financing it."

Tilson said Jillette reached out to because he was familiar with his and Zanker’s reputations.

"Both Bill and myself have extensive experiences and [are known] for being successful marketers on the mass level both nationally and worldwide," Tilson said. "So, when word got out that we were entering the crowdfunding realm, we had many people who were interested in harnessing our expertise to help them reach their monetary goals."

Tilson was honored Jillette wanted to work with, and to have it fund a film that premiered at Slamdance made the deal even sweeter.

"Personally, I’ve always been a fan of magic, and Penn Jillette is someone that I have looked up to, not [just] in the realm of magic, but as someone who knows how to create witty and smart art of all types," Tilson said. "So, working with him was a dream come true."

Since working with Jillette, has attracted other fund-ready projects in show business.

"Penn has tremendous contacts throughout the entertainment and business field and many of them have come to us with projects of their own, since the launch of the ‘Director’s Cut’ campaign," Tilson said. "Currently, we have one of the highest profile campaign out there, "Making a Murderer," which is a popular Netflix show."

The first account worked on was comedian Adam Corolla’s independent film "Road Hard," which began right after Tilson and Zanker launched their website.

"More than, 15,000 contributors donated $1,450,000, six weeks after we launched the site," Tilson said. "The thing about Adam was that campaign allowed us to become the crowdfunding site to have it’s first million-dollar the quickest since its launch.

"It took Indiegogo and Kickstarter years before they had their first million-dollar campaign," he said. "So, we’re now well known in the indie-film circle."

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