Culture Hacking

The 1 Second Film has managed to slip through the cracks of Hollywood gatekeepers, and find our way into some pretty surprising places. Here are some of the ways our project has managed to grow.

Celebrity Producers

Many well known folks have donated $1 or more to become Producers of The 1 Second Film. Having the support of the creative industry has helped our project reach more participants.

Celebrity support was received in many different ways, from sneaking into film festival parties, to getting celebrity donations online. You can read some celebrity-pitch stories here or watch some of these videos:

The Colbert Bump

Stephen Colbert has had a tremendous impact on this project is. We met Colbert after managing to sneak into a random party at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. It took a moment to get up the nerve to pitch him (and his wife), but it was well worth it! Colbert donated $22 so he and Evelyn could each be $11 Producers. [Video of our pitch to Colbert coming soon.]


Colbert vs. IMDb

After joining our crew, Stephen Colbert stated: "IMDb should put these credits in. It's as valid as most of my credits." We posted this video online.

IMDb is short for the "Internet Movie Database." IMDb is one of the largest websites in the world, and lists film projects both completed and in production. We had been trying to get The 1 Second Film credits listed on IMDb ever since Christina Ricci joined our crew, but had had no luck. However, after IMDb saw the Colbert video, they finally decided to list our film credits.

As Listed on IMDb:

Suddenly, IMDb visitors searching for "Roland Emmerich" (who donated $20) could see "The 1 Second Film" listed under his producer credits, right alongside his other projects like "Independence Day" and "The Day After Tomorrow." We were also listed under Kevin Bacon, Spike Jonze, Pierce Brosnan, etc. Thousands of people began to stumble across our project this on IMDb, and many visited our website and joined our crew.

In addition to thousands of donations from producers around the world, we also started receiving photos, videos, bios, perfect moments, etc. We entered names by hand onto our website, and saved up donations to build an automated website. Web development dragged on for several years, but was finally ready in 2007. However, a week before we could launch our new automated site, IMDb deleted all of our credits. We had over 3,000 producers listed on IMDb at the time.

Getting listed on IMDb helped our project grow tremendously, and we are giving IMDb a Special Thanks in our credits. We will also be attempting to get our film listed on IMDb again. If you want to help, join our Web Team Group.

YouTube Homepage

After Stephen Colbert's controversial speech at the White House Correspondence Dinner, "Stephen Colbert" became the most searched for name on Google. We had just uploaded our Sundance video to YouTube, and decided to add Stephen Colbert's name to the meta-data to see what would happen. The very next day, our Sundance Video was featured on YouTube's home page, and received over 100,000 views! With the increase in traffic, we had over 700 new producers sign up, collectively donating over $7,000 in just 3 days. These funds helped us build our first automated website. We later got invited to YouTube after announcing our Road to Oprah tour, and are proud to have many YouTubers on our crew, including YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley.

Open-Source Web Development (Drupal)

We used funds raised by donations to hire a web programmer, and in 2007, we finally automated our website using Drupal. Drupal is an Open-Source Content Management System that was started in 2001. Drupal provided us with an affordable and powerful platform to automate our sign up process while also providing our crew tools to collaborate more.  read more about our web development


The day our Drupal site launched, a link to our project hit the home page of, a popular user generated news site. The resulting traffic melted our servers, but not before a couple hundred more producers joined our crew, helping us raise a few more thousand dollars for production costs.

Wired Magazine

We have no idea how this happened, but somehow Wired Magazine listed The 1 Second Film as the culmination of a 17,000 year timeline titled "An Epic History of Snack Culture." 

Flickr, Creative Commons, & Wikipedia

We had been posting all of our production photos on our flickr page under a Creative Commons license. One day, we received an email from a Wikipedia editor requesting permission to use our photo of Samuel Jackson for his Wikipedia article. We told the editor that all of our photos were free to use under a Creative Commons license, and that he could also use any of our other photos for articles that needed pics. Photos of our various celebrity producers soon began appearing on Wikipedia. An article about The 1 Second Film had already been created on Wikipedia, and was linked to beneath the photos of celebrities holding our fliers. Web visitors then began stumbling across our project on Wikipedia. We are giving Wikipedia a Special Thanks in our movie, as well as a Publicist credit for all of the folks that have been referred.

Global Network of Participants

Our greatest resource is our crew. We have gradually built a network of participants around the world. We have used this support to develop our website, which gives our crew tools to participate more. We are excited to be working with so many people, and look forward to sharing what we will create together.

This page is still under construction... please check back for updates.