Caine’s Arcade is an amazing story about an imaginative boy who created an Arcade from cardboard in a back room of his Dad’s auto shop. The real story lies in @Nervan ‘s documentary style film that turned his after school creative escapade into a $133k scholarship fund. The film went viral and ended up in TIME, msn, adweek and on NBC. It’s exciting to see that a heart warming story has the potential to have such an impact.
It is particularly interesting to see how the impact portion of this film unfolded. The film doesn’t even hint at raising money or supporting the boy in any way what so ever. In fact, it appears that the scholarship was an after-thought. This is an insightful lesson into fund raising behavior. Engaging an audience is done effectively by inspiring them to build upon the emotional connection they made. Even though the film didn’t have a call to action the audience felt compelled to do something that would make a difference. This is the ultimate desired effect of an engaging film.
This is also an excellent case study that reinforces our approach to filmmaking: the most effective way to create impact is to focus on a single individual. It is the path to a viewer’s heart and mind. It’s often difficult for non-profits to raise money because they focus on their mission instead of a single individual who has been impacted by their cause. Caine’s Arcade makes an emotional connection that viewers can relate to.
Caine (and his encouraging father) stand for innovation, imagination, entrepreneurism, capitalism, creativity and perseverance. This film struck a chord because the story warmed the hearts of everyone who viewed it. It went viral despite being 10 mins. long because we wanted to see what happened next and because we all felt like we saw a little bit of ourselves in Caine and his father. It’s not sure what role Interconnected played in seeding the film but it certainly didn’t take much for the momentum to accrue.