Interview about the project

The Crowdsourcingblog, interviewed us by e-mail on the project.

The DSB movie is a movie that was crowdsourced through every step of the way, and its about a financial scandal of a bank in the Netherlands.

Have you ever been involved in other crowdsourcing projects throughout your professional career or was this the first one?

No this was the very first one. It was supposed to be a test case on how to use crowdsourcing so I could write a blog post about it on htpp:// They are my partner in this project from the beginning.

When you though about making this movie, did you think right away you were going to crowdsource it, or you thought about the traditional way aswell?

Yes, from the very beginning it was my intention to crowdsource it. As I have no movie making experience at all, there was no other option to it :)

Let’s go over some details, ok? Several elements (all of them!) were crowdsourced, right? What was the first one? What was the most difficult one?

The elements we planned to crowdsource were:
- The design of the logo
- The design of the website, based on the logo
- The soundtrack
- The character description
- The script
- Acting, shooting and acting

The first one was the logo. Four days after the start of the project we received 42 logo’s and that proved for us that it could work.

The most difficult one, and that changed our plans because it did not work, was the Character Description and the script. So we needed to take another approach to that. We made a call for professional scriptwriters on LinkedIn (there is a film professionals group for the Netherlands).

Then we did an open call to the public, which was picked up by the media again, to get in touch with ex-employees of the bank, victims and other people that had an opinion about the bankruptcy. Our two scriptwriters came in contact with a lot of people who told their story. That information was all used in writing the final script.

Did you create your own platform for crowdsourcing (I mean, for deciding the winning videos from the different submissions of teams) or you just used good old email and the platforms like Youtube, Twitter, etc?

We have a central platform, built in Worpress on From there, we manage all our social media accounts. Twitter, Hyves (Dutch Facebook with 3 million members), linkedIn, youtube, vimeo, Flickr and our own forum.

The winning ideas are all selected through a voting system in Wordpress on our central website. So far, we only used standard, free available techniques.

For the final selection round: voting which video is best, we will use Yubby is a video selection tool, which combines all videos found on youtube, vimeo, etc… If you want to see how it works, check out

I found it very interesting in your presentation that you posted here, that you approached the incentives in crowdsourcing with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, can you tell us at what point did you start thinking this way and saw that crowdsourcing is not always about financial incentives?

It was later in the project in the project that I realized why our project, with no money involved, became so successful. And thinking about, I recognized that it was familiar to the theory of Maslow. So it was never our intention, but due to the lack of financial resources we reached top-level of Maslow’s pyramid.

In your opinion, what do you think are the conditions to, in any given project (not just this one), do you see financial incentives as being more proeminent than social/esteem ones? And vice-versa?

As soon as a crowdourcing project becomes more complicated than the Pepsi one, you should consider not giving financial rewards. When you want your crowd to really come up with brilliant contributions and innovative solutions you need to give them more than money. You should give them all the credits.

What’s the future for the DSB movie? Is it finished? I understad you already sold rights to broadcast it on TV, is that right? Will the movie also premier on cinemas?

At this moment we are in the final stage of acting and shooting. That will be finished (deadline) on February 20th. After that the crowd will select the best contributions.

As we asked everybody to work for free in this project, we cannot make money with the movie. So we did not sell any rights. We want the movie to be freely available for all and we already have 5 cinema’s throughout the country that will play it for free. (no charge for tickets)

Next to that, RTL-Z, Hollands biggest financial news channel provided us with a lot of material (footage) that we may use in our editing process. If the end-result is of any good quality (we don’t know yet) they consider showing it on TV. We do not receive any money for that. There are no rights on this movie as it is created by the crowd.

And the future for you, are you thinking of having more projects like this, or even other crowdsourcing projects outside movies?

Right now I’m working on some more crowdsourcing projects. One of the project I’m involved in is Twitterfeest (translated Twitterparty) which will be a completely crowdsourced party for Tweeps.

Another project that I’m working on is a platform where we want to use the minds of every daily commuter to think about solutions for the traffic jams.

I’m also working on my book called: Sourced Unknown about crowd sourcing techniques and how companies and (local) government can benefit from crowdsourcing.

And that’s it! Some great insight from Jan. I’d like to thank him for his time for answering these questions and wish him the best of luck with the DSB movie and all his other projects (which sound really great), we’ll be keeping an eye on it.