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Taking Care of Business
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Old June 20th, 2007, 09:06 PM   #1
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How to beat Hollywood productions and make a name for yourself

[Originally posted here: http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=101169 ]

I was thinking the other day about Sanctuary ( http://www.osnews.com/story.php/18033 ), the first serious web-only TV series. And I thought, why Indie film makers haven't done the same thing?

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I am pretty sure that some of the nice short movies that were submitted in the various DVXFest competitions here at DVXUser could be expanded to 2 hours...

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Old June 20th, 2007, 10:27 PM   #2
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Instructions for making Rabbit Stew.

First: Catch a rabbit.



Excellent recipe for an indie web business plan. The 'catch a rabbit' part almost slips by.

--You find a sponsor, an advertiser--

Yup, everything else is easy-peazy. Seriously, I'm not making fun of the plan, I think it's a great template. But MARKETING is the shortfall of every creative artist I know. Convincing someone to give you money, 'sponsorship' for your ideas - is the big key to getting any kind of creative endeavor off the ground.

So the really hard part of the whole plan, is 'finding a sponsor'. That requires a business plan in and of itself.

Go for it, I think it's brilliant. I'm going to start talking to some people I know who already have stuff in the can, waiting for sponsorship.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 10:57 PM   #3
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Well, ask yourself this: did LonelyGirl15 and PromQueen had more marketing? All it requires is to understand the Internet well, not the traditional marketing approaches.

Personally, I wouldn't have much of a problem launching something, because I have a 250,000 visitors per day web site that I write for. I could easily write something about a project there (I am a tech journalist). Something like this for example: http://www.osnews.com/story.php/18118

Yes, it can be daunting finishing editing of your show at 10 PM and having to upload to many video sites, strike deals with video sites etc etc up until 2 AM, but it can be done... I am optimistic that someone can find sponsorship and enough viewership if he/she understands how the internet works.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 11:28 PM   #4
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Eugenia,

The production end is not daunting at all. And realistically, it would make much more sense to shoot ahead, and not be caught in a deadline crunch for posting. That's why I said I'd be contacting people who ALREADY have material in the can.

It's the 'marketing' thats tricky. Convincing someone to give you money, to 'sponsor' you as you put it, is EASIER if you have a product to show them. It's EASIER to show them the webisodes and say, "See don't you want a part of THIS!" Unless you have a great rep as a writer/director/producer with credentials already established, (in which case, you're still showing the money people work product AHEAD of time) then it's hard to get them to part with money/sponsorship ON SPEC.

First - CATCH a rabbit.

This forum is full of people capable of producing product. Many of us do it for a living. The vast majoritity of topics, deal with specific approaches for technical and artistic problems. There are threads on the legal difficulties of securing rights, and guarding rights and a few that talk about how one might structure an LLP or such for business puposes.

Finding a sponsor is the hard part. Finding someone who will view your work, and value it enough to get behind it. That's the major obstacle. Sometimes, it's just a mater of pounding the pavement and knocking on doors. It's the single most difficult part of 'the path' to success for most of us.

For example, I lived in Houston Texas for most of my life. Lots of creative people there, plenty of talented folks in front of and behind the camera. I was a member of several filmmaking groups. We'd all sit around and talk about how we had all this talent, and equipment and locations, and stories... why weren't more films being made.

Because the MONEY wasn't there.

I could walk into any bank in Houston, and say "Hey, I want to drill for oil on this piece of property - it'l cost three million dollars. Will you loan it to me?" And they would say "Go talk to Bill, he will look at your proposal and tell you if we can loan you the cash". And Bill would KNOW what he was looking at. He would KNOW the risks of drilling at that place and time... and drilling for oil is VERY risky.

But nobody in the Bank would even know how to look at a shooting script and say "Yeah, that's doable, here's three million".

Those people are mostly in L.A. and Hollywood. (And even then 'nobody knows nuthin')

The problem is similar, when you are looking for people to put money into your webcast. It's unknown, the payoff is unkown, it's going to take an extraordinary 'salesman' to convince a visionary 'sponsor' that this is the right step, and the right time.

Yes, it CAN be done. I think the template is sound. But it's NOT going to be a cakewalk. Like I said, the hours of writing, shooting and editing will pale in comparison to the time and effort spent MARKETING the idea.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 11:36 PM   #5
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I think an easier way to do this then, is produce the first webisode (or previous work of yours) and publish it on the top-10 video sharing sites. Then, make a sum of the times your webisode was viewed, and walk with that information on the sponsor's doorstep.

For example, I don't think that a good piece of production won't be able to get viewed at least 100,000 times in 10 different sites during 1 week. I think it would. And that's a pretty significant number of viewers. Advertisers can pay $100,000 for a 30 minute spot in the primetime and have about 10,000,000 viewers. If they can offer $1000 for 100,000 viewers, that ain't bad business for anyone. For $1000 per webisode you can jump start a low-budget series. And as the series becomes more popular, you ask for more money...
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Old June 21st, 2007, 12:58 AM   #6
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This topic originated at DVX User and references DVX User specifically, and therefore the discussion rightfully belongs on that site. Please don't cut and paste entire posts from other message boards into DV Info Net. The text of the message should be read on the site that it comes from. All that's needed here is a link to the original discussion. Please follow this link in order to participate in this discussion at DVX User:

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