From Crowdfunding

Podcast – Content as a Brand Builder: Part 2 Interview with Alex Ferrari of Indie Film Hustle – Film Insight S03E04

Alex Ferrari of Indie Film Hustle is back for Part 2 of our interview! In this episode, we talk about Alex’s use of previous content to market his latest project on Seed & Spark, a crowdfunding site for independent films, and as perks to incentivize contributions. We also hear a great anecdote which relates his experience running a gourmet olive oil business to being an indie filmmaker and content creator.

Looking for Part 1? Click here to listen!

This week’s guest– Alex Ferrari
Website: https://www.indiefilmhustle.com/
Twitter: @indiefilmhustle
Contribute to the This is Meg crowdfunding campaign! www.thisismeg.com
Indie Film Syndicate: http://www.indiefilmsyndicate.com/

Mentioned during the break:

New E-Book: The Entrepreneurial Producer

Watch our online video courses: Producer Foundry Workshops 

Indie Film Hustle Podcast Episode 15 with Ben Yennie

Edited by Alexander Nigro

Hosted by Ben Yennie
Main site: http://www.theguerrillarep.com/
Twitter: @TheGuerrillaRep
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheGuerrillaRep/
AFM book: The Guerrilla Rep: American Film Market Success on No Budget

Hosted by Evan Pleger
Main Site: evanpleger.com
Twitter: @IndieEvan

Film Insight is a production of the Producer Foundry
Main site: producerfoundry.com
Meetup group: http://www.meetup.com/Producer-Foundry/
Twitter: @ProducerFoundry
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/producerfoundry/

Want to be a guest on Film Insight? Fill out this form!

Podcast – Content as a Brand Builder: Part 1 Interview with Alex Ferrari of Indie Film Hustle – Film Insight S03E03

Our guest, Alex Ferrari of Indie Film Hustle, was gracious enough to do a second take with us when we had technical difficulties with our first interview. On our second go, we talked about so much more that we’re splitting this up into two episodes! Part 1 is all about building up a content library to enhance your indie filmmaker brand and how to utilize all the various channels available to support your film career. Thanks, Alex, for all of your amazing insight!

This week’s guest– Alex Ferrari
Website: https://www.indiefilmhustle.com/
Twitter: @indiefilmhustle
Contribute to the This is Meg crowdfunding campaign! www.thisismeg.com

Mentioned during the break:

New E-Book: The Entrepreneurial Producer

Watch our online video courses: Producer Foundry Workshops 

Indie Film Hustle Podcast Episode 15 with Ben Yennie

Edited by Alexander Nigro

Hosted by Ben Yennie
Main site: http://www.theguerrillarep.com/
Twitter: @TheGuerrillaRep
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheGuerrillaRep/
AFM book: The Guerrilla Rep: American Film Market Success on No Budget

Hosted by Evan Pleger
Main Site: evanpleger.com
Twitter: @IndieEvan

Film Insight is a production of the Producer Foundry
Main site: producerfoundry.com
Meetup group: http://www.meetup.com/Producer-Foundry/
Twitter: @ProducerFoundry
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/producerfoundry/

Want to be a guest on Film Insight? Fill out this form!

Why Producers Shouldn’t Ignore VidCon

When I bought tickets to my first VidCon last year, I was very excited. I had been interested in the online video revolution for quite a while and as a burgeoning video producer myself, I was convinced years ago this was the wave of the future of digital distribution and entertainment. However, when I’d eagerly tell friends and professional colleagues I would be attending, most hadn’t heard of it, didn’t think it was for them, or didn’t think it a credible or serious industry event. However, after only a few years, I could see that VidCon was quickly becoming the hub for online entertainment. So, with a Creator badge around my neck, I dove into something very new, vibrant, and innovative. After my experience last year, I knew I had to come back and I will be attending this year’s convention in Anaheim this June 23rd-25th. I feel that even “serious” independent video producers should not ignore what VidCon has to offer.

VidCon started as a fan convention founded by noteworthy YouTube celebrities Hank and John Green (Vlog Brothers). The first convention in 2010 had 1,400 attendees and an “industry day.” In 2016, more than 20,000 attendees are expected to attend and there are now separate Industry and Creator badges with their own content.

badges

As the convention has grown, so has its incredible offering of insightful panels and workshops. This year, Industry track attendees will have access to “22 master classes taught by top industry experts,” as well as the inside scoop on what’s new in the business of online video. The Creator track, which was started last year, acts as a video production school, teaching up-and-coming vloggers about cameras, lighting, and script writing, while improving the skills and knowledge of veteran producers with tips on branding, legal concerns, and expanding production. Creator track workshops and seminars are taught by YouTubers and online video producers which give you a look into online production workflow.

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I attended last year as a Creator and personally found a lot of the workshops to be fairly basic, having been to film school. However, these teenager to twenty-somethings were receiving a pretty comprehensive crash course in video production. With dedication to producing regular content, taking an iterative approach to their craft, and checking in yearly at VidCon to learn more and receive advice from other content creators, I could see that these young creators had the potential to outperform and outgrow the current media industry, without having to pay for a film school education! For me, and those of us who had experience with production, I found some great insight from attending Q&As of noteworthy creators. Other creators and I had the opportunity to ask questions about the process and received a transparent look into what it took to make videos like theirs.

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The entertainment industry has taken notice of VidCon. Many of the large media companies have digital or online production arms and many of them are setting up shop at the convention. The Hollywood Reporter even ran a story on VidCon in its 5th year stating, “VidCon Matures as Hollywood Descends.” The Reporter sees, “VidCon’s growth [as] symbolic of a larger shift in online video.” I’ve even written about brand collaboration and integration in online video, citing the development and success of YouTube channels like “Lizzie Bennet Diaries.” Influencer marketing, internet optimization, transmedia storytelling– these are the trends being developed and discussed at this convention.


As a content creator, I would highly recommend staying abreast of what’s happening at VidCon. When you stand in the convention hall, you can feel the pulse of innovative energy that will sustain new media growth. The information available from industry professionals, creative content producers, and interested fans is incredibly valuable. Be warned! A majority of attendees still are those tweenage fans of internet celebrities and a huge portion of the convention is dedicated to their enthusiasm and entertainment. (See inflatable fun zone below.)  But, the potential for networking in and learning about a powerful media sector shouldn’t be passed up. I got my tickets early and badges are currently sold out, but you can tune into the live stream. Plus, there’s always next year.

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I want to close with a quote from Hank Green, co-founder of VidCon, who revealed during 2014’s keynote speech a bit about the incredible momentum there is in online video creation. He said, “I don’t know what I’m doing. I have no idea. I don’t think that any of us know what we’re doing. There is a wave, and it’s made of technological things and sociological things, and it’s individual people making individual decisions about how they’re going to spend their individual time. And we are riding it. And that’s impressive. But it is not as impressive as understanding the wave.”

The wave originates at VidCon. Cowabunga.

Part 2 – Interview w/ Ben Yennie on Snapchat, Crowdfunding, and Story vs. Marketing

 

E: We got into the technology and what it will possibly be doing, but do you think AR or VR will facilitate transmedia or not? Are they exclusive experiences, like the movies used to be? Or is there a function of transmedia here?

B: I definitely think there can be uses for transmedia there. There’s kind of a misconception about transmedia. It’s not an all-or-nothing sort of thing. It is a tool that you can use that is appropriate in some cases and not appropriate in others. That’s really all it is. There are some times that using transmedia can really increase revenue for an independent film, either by increasing awareness or potentially even creating a revenue stream.  However there are also some times that it’s a time sink and the cost doesn’t really improve your margins. It’s all about how you do it and when and how you execute it. If executed poorly, it’s a complete waste of time and money.

E: What technologies that exist now, do you think, will fall away?

B: It’s hard to tell on these things. Most of the platforms that exist now that have their communities will continue to exist. Snapchat may be a fad as it exists right now, but the thing about Snapchat isn’t really the platform itself, it’s the self-deleting technology behind it. I think the technology behind Snapchat will grow and be able to be used in different platforms and different places. I think that’s the reason for it’s, something like, 9.5 billion dollar valuation. I think that’s the key differentiator for Snapchat. Snapchat probably will fade away, but I don’t think the technology behind Snapchat will fade away. That will grow.  There are a lot of uses that could be widely applied to military, high level business, and other forms of communication.   Of course, it could also be I’m old and just don’t get you kids and your snapyscaps.

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E: I want to move this conversation to crowdfunding. I think that crowdfunding is the the ultimate transmedia marketing experience, because you cannot just crowdfund out-of-the-blue. It needs at least a social media presence, a website, and media or a product at the end…

crowdfunding

B: And friends!

E: …and friends, and collaboration. A crowdfunding campaign necessitates transmedia. How do you think crowdfunding will evolve? Will crowd-equity take hold or is it too controversial or risky?

B: I definitely think crowdfunding is more than just a fad. I think crowdfunding is here to stay. I think crowdfunding, at least for film and media projects- and to some extent tech and gaming products- will be the first stage of financing for the foreseeable future. It’s not right for all tech, like B2B tech won’t really work for it, but hardware relies on it to a very high degree.  

Equity based crowdfunding is going to be an interesting experiment. I think that any successful crowdequity company is going to need to charge something more like 20% versus the 5-9% for Indiegogo, and to have an investor relations board that goes with it. Any startup that is crowdfunding from so many people- even if you’re getting a slice- there’s no way they can manage that many investors, especially for how little amounts of money we’re talking about.

Investment is kind of a wonky term. It can refer to straight equity. It can also refer to a promissory note for debt-with-interest, or even convertible debt which, for those of you who don’t know, is debt that you can convert into equity at a later stage. So depending on how you’re looking to raise, it can get really complicated really quickly and those regulations can easily become burdensome and make the amount of money impossible to raise.  Although currently, crowd funded equity is in a legal limbo with the SEC, as it basically changes the entire idea of high risk investments and can quite easily open up a can of worms and make it too easy for people with less moral scruples than you or I to take grandma’s retirement money.  

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E: The final thing I want to ask you about is where does transmedia fall into the marketing system versus the narrative one? Are they actually separate? Which is more useful or engaging?

B: Personally, I think transmedia is best done when when it serves as both a marketing campaign and storytelling platform. At its heart, marketing is storytelling. When you do it well, the two work very well together. If you’re telling the story of a product, let’s say it’s a film, why not expand on the universe around that story and get people excited about it? Then that essentially serves the same purpose as marketing.    

Film Insight Season 2 Episode 7 – LA Macabre

In This week’s Episode of Film Insight, Ben and Randy decompress about the Recent SF Web Fest, and Ben interviews the guys behind LA Macabre.  LA Macabre is a horror webseries currently doing a crowdfunding campaign for it’s second season.  In the interview, we talk about how the guys went about building their audience, marketing their webseries, and preparing to run a Crowdfunding campaign.

If you’re listening to this at Launch, then you can still donate to the LA Macabre Kickstarter by clicking below.

DONATE NOW!

If you want to see season one of LA Macabre

WATCH NOW

LIKE THEM ON FACEBOOK!

If you listened to Ben in our new commercial breaks, and would like to check out his book,

BUY IT NOW ON AMAZON OR BUY IT NOW ON BARNES AND NOBLES

If you would like to learn to pitch better, check out the Producer Foundry Workshop, IndieFilm Investor Pitching 101

Hosted and Produced by Ben Yennie (@TheGuerrillaRep) and Randy Hall (@RandyHall)

Edited by Alex Nigro

Film Insight Season 2 Episode 6 – Claudia Christian and Adam Schoemer

In This week’s Episode Ben and Randy interview Claudia Christian and Adam Schomer who produced and Directed the Documentary “One Little Pill.”  Claudia is best known for her role as Commander Susan Ivanova on TV’s Babylon 5.  The documentary is follows the lives of several people who have suffered from alcoholism, and have been helped by a controversial new treatment called The Sinclair Method.

You can find out more about the Sinclair Method through http://www.onelittlepillmovie.com/. The interview is more about the challenges of producing a documentary, and the celebrity effect on crowdfunding, and how even name talent isn’t aways enough to get wide-scale traditional distribution for your film.

Adam and Claudia talk about the issues of maintaining the confidentiality of documentary subjects, and how sometimes you need to shift focus and adapt in the middle of producing your documentary.  The crew also touch on the touchy subject of conflicts of interest for documentary subjects and their families.

Next in the interview we talk about their challenges approaching television stations and how “One Little Pill” got their first wide-scale television distribution deal in Finland, and the challenges the filmmakers are facing in getting US distribution for the film to help spread the message of the Sinclair Method’s efficacy in treating Alcoholism.  Adam talks a bit about how specialized TV stations can be in selecting which time slots for distribution of social issue content.

Later in the episode, Ben and Randy talk to Adam and Claudia about the difficulties of wide scale self distribution through platforms like VHX and Vimeo and the effects of social impact of viral growth.

Film Insight Season 2 Episode 2: Making Waves with your Webseries 2 – Financing

sanfranlandFilm Insight is back with a 4 part Web Series Panel. The audio is recorded from an event that took place in August as a partnership between the Bay Area Women in Film and Media and Producer Foundry.

The second installment focuses on Financing, and different methods filmmakers use to get their webseries funded.  Subscribe on iTunes to get all four parts!

Panelists include:

FEATURED MODERATOR
Maya Zuckerman
Co-Founder of TransmediaSF

For Bios please check out the original event on eventbrite

Come back in two weeks for the second part of the series, and in the meantime, check out the Producer Foundry Page and Group on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Join Our Mailing List!