Archive for September, 2013
If you’re like me, the thought of asking people to give you money creates pretty much the same feeling in your stomach as a decisive kick in the balls. If you’re a girl, I’m told the feeling is similar to severe menstral cramps. Like someone took your stomach and squeezed it like a wet sponge. My, oh my, isn’t this a graphic blog post? So, how do we make crowdsourced fundraising a less stomach churning experience? We here at PoPS are basically trying to make it fun.
Starting with our Indiegogo video. This is my fourth time making a fundraising video. The first couple were just me sitting in the office like in updates, like this:
That was for the episode 6 fundraiser. Simple, heartfelt, but pretty low effort. If someone hasn’t seen the updates there’s not a lot for someone to connect with there. One shot, not much happening. Just a bunch of talkedy talk.
By the episode 7 fundraiser I tried to up our game by doing two videos. The first one was really thought out and took the majority of a Saturday for Eliza and me to orchestrate:
I really liked that one. I thought if we did a second video during the campaign, it would help keep people motivated. So I did, but I didn’t have as much time to devote to it and it replaced the original one. In the end I don’t think it did much to inspire further participation.
The episode 8 fundraiser went live on Sunday. This time, Lize and I spent another full day on the campaign video and we used the 5D and the GoPro to make it more visually satisfying. I also made the decision to up the antics to try and make it the whole thing more fun and run the show’s sizzle reel at the end so that our regular audience didn’t have to sit through it again if they didn’t want to. I think it’s the best we’ve done so far.
This time we also added new prizes and every few days I’m going to remind my subscribers what’s going on with a single shot video checking in on the campaign like this:
Hopefully, it’ll make everyone feel more involved in the campaign and keep everyone spreading it around. We’re also considering doing a raffle option. Anyone donating at the 20 dollar level will get entered into a drawing and we’ll randomly select someone to get the $500 perk. Things like this might keep it fun and help us stay a part of the conversation. Only a few weeks until the campaign is over. Here’s a link to the Indiegogo page for episode 8:
And we start shooting episode 8 in 9 days. Here we go again.
Sorry there’s so much video this week. Thanks for reading.
The advent of pre-production for this episode presents its own set of challenges. The gorgeous, creepy warehouse we use as the villain’s lair is pretty much a daylight location. There’s no power, no climate control, no anything. As we slink into October in the Midwest, that means a severely truncated shooting day. We are a VERY small budget show. We don’t have a lot of lights, so we can’t light huge environments. In a massive warehouse location, a lot of our background light is ambient, so when daylight goes, we’re done for. That means I rushed to try and get the warehouse stuff on the schedule as soon as the script was finished.
That brings me to true indie scheduling. Not just trying to get a bunch of actors together for a couple of the same days, but shooting your scenes in bizarre sequence because some actors can’t even stay all day. This is when precise shot-listing comes heavily into play. Say one actor has to leave early on a shoot day with a big group scene. You get all his coverage that involves him in shots with the full group or portions of the group—down to just sections of speeches where you want the guys in the foreground. Shoot directly for the edit. No extraneous coverage. Get all of his stuff but the singles. Then you can get everything from the rest of the group. If you have to come back the following weekend to just grab his singles, then you only have to schedule one person to come back. See, when you don’t have any money you have to be particularly aware of people’s schedules. They have to make money and they have personal obligations. It’s wonderful that they want to be in the show, but it’s also your responsibility to try not to abuse them for it. I try to be as flexible as possible with the schedule, but sometimes things get tight. It’s hard enough just trying to nail down time commitments from 13 main cast characters and 6 main crew. Now I’m trying to beat daylight savings time too.
Thanks for reading, guys.
Oh, and here’s a link to that other podcast that I mentioned last week. We had a great time talking to these guys, maybe my favorite podcast I’ve done.
I’ve been hitting the laptop hard this week, trying to whittle away at episode 8. The first draft is coming out pretty long, so I’ll have to see what people make of it when I have a finished draft. I just need to get it done so that we can move into production before it gets too cold. Aside from it being long, the script also includes some really funny scenes. It’s one of the things that I get nervous about before I sit down to write an episode of PoPS. “What if I can’t think of anything funny?” But if I just get the characters talking to each other and try to keep them true to themselves, everything seems to shake out just fine.
As I’ve been dashing headlong into the writing process, we’ve also had a few podcast appearances creep up. It falls directly into one of the primary paradoxes of making no-budget internet content. In order to make stuff, you have to sit down and dedicate the time to it. In order for people to know about your stuff you make, you have to find ways to push it out there and promote it. There’s only so much time in the day. There’s even less time in a weekday after work. So you have to try to balance the two halves. I’ve always been better about the making stuff than I have been about the promoting stuff. I keep our YouTube channel active with updates, I maintain the PoPS Facebook page, and I submit to festivals, but that’s about it. The only other promoting I do is when people ask me to be on their podcasts. It’s great. It’s basically talking about cool stuff for an hour. Sometimes the cool stuff we talk about is directly about our show, sometimes we just talk about the cool, geeky stuff we like.
This is us on the Super Geeked Up podcast, which uses the Google Hangout format. This one was less about the show and more about our opinions on pop culture and super hero mythologys. It was a lot of fun, and the first time the whole PoPS main cast has been on a podcast together.
Thanks for reading, guys.