FilmFellas Cast 3 “Social Networking: The Wild West”


FilmFellas Cast 3 – Webisode 10 – The Social Experiment

Webisode 10 brings you a brand new cast of FilmFellas. Each fella has a different approach to online media, but they do agree on one thing, media is changing and it’s changing fast. Steve opens with the classic and sometimes risky exercise of “say what you think of first”. Each cast member is hit with a variety of terms from web video to social networking and the responses may shock you. Conversation quickly turns to the idea of how physical media is shifting to online media.

Zacuto FilmFellas Cast 3 Webisode 11
Zacuto FilmFellas Cast 3 Webisode 12
Zacuto FilmFellas Cast 3 Webisode 13
Zacuto FilmFellas Cast 3 Webisode 14

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146 Responses to “FilmFellas Cast 3 “Social Networking: The Wild West””

  1. gary nadeau on January 15th, 2010 1:11 pm

    I’m lovin’ this stuff. Steve I think you are absolutely right on track. re: content – just a wee bit ahead of the curve. It’s sort of like a corporation sponsoring a stadium. The cast is great – really impressed with Anish. Ultimately, I think the multiplex will always exist in one form or another. We as a culture like to go out and do something – dinner and a movie – is always the best option. But change is a coming…

  2. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 1:26 pm

    I agree with you Gary, as we are all reformulating our business models, so too will Hollywood, they’ve had to do it every decade since its inception. 

    The real problem in the world today is all businesses in all industries really need to realize that they have to reformulate their business models every 3 months instead of every 10 years. That is the fallout of the immediacy of our new global world. 

    We used to be a country of innovators, but so many of these businesses that are failing are because they are reacting to the world and not innovating it. 

    I Hate to get poetic but:
    Some men see things as they are and ask “Why?” 
    I dream things that never were and ask, “Why not?” RFK

    Filmmakers worldwide, it’s never been a better time in the history of filmmaking to innovate, get busy, create!
    Steve

  3. Anonymous on January 15th, 2010 1:28 pm

    I find this stuff really interesting. It’s inevitable that on-line and the content production models spoken about will be the way forward. It is just so difficult to get the money for the productions from the very companies that it will benefit. They can’t seem to see the change around the corner…well it’s basically here isn’t it. Keep ‘em coming Steve, very informative.

  4. Nels Chick on January 15th, 2010 1:36 pm

    This is my favorite episode so far. I agree with Gary about the big screen. I think some people will still want to go out for a flick, but I think the hugely overpriced business model will be dramatically effected by this net video movement.

  5. Trent Whittington on January 15th, 2010 1:36 pm

    As always, just when I get right into the episode it ends. Oh well only a month until episode 11…

  6. Northernlight Filmworks on January 15th, 2010 1:40 pm

    Another great episode Steve. Couple things. First, I think there is going to be a huge demand for online delivery for features as long as we can get it right away to our own home theatre system. But what is missing here is that there is still a large part of the population that enjoy the social aspects of enjoying a movie together. Movies hopefully generate an emotional response being among other people is another dynamic that is part of the whole experience.

    I believe we are on the edge of a total shift in the way products are advertised. This shift has really been forced into reality with the economic downturn. The most successful companies are going to be those that realize that promoting their product or service is more about the journey and not the destination. People want to feel like they are part of something.

    Loving the thought provoking content.

  7. Justin Evidon on January 15th, 2010 1:42 pm

    Great video, really interesting discussion. My only complaint was that the food looked really good and no one was eating! I know it’s difficult to make it not look like a staged event, but maybe start the video without the food and then have it arrive and have a middle segment where it’s just the four of you sitting around making small talk like you would during a meal. Just hope no one spills any red sauce on their shirt…

  8. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 1:46 pm

    Agreed on everything except waiting to make the content. I think the content can be made now, if you wait till the TV part is there you’ll be a year too late. Plus, what I was talking about was 10 minute webisodic content on businesses websites. I don’t want to watch that on my TV, I want to watch in on the computer where I can easily make comments and interact with it.

    It’s all about tieing it to a product, when it sits on the Gap website, it’s tieing it to a product line, when it sits on your website, same, mine too. When it sits on a buseiness website it has huge value to the business in its draw. When it sits on YouTube the value is not there.

  9. TheWakePlace.com on January 15th, 2010 1:47 pm

    Well, OK i can kind of agree with the not waiting to make the content. But let me throw this idea in there – would you be making these filmfellas videos if Vimeo or YouTube didn’t exist? :)

    But i totally get what you’re saying. In the video, one of the guys says that you can’t do unrelated content to advertise a companies products. But when you think about current advertising, it already has nothing to do with the product. Take the current basketball playoffs – what they hell does Kia have to do with basketball? Yet they bring you the half time analysis. So in that spirit, why not run a series on Kia’s website that has nothing to do with cars! Makes sense to me….

    I know they do it for the number of viewers, but as far as related content goes – its just not related.

    Speaking of which, i need to figure out the best way to incorporate Zacuto gear into my videos on my site. Maybe going to run a series to compliment yours on how to shoot ‘extreme’ sports on the water. I get a LOT of emails asking the same questions….

  10. TheWakePlace.com on January 15th, 2010 1:49 pm

    I can really understand and see what you’re getting at Steve, the idea of the web show that lives on a companies site. In a loose way, thats what i do everyday on my site. The athletes that are in the features are affiliated with certain companies and brands – if they do a good job then people want the stuff they’re using and will go spend money. Just like on vimeo and exposure room where people are obsessed with the gear that people use to get the shots. 

    I really like the idea of the changing business model too – again, thats what i do everyday. New ideas come through emails and phone calls every day to me – its a very flexible environment to roll out new ideas. Especially with technologies like WordPress where there can be so much user interaction – you get a good idea whether the new content is liked in a short space of time.

    I would bet that a company like Apple will release a apple TV – literally a iMac that has TV built into it. It will hook up to the internet and have a native safari app in it. Between itunes and the internet, this new apple TV will allow you to watch longer and higher quality content.

    Videos are nearly always produced with the end format in mind. So at the moment, all videos are going to be the smaller youtube style videos. Until a new end format (like the apple tv thing) comes out – the content will probably stay the same. The second people know that there web based production can now be seen on a 30″ plasma via the internet – they will start to make content for that.

    As usual, my 2 cents worth :) I like the new line up of guys..

  11. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 1:50 pm

    Agreed on everything except waiting to make the content. I think the content can be made now, if you wait till the TV part is there you’ll be a year too late. Plus, what I was talking about was 10 minute webisodic content on businesses websites. I don’t want to watch that on my TV, I want to watch in on the computer where I can easily make comments and interact with it.

    It’s all about tieing it to a product, when it sits on the Gap website, it’s tieing it to a product line, when it sits on your website, same, mine too. When it sits on a buseiness website it has huge value to the business in its draw. When it sits on YouTube the value is not there.

  12. TheWakePlace.com on January 15th, 2010 1:50 pm

    Well, OK i can kind of agree with the not waiting to make the content. But let me throw this idea in there – would you be making these filmfellas videos if Vimeo or YouTube didn’t exist? :)

    But i totally get what you’re saying. In the video, one of the guys says that you can’t do unrelated content to advertise a companies products. But when you think about current advertising, it already has nothing to do with the product. Take the current basketball playoffs – what they hell does Kia have to do with basketball? Yet they bring you the half time analysis. So in that spirit, why not run a series on Kia’s website that has nothing to do with cars! Makes sense to me….

    I know they do it for the number of viewers, but as far as related content goes – its just not related.

    Speaking of which, i need to figure out the best way to incorporate Zacuto gear into my videos on my site. Maybe going to run a series to compliment yours on how to shoot ‘extreme’ sports on the water. I get a LOT of emails asking the same questions….

  13. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 1:51 pm

    With regard to me making FilmFellas even if Vimeo and YouTube didn’t exist, of couse I would make it. soon we are going to put them on our own web server.

    Again this is my opinion and I’m speaking as the owner of the Gap. As a business, my duty is to get people in my target market to my website and I try to sell them. If I can get them there every two weeks to return, even better. Now I have to use my thinking cap to find interesting ways to get them to buy stuff. That’s essentially the business model. And we are using entertainment to do it. You can’t sell people stuff if they don’t visit your website or come to your retail chain. Now, If I told the Gap that by not using their own products in the scenes our research shows I can drive twice as many people to their website (hypothetical). If they were smart they should do that. That would the proper busienss move. Will they actually do that, that remains to be seen.

    I think you should run a filmfellas type discussion on your extreme sports website. Discussions are a great to get people talking. Josh Gooden is doing it as well for his engagement site.
    Steve

  14. TheWakePlace.com on January 15th, 2010 2:02 pm

    I get, and agree, with what you’re saying. When it comes to product sites especially, you can only look over the products so many times. Having a reason to go back and back to that site is what you are generating. Then there is that ‘hook’ being distributed out across the internet that there is this content thats free and regular…..

    Its funny how the subject matter of this video is the same as what the actual video is trying to achieve. Love it!

    To me, it shows that you guys have a real interest in the future of the industry and where its going – preferably with the use of Zacuto gear, yes. But its actually refreshing to have a line of videos that aren’t just about products…..

    Jon

  15. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 2:09 pm

    Last point on going back and back to a website. The website owner has the responsibility to change its content and products regularly to make each visit unique. But there is another point, being top of mind. Maybe I come back each week to watch my show and one week when I come back I’m actually in the market to buy clothes. That’s the moment you get that person, being top of mind when the need arises.

    I have this funny analogy I use: Sometimes I go down to our rental area and ask the guys if they know of a shooter, a client called and they are looking for a shooter and gear. All of them say I can’t think of anyone. Then I say, “every fucking guy that walks in the door here is a shooter”. But none is top of mind to them. Constantly pounding your name/brand into people’s consciousness is extremely important, it keeps you top of mind. If I were to ask you to name me a great DP, who’s name comes to mind, Philip Bloom, he’s a person who is constantly keeping his name top of mind.

  16. TheWakePlace.com on January 15th, 2010 2:09 pm

    I like the top of mind thing – exactly what i try to do with my site via the social networking sites. The more i update my site, the more traffic that month will get.

  17. Phil Blauw on January 15th, 2010 2:12 pm

    I like the new cast. All seem to have well thought out plans of their own, but very willing to listen to each other. All except that Steve dude. heh

  18. Ashley Harrison on January 15th, 2010 2:13 pm

    Great episode Steve! The editing seems to be getting better.

    As a business owner I love the idea of creating webisodes to bring customer and potential customers back to my site. Step one is getting them to the site. Step two is selling them something. I think I’m going to use this idea.

    Thanks!

  19. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 2:15 pm

    thanks Ashley,
    I don’t know why people are fighting me on this concept. It works. what’s you business, let me help you spec out a show?
    Steve

  20. Lee Love on January 15th, 2010 2:24 pm

    Steve there is nothing wrong with your approach the issue is most companies have yet to figure out how to convert traffic/hits into dollars. 

    There are still 3 basic categories used to generate revenue on the net.

    1. Subscriptions
    2. Advertising
    3. Commerce

    But the majority of companies are using their sites as electronic brochures and have yet to understand how or why to go to the next level.

    Your approach is right on target you are simply ahead of the market.

  21. Ammonite on January 15th, 2010 2:25 pm

    Really enjoying this series. Thanks for making them. I do have one criticism with this episode. I find the editing has far too many cuts. Maybe I’m a bit old school but, I think when the subject is interesting as it is is here and with the conversation being so calm quick cuts are disorientating.
    Apart from that, congratulations on a great series.

  22. paramon on January 15th, 2010 2:26 pm

    Great series, great ideas, love to watch them, but agree with the previous comment, at the beginning FilmFellas pace was less districting, and it was easier to watch;
    anyways, thanks for the show;

  23. Michel Reymond on January 15th, 2010 2:28 pm

    Very nice picture and content. I wonder which system are you using for the smooth traveling around the table. 
    Thanks for sharing your expertise with us…

  24. Lucy Jones on January 15th, 2010 2:29 pm

    Love these shows! If you put this on any other commercial site i would defiantly visit it every month AND i would subscribe to email alerts of new products, it wouldn’t mater what they where selling! :)

    Rant:
    I think as a filmmaker there is an em bread novelty of getting your work shown on the silver screen, there is a stariotypical idea that THATS when you’v ‘made it’.

    Now with the internet flourishing, that idea is starting to change. Filmmakers don’t have to wait for months to hear what people/public really think of their work. 

    This is great as it will help to refine each filmmakers work thought criticism and praise communicated much faster. 

    But i do agree that there will always be the novelty of going out to the cinema. 
    What I would like to see is cinema companies taking the inishative and start to embrace the most viewed/liked Indi-internet films/videos voted by the public and have one screen dedicated to them. 
    So when you go to the cinema it would be like a lucky dip collection. Therefore giving the little guy a chance to get on the big screen and at the same time putting the power in to the hands(clicks) of the net public. 
    Rant over :)

  25. Paul W. Rankin on January 15th, 2010 2:30 pm

    Steve while I like your idea that brands could fund projects that reside on their sites in order to attract people, I don’t think the numbers add up. I follow probably a maximum of about five TV shows at any time throughout the year and I don’t think I’m all that different from the average person. Even if the average person followed ten shows, or even twenty, if every brand had their own show vying for the attention of the internet at large, there’s going to be an unimaginable glut of content and not nearly enough viewers. And that doesn’t even take into account that these shows would be effectively competing with network-funded shows with much higher budgets and production values, teams of writers, established actors, etc.

    Regarding the supposed death of theatrical distribution, I doubt this very much. The arguments everyone have raised are all pretty valid, but they only account for a tiny part of the value of theatrical cinema; there is no discussion of the value of “going to the movies” which is the complete opposite of watching something at home. Will people stop taking their dates to dinner and a movie? No way. There is a magic about cinema that is more than the sum of its parts. It simply cannot be replicated by the internet.

    The internet is great, but we gotta remember that there is still a real world out there, and it’s pretty great too.

  26. Maurice Spees on January 15th, 2010 1:32 pm

    I heard that youtube is going down and that people soon will have to pay / month to upload videos, this can be up to 100$.

    here is an article about it. I knew this would happen, but will people still use it then or will it only be for the elite.

  27. jonathan meyer on January 15th, 2010 2:32 pm

    I have had this idea for about a year now. You guys are right. i always know when I’m being advertised to and I hate it. When I go to a theater I can hear people in the rows behind me making fun of obvious product placement. It’s a joke. if a brand hosted a show that had nothing to do with that brand people wouldn’t bat an eye but would still get marketed to. It’s like Safeco field. The Seattle mariners aren’t going to try and sell you insurance, no one at the stadium will, it’s just a fun time. yet what’s the first insurance company you think of if you live in Seattle? (A: Safeco)

  28. Narottama Panitz on January 15th, 2010 2:33 pm

    I love blue ray special features. The minute they come with along with the digital download I will stop buying blue rays.

  29. Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 2:41 pm

    I don’t want people to get the wrong idea about what I said. I personally believe that when you gather people you should try to sell them something. Otherwise, eventually how will you afford to continually make the content to bring them to the gathering space. Advertising is another way to go, sponsorship is another way to go. My way is just one way. I believe that websites will pay huge money very soon for viable entertainment content that can drive people back continually to their website. After all, that is the goal of every website to get a customer base and find a way to bring them back every two weeks. That gives them an opportunity to sell to them.

    Whether to prove my point, make some money or just be in the first group to do it, I’m in pre/pre production on my first strictly entertainment webisodic production. We will launch it on our own for 12 webisodes to build an audience and then try to commission a dozen webisodes to a major player in fashion. True to my rants, the show tentatively called “R&J” will have nothing to do with selling anything. That’s a job for the garment company to do when the viewers arrive. My job is strictly going to be bringing people regularly to their website. It’s just entertainment that could be seen on any website or TV station. I planning on making this show to compete head to head with television and potentially be bought by television one day. More to come on R&J.

    It’s an exciting time for entertainment makers.
    Steve

  30. TheWakePlace.com on January 15th, 2010 2:42 pm

    There we have it people, a man who chews his own words and spits them out at you in an idea that he is already making a reality :)

    I figured you must have been up to something, you were up against web guys and still sticking to your guns. But even so, i look forward to this series. Didn’t someone say in one of the early film fellas that “the more you get told it can’t be done, the more someone is likely to do it” ? 

    I guess that i have had the same happen to me. After shooting for so long, i had network TV buy videos off of me to run on their network stations that had only previously been seen on the web. So in that respect, it worked out perfectly.

    You mention about bringing people back every 2 weeks. At the moment, i try to bring people back everyday and work on a 72hr turnaround from shoot to screen. Its tight and tough, but generates huge traffic.

  31. Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 2:43 pm

    That’s amazing, how you can blast content out every 72 hours. I applaud you for it. I’m hard pressed to get my content out every two weeks. It’s not so much the shooting but the editing.

    You’re my hero, let’s give em hell and show them how fun it is to be able to make your own content and profit form it.

  32. TheWakePlace.com on January 15th, 2010 2:44 pm

    Late nights, early mornings, an evolved workflow and keeping things simple (equipment wise) keeps the 72hrs a nice average. Some things take longer for sure, i have one that is in month 4 of production. But as far as 1:30 to 4 minute features go, i try to stick to that fast turn around. I think i’m going to have all grey hair by the time i’m 30 though :)

    If you ever need to ‘terminal test’ some zacuto gear, shooting in extreme places, in sometimes extreme heat and near/on/in the water – i’m your man! haha 
    My spider brace shoulder mount is on its last legs :)

  33. TheWakePlace.com on January 15th, 2010 2:46 pm

    I don’t have a ‘product’ to attach a video to, but the whole web based series still creates a money making atmosphere. Or at least for me it does. If you don’t have a product to sell, then there is a fair chance that you are an independent site that can create traffic worthy of companies wanting to advertise. So you may not be filming for a series for GAP, but you could become big enough for GAP to want to sponsor what you do. 

    You’re right in what you said steve about the content having to be good and compete with TV. Either way you go with it, if you make good pieces of work you will get noticed – look at Philip Bloom as just one example. He never had a product to tie things to. If your goal is making money, there are SO many ways to do it on the web with video. 

    My site is essentially a series of videos. They’re not linked at all, and are just video sections of things i get upto – but it creates an atmosphere where companies within the industry want to associate themselves with. For me i had to have good content first, then the traffic came, then came the freedom to go deeper into what i do.

    Now if only i can get Zacuto to advertise on the site as essential kit to make all the videos i make – then i’d be home and dry :) haha

    Great video – loved the ‘tense’ moment when they test your view point!

  34. Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 2:48 pm

    I don’t want people to get the wrong idea about what I said. I personally believe that when you gather people you should try to sell them something. Otherwise, eventually how will you afford to continually make the content to bring them to the gathering space. Advertising is another way to go, sponsorship is another way to go. My way is just one way. I believe that websites will pay huge money very soon for viable entertainment content that can drive people back continually to their website. After all, that is the goal of every website to get a customer base and find a way to bring them back every two weeks. That gives them an opportunity to sell to them.

    Whether to prove my point, make some money or just be in the first group to do it, I’m in pre/pre production on my first strictly entertainment webisodic production. We will launch it on our own for 12 webisodes to build an audience and then try to commission a dozen webisodes to a major player in fashion. True to my rants, the show tentatively called “R&J” will have nothing to do with selling anything. That’s a job for the garment company to do when the viewers arrive. My job is strictly going to be bringing people regularly to their website. It’s just entertainment that could be seen on any website or TV station. I planning on making this show to compete head to head with television and potentially be bought by television one day. More to come on R&J.

    It’s an exciting time for entertainment makers.
    Steve

  35. TheWakePlace.com on January 15th, 2010 2:49 pm

    There we have it people, a man who chews his own words and spits them out at you in an idea that he is already making a reality :)

    I figured you must have been up to something, you were up against web guys and still sticking to your guns. But even so, i look forward to this series. Didn’t someone say in one of the early film fellas that “the more you get told it can’t be done, the more someone is likely to do it” ? 

    I guess that i have had the same happen to me. After shooting for so long, i had network TV buy videos off of me to run on their network stations that had only previously been seen on the web. So in that respect, it worked out perfectly.

    You mention about bringing people back every 2 weeks. At the moment, i try to bring people back everyday and work on a 72hr turnaround from shoot to screen. Its tight and tough, but generates huge traffic

  36. Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 2:51 pm

    That’s amazing, how you can blast content out every 72 hours. I applaud you for it. I’m hard pressed to get my content out every two weeks. It’s not so much the shooting but the editing.

    You’re my hero, let’s give em hell and show them how fun it is to be able to make your own content and profit form it.

  37. Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 2:53 pm

    All right, you deserve some real gear. And you are such a loyal follower, send me an email at steve@zacuto.comand I’ll send you some gear. Let me know the gear you are using and mounting and I’ll come up with something for you.

  38. Edward Seaton on January 15th, 2010 2:56 pm

    Can I get some free gear too?

  39. WendyCity Productions on January 15th, 2010 2:57 pm

    Hi Steve,

    Ed Pickert turned me onto this. It’s timely because I’m a new sports video producer and my clients want content to post on their race websites. This is very informative stuff – thanks!

    - Wendy Shulik (Chicago)

  40. Ozzy Alvarez on January 15th, 2010 3:06 pm


    great conversation. You guys know your stuff.

  41. joe movick on January 15th, 2010 3:07 pm

    Monetizing. It’s going to be a case of an ambitious and intelligent production company meeting a cutting edge vendor who has the balls to dive in. It will be the classic 0.01% opportunity that changes the world of marketing and entertainment production overnight.

    The frustrating aspect is that the other 99.99% of failures to get to that point will be well thought out, and quality productions that simply did not have the planets align for them. Once that breakthrough happens, we will be on the forefront of producers who know what’s going on. We have already placed most of our failures in this part of the entertainment industry in front of us and will be ready to try again, this time with fertile ground to work on.

    Alas, I don’t believe that model will last long either. The Internet is a mass gathering of tiny villages that resist gathering into the multi-billion user clump advertising is used to. Niche will prove to reign supreme ruler and the real industry players will be good at spreading their investment over 10-20 of these series instead of just one. Newspapers are giving way to niche market blogs and the internet version of ‘The Office’ will eventually bow down to ‘Telemarketing Office’ ‘Bank Lobby’ and ‘IT Cubicleville.’

    I hope this series does not shut down once your other series pops up. As far as I’m concerned this is the canon of internet entertainment marketing, because you are having the conversation that everyone else is avoiding right now. Thanks for sharing and please keep them coming.
    Thanks Steve.

    JoeMovick

  42. Stoner Ace on January 15th, 2010 3:09 pm

    Hi Steve,

    I totally dig your model. It’s cool and I’m pretty sure that it is gonna work. One thing I’m kinda missing in the whole discussion is: “How on earth are u gonna prove profitability?”. Cause in the end that is what matters to the business. I think there lies the hard part. I’ve been thinking about this and lets say u take two parameters into account. 1. conversion ratio and 2. average margin per sale. e.g. 1% and $5,- leads to $5 per 100 viewers (which is really high imho) Lets say a show costs 10K per episode. Then ur gonna need 200K viewers per episode to break even.(Which is a LOT). Or the other way around, if like filmfellas u get an average of 2000 plays ur gonna end up with a budget of $100,-. (Again, I love this show don’t take it the wrong way). What are your thoughts on this profitability dillema? Love to hear your thoughts man.

    Cheers

  43. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 3:10 pm

    Very wise man Stoner Ace.
    Two concepts here:
    1. Consumer entertainment show, i.e. to compete with television
    2. Niche program show, i.e. FilmFellas
    I don’t think in a niche market you can have the same formula as you have in consumer advertising. First off, we sell more expensive products then the consumer market and we are only looking for a couple of sales. Our markets are tiny but well defined with almost everyone being a viable customer. One or two sales is a profit maker on the cost of a webisode. But personally I’m not that really interested in the profit in it. It’s a brand builder and it also sets your business aside from the rest with having a honest dialogue with your constituents and some of that gets put in the marketing budget and some in the advertising budget. It’s not all about sales. Plus a show is much different than an ad impression. It brings your customers into an experience, educates them and brings them back regularly again and again. Ads don’t do that. Nothing does that. The other thing you have to realize is with people coming to watch a series you can have other videos for them to watch, product, demo & instructional videos. The series is what brings them in and then they look at others. Those are the impressions that really make the sales. If you populate the videos on facebook, Vimeo, Exposureroom, YouTube (we are getting between 500 – 600K views a year). The total cost of production is $X and how much will 600K views produce in sales a year, that’s a good question, it’s too new to tell. But that’s a lot of niche eyeballs we didn’t have last year looking around at our stuff. To me it’s worth it because the cost of production is so cheap for us, we have everything. But today I was talking about expanding our business to have a production division as we used to and we figured we could deliver “WineFellas” for about 5-7K per webisode. So a business would have to pay 14K a month for a bi monthly web series. I think aggressive companies will jump at this? 

    Now the consumer entertainment show is different, comparatively it’s low in cost compared to advertising that it’s almost a no-brainer for a company to do. Let’s say you give them 26 yearly webisodes for $1M, that’s a pimple on to their ad budget. And can bring 200K plus viewers per show (to a great show) with the proper web marketing campaign. We are talking about a major retailer. We’ll see, I’m sticking my neck out there and doing a spec one as we speak. The key to the success to a consumer show is putting the right messages around the video to attract these viewers to buy. You have to be clever and have contests, loss leaders, free stuff, social networking component. Our show, R&J, which is a Tween marketed show will have a community service campaign that pays rewards (but gives great publicity and gets the parents involved), social networking for the actors and viewers, and many other ways to get the viewers involved. Again you have to create a dialogue with your customer that they don’t currently have right now. This is a serious change and may be hard for some corporate types to grasp. That’s the fun part. 

    At one point you just have to blaze the trail, that’s why we call it The Wild West.
    Steve

  44. Chet Simmons on January 15th, 2010 2:11 pm

    Interesting. At about 5:50 in the shot lingers on an Adidas logo. That aside, they seem to be discussing the model that Proctor & Gamble have used for about the past 50+ years. Produce a show, unrelated to your product (soap operas) and feature it in an environment rich in product messages (ads) The only difference is online. 
    It seems on-line, in its current incarnation, is a single viewer medium. Theatrical and TV are more social–even if the only other person in the room is your cat. Making on-line more social will be the trick…asking your buddy to look over your shoulder, while social, doesn’t quite get there.

  45. Robert-Jon Eckhard on January 15th, 2010 3:11 pm

    With all respect… I’m shocked by all the young guys’ cynicism. Saying that it won’t happen and can’t be done. Ok some people will think you’re crazy at first, but who cares? This is the internet generation, anything can happen!

    And second, in the beginning of the episode someone mentioned the impossibility of monetizing your content. Have you guys even heard of The guild? Fully funded by Microsoft and available online and in HD over Xbox Live.

    I guess what happens in the wild west is that the cynics sleep in the stables while Steve is taking home the sherrifs daughter!

  46. Matthew Hibbs on January 15th, 2010 3:12 pm

    This is such a great series. I have watched every episode and have learned so much. 

    I am just starting out in the business and have been trying to figure out away to do practice and grow in my art while still making money. This series has giving me great insight on the state of the industry and the different ways that there are to make money and produced great films. 

    I thank you for putting this series on and I am excited to see what insight the next episode will bring.

  47. Terje Rokenes on January 15th, 2010 3:14 pm

    Very enjoyable and informative. I think the dynamics of the group helps propel/drive the show in the right direction. It forces the viewer to think.

  48. Anonymous on January 15th, 2010 3:29 pm

    Steve,

    I think your brand marketing combined with the best digicine gear on the market will certainly gain you more sales and acclaim. Zacuto without a doubt has the best gear and you have the best marketing approach, in my personal opinion. I have no doubt that there is a future in online media convergence and sales marketing… You’re ahead of the curve, and every time I get one of the Zacuto emails I think, do these guys ever sleep? 

    That being said, as per this episode, in the beginning you mentioned filmmakers having day jobs bothering you… Well, I am actually one of those “filmmakers”, who has a day job. I think from where you’re sitting with years of experience and confidence from having already made the big time, you have credibility and are business savvy. Whereas, I think most filmmakers, like the majority of your client base, are literally on their own… No business partners, gaffers, grips, sound etc. With all these innovations and improvements in digital cinema, filmmakers have this one man army is kind of mentality, where one person is writing/shooting/editing/producing/distributing (I am one). I think you’re right with the business partner, but it’s awfully hard to find a business partner willing to risk going in on an internet marketing campaign with a 25 year old guy from DC, when there are more tried and true way of making money, that are still making money. Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally on board with you, and I wish we were there already… Regardless of age or location, which makes the internet biz seem great down the road and is a great outlet for distro, but the money isn’t there yet, or at least the filmmakers who could be creating content for this model can’t get financial backing to do it, because hey, we gotta eat somehow, and companies and businesses are still slow on the uptake and haven’t bought into the online content market yet… 

    Your consumer base (which I’m sure you already know) for the most part are 1) just trying to make ends meet in this crazy economy be it with film as a trade or a day job (or two) 2) just trying to read up and stay ahead of this technological/hardware/software tsunami and buy gear when they can afford it (thanks visa) and continue getting stronger as a one-man-army and 3) are trying to sift out good information and content online from false or bogus content, which there is plenty. 

    I think it was a good point that TV has “validators” or gatekeepers that make sifting a lot easier for the consumer. It comforts the consumer to know that there is a quality control process before posting. But, I think that’s exactly what you’re doing with film fellas… You happen to be in that industry, which obviously gives you a leg up, but I think you prove the idea works by doing it… I think with your help, filmmakers could start working with businesses to create content to sell or market their products and services. Great episode, thought a lot about it… I think your model is a very progressive idea… I’m on board. Any job openings at Zacuto? Thanks Steve

    Brian

  49. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 3:30 pm

    Brian, 
    I think maybe I didn’t say how I felt very well. When I said I don’t like filmmakers having a day job. What I meant to say is that I want filmmakers to try to make there day job in the film/video business. Doing weddings, corporate work, gaffing, being part of a production company, etc. This way you get experience and become a better filmmaker so when you get the opportunity to make a feature, short or webisodic show, you have more experience. I see so many filmmakers only wanting to create shorts and films and not pay their dues doing corporate work. For 20 years Jens and I did corporate work, some really fun and creative work, never really having the opportunity to do our own creations. Finally, with FilmFellas, I get the opportunity to do what I want and with our other show “R&J” in development, even more so. It’s been a long road but I’m elated to be able to have this opportunity to just create my own vision. I see what you guys see.

    Also, If you or anyone ever needs or wants to talk about your projects, advice, I’m here and happy to offer what I know.

    As far as jobs at Zacuto, right now we are good, but our situation changes every 3 months, so keep in touch if you are interested.

    Steve

  50. Brian Stansfield on January 15th, 2010 3:31 pm

    Steve,

    Thanks for the reply and thanks for checking out my videos… great comments, and coming from you it really means a lot! 

    I am actually one of the lucky guys who has a day job as a lone wolf video producer/shooter/editor as my corporate day job (US Army clients etc), as well as freelance gigs on the side, and if there’s any time left over I’ll try to do something creative… I’d love to be able to push my creative work ahead of the corp/freelance, and theoretically, if your business model gets picked up and pans out, could potentially do so… I think that’s where your model of internet being the vehicle for distribution allows for people like me to be able to make a film and get it out there in front of a worldwide audience (and potentially get paid for it) regardless of budget restraints etc. On top of that, the knowledge-base on sites like vimeo and exposure room are incredible… The feedback is invaluable and the exchange of information for free is phenomenal. Worldwide internet visibility with feedback is really raising the bar for filmmakers because it’s such a vast industry with so much to learn and the breadth of knowledge shared through these channels allows filmmakers to progress and get better at their craft much more quickly than in the past. 

    As per, Film Fellas, I think that this type of branding for Zacuto is great… You’re dealing with an ever-changing industry and you’re addressing current issues as well as the potential of the future and its impact on the industry. Also, you’re putting a literal face to Zacuto, as well as bringing in your client base to be part of the Zacuto family (ie Philip Bloom & other filmmakers) is really a great brand. It’s very cool to see and hear what other professionals are thinking about in an open discussion like Film Fellas… The internet is great for information in terms of forums, but everything must be taken with a grain (bucket) of salt… and Forums/blogs etc don’t put a face/voice to the information, which is much more personal and much more persuasive. This is where ideas like Film Fellas need to be adopted by other businesses, to put a face to their trade and speak less about marketing and advertising and more about their industry and the future of the industry, and by doing so, indirectly advertising. I know as a consumer, the reason I went with Zacuto gear over all the other countless brands was because of the branding and the personal customer service I was provided. Not to mention the great reviews on the bloom blog (if he’s not on the payroll he should be!) So when you’re talking about this whole idea of internet marketing and the business model of having internet “hits” turn into profit, I think it goes without saying that this can be applied to any industry, but this model combined with kind of face to face branding & customer service you provide is just a no brainer win-win for the business owner and the consumer. 

    I’m glad you’re finally able to make Film Fellas as your creative project. It’s a well deserved show and I think it’s really informative and a great idea. So, Kudos to you for your innovative marketing and info sharing techniques through film as well as the great branding. What’s the next film fellas espisode on? And how do you get on Film Fellas?! Thanks again, Steve! 

    Brian

  51. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 3:32 pm

    Wow, that’s a lot of nice shit in there Brian, don’t even know how to say thank you for that.
    Give me a call next week unless you are coming to CineGear today and tomorrow and we can talk about FilmFellas, love to have you on the show.
    Steve

    P.S. find some passion point and create a show for them. Harley guys, stamp collectors, golfers. Find a website and see if they would like to have that dialogue centered around their business.

  52. Masoud Varjavandi on January 15th, 2010 3:34 pm

    Is the idea of VOD not viable? i.e. viewer pays model

  53. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 3:35 pm

    Yes, it’s viable if you have celeb status, in general people don’t want to pay for content on the web.
    Steve

  54. Alain Pilon on January 15th, 2010 3:36 pm

    The video was interesting but the comments here are even better! Steve, you need to move these conversions into blog post!

    There is one thing people dont seem to think about when talking about web content: once posted, it is always there! It is not like TV shows that once they are show, they are done and you cant make more money out of them without using another medium (ex: DVD). 

    Web content is always there and working for you! A day, a week or a year from now, if the content is right, people will still come to see your content. Actually, as time pass, more and more people are going to see it because of the google juice!

    Regarding Steve’s comment about websites paying for video content to bring visitors, this is so true/the future! On my blogs, people spend on average 1 minutes to read an article. But if there is a video, the average jumps to about 75% of the video duration (no matter the duration!). This means that:

    1) videos have a much better visitor retention rate
    2) people like the video format so ingest content

    Knowing this, the goal of content producers is to find ways to keep content quality high and costs low. This is where cameras like the 5D comes in and revolutionize the cost structure of video production. Personally, I have been fumbling around for a while trying to see how to monetize videos but as time passes and I read more comments like the ones above, it is clear to me that I should just get out and shoot!

    Now lets try to figure out which Gorilla rig to order :-S

  55. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 3:38 pm

    Alain,
    I couldn’t agree with you more.
    Let’s get out there and start selling and shooting.
    Again, find some passion point and create a show for them. Harley guys, stamp collectors, golfers. Find a website and see if they would like to have that dialogue centered around their business. Their nuts if they don’t. I’m going to have a WineFellas soon and I’m thinking the going rate should be $5-$7,000 per webisode. That’s about a $100 -150K for an annual commmitment for two webisodes a month. $150K a year doesn’t get you much in advertising, but it’s a lot of dialogue here on the internet. And this money should come from part advertising part marketing budgets.
    Steve
    P.S. anyone needs help with this feel free to call or write me.

  56. rob bagot on January 15th, 2010 3:40 pm

    Really enjoy this series. How do you put it together? What sort of lighting? How many camera people? What sort of gear? Would love to see the making of.

    Rob

  57. Edward Seaton on January 15th, 2010 3:47 pm

    LOVE YOUR VIDEO!

    Holy Crap it was good, and from what I can tell you piggy-backed a photo shoot to save money. Smart!

    How did the magazine respond? Did they love it and want more or do they think it was just a neat trick?

    I think it was awesome and just loved how your worked all the fashion into a memorizing little narrative.

    Edward

  58. TheWakePlace.com on January 15th, 2010 2:52 pm

    Late nights, early mornings, an evolved workflow and keeping things simple (equipment wise) keeps the 72hrs a nice average. Some things take longer for sure, i have one that is in month 4 of production. But as far as 1:30 to 4 minute features go, i try to stick to that fast turn around. I think i’m going to have all grey hair by the time i’m 30 though :)

    If you ever need to ‘terminal test’ some zacuto gear, shooting in extreme places, in sometimes extreme heat and near/on/in the water – i’m your man! haha 
    My spider brace shoulder mount is on its last legs :)

  59. TheWakePlace.com on January 15th, 2010 2:54 pm

    wow! emailing right away

  60. Alvaro de la Herrán on January 15th, 2010 4:06 pm

    Thank you Edward!

    I think they love it, but they don’t know how to finance this kind of work. I think they must to upgrade their commercial department, because this work is very interesting to audience and brands.
    How turn the content into profits? That’s the question they have to answer themselves. Of course we can help them if they want to listen externals opinions. For now everything that means no traditional advert on -line is growing slooooowly.

  61. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 4:09 pm

    Lucy, 
    I didn’t mean that people should not have day jobs. I think that came out wrong. What I meant to say is that I would like it if their day jobs were in the film/video spectrum, like shooting weddings, corporate videos, webisodic programming, being a production company. 

    The thinking is that even know it’s not exactly what you want to be shooting, you are improving you skills as a filmmaker everytime you go out and shoot. Then when you make you indie film or video, you will be a better shooter, director, editor.
    Steve

  62. Lucy Jones on January 15th, 2010 4:10 pm

    Haya Steve, another great show! At the start of this month i gave up the day job so i could dedicate myself to learning more, filming and trying to get my head around ”the business” side of creating. I was so sick of working futile hours that could be used in a more constructive and creative way.
    Your ideas of having good video content on corporate sites to help advertise their product is so innovative and releaving to me as it opens up such a scope for all video makers. With all the corporate sites on the net there is more than enough room for everyone to make some sort of cash from it.
    All of these shows have given me such confidence as you discuss many of the things i think about on a daily bases thanks again for letting me ease drop! :)
    lucy

  63. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 4:11 pm

    Lucy, 
    I didn’t mean that people should not have day jobs. I think that came out wrong. What I meant to say is that I would like it if their day jobs were in the film/video spectrum, like shooting weddings, corporate videos, webisodic programming, being a production company. 

    The thinking is that even know it’s not exactly what you want to be shooting, you are improving you skills as a filmmaker everytime you go out and shoot. Then when you make you indie film or video, you will be a better shooter, director, editor.
    Steve

  64. misterserialkiller on January 15th, 2010 4:12 pm

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for posting this. This is extremely inspirational and informative. I’m getting a ton of ideas! Once again thank you! I look forward to future episodes!

    Steven

  65. kirby1 on January 15th, 2010 4:14 pm

    I really like what you’re doing here, Steve. One thought: there are many passages where the cutting feels busy. Just my 2 cents.

  66. SimpleTwist on January 15th, 2010 4:15 pm

    Steve,
    Interesting video – interesting pitch – the thing that I think was confusing at least watching the video – not reading some of the comments – is that you didn’t explain how the show might be related to the audience that in turn would indirectly spotlight the product.

    The example would be that you mentioned that this video series is a proof of concept – I watched the video serious and then based off of the quality of the conversations and video I went to your website to check out your products. Now without the subject of film video etc – Your videos wouldn’t have the same value of branding your company if the show was about cooking. 

    Now in the example of Ford – I could see a show based around a paticular subject such as outdoor adventures or some kind of action flick with possible car chases – now what I get confused on is this – you don’t show your products – but your show is based around film so you don’t need to – in the case of Ford wouldn’t you want to show Ford Vehicles being used in the show even if you didn’t directly film the logo or frame the car in every other shot to push (like the old BMW films with Clive Owen).

    I guess I’m still missing your pitch when I see how you are still staying on the topic of your business indirectly.

    One last thing – TV is not dead yet – but the concept of what TV is and how it works is going to change – I imagine that TV will turn into a much more dynamic schedules of programs in which content both professional and indie will be accessible easily. The example would be the impact on cable on Local stations.

    I believe TV is headed into turning into an archive of sorts – the TV no longer a receiver but a connection to an ever expanding library of media. At some point everything available to be turned into a digital format will be available for viewing in a catalog – this is of course the evolution of cable tv what was 100 channels becomes 1000s all sorted and keyworded – socially enabled to be passed around to friends and recommend – monetized by commercials and ads as always and probably in ways yet to be realized.

    Anyway enjoying the show – I just can’t seem to get your concept clearly – when your show is indirectly related to your product.

  67. -GO- on January 15th, 2010 4:17 pm

    Really interesting as always.
    Great stuff

  68. Augusto Alves da Silva on January 15th, 2010 4:20 pm

    Hi Steve:
    Loved this episode…It reminded me that there is something I can do concerning viewing and distributing…If you want to talk about it I´ll call you, just leave me a message.
    Thanks

  69. George M. Zelask on January 15th, 2010 4:22 pm

    Great webisode, just like the others. However, I feel that it should be re-titled to “FilmFellas webisode 12″ to stay consistent with the others.

  70. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 4:22 pm

    I’m going to take your advice.

  71. Mathmission on January 15th, 2010 4:24 pm

    Know just what you’re talking about. Just finished my feature, and already am struggling with the next steps.

  72. Nathaniel Hansen on January 15th, 2010 4:25 pm

    Would love to hear more on this subject. Distribution is such a huge question mark for me and for most of my colleagues who are independent creators.

  73. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 4:26 pm

    Watch all of the cast three webisodes, they are all about alternate forms of distribution.
    Steve

  74. Nathaniel Hansen on January 15th, 2010 4:27 pm

    Thanks Steve…not sure how I missed the first two of this series!

  75. Nathaniel Hansen on January 15th, 2010 4:27 pm

    As I watched these episodes, particularly episode 1 and 2, which dealt heavily with online distribution models and adaptation by the business world (GM, Gap, etc) I thought of the Clive Owen BMW films that came out a while ago. Were they financially successful for BMW? I don’t know, but here it is 5-6 years later and I still remember the films. 

    Nothing in these short BMW films was overtly pushing BMW, other than the fact that in each episode (still sub 5 minutes mind you) the protagonist was driving a BMW, and the car was essentially a character. 

    If you can provide this type of, in my opinion forgivable, product placement you could get businesses more excited about hosting and funding content for their site that might not necessarily be pitching their product, per-se. (i.e. All the characters might be wearing Gap clothes, but that’s it.) 

    Just my thoughts after watching all three in succession.

  76. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 4:28 pm

    I hear what you are saying Nathaniel but I’m afraid the moment you do that it becomes a commercial and the kids will know that. At that point it is not entertainment anymore. Sure they would like it better because they understand the old way of advertising but I’m telling them they need to be in the entertainment business as well as the retail business. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do that, I’m saying I don’t want to do that. I want to make entertainment that if I decide to can be moved from these websites to TV or to a feature film if the audience justifies it. Once you have a following you can make those decisions. I want to own the programming and decide what I want to do with it with regards to merchandising, distribution and more. I’m in the pre-production on one right now and testing to see how far I can get with these retailers, keep following for more.
    Steve

  77. Nathaniel Hansen on January 15th, 2010 4:30 pm

    Who pays for the content development (Just trying to get a clear picture)? Pretty much everything I watch right now for entertainment, whether online or in a theater, has branding throughout (thank you George Lucas). Am I going to buy GM because their logo and grills are used in 15% of the close up shots on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles? No. Is it annoying? Yes, but I understand that sponsorship offsets production budgets. It’s forgivable. 

    What I hear you saying, is that if it’s actually on the company’s site (GM, in this case) it’s not forgivable, simply because of the context?

    On all my commercial projects with small and mid size businesses, I have shared ownership over any content created and can cannibalize my work on other project with other clients should the need arise (graphics, interviews that are relevant, etc). It’s never been a big deal for the companies I’ve done work for that are all sub 100 million a year in revenue. I just can’t imagine a company like Gap sharing ownership. To be honest though, these aren’t very media savvy companies either. 

    I’ll be very curious to see how this goes for you, as I think it’s a very promising model. 

    Thanks for the responses btw…great to see how active you guys are!

  78. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 4:31 pm

    I’m funding the 12 webisode pilot. I’m hoping they will just lisence the content from me for a period of time and then have an option to renew. But I don’t see them forking out any money up front which would give them that part ownership. Or any money before the start of any production. If they don’t fund it, they don’t own it.

    Many guys out there are funing indie features, they could just as well fund a webisodic series that has a much better chance of being sold than an indie feature.
    Steve

  79. Nathaniel Hansen on January 15th, 2010 4:32 pm

    makes sense! 

    Thanks for the insight as to what you’re up to.

  80. Gabriel Shalom on January 15th, 2010 4:33 pm

    I just wanted to share with you an experience I had, which I feel like could be a future, albeit potentially transitional model. Two years ago I was invited to participate in a contest run by BMW Italy, given a micro budget, and had my screenplay greenlighted with no objections whatsoever. I was under no obligation to even mention BMW in my credits and all I needed to provide them was a license to show the final video. (you can see the video here: vimeo.com/1651272 )

    I think this idea of a “gold standard” will shift radically as countries with historically smaller film industries gain more influence and production capability in today’s decentralized and multi-format mediascape.

    I will be watching your entire series! I think one of the great aspects of how you’ve packaged it is that it will help get this discussion into the awareness of the over-35 crowd.

  81. Edward Seaton on January 15th, 2010 4:35 pm

    I think the main hurdle here is when the potential client (Gap, GM, whatnot) asks how many views they are going to get, and they will ask.

    I had a meeting today with an ad agency that wanted a “viral video.” 

    “We’d like to buy two viral videos please.” I had to laugh.

    As Steve pointed out in the clip, the old way of counting views in TV land is an arbitrary estimate which ad execs and the like love to show off over pricey power lunches. The new way of distributing videos in Web land comes along with very, very precise metrics, and until the Brand Managers themselves understand those metrics, the indie filmmaker has a better shot at selling his/her script to Dreamworks than signing a multi-million dollar deal with a brand like the Gap. DreamWorks is in the business of telling stories while The Gap sells crappy clothing.

    First you have to create an audience. Its no good going into company X saying, “we just know that this is gunna be hot shit and get millions of views.”

    “Prove it”, will be the answer you hear over and over again. And don’t think that it will be easy trick to pull either. Getting a million hits on Youtube is one thing, happens all the time right? But you have to remember that there are already hundreds of millions of user on Youtube each day, and from every corner of the globe! Their there, looking for content to watch, waiting for the next video of some deadbeat dad getting kicked in the nuts by his kid. Those same viewers are not going “hang out” on the Gap’s website waiting for the next video from Joe Shmo filmmaker… At least that is my opinion. I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were any of you.

    It is possible that in the future someone will be able to walk into a mega brand like the one’s we’ve been talking about and sell them on such a concept. Although I think that person will already have a track record of millions of views and I’m not talking about views on Youtube or even Vimeo. I’m talking a million plus views on your own URL with your own servers, in short, your own community. Own the community and you’ve got something, but be warned, having a thriving group of people on Youtube, Vimeo, Ning, or whatever is not the same thing as owning your own community. You are in a sense just looking after part of someone’s much larger mega community.

  82. Alain Pilon on January 15th, 2010 4:35 pm

    I think you forgot to put this clip in the Zacuto channel. I would have missed it if it was not of Twitter!

    As a customer, I think that theater are only the gold standard for immersive or visually rich films. For everything else, I could watch it on my iPhone screen and I would be happy.

    This leave a lot of room for online distribution imho!

  83. TheWakePlace.com on January 15th, 2010 4:38 pm

    Personally, i love NOT meeting that ‘Gold Standard’. I think that doing web only content is a complete free and open environment that is clear of restriction and expectation. It also means that what you put out there is exactly what you meant to put out. It has not been through an adjustment to meet a certain criteria.

    Also, content for a community is what my content thrives on. There was an industry there for me already, i just had to tap it and use it to my advantage. Which i now do, and doing so produced my own community via Facebook and Twitter. 

    Anyone who does web based video that is actively seeking traffic is stupid not to take advantage of social networking.

  84. Edward Seaton on January 15th, 2010 4:38 pm

    I completely agree with you, and your website (thewakeplace.com) is a perfect example of what I was ranting about in a previous comment. You built the space and therefore you control the space. Its a specific, specific genre, not just water sports, but specifically wake boarding. Love it!

  85. gary nadeau on January 15th, 2010 4:39 pm

    Man I could talk forever on this subject…
    As a Hollywood veteran and now a Producer/Director of web content. I’ve seen the good and bad in both. I think the biggest question is… How we monetize our web movies?

  86. ße ωell ;-) on January 15th, 2010 4:41 pm

    I have absolutely no experience in any of these discussion points other than being an end user! 

    However, over the last few years, I have witnessed the internet providing some really powerful ways for independent film makers to target a new audience. I have seen many short films that would never have made the TV screen – never mind the cinema that I would have gladly paid to view! And in my humble opinion, a platform that allows the end user to directly interact with the film maker by exchanging views/opinions in real time is definitely a winner – you could never get that with Hollywood productions or in-home entertainment systems.

    The internet could well be the next “Gold Standard” in distribution, but imo, that all depends upon how much interaction the distributor & user can take? As long as it’s not used as a “ram it down their throat marketing tool” then it could well be a winner – well at least until the next new technological revolution ;-)

    A fast paced, fairly balanced discussion with some of the camera cuts being a little distracting. However, it was an interesting discussion and held my attention for the full duration – I will check out the rest of the series in due time.

    Thanks for sharing Steve (or is this the community director I’m speaking too ;-)

  87. Alvaro de la Herrán on January 15th, 2010 3:41 pm

    Hello Steve.

    I’m trying to work with brands, agencies and editorials, here in Spain but our handicap is always the same: “How can I turn the content into profits?” I think, first, is necessary to understand that branding and marketing are different things, and for now the web content is usually understood as a branding tool.

  88. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 4:42 pm

    It’s me.
    Steve

  89. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 4:44 pm

    Sorry, I don’t follow you. Is there a question I missed?

  90. Lucy Jones on January 15th, 2010 4:45 pm

    wow i had a rant about this exact subject after watching episode 10, and the last comment made here is so true its funny! TV Advertisers would run a mile if they saw how many ppl turn off the adds! :)
    lucy

  91. Giorgio Gunnelli on January 15th, 2010 4:46 pm

    Speaking as an audience member, and not so much as a producer, I think Steve is wise to avoid overtly manipulating content for a sponsor. Frankly, it’s a big part of why I see fewer and fewer productions on the big screen or on the television. I want a producer and director to tell a compelling story in a powerful way, and any hint of an ulterior motive is an instantaneous attention-killer. You want to keep the audience interested? Don’t diss them with the hood-winking. 

    Just to illustrate my point with an example from another medium. I was listening to NPR the other day and very much looking forward to hearing the latest update about current events in Iran. After a full minute of what can no longer be denied as being anything else but advertisements at the beginning of The News Hour, I turned off the friggin’ radio. And I’m a member (for the moment).

    It may seem odd that the roundtable participant most forward with phrases like “I’m in this to make money” is also the loudest voice for respecting the intelligence of the audience, but he’s spot-on. Sponsors and filmmakers alike would do well to heed his sage advice.

  92. dave knop on January 15th, 2010 4:47 pm

    Thanks for your hard work with these shows guys. Great information!!

  93. Paul W. Rankin on January 15th, 2010 4:48 pm

    I’m of the mindset that it’s not that hard to get something made and distributed theatrically, not that I’m speaking from experience, but keep in mind is that Hollywood aren’t hoarding their good scripts and only making the bad ones, they’re making the best stuff they’ve got, and it ain’t that good. So I don’t think it’s so impossible to get a film made and distributed theatrically if it’s an even halfway decent story. The stuff that goes straight-to-video isn’t unlucky, it’s just really, really bad.

  94. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 4:49 pm

    In theroy that makes sense but in reality it is next to impossible to get a indie picture release in a real hollywood release (1000 theaters or more). It’s even hard to get a art house release of (12 theaters in major markets released)

  95. Xander Davis on January 15th, 2010 4:51 pm

    Wow this is awesome. So glad I found you guys.

  96. Sruli Broocker on January 15th, 2010 4:53 pm

    I wonder if there will ever be “Community Cinema” like there is “Community Theater?”

  97. PappasArts on January 15th, 2010 4:55 pm

    Why is this under the GH1 footage? From the behind the scenes pictures on flicker, it appears that this was filmed with an HVX200,not a Lumix GH1! 

    If so; this is most definitely misplaced and should be moved to a proper category.

  98. Perry Morris Jr. on January 15th, 2010 4:56 pm

    I believe Apple is about to do the same them for cinema it has done for music, DOWNLOADS! BTW, I see them drink, but do you guys actually eat the food?.

  99. Sam Levin on January 15th, 2010 4:58 pm

    very cool. engaging and thought provoking stuff guys. thanks, sam

  100. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 4:59 pm

    That’s right up your alley Sam,
    webisodes 10,11 & 12 are all about everything we have talked about.
    Steve

  101. Rob Imbs on January 15th, 2010 5:01 pm

    Entertaining as always

  102. Blake Whitman on January 15th, 2010 5:02 pm

    Great conversation here, guys. Thanks Steve for sharing. To address a few points:

    -Vimeo does not advertise in your videos. period.

    -As opposed to other sites with lots of “crap”, Vimeo is targeted and built for creators, not viewers. You see what you want to see and we only promote the creative side of video.

    -With a very nominal fee for Plus, you can remove our logo and your clients will never see what service you are using (unless they recognize our player).

    Just wanted to touch on these point so people realize why Vimeo is the bestest :)

  103. Edward Seaton on January 15th, 2010 5:03 pm

    as I said in the video, we all owe a huge debt of gratitude to those at Youtube and Vimeo who have bravely blazed a trail and brought the concept of streaming video online into the vernacular. 

    Mad props to Vimeo!

    However, I still feel that it is still important for content creators – such as myself – to own and control their own communities. 

    What happens if Vimeo gets sold and is completely overhauled? Would I have a say in who owns it and how it would be managed. I certainly wouldn’t want to “guarantee” anything to one of my clients. 

    That being said – Vimeo is fabulous for some things but not all. If you want to monetize your content you must own the player.

  104. Jon Raymond on January 15th, 2010 5:04 pm

    Vimeo, YouTube and the rest are great to start up at no cost and get the word out. But once you get into serious money making and need a dependable service it’s time to buy or rent your own server, website host and web programmer, even if it’s just on a part time basis. In this model the web department is the crux of your marketing. Considering that typically films spend millions on marketing, this is still a bargain. Programmers go for around $50 – $100 per hour, and website hosting with dedicated servers go for around $1K – $3K a month. Peanuts.

  105. TheWakePlace.com on January 15th, 2010 5:07 pm

    Mike makes a good intro about how a network of sites is needed to take on the bigger boys in town – essentially thats the basic model for social networking. Bringing people together….. 
    The idea of building communities is in human nature, people like being around people. If you can do that without leaving your sofa then even better. 

    Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and all the social sites really are the future of marketing and advertising. Forums were just the beginning, the increased interactivity that these sites offer will only be ignored for so long by the big networks. I think we might even see movie premiere’s on sites like Facebook in years to come. Imagine having 10million people all watching a new film for the first time and only paying something like $2 to watch it because its online! We’re at a huge turning point here….

    I have experienced such a dramatic traffic increase from the use of social networking sites. Content alone doesn’t build communities very quickly at all! But the idea that most people on facebook are friends with like-minded people already, means that 80% of the community building work is already done for you. Most of the content i put out will get shared on Facebook around 20 times by different users. But that will generate upto 5000 unique views just from the ‘web’ of friends that the content reaches. If you can get your head around the integration then sites like facebook are work their digital weight in gold!

    Once again guys you have brought issues to the table that some are considering a taboo. This series is one of the best yet because it talks about things that are in the hands of all of us – we can all go and manipulate these tools right now if we put the work in. 

    Looking forward to the next one….

  106. Mike Kobal on January 15th, 2010 5:09 pm

    yup. this is really the stuff we should all be thinking about, and fast!

  107. Alan C on January 15th, 2010 5:10 pm

    Is Anish allowed to speak? why was he even there?

  108. [UMI] Workshop on January 15th, 2010 5:12 pm

    LOL … i was just waiting for him to jump up and throw his napkin on the table. It would have been hilarious.

  109. James Wm Ball III on January 15th, 2010 5:14 pm

    Great conversation! I find it funny that the ad agencies don’t want to embrace the future. Thanks
    Jems

  110. DarrenPCE on January 15th, 2010 5:15 pm

    Interesting topic, but the edit is annoyingly pretentious.

  111. Christian Mazza on January 15th, 2010 5:17 pm

    Agreed.

  112. TheSailingChannelTV on January 15th, 2010 5:18 pm

    Great conversation and insight. It’s nice to see that other people are also trying to figure out the best model for monetizing video content on the web. We’ve enjoyed the past several episodes with the new cast. Keep ‘em coming!

  113. Joel Desmond on January 15th, 2010 5:19 pm

    what a waste of food.

  114. Christian Mazza on January 15th, 2010 5:20 pm

    Hahah

  115. OneClickFilms, LLC on January 15th, 2010 5:21 pm

    Ya know, I must say that typically I think these shows are pretty weak. A couple of guys sitting around droning on about some random topic it seems. But this one I must admit, was cool. I like how engaging and controversial this was. What I’d like to see is (and maybe this is up here and I just haven’t found it yet), but as a beginning film company, I’m looking for ways of finding funding for our films. I want to hear about stuff like that.

  116. MERELY HUMAN STUDIOS on January 15th, 2010 5:25 pm

    I think the editing on this takes away from what the person is saying. That fast pace switching angles every 2 second seems like there trying to cover up how boring it really is. The cutting for Dinner of Five is wayyy more justified.

  117. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 5:28 pm

    The only rule is there are no rules! Once you have a dolly going compeletely around the table it resets the rule, because the camera could be on the person’s right and left side. Regardless, sometimes it’s cool to break the rule just as a shock. ;)
    Steve

  118. weedze on January 15th, 2010 5:29 pm

    Than iam missing nothing! :)

  119. MishaTW-Fotomir on January 15th, 2010 5:30 pm

    I like your show! I watch all from the end and to the first show.

  120. TheWakePlace.com on January 15th, 2010 5:33 pm

    Great Episode!!! 

    Dealing with communities of people online really is such a cool new way to meet an audience. Creating a community means that you are showing content to people who want to see what you have – not people you ‘hope’ will like what you have. I guess its just like creating a fan base and what better way to do it than at a place where there are 200 million profiles of people.

    Twitter is an awesome thing too – and i think its strength is in its mobile capabilities via an iPhone or BlackBerry. Now that video has come to the iPhone, it won’t be too long until we see ‘Twitvid’ to go with ‘Twitpic’ and people will Tweet video of things they are doing NOW. Its content, thats happening NOW. Go back 5 years and something like that wasn’t even being thought of. Now thats the benchmark….

    This was the best filmfellas series yet, looking forward to the next one! Thanks guys!!!

  121. Nels Chick on January 15th, 2010 5:34 pm

    I must agree that this was the best cast so far. Good work guys! Keep the content coming.

  122. Matthew Byori Mann on January 15th, 2010 5:35 pm

    All I have to say is Twitter is an invaluable tool for connecting with people in the industry. I got a gig with Philip Bloom shooting BTS for one of his shorts as well as BTS for Zacuto’s next new show through Twitter. It’s not as content heavy as Facebook, but it’s a good, quick way to get connected with people.

  123. Ray Roman on January 15th, 2010 5:36 pm

    I thought it was funny how Edward ended up saying there’s ways to lead people to your environment(or personal website) “through one of these conduits like facebook” yet he is opposed to the idea of twitter? I think your right Steve, it’s important to get people involved within the facebook, myspace, and twitter crowds and so on. Some people may feel opposed to the facebook idea and may stick with only myspace, or some people may feel opposed to twitter like Edward and stick to facebook, there is always going to be people like that which is why I think it’s important to be involved in all of these networking sites as an independent filmmaker to target your audience in different communities.

  124. Jon Raymond on January 15th, 2010 5:37 pm

    Good thought provoking episode as usual. I think Arin Crumley is the guy with his finger on the pulse of FaceBook and Twitter, plus 20 other services out there for filmmakers.

    Twitter augments FaceBook, and as was mentioned, these are conduits to your own website. You have to have your website first. That’s home base. That’s what you advertise and link to from everywhere else.

    But the big point of the episode was Steve’s comment about how behind the scenes stuff is so compelling. Absolutely on the money Steve. Again, Arin is the pioneer expert here. His film Four Eyed Monsters is actually a behind the scenes look at the making-of itself. We’re getting into that Charlie Kaufman kind of genius here.

    It’s so easy to do it, too. Just get someone to document you doing your thing. It can even suck and be reality-like. Yet it’s so hard too, because we don’t think about or take the time to record ourselves or have someone follow us around with a camera. It seems conceited and lame. Plus you don’t want to have to think about it. But you can’t think about it anyway. That would kill it. It has to be real.

    If only we’d do that. Money in the bank, as Lynch would say. Bring it on Steve – let’s see the making-of. 

    Hey, did you know there’s a whole festival for making-of films?

  125. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 5:39 pm

    Jon,
    I appreciate the feedback and I agree with you.
    We have the making of videos starting with cast 4 & 5 as well as critics on our site at zacuto.com. I’ll talk to our staff about loading the BTS video on Vimeo as well. They are fun to watch and now I do it on every shoot we do. Both a photographer & video shooter. Mainly as a way to promote the webisodes in a fun way through twitter and facebook. 

    Also, Arin & Lance are going to be in a future FilmFellas, we just haven’t pinned down the date yet. Put some pressure on them via Twitter.
    Steve

  126. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 5:39 pm

    actually, I just notices we have three the BTS videos up on Vimeo, check em out.

  127. FlySwinger on January 15th, 2010 5:40 pm

    Great series. It helps a lot to see that even successful people like yourselves are struggling with some of the same problems we little guys face. And it’s great that you are so willing to share your ideas with us in such a raw form.

  128. Andyfilms on January 15th, 2010 5:42 pm

    I’m still wondering why you guys have these meals in what appears to be a dungeon cell. :)

  129. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 5:42 pm

    in cast 6 that is coming, people cleaned there plates. It’s weird, you get so into the conversation that you forget about eating.
    steve

  130. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 5:43 pm

    I like the dungeon cell, we think it’s more like a private meeting room, or the war room but I can see the interrogation as well. Very well put. Even prisoners deserve a good meal.

  131. ße ωell ;-) on January 15th, 2010 4:43 pm

    I know

    …but you have just proved one point so many independent web based film makers fail to do – and that is the failure to reply to an actual statement! It’s far easier for them to answer an actual question than to take on board what the end user actually wants to buy

    This is what alienates the end user from the product – independent film makers can do well by digesting the content of any feedback before offering a reply.

  132. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 5:45 pm

    Lucy,
    It’s great that you have these tools to get the word out. We, being a bit older, never had the ability to get the word out, unless you got in a magazine article. And the idea of having a show was impossible. So my recommendation is use these tools and get the word out. Kudos to you.
    Steve

  133. drury bynum on January 15th, 2010 5:46 pm

    Great discusssion. Does anyone think that, eventually, the personal or business website will be dead? SM sites like Twitter, Facebook, etc, are so much more effective because they showcase what we do far better than we do and are ubiquitous across other web apps and mobile media.

  134. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 5:47 pm

    I try not to think about anything beyond 3 months, the world is changing too fast. But I think that a website is critcal. All of this social networking is great to get way to get people to you site/store but that’s where all of the hardcore selling (services or products) should happen.
    Steve

  135. Alex Gower on January 15th, 2010 5:49 pm

    why the crude is this in the Kodak zi6/zx1 group videos?

  136. Phil Hoyt on January 15th, 2010 5:51 pm

    I love these. I wish i could sit down with you guys someday because these are the things I talk about on a daily basis. We got the Facebook, the Myspace, Twitter, Youtube, Dailybooth, EVERYTHING love it, love it. EMBRACE THE TWITTER GEEZE COULD YOU BE OLDER

  137. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 5:51 pm

    Love to chat on these subjects with you Phil, sometime.
    Steve

  138. Phil Hoyt on January 15th, 2010 5:52 pm

    ALSO! make a Filmfellas Twitter. PPL follow you. You tweet that there is a new Filmfellas with a link AND YOU JUST REMINDED ME TO WATCH UR SHOW. HARD CONCEPT I KNOW.

  139. Zacuto USA, Steve Weiss on January 15th, 2010 5:53 pm

    We have the @zacuto twitter handle and we do tweet when we place a new FilmFellas up as shown attwitter.com/zacuto/status/2670790564

  140. Phil Hoyt on January 15th, 2010 5:53 pm

    awesome! thanks you.

  141. Kerbute Productions on January 15th, 2010 5:44 pm

    Really interesting webisode as always! its funny cuz as a new small production team we work wholely through networking sites, vimeo, facebook, twitter and myspace. Starting our foundations within these sites and getting the word out that we’r alive and filming. our next step is to get our web site up and running but when we do, we will launch it throught all the contacts that we have created on these sites. 
    Therefore hopeluly hitting a big diverse audience that we know to have some sort of intrest and knowlage of what we do. 
    Now it wasnt maped out that this is was the plan of what we would do but it just seemed to evolve in this way.
    anyway thanks again for stimulating my brainwaves!
    Lucy

  142. G.Graham on January 15th, 2010 5:48 pm

    @ Steve Weiss , I enjoy your videos you all raise valid points. Before becoming a web designer and dabbling in film and photography I was a party promoter. I know a bit on the subject of building a community around a product at the time the product was my events. and the available networks were different. The names of the networks don’t matter they may change constantly but your core marketing principles need not change so drastically. 

    What i learned and what you guys already know is if you post relevant topics people will follow you and listen to what you have to say no matter what the platform. I agree with the gentleman that mentioned that standard marketing practices are a thing of the past and some what worth less at this point.

    I agree, I don’t watch commercials any more I use the bathroom when they come on.(sponsors may not want to hear that but it’s true) We the consumer are tired of being sold to. There for a fresh approach is needed to market products effectively to the masses.

    The last four products that I purchased were inspired by watching discussions like yours online and seeing what real people had to say about a product.
    1. I bought the Nikon D90- after seeing the videos posted on vimeo.
    2. I bought the Zoom h4n recorder after watching one of your videos if i’m not mistaken. When you guys demonstrated its great sound quality.(it works great by the way thanks)
    3. I bought the Canon Hv20 as a second camera after seeing the videos on Vimeo and Youtube. and hearing what real users had to say about it.

    In short your on the right track and to quote a line from Frazier “I’m listening” or in your case “were listening”
    keep up the great work

  143. Nathan Cole on October 1st, 2010 10:27 pm

    I’m sure you’ve gotten this comment before, but I have a hard time seeing people wanting to visit a corporate site just to see a webisodic series.  This may sound ironic posted here, but HONESTLY, I searched for quite a while to try and find a video podcast for this series, and was dissapointed I had to watch it here.  Just one eample of an inconvenience which I believe would cause many people to ditch out on the series, unless they are really invested.  
     
    Don’t get me wrong, I even love Zacuto products.  I love the show more.  It seems to me that content is being constantly made to be more and more portable.  Millions are now used to pulling content directly into Google reader via RSS, facebook feeds, etc, and don’t even visit the actual site to read blogs anymore.  
     
    I could be wrong, but I couldn’t help but strongly feel this way every time I heard the case for webisodes within corporate sites, and nowhere else.  Am I the only one that has thought this?

  144. Wild User on March 4th, 2011 5:31 am

    Wonderful, do you guys read my thoughts? I actually made a pitch to a client opening a new amphitheater about this type of promotion. Also been chatting with editor-in-chief of three major websites about getting “votes” online and how the f*** google works(for you). This new breed of users is wonderful. Very exciting that I am finding myself in the middle of something this epic as a twenty year old.

  145. Susan Rapp on March 11th, 2011 1:56 pm

    Wild ~ it’s amazing how social media marketing and web distibution is making way for a new breed of true indie filmmakers. It will change the face of web entertainment forever. Great to hear you are deep in it at only twenty-years-old. Keep us updated on your projects. Cheers, ~Sue

  146. Pat on May 26th, 2011 2:37 am

    Your talking about a kind of inverse of music festivals. Even more removed than a band selling t-shirts at a show. Music festivals are filled with people selling stuff. So if you wander away from the stages and check out some of this stuff you might end up buying some of these goods (like a necklace for example, i know someone who makes jewelry and sells them at music festivals). It’s inversed because the people selling products own the venue. People come back consistently to the site to watch the production and afterwords they will probably look over the site and check out some of the stuff for sale and maybe buy something. The logic is the same of trying to optimize your site for search engines. The goal is to get them on the site. Not necessarily to sell directly to them. The increase in sales is almost a side effect. It’s so far removed from the money making aspect that it doesn’t interfere with the enjoyment of the work. In a weird way it’s the same logic behind malls, you might go in to buy some pants (or watch a movie even), but you might wander in such and such a store and buy something. A large number of sales in a mall are things the consumer didn’t originally go in for. It’s not even advertisement really, your just making it ultra convenient to shop there just from proximity. That’s actually what your doing with these web-series. I think it’s actually pretty clever.

    (probably the best analogue i can think for it is the way some cafes/bars host live musicians, people come for the music but end up buying food or drink while they’re there)





Cast

FilmFellas Cast 6

FilmFellas Cast 3: "Social Networking: The Wild West" features a diverse group of independent and web-based filmmakers: Anish Saviani (Wendy & Lucy, Alexander The Last), Edward Seaton (OutWorld.Tv), Mike Michaud (ThatGuyWithThe Glasses.com) and host Steve Weiss (Director FilmFellas/Critics).

In this season, the Fellas boldly challenge the gold standard of "Hollywood" filmmaking and the traditional channels of a theatrical distribution. The round table discussions lead to a passionate debate on the acceptance of on-line video as a true medium, self-distribution and how a new genre of webisodic programming will eventually compete with network television. The season wraps up with finding creative ways to grow an audience with personal-branding & community building, the emergence of online video networks (Hulu), monetizing video content and how engaging with fans directly is essential for the success of web based films.


Steve Weiss (Director: FilmFellas/critics)
Anish Savjani (Producer: Wendy and Lucy, Alexander The Last)
Edward Seaton (Producer: Outworld.tv)
Kris Williams (Producer: ThatGuyWithTheGlasses.com)

Zacuto Original Programming

FilmFellas Critics Zacuto Product Training