Friday, December 12, 2008

Revenue Stream

It may have already happened.

I've had a healthy skeptical "wait and see" attitude about making money doing "media" on the webernets of which Bill Cunningham is a big proponent. I keep reading and seeing stuff like "Dr. Horrible" and thinking to myself "But has he really made back his investment?" (probably not.)

Well, Bill offers this evidence from the venerable New York Times. What he's been predicting all this while may be what's going to finally come down.

“hundreds of YouTube partners are making thousands of dollars a month.”

Now does that mean they're grossing $48,000 or more a year? If so, your organization will have to be pretty small. One guy purports to $10K to $20K a month. If you can gross $125K or more you can have a full-time office. You will be making minimum wage yourself (if you're lucky), and there will be others who make more than you who work for you but that's life running a company.

The way we work is to increase quality by working with a small number of multi-"threats". Actor/Editor/Writer/Gaffer/Director (like Maduka), or Actor/Editor/sound recordist/producer (like Blair), Editor/Writer/Producer/AD/2ndAD/Script Supervisor (like Laura), or Everything/everything else (like Mitchell).

That's the only way we can afford to make these movies. Geez, with Google AdSense-type Partner Program one might be able to make a living. We'd have to serialize the kinds of scripts we make and we'd have a huge advantage over TV in that we aren't married to exact act lengths.

Alien Uprising would make a good sequel which could work that way. I'm scared to experiment, of course, but depending on our North American sales, we might have no choice! ;-)

And as long as we make a mockbuster once in a while, we'll have enough diversity. The problem with the short form of the web is it leads one to doing comedy, which I don't want to do. So we should do something Cowboy Bebop-ish...

C'mon kids, let's do a vampire series in modern-day New York. The Federal V-Marshals are in charge of keeping the vampire population in line... Who's gonna write that? Read Saving the Cat and then we'll start making that series... We'll shoot in-between our features.


Chance Shirley said...

I think DR. HORRIBLE (which is awesome, by the way) has turned a profit. If I remember correctly, Whedon self-financed it for half a million or so, and it's recouped more than a million now.

Andrew Bellware said...

Really? I'd love to see those numbers. Of course, it being the movie business nobody will ever let you see the REAL numbers. The production looked like about a half million dollars though...

Cunningham said...

Knowing the 1st AD on Dr. Horrible, I know that it was financed for far less than $500K. It was more like $150K for 44 minutes of show.

Which puts it in the same ballpark as the British wave of Micro-budget FEATURES that have cropped up.

Andrew Bellware said...

They spent their money well on Dr. Horrible. A production like that is a bit of a pain in the butt because the music must be created first. And I'm sure they worked some deals in post-production with a sound mix house. So they probably used Joss Whedon's name to help with their budget and production in a number of departments -- not to mention the publicity for the show.

My guess is that the post production houses had something of a "1st dollar" deferred deal with Dr. Horrible. I'm just making that up, of course, but it's feasible. Still, I think that the production may have ended up making some money. And that's good.

I wanna see some of "us" make some money doing this. We don't have Joss' publicity machine, of course, but we also make pictures a lot cheaper.

Hmm... makes me think...