Advice for a zero-budget interview show sought [UPDATE]

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Scott T. Jensen, Nov 9, 2003.

  1. First, I'd like to thank everyone that contributed to the original thread.
    I've had professionals around here praise the good advice that was given in
    that one.

    Now for a status report where I'm at with the show and then a few more
    questions. :)

    Show's premise: It is a panel discussion talk show that interviews three to
    six people that have the same interesting/unusual job, business,
    accomplishment, and/or subculture. I being the show's host and interviewer.
    The show will be freely and solely distributed over peer-to-peer networks
    (Kazaa, Gorkster, WinMX, etc.). It will be filmed in Madison, Wisconsin,
    USA.

    Personnel: I have an experienced line producer / video photographer and an
    experienced sound technician willing to help out. One I'm trading my
    marketing expertise (I'm a marketing consultant) on one of his projects for
    his help and the other is doing it for "good karma" and the possibility of
    being hired full-time by the show in the future. I also have two good
    friends that are willing to help out with whatever they can on the
    production set and with whom I know I can count on. I'm not sure what I'd
    use them for, but I'm glad to have them. Both would love to eventually be
    employed full-time by the show.

    Equipment: I still have the two digital video cameras (Sony Digital
    Handycam, DCR-TRV320 & DCR-TRV525) with tripods. The line producer will be
    bringing a third digital video camera and lighting equipment. The sound
    technician will be bringing a sound mixer and lav mics. However, I'm right
    now discussing this project with a local seller/renter of professional
    audio/lighting/video equipment and seeing if they're willing to trade use of
    their equipment for advertising on the show. The first person I discussed
    it with in their marketing department likes the idea and says they're always
    on the lookout for creative marketing schemes. He doesn't have the power to
    say "yes", but he's passed along my email with praise to his boss, the
    rental manager, the general manager, and the owner. I'm hoping to hear from
    them this coming week.

    Film location: I currently have two nightclubs that are bidding to have the
    show filmed at their locations and meet the requirements set down by the
    line producer (they have one room that's at least 20' x 20', audibly
    isolated, dark in color scheme, and has controllable light [if there are
    windows, they can be covered up]). One of the nightclubs is only open on
    Friday and Saturday evenings (thus I would be able to use it anytime during
    the rest of the week), is part of a big hotel, and they've hinted at
    possibly tossing in free hotel rooms for out-of-town guests of the show and
    a free buffet for the production set from their hotel restaurant ... as well
    as free drinks from the nightclub's bar (naturally, I'd only allow guests to
    receive alcoholic ones), a storage room for the show's equipment, and a
    small room I can convert into an on-location office. The other place
    doesn't open until 8:30 pm Monday-Saturday (thus I would be able to use it
    up until that time any day of the week) and is just a nightclub that can
    only offer free space and the owner always in attendance before, during, and
    after shoots to help where he can. The non-hotel nightclub's owner is,
    however, a friendly acquaintance of mine and not a mega-corporation. He
    answers to no one higher thus there's no one above him that could pull out
    the carpet on the show if they later learn that it's being produced and
    don't like it. However, free hotel rooms and buffet are too good to pass
    up. So to make the non-hotel nightclub comparable to the hotel one, I'm
    right now talking to restaurants and hotels near the non-hotel nightclub and
    seeing if they're willing to trade free rooms/buffet for plugs on the show.
    If they do, the non-hotel nightclub will then be comparable to the hotel
    nightclub. The person I've been dealing at the hotel nightclub was on
    vacation last week and this week when I meet with him I'll be asking for a
    more official bid from him for the show.

    Website: My best friend is an application analyst for a local company and
    he's whipped up a website for the show. I've purposely had him make it very
    stark and simplistic as I plan to have web design teams on as guests and
    them re-doing the show's website as a way to show off what they can do. I'm
    currently sending feelers to local web design firms to see if any of them
    would like to be the first such team on the show and do a make-over/overhaul
    of the current stark website. Already one has experienced an interest. As
    I plan to release the first five episodes all at once, if they're interested
    in being the guests for one of them I possibly won't publicly release the
    current website with the launch of the show but go with what they come up
    with.

    Legal: I've got a business lawyer that is willing to trade his legal
    services for a plug advertising his law firm on the show. He has and is
    currently representing "talent" (as he likes to call me) and feels confident
    he can meet all my legal needs.

    Other barter deals: Several janitorial/maid service providers are interested
    in trading their services (cleaning the set before and after shoots plus
    monthly cleaning of my staff's apartments/homes) for a plug on the show. An
    accountant and I are presently discussing her doing the show's books (and
    possibly income tax filings and bill-handling for my staff) for a plug on
    the show. I've also sent out feelers to other businesses (tuxedo rental
    stores, computer retail stores, limousine companies, NLE editing firms,
    private jet charter companies, etc.) this weekend and I'll see what
    develops.

    Cash revenue: I haven't even worked on getting cash-paying advertisers at
    this stage. I feel I would have a much better time selling the show to them
    once I have released five episodes of it. Thus I've held off approaching
    any advertiser until that time.

    Well, that's about where I'm at with the show at this stage. Now for couple
    things I'd like input on.

    1) Right now, the biggest thing I'm lacking is an NLE editor. I have sent
    out feelers this weekend to see if local editing firms would be interested
    in trading their services for advertising on the show. However, I'm not
    holding my breath for this. And the line producer doesn't think it's that
    big of a deal. He says all I need is the right software, a computer that
    can handle it, and it's easy to do. He says I'll be just basically
    switching between three video footages that are filming the same thing at
    the same time. However, this is the same guy that thinks production is easy
    but marketing's hard. Personally, being a long-time marketing consultant, I
    feel it's just the opposite. Plus, I feel editing is important and would
    hate to hurt the show by being such an amateur at it. Now one of my
    computer friends say that possibly I could have it done elsewhere by simply
    loading up the raw footage to a password-protected section of my website and
    an NLE editor somewhere in the world downloading it, editing, and sending
    back the finished product. The editor trading their services for a plug at
    the end of each episode ... or at least helping out free at the beginning
    with the hope of being hired full-time if the show takes off. Is this
    something realistic? Something I should explore if the local editing firms
    are not interested in a barter deal? Then again, does anyone know of a
    really good NLE editor that might be up for this???

    2) I've had a few people strongly suggest that I bring in college interns to
    help out with the show and even to do so from the very beginning.
    Currently, what I'm really lacking an editor for the show and this is
    something those advocating the interns say the college interns would be good
    at as they would have access to university equipment/computers and it would
    be something that they could work around their class schedules. However,
    I'm just not sure about this. First, the show is still pretty much a
    concept at this stage. I have no office for it ... besides my desk,
    computer, and telephone at my home. I suppose I could tell the professors
    what I've done so far (see above) and that might be good enough for them.
    Then again, maybe not. Also, I'm not sure how much I can depend on college
    interns. Thoughts?

    Thanks in advance!

    Sincerely yours,
    Scott Jensen
     
    Scott T. Jensen, Nov 9, 2003
    #1
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  2. Scott T. Jensen

    henryf Guest

    Scott T. Jensen wrote:
    So you have an opportunity for a really good video editor to
    spend hours if not weeks of their life wearing out their own
    equipment, for nothing other than a plug at the end of some
    amateur talk shows? Personally, I don't know anyone who
    doesn't have better things to do with their time, but maybe
    you'll get lucky. Try placing a free ad on Mandy.com.
     
    henryf, Nov 11, 2003
    #2
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