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An idea for the future of TV and Movies (and even music)
Brisbane, Queensland
1055 posts
Instead of production companies putting up the money to make these shows and movies, then selling to networks to get their money back, and then the networks using advertsing to make their money, why not get the money directly from the viewers.

In the light of successful kickstarter type projects, why not have people come up with an idea of the show or movie (or music genre), people can then support it and once they raise a bit, they make a small demo/pilot and then people can donate more to get a season off the ground.

Then because people have already put their money into shows they love, you don't have the same concerns with people pirating. And you also don't have stupid s*** shows and movies being made that nobody really wants/likes. If nobody supports it, it won't get made.

This whole process will mean that the creative types have to put some level of effort in to convince people they know what they are doing and have good ideas.

I personally would gladly donate one off payments to see something get off ground and willingly setup some sort of monthly direct debit (could have all your reoccuring small payments bundled and just a single direct debit) to keep the show going.

Imagine shows like Firefly would still be going or at least got more of a run.

There would still be ticket charges at cinema and concerts to raise more money, because thats offering an extra service above the making of the show/movie/album.

So what do you think? I am sure i've missed some points so feel free to pick apart my idea.
09:51am 07/12/12 Permalink
09:51am 07/12/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
526 posts
Sounds good to me. It probably needs its own website but has anyone done this with kickstarter yet?
10:15am 07/12/12 Permalink
1784 posts
The future = no middle man?
10:21am 07/12/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
34677 posts
this is already happening: esikmo joe have asked their fans to contribute to a kickstart like process to pay for their next album, contributing at different levels gets you different packages.

i believe you can cough up 6k or something and they will come run a bbq at your house.

sounds like a pretty good idea to me, you'd get instant feedback on whether you should bother making a new album or not!
10:22am 07/12/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
1056 posts
Yeah, i knew some bands/singers were trying it and also some amatuer film makers. Just think it needs to become a broad way of doing all entertainment.

I have a feeling this may be the way it goes and my fingers are crossed that it works. Because the current system that relies on people paying for something they can get free (and faster and easier and watch when they want without ads) does not work.
10:34am 07/12/12 Permalink
Melbourne, Victoria
5279 posts
I prefer the ad supported model where I don't have toupee. If ads are relevant to me and entertaining it's great. I like Radio.

What about if brands produced content? I think Converse set up a recording studio in Brooklyn and are recording tunes and signing artists.

Would you watch Amazing Race if it was produced by Nike? Or Survivor if it was produced by Lonely Planet or Flight Centre? Or the IT Crowd if it was set at Microsoft headquarters?

11:13am 07/12/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
10556 posts
What about that Nazi movie set in space? Wasn't that crowd funded?

Anyway, the deal with making TV is that you not only need to fund production of the show, but you also need to have an arrangement in place that makes you the profit, otherwise known as a pre-sale. TV shows don't get made unless a TV channel has already signed a contract to devote air time and marketing to it, i.e. the profits are locked in (not just the funding) - otherwise there is no plan on how to sell the f***en thing, and it's a waste of effort.

So if you want to do crowd funding for a series, it's gonna have to be a lot of money, more than just what you'd need for production. You'd have to have your retail strategy planned out and paid for.

I don't know how much people like investing in something like a show that they'll get to watch in 2 years, when they can't even be f***ed waiting for the show to be on TV and will rip it off online.

I definitly think that at the very least, it should be very easy to become a producer on an existing series to keep it going. They should have been doing that for 20 years already. No doubt people who make TV shows need funding, but turning to the general public has NEVER been an option for them. I don't know why. For stuff like sci-fi shows, like how you mentioned FireFly, there would be thousands of people willing to pay to keep it going.

last edited by thermite at 11:31:54 07/Dec/12
11:25am 07/12/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
9632 posts
Australia has a very small Industry and needs support from the Government.
Our Culture is being swamped by mindless American drivel, if it has to be drivel then why not Aussie drivel ?

They should go back to the 100% tax deduction for financing Film/TV in Australia.
TV Stations should be forced to show more Aussie content on their main channel.

The Slap, Packer, a Moody Christmas, even Underbelly showed their is plenty of talent here. We lost the new Mad Max movie to Nabibia recently, hundreds of Jobs and the flow on effects, lost.
It just needs some extra funding to attract productions.

Maybe TV Sport could subsidise more Aussie content ?
11:41am 07/12/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
1058 posts
Thats the point. If it's funded by the viewers upfront and keeps getting funded as long as it's good, then that money goes to creating the show and paying the actors.

Once the show is made, it can be released however they want as long as it's also free for anyone that donated to watch easily.

TV stations can still donate money to be able to show the show on their station, and then get money back through advertsing if they want. But you could have multiple channels showing the same shows, unless they donate enough to get a limited time exclusive.

The whole point is that inorder for a show to be made and keep going, it needs to convince the views it's worth it.

Sure people will still pirate shows, but i think a lot more people would be willing to fork over small sums of cash if it was easy and only went to the shows they love and want to watch, not just to all shows (like a Foxtel subscription).

Pretty much you are making a direct connection between the viewers and the show creators. You are no longer being controled by the stations and having to put up with whatever s*** they think you want. The role of the stations then is to simply provide an avenue for people to view the shows on a regular schedule. In return for that ease of viewing (for those that don't want to grab via internet and watch via a PC/mediabox), you pay via advertising. Or perhaps you have the stations on a similar scheme where you support/donate to them to keep them going and as long as they do a good job, they will keep getting funded.
11:41am 07/12/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
8208 posts
We lost the new Mad Max movie to Nabibia recently, hundreds of Jobs and the flow on effects, lost.
It just needs some extra funding to attract productions.
I thought we lost the new Mad Max because Australia wasn't dry enough? The places they wanted to film were apparently too green and as such they had to go elsewhere.

I have a feeling this would never go big with Hollywood, just because the costs for producing blockbuster movies is so large that crowd-funding would never successfully work. There are actors being paid millions just for a few mere hours of their day and I doubt it could pay for everything.

It would definitely (and is) work for amateur film makers and also singer/song writers because their costs are considerably lower. A lot of singers are even ditching labels because they are monopolising their work and just going through donations (see: Amanda Palmer).
11:50am 07/12/12 Permalink
3936 posts
I have to wonder if they offered up the chance for fans to keep firefly running as a completely independant show how much cash those fans would of kicked in? Itd be an interesting option because as we all know fans of certain shows would go to some pretty crazy lengths to ensure the future their favourite viewing. In that respect i could easily see people getting on board just like rabid football fans do when their club is going down the drain finacially.
12:15pm 07/12/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
1059 posts
I feel that actors/musicans earn way too much for what some fo them do.

Just because they are good at their job, does not mean they should get paid 100 times what someone who is great at their job does, just because it's in entertainment.

Maybe a system based on crowd-funding will knock some sense into the industry and force the big named stars to just take a reasonable amount based on how good they are.

Do they really need to be paid millions of dollars for a few months work? They only get paid that because we allow it to happen. We raise them up as a society and think they are working harder (and thus need more reward) than someone working hard to keep a power station or factory going.

In an ideal world, there should be a flat rate system across all industries based on your contribution and work.

Anyways, thats a bit off topic. :)
12:24pm 07/12/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
16313 posts
i just don't think they would get enough money through crowd funding.

also what happens if you fund something and it's s***? do you get a refund? they would probably have to make up new consumer laws.
12:55pm 07/12/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
1061 posts
Well thats a chance you take. You may put $20 into getting the pilot done, and then the show is crap and you lose $20. Or it may turn crap after a year and you stop funding.

Really, the amount you may lose will be very minimal.

Plus, you could inform the creators you are not liking the direction they are heading by simply funding it with less than you were. When they see they have not gotten as much for the next season, they might re-think their direction.
01:00pm 07/12/12 Permalink
Melbourne, Victoria
7542 posts
Unfortunately TV shows need a lot of money up-front for production. You can run many millions just on things required before you've even set foot on set. Scriptwriters, artists, set designers, those responsible for storyboards - all that can happen before materials and talent are even sourced. Much of the time pilots can make a huge loss if networks don't pick up the show. These days, one-hour pilots are costing in excess of $10m to film and produce, which is just nuts.

Networks fund studios in two ways:
- Advertising slots
- Syndication

While a large amount of money comes from advertising (a 30 second spot during a show like, say Two and a Half Men or Two Broke Girls runs at over $250,000 - per slot), a large amount also comes from the studio selling those rights to other networks. The funding model is kind of zany, but the point remains this: For big-name shows, if you're not pulling $5-7m in advertising per episode, minimum, you're on the chhopping block - even for a show like 2 Broke Girls, which has an incredibly low production cost.

Lastly, how much would viewers pay?
We know very well that viewers won't pay more than $1/episode. iTunes and others have tried to charge $2-3/episode, and as a result people turn to piracy. But at $1/episode, 500k views is only going to net you $500k. Shows which have Television ratings of 5m viewers will be lucky to get 600k downloaders - and that's in the region of big league network purchases.

Since shows typically need to be produced 6-12 weeks in advance - South Park is a massive exception - your funding has a huge risk of drying up suddenly. It's for this reason network funding has always been essential, and I don't see that changing.
03:16pm 07/12/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
4842 posts
In the light of successful kickstarter type projects,
In a years time that line might be "despite all the broken kickstarter promises", really early to call kickstarter a success in terms of delivering product.
This whole process will mean that the creative types have to put some level of effort in to convince people they know what they are doing and have good ideas.
So instead of convincing 20 or so guys at a studio, you now have to convince a million? (or just game reddit/twitter/viral media)
05:21pm 07/12/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
3689 posts
Didn't Australia have a Tv license, then got rid if it because you prefer ads?
06:39pm 07/12/12 Permalink
Melbourne, Victoria
7543 posts
Think "Rome Sweet Rome".
If that were a kick starter project, it would have been funded almost immediately, provided budgets were possible. But projects like that need studio big dollars.
08:18pm 07/12/12 Permalink
08:18pm 07/12/12 Permalink
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