DIGITAL CONVERGENCE EPISODE 114: VIDEO ON DEMAND
The one about Vimeo On Demand and Amazon CreateSpace.
CARL 00:00 This is the Digital Convergence Podcast: Episode number 114.
CARL 01:01 Today is Wednesday, March 17, 2013. We would like to welcome you to another edition of the Digital Convergence Podcast, your talk show about photography, video and post production. This is episode number 114, Vimeo On Demand. The Digital Convergence Podcast is sponsored by CrumplePop Film and Broadcast Effects for Final Cut Pro and the DCP team is Chris Fenwick of chrisfenwick.com. Hello, Chris.
CHRIS 01:34 Hello, hello, hello.
CARL 01:37 Yeah, it’s good to have you on and Mr. Planet Mitch.
MITCH 01:39 Did you say March 17th in the introduction?
CARL 01:42 Did I say that? Today is not March 17th, isn’t it?
MITCH 01:46 No.
CHRIS 01:46 It’s the 13th.
MITCH 01:48 It’s the 13th. I’m like, “There’s no way it’s that far in the month”.
CHRIS 01:51 And did Jonah say March 17?
CARL 01:52 Oh, my goodness, I got to redo that whole bit.
MITCH 01:57 No, don’t bother.
CHRIS 01:57 It’s fine, everybody gets it.
CARL 01:58 Yeah.
[laughter] MITCH 01:59 It’s real, baby. It’s real.
CARL 02:03 Okay, it’s Wednesday, March 13, 2013 and I’m Carl Olson and this is the Digital Convergence Podcast in the future. That’s how good this goes. So, so, so, gentlemen why–
MITCH 02:14 At least I’m listening.
[laughter] CARL 02:15 Yes, you are. Very good. My staff of copywriters and editors just let me down today. Alright so what film or TV show is today’s mystery theme from? Mr. Planet Mitch, do you know?
MITCH 02:30 I wrote down Bonanza or Gunsmoke.
CHRIS 02:33 Seriously?
[laughter] CARL 02:38 You are going to be fired. Go ahead Chris.
CHRIS 02:42 I can name that tune in one note. It’s Snuffy Walden and it’s the West Wing.
CARL 02:47 That’s right, and he won an Emmy for that, back in 2000.
CHRIS 02:51 I would hope so, it’s awesome. And I am a gigantic West Wing fan.
CARL 02:58 Yeah, it’s a great opening sequence, it really is. Have you noticed how a lot of TV shows now, they’ve reduced the opening titles to just a seven or eight second bumper, or something like that?
CHRIS 03:13 I think as an editor, one of my favorite things is when a show has legs, you know the West Wing ran for seven seasons. I really enjoy watching the opening title sequence evolve over time. Oh, they added a shot, oh, they added a character. Sometimes they’ll just add a single shot. There’s a great – in the – this is West Wingy nerd stuff, I won’t go into it, never mind.
[Laughter] CHRIS 03:41 There was a point where Donna and Josh are talking about picking a new stamp. And Donna comes into Josh’s office and reads through all the reasons why they should put this one guy on a stamp. And she finishes her little dialogue with “I think we should put him on a stamp.” And Josh, who has this huge crush on Donna, who is his subordinate, looks at him and goes, “I think we should put you on a stamp.” And she just has this really delightful little smile, and, well, a few episodes later, they incorporated that one reaction into the title sequence. And I love seeing little things like that, just as an editor, how people – how they go about adding and modifying, and I enjoy that.
CARL 04:29 Yeah. I think that’s a cool feature because it sets the stage for what the story is, and if you’re new to it, in just a few seconds you kind of get the feel for what the tone, and what the show is all about.
CHRIS 04:41 Yeah, it was about halfway through season two when they added that shot of Donna in.
CARL 04:46 And it’s fun to listen to the music themes as they evolve, too. Think about one of the longest running series in television history, which is Doctor Who. You go back and listen to one of the original episodes, at least those that have been preserved, you hear the element of the theme, and today it’s very different, but the core components are still there. Anyway, it’s pretty cool. I like this. I like movie themes.
MITCH 05:19 I think–
CARL 05:19 I just wish they wouldn’t get any shorter. Of course, I guess it’s a reflection of today’s society whose attention span is extraordinarily short. And I like things that linger and are cerebral. I don’t know. Anyway. I’m a different generation, I suppose.
CARL 05:36 Well, in today’s episode, we are going to talk about latest in video and photography news. Also, we’ll talk a little bit about how the DCP gang is heading to NAB. And then we are going to talk about the age of Indie Film and content distribution. Has it arrived? Vimeo on Demand is certainly making waves in the news, yesterday from South by Southwest their announcement there. Of course we’ve seen that coming, because they hinted at it a bit. But we’ll talk about that later in the show. But first, we want to go to Planet Mitch–
CARL 06:14 –in the Planet 5D Newsroom. So what’s happening Mitch?
MITCH 06:23 I love that song. [chuckles] I’m humored by my own music. I don’t know. I wanted to cover a couple of things with NAB coming up. Starting April 7th, I think is the Monday that it starts – it’s that second week in April. So it’s coming up and you know what that means. We’re going to talk about gear for the next month, right? So I thought I’d talk about some gear. [laughter]
CARL 06:51 Sigh. No.
MITCH 06:53 Well, actually–
CARL 06:54 Gear is fun, that’s why you go to NAB. It is a gear show.
MITCH 06:58 Is it? I though it was a networking show. That’s what I’d go for. Any how, I thought I’d highlight a couple of projects that are still pretty dang gum quiet, but I think they’re interesting. And most people probably haven’t even heard of this one because I don’t know how to pronounce it right. There’s a project called “Apertus” or “Apertoos”, that is an open source cinema project. It’s actually been going on for over seven years now, but it’s really kind of barely heard about. And their plan is to create – and then they say open source – it’s not like it’s going to be a free camera. You’re going to have to buy the gear. But you can buy this camera, theoretically, relatively inexpensively, and all of the software that’s going to drive it is going to be open source.
MITCH 08:01 They’ve just launched a brand new website – is at Apertus or A-P-E-R-T-U-S.org, if you want to go check that out. They are planning on doing a– releasing a camera this – I shouldn’t say this fall – they’re planning on funding it this fall. They’re planning on it being a Nikon F-mount, a Super-35 APSE kind of size and a 4k Sensor down-resing to 1080. They’re planning on doing 4-4-4s for the – what’s the word, I’m not thinking of the right word – color space. But it’s an interesting little project if you want to follow along. That’s available right now that you can read about.
CARL 08:54 Where are they in development of the cameras that they are designing?
MITCH 09:00 They are pretty far along in terms of their design. They don’t have a prototype yet. They have some sample images of physical parts they prototype but they don’t have the whole thing put together yet. And if they’re going to go out and trying to do funding and I’m assuming they’re going to do Kickstart or something like that this fall, they’re still pretty early in the phase, but they have done some testing with gear. And they have actually shot a movie with a really really rough prototype that looks nothing like the prototype they think they’re going to go with in terms of camera body. So they slap the chip on a body around a board and that kind of really difficult stuff. So there still an early developments but it’s very interesting project.
CARL 09:57 I just went to the website. So some of the specs for their Axion camera – the specs that they’re shooting for – is 4K resolution, super 35mm sensor.
MITCH 10:06 I said that.
CARL 10:07 A global shutter up to 15 F-Stop dynamic range, eye speed at full resolution, cinema DNG raw recording, well below $10,000 target, price and crowd funding in 2013. Yeah, you said that part too.
MITCH 10:29 It’s just an interesting little project that’s out there thought people might be wanting to know about.
CHRIS 10:34 I’m skeptical.
CARL 10:38 Why are you skeptical, Chris?
CHRIS 10:42 We’ve seen this in this last 12 months with the Black Magic Camera. We talked about it last week – what did I say? Camera makering is hard because there’s all this trouble with the focus and the blooming or whatever. I think what Red did a couple but it’s now what six years or seven years ago when they said, “Yeah, I’m going to make cameras.” “Yeah, I know you’re not.” What they did was really, really hard and it was a big huge uphill battle and they have a lot of money behind it and I think a lot of people see that and they go “Whoa! Well they did it and we can do it too” and I don’t know if they know hard Red worked at it and–
MITCH 11:24 Well, just to cut you off – because I can because I know I can squelch you with this Skype connection – These guys have been in business “since 2007″ so they’re not just a fly by night thing that just happened. They’ve been around the block. But they aren’t majorly funded which is the issue.
CHRIS 11:45 That’s a huge issue.
MITCH 11:46 Yeah.
CHRIS 11:48 It’s a gigantic, “Oh but by the way, we don’t have enough money could you send $20 in an envelope to your Paypal account or something.” I don’t know.
MITCH 11:58 I didn’t say it wasn’t going to work. I just said it was interesting.
CHRIS 12:10 I think that we talk primarily to content developers and I think that sometimes we’ve said this before in the past. “You know what, we have great little movie making machines in our pockets”, half of us. And a lot of times “If only I had the new Canon E-15.5 to 47mm Similen, then I could make my movie”. Well, okay. I don’t know. I just – I get tired of gears.
MITCH 12:43 That’s a great segue.
CARL 12:47 Whoa, whoa, whoa. I do want to make–
[laughter] MITCH 12:48 Okay.
CARL 12:49 –one other point about the Axiom now. And I understand, when you’re – they’ve got this motto, which is keep it simple. So they say the features are reduced to the absolute essential core. No luxuries. So, for example, we chose the lens mount that is the simplest and easiest to implement from a technical point of view, and I think this is the flaw in all engineers’ thinking. Because they always think in terms of implementation from a technical point of view. This is a customer point of view, is what you need. But anyway, you know what they chose?
MITCH 13:25 I said it already. The Nikon F-mount.
CARL 13:26 Oh, I didn’t hear you say that part.
[laughter] CARL 13:30 Man, I don’t know where my ears were. But yeah, when I–
MITCH 13:32 That’s okay.
CARL 13:33 So, that’s the simplest. But I wonder from a cinematic standpoint, is that a good choice? Because virtually everything that’s available to the cinematographer is a Canon mount, or something like that.
MITCH 13:49 Yeah, I agree with that. I found it interesting, I published an article a couple of days ago and I borrowed the information from Indiewire, who went to the film makers at the Sundance 2013 film festival. And they asked them what camera they were shooting their films on. Okay, so these are the films that made it to Sundance. Now this goes right in to what Chris was saying about gear that we have, and I just found it fascinating. And you can see the entire list, we’ll have this in the show notes linked to the Indiewire article.
MITCH 14:33 Let me give you a summary, now I didn’t count up all the movies, but there is probably close to 75, 80 movies on this – maybe 100. I should have counted them all. They didn’t give me a number at the top. Anyway, 15 were shot on Airy cameras, 15 were shot on Red. Red 1s or Red 1X or MX. Zero were shot on Scarlet which I thought was rather interesting because everybody keeps talking about the Scarlet is the camera of the century – some people do. Four were shot on the OutgoPro, two were shot on the Panasonic AF100. Two were shot on FCARL00 from Sony. Six were shot on the Sony F3. So what do you think the majority of cameras that were used? Tatada. If you add up all the Canon HDSLRs, there were 26 movies shot on HDSLRs. Now people keep telling me, “Oh, HDSLR is dead. Nobody shoots on HDSLR.” It seems to me that that list is pretty significant right there for movie makers. All of those 26 cameras – 25 of those films were shot with cameras that cost less than $3500. One of them was shot on the 1DX. So that’s the 26th.
CARL 16:04 So there was no iPhone or Androids?
MITCH 16:06 There was one iPhone in the list and like I said, there were four shot on the GoPro, what’s that $300. iPhones that cheap. There were three shot, I forgot to mention on the Canon C300. So those are obviously relatively expensive, but the vast majority in this list were shot on relatively inexpensive cameras.
CARL 16:38 Well, HDSLR is still alive and well.
MITCH 16:45 I just found that very interesting.
CARL 16:50 Alright, it’s time to talk about our sponsor, CrumplePop Film and Broadcast Effects for Final Cut Pro. You can find more about them at crumplepop.com. They still are providing a 20% discount on all CrumplePop products. Simply use the coupon code DCP20, DCP20. I was speaking of NAB.
MITCH 17:17 Yeah, are you going?
CARL 17:20 Definitely. This is the first NAB that I’m going to.
CARL 17:24 Chris, are you going?
CHRIS 17:25 I’m going to get down for a day. So Hopefully we can organize and do a show together while we’re there.
CARL 17:32 That would be cool. That would be cool if we can pull that off.
MITCH 17:35 I–
CARL 17:35 It’ll just be cool to have everybody in the same room at the same time. [laughter]
CHRIS 17:42 Yeah. 20,000 other people but other than that it’ll be fine.
MITCH 17:45 So the story that Carl is kind of hedging around is that Planet Mitch, that’s me, has hooked up with the folks at Tera Dec who do a live-streaming broadcast. This year they’re using U-Stream and Michael Artsist, who is gotten himself hooked up with the Tera Dek folks, has asked me to co-host with him the final hour-long show of each and everyday, and that’s Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday because I’m leaving early on Thursday, the wrap up show. So I will be on every afternoon from 5 to 6pm. What time zone are they on in Vegas?
CHRIS 18:35 Pacific.
MITCH 18:36 Are they in Pacific? Okay. So look that up. I’ll have to make sure of that. From 5 to 6 pm we’ll be on. And I am trying to get Chris and Carl and me all on at the same time sometime during one of those three days. So we don’t have a time set for that yet, but we’re working on it. So you guys should be able, if everything works out, to see the three of us live together on TV, internet TV, which will be really cool.
CHRIS 19:08 Very cool. Oh I am sorry. Yeah Nevada is Pacific. Yeah. Sorry.
CARL 19:13 So it is Pacific time. Okay.
MITCH 19:14 Thanks for looking that up.
CARL 19:19 So it’s a wrap up show or will we have a specific theme to talk about or how would this work?
MITCH 19:26 The 5-6 show is a wrap-up show to talk about what’s happened during NAB that day, what we seen on the show floor. What I am trying to do is get you me and Carl, Chris on for a special show somewhere before 5 to 6. Michael wants to do the wrap-up show without guests if we can handle it. We’re just going to sort of talk about what we saw. So we’re working to fill you and the DCP team in an hour slot somewhere alone turn one of those three days, which is still undefined.
CARL 20:03 Oh, very nice. Well, we’ll have more information when it’s available.
MITCH 20:08 Yes, keep an eye.
CARL 20:11 So, there’s been some interesting developments. One of the shows, I think, I may plan on this next year, is this South by Southwest show. Have guys ever been to that?
MITCH 20:22 I have not.
CHRIS 20:22 No.
CARL 20:24 To me that’s an interesting convergence type of show or event because it’s having to do with entertainment and social media, and technology and how all of these things are converging to bring people together. Build communities and software and just a lot of cool stuff has been announced at South by Southwest. Yesterday, Vimeo officially announced Vimeo on Demand.
CHRIS 20:53 Get out.
MITCH 20:54 What’s that?
CARL 20:55 Yeah. I know it’s old news because it happened yesterday. But I think this is an interesting development and I think we are going to see more and more of these type of announcements come out from other hosting platforms. But according to Vimeo’s blog they announced a new service, it is called Creative Services, a suite of features to help creators make more money by making great video. Then, we have talked about this on the show before there was the tip jar, so it is voluntary donations, if some people choose to use that and then came movies. So those were things they selected and made available for a certain price. They had I think like, I’m trying to see here, okay, yeah, it says 6 featured length films that have never had a home on Vimeo before. So now they have made it available to everyone that has a Vimeo Pro account. So basically you take – you have a movie whatever length, whatever it is, and you can say I want $4.99 for every play for this one video. What a cool idea. What do you think about this Chris?
CHRIS 22:20 First of all, is it per play or do you buy it for a period of time?
CARL 22:27 Excuse me I just have made that clear, so it’s a viewing period. So there is a period. You can make it available for 24 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours, up to one year. I don’t know why they have an indefinite where it’s just open forever, unless it is a bandwidth thing. But you can download it. So if you make it, you can specify whether or not it is a downloadable video. So if a customer of your video wants to watch it later beyond that period and you allow that feature to happen then they can download it and play it on other devices.
CHRIS 23:00 Or on a plane where you don’t have–
CARL 23:02 Exactly.
CHRIS 23:05 I think we saw them sort of testing this with the tip jar. They were testing their financial part of the deal. It is very much similar to the way– prior to Apple going live with the iTunes store, they started sharing movie trailers online and in doing so they were testing, if you will, their backbone, their [inaudible] backbone for distribution of large amounts of data. I think this is what Apple should have done three years ago. Is given me, little guy with a camera, the ability to sell my content and not make it a nightmare to get through the thing. I think Vimeo has got a great tool here and I think that they are very much going to ingratiate themselves to the Indie film market in doing so.
CARL 24:04 Well the terms are very generous on the revenue split, it’s 90-10, so the artist keeps 90% of the revenue after transaction–
MITCH 24:13 After transaction fees. Yeah, I saw that.
CARL 24:15 I do wonder what that means. What are transaction fees for this? I have not been able to find what that is.
MITCH 24:23 Well if you go through PayPal, then Paypal charges 3% for every transaction, so I guess they’re just trying to clarify that if you’re using a payment service to collect the funds–
CARL 24:39 Well they handle all of that, they don’t give you the option to specify what the payment service is.
MITCH 24:44 Okay. I didn’t look.
CARL 24:46 Yeah, you’re going to be using their back end for everything.
MITCH 24:50 So they’re still going to charge you transaction fees is what they’re saying, but we don’t know what.
CARL 24:55 Yeah. We don’t know what that is, but the revenue split after transaction fees is 90% and they keep 10%. I can’t imagine that the transaction fees would be very much though.
MITCH 25:06 No.
CHRIS 25:07 I hope not. I mean. I was thinking–
CARL 25:10 Go ahead Chris. I’m sorry. We cut you off.
CHRIS 25:13 I’d say it could be one of those hidden cost things. Like when you buy stuff on TV. “Please send– Act now.”
CARL 25:20 That’s where you make all your money on shipping and handling.
MITCH 25:23 Yeah.
CHRIS 25:25 I’m looking at the cost. So Vimeo Pro is 200 bucks for a year and you get 50 gigabytes of storage. What do you think of that? Do you think that’s a– How does that…?
CARL 25:38 Well, I think that’s pretty generous. I don’t think most people will ever hit that limit. I certainly would. In fact I have already exceeded that. [laughter] I have 65 gigabytes of video currently in my product.
CHRIS 25:53 On Reets?
CARL 25:54 On Reets. Yeah. 65 gigabyte.
CHRIS 25:58 Are the movies that you are selling through Vimeo on Demand, do those come from that 50 gigabyte hole? That 50 gigabyte docket?
CARL 26:11 I would think so. There’s nothing here that specifically says that, but I would think because they’re requiring you to have a Vimeo Pro account that it does count against your storage.
CHRIS 26:22 Kind of cool for Vimeo because they basically charge you to store your movie then you sell it.
CARL 26:32 And everybody else does that too, so it’s nothing new.
CHRIS 26:35 At Sliced we have, we just crossed over the 300 gigabyte capacity of our online distribution tool that we use. So 50 gigabytes looks paltry to me. But, I understand, I think for most people it’d be great.
[laughter] CARL 27:00 I love that. Oh man, so it seems paltry. But you’re not a normal user.
CHRIS 27:06 Right.
CARL 27:07 So you’ve got 300 gigabytes online that’s available at any given time?
CHRIS 27:16 Yeah, there’s 40– oh, I was going to look for you. There’s something like– where’s that window? There’s like 4,800 files I think that we have stored that are all available through our– so what we use at Slice, we have a custom made back in PHP server tool, I guess, I don’t know what you’d call it. It basically we have a dedicated server hosted at a place called Hurricane Electric which is in the South Bay here and they’re a very high end server farm. And actually we just upgraded from 300 gigs to a 2 terabyte server, so we have a capacity for up to 2 terabytes now. And if we’ve written custom software that has multiple levels of password protection and we have different types of accounts that we give our clients and they can view our producer and you work at Slice, then you have your own login which gives you access to all of your product projects and then you have another level of password per job that you can pass off to your clients.
CARL 28:37 So it’s a home-grown drop box essentially.
CHRIS 28:40 Yeah. When we when we built it DropBox didn’t exist and there are other things. But I’ve looked at other solutions and I just I don’t like all of the branding and logos. It’s not to say it doesn’t work well, I’ve dealt with a lot of people that use even Vimeo Pro or Vimeo Plus or whatever where you can password protect things. But I don’t like the idea of sending my client to Vimeo to see my work it just feels weird to me. You know we like the fact that everything is branded Slice and you go to the Slice editorial website. And the other thing is that in some instances certain types of clients are behind firewalls that don’t allow them to go to quote unquote “entertainment sites.”
CARL 29:33 Yeah. That’s something we’ve run into. One of the things they do is like we use bits on the run so that users RT and P are streaming through video streaming but some over zealous IT guys will block the port for RT and P streaming, so you can’t watch Youtube or anybody else that uses streaming video. We’ve had two or three occasions where we’ve had to tell the folks well you know, you need to go to your IT guys and say “Hey. Open up the port” so that they can stream video, because that’s what we did is streaming video.
CHRIS 30:13 Yeah. So we have – you know I think I’ve talked about it in the past – one of our clients is Charles Schwab and they are a financial company and the security in this building where I am actually at right now is unbelievable. I mean the digital security. They can’t even stick a USB stick in their computer. It’s to the point the security is so tight that it is to the point where it hinders the way people do work. You say “Well I cannot do that. Well what’s the decision. I don’t know.” [chuckle]
CARL 30:46 Well I think we’ve kind of deviated from what the purpose of Vimeo on Demand is. And so what I am thinking is Vimeo on Demand is probably a good option for someone that doesn’t have deep pockets to create their own hosting service or go through the traditional distribution channels like trying to get to Sundance and you know trying to do something with one of the Hollywood big five studios. This is your opportunity to put your short, put your documentary, put your film, whatever – a feature film or short – in a place where most people are going to have a reasonably good viewing experience. You are not going to have to set up payment processing and all of that. You are just going to create an account for $199 and they do a 90/10 revenue split after whatever the transaction fees are. That’s fairly simple so all the work that really remains for you as an independent producer is to create the marketing material and creating the traffic to that particular video.
CHRIS 31:57 What I’m looking forward to seeing is the first Vimeo on Demand hit, that sort of “go-to” thing. It’ll be like The House of Cards is for Netflix, where people stand up and go “Oh, this is totally cool.” And everybody’s like “Have you seen the series? It’s really great. You have to go and check it out.” That’s going to be really interesting to find out what that first hit is because I think this really is – this is incredibly awesome. I think you blog it or posted it on Twitter yesterday where it said Hollywood is shaking in their boots or something.
MITCH 32:38 What about iTunes? Isn’t that a viable thing that’s been around for a while. I know Edward Burns and this put out movies on iTunes. I think it’s maybe harder to become accepted than Vimeo’s thing, but that’s been around for awhile.
CARL 32:56 Yeah, I think it’s really hard to accept to accept it actually. To actually sell your content through iTunes and the revenue split is not as generous. It’s a 70/30 split.
MITCH 33:06 Right.
CARL 33:08 Yeah. You can. A musician friend of mine is selling his music on iTunes.
MITCH 33:11 The big advocate there is that iTunes has heck of a lot of pre-authorized credit cards and they have a huge market already in tow.
CARL 33:23 Yeah. I know mine it’s taking quite a hit because I do a lot of impulse buying. But usually it’s like $2.99, $1.99, $0.99, those type of things.
CHRIS 33:35 Let’s have a race. Let’s see who can get something on Vimeo on Demand for sale. We’ll see how long it takes to do that, and then we’ll also see how long it takes to get the same product on iTunes for sale. I’m–
MITCH 33:51 How are you going to do that?
CARL 33:53 I’m going to bet you that Vimeo on Demand is going to be a whole lot easier experience in that sense.
MITCH 33:57 Oh yeah.
CHRIS 33:59 If this thing is a functional product, I could have a tutorial for sale before the end of the day.
CARL 34:04 Exactly.
CHRIS 34:05 Lunch.
[chuckles] CHRIS 34:09 Except I have a lot of work to do today.
CARL 34:11 You know, I was very excited when iBookStore came out because – or iBookAuthor came out – because I thought, “Wow, this is a cool app. It does a lot of cool things. This is the kind of experience that I would love to create content in this.” But the terms are onerous!
[chuckles] CARL 34:29 I have no guarantee that if I put a paid product out there that it’s going to be accepted. And then it’s limited strictly to the iOS platform. I don’t necessarily want to be limited to the iOS platform.
MITCH 34:43 No you’re not. Back up. You are not limited. You can sell your book any way you want to.
CARL 34:51 If I have multimedia content, I have an interactive book, it’s only going to be in the iBookstore.
CHRIS 34:58 You can create a separate version if you want and sell it wherever you want, but there aren’t any great tools to do that.
CARL 35:06 Right.
MITCH 35:10 I will go back to what I said a minute ago though, the opportunity of the massive market with iPads and iPhones and all these other iDevices is so much bigger than what Vimeo has access to or any other platform. So if it’s a pain to get through, I think it’s worth trying. Edward Burns certainly is making money selling his movies that way.
CARL 35:44 Wait a minute, how is he selling it?
MITCH 35:47 Through iTunes.
CARL 35:47 Through iTunes? Yeah?
MITCH 35:48 Yeah.
CARL 35:51 Well, I don’t know. I wonder – I’d like to find out what Michael– we’re gonna have to have Michael, I keep saying this, I am going to have him on the show.
[chuckles] CARL 36:04 I know he’s updating one of his books and I want to talk about that when he’s ready to talk about it but I see this Vimeo on Demand is something that’s ideal for someone like Michael Carol, who’s been on this show, who’s created his own independent films.
MITCH 36:22 Yeah.
CARL 36:23 I think this is a great opportunity. And I really think the friction is a whole lot less in the iTunes store. I’m not denying that there’s some people making money on the iTunes store but you’re not tied to anybody other than Vimeo. The whole point is to eliminate as many middlemen as you can. Of course, technically Vimeo is a middleman.
MITCH 36:44 Yeah. What’s the difference between that and iTunes?
CARL 36:47 I think it’s just easier.
MITCH 36:50 Okay it’s easier but –
CARL 36:49 It’s a whole lot easier.
MITCH 36:50 But there’s still a middleman compared to Apple is the middle man. What’s the difference?
CARL 36:55 Apple’s taking 30%. Vimeo’s taking 10%.
MITCH 36:59 There is a cost difference, but it’s not like there are three people you got to deal with in the iTunes store. It’s just Apple.
CARL 37:07 Just Apple. [Laughter}
CARL 37:12 I've got to disagree with that respectfully because I think there's a lot of arbitrariness in the Apple store. You know, they might have someone in the store, they might say-- that's what happened to Don McAllister. He had these tutorial apps that were combinations of features and video and they would not let him publish this. They would not approve his apps after he spent thousands of dollars producing these things. Because they called them movie and I don't remember corresponding with Don. I said "Well, you know Rick Sammon does this. He's been doing this for quite some time" and I sent him links to Rick Sammon's apps because they were primarily videos. Why did Sammon's apps not get rejected but Don McAllister's did.
CHRIS 37:57 Favouritism.
CARL 37:59 I don't think it wasn't even favouritism. It's just this guy sitting in this cubicle, going through it, he was having a bad day or maybe his worldviews are little different than the guy over here or the gal over there, reviewed Don McAllister's stuff. Its arbitrary and if you are going to spend thousands of dollars producing content for a specific platform and then they rejected it. That's the problem. If I know going in what the real rules are then I'm willing to spend the money. I've developed an iPhone app awhile back and I tell you the biggest stressor about that whole stupid app was we didn't know if the money that we spent was going to pay off or not. It was like playing the lottery.
MITCH 38:47 Sorry.
MITCH 38:48 Yes, I agree, there is a big problem there.
CARL 38:52 So anyway I think Vimeo on Demand removes a lot of the friction of the Apple iStore - the iTunes store. I think that's the kind of thing that's going to work for independent filmmakers now.
CHRIS 39:04 iTunes is the Walmart of digital distribution.
[laughter] CARL 39:12 I think that’s good analogy.
[laughter] CARL 39:14 Because, have you ever seen the supply chain demands that Walmart put on vendors?
MITCH 39:19 Yes.
CARL 39:20 They’re onerous.
CHRIS 39:21 Very much so. And I think that it’s the same thing – Mitch makes a good point. Yeah. But you’ll have so much more traffic on iTunes, and yeah, that’s totally true – just like being able to sell something inside a Walmart. Now, you might turn a much bigger profit if you say, well screw it – I’m going to sell it at Walmart, but I’m going to set-up a folding table at the edge of their property when people come pulling into the parking lot.
[chuckles] CHRIS 39:51 Yeah. You’re the guy selling stuff on the street corner at that point, and even though you might a better profit — so Vimeo is not a guy on a street corner, but it’s not the Walmart of iTunes.
MITCH 40:03 Yeah. That’s good analogy, Chris.
CARL 40:07 I wonder how long it will be before YouTube makes this available to everyone.
CHRIS 40:12 And this is what I mean about– I’m looking forward to see the go-to, runaway hit that everybody’s talking about. To the point where my brothers are going, “Oh yeah, there’s this thing called Vimeo. There’s this really great show, you should go check it out.” Because they’re not digital junkies like I am, so they’re not on the bleeding edge of all this stuff. That’s what Vimeo needs. And frankly, what they should be doing, is they should be doing like what Netflix has done, with House of Cards, and they should be producing their own content that they’re selling, and showing people, “Look. This is what could be done.” And they should go get a David Fincher, or whatever, and do something that’s really gigantic and huge. And it would be the number one way to advertise the possibility of what Vimeo On Demand could be.
CARL 41:07 That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
[Laughter] CARL 41:11 Well, then the other distribution option for independent filmmakers as well as book authors, as far as that goes, is CreateSpace on amazon.com. Have you ever used that?
CHRIS 41:25 No.
CARL 41:26 Okay. So CreateSpace, self publish and distribute your books videos and music on demand. I first heard about this through Phillip Hodgetts. He wrote a book – I feel bad because I can’t remember the title of the book now – it’s been a few years ago but he was an early adopter of CreateSpace. So he was on demand printing of books. Of course, now you have Kindle and digital distribution that’s available to you as well. And CreateSpace, it’s very easy, in fact, I did it this morning. I just, “Well, okay. I’m going to go create a CreateSpace account.” So I went up and I had it set up in about five minutes. Put in all my account information and so forth and I’m ready to upload something, I just don’t have anything to upload to it. Now, their royalty structure though, I think is I don’t know… I’ll read it to you. It says this is what their press is, it says “You earn a royalty every time customers buy or rent your title, you receive 50% of the purchase or rental price of your title.”
CARL 42:40 That’s awesome. Isn’t that?
[laughter] CARL 42:45 It will give you some money. Of course if it’s a digital product, then alright. I don’t know, but that’s a huge cut of what you’re selling, 50%.
MITCH 42:57 Do you remember our conversation about iStock Photo, a couple of weeks ago? 20% is what you get there.
CARL 43:04 Right.
MITCH 43:05 Horrible. I’ll take 90%, thanks.
CARL 43:10 But there’s a lot of people that are making money writing eBooks for Kindle and putting — I don’t know about the video content per se but I know the big fad right now is create Kindle Books and I have to admit I’m a consumer of Kindle Books even though I don’t have a Kindle.
CHRIS 43:29 Let me ask you a question then, so by doing the CreateSpace account it gives you a place to upload content for sale and what your saying is that content appears in a typical Amazon search?
CARL 43:45 Yes. That is what you’re buying.
CHRIS 43:50 At 50%?
CARL 43:51 At 50%. Part of digital distribution. But a lot of people are selling stuff on Amazon.com.
CHRIS 44:01 I buy it. I buy stuff on Amazon all the time.
CARL 44:04 I do too. I rarely go into a bookstore. Yeah, that’s a true statement. I rarely go into a bookstore, but I went into a Barnes & Noble the other day because I was killing a few minutes of time after meeting with one of my clients. And I just went in there and said “You know what, I haven’t bought a magazine in years” and there was an article – I think it was Wired magazine – I was going to pick it up. It’ll be fun to just read hard copy for a change. So I went to the cashier. There was about three people in line. So I waited five minutes past.
CHRIS 44:45 No way.
CARL 44:46 Yeah, five minutes past. No movement in the line. The woman is at one cashier and she’s just chit chatting with the customer taking her sweet little time.
[laughter] CARL 44:57 A couple more minutes passed and I said okay, I’m quickly reaching the point of– you know the problem with lines is you get committed. You feel like okay. I’ve committed this much of my life so I’m sticking with it. No I didn’t. I just I just said forget it. I put it all back up – of course I was a nice guy, I actually went back and restocked which I shouldn’t have done.
MITCH 45:20 Oh. You shouldn’t have done that. You should have just walked over and put it on the table and said “I’m sorry I don’t have time to wait for you.”
CARL 45:27 So you know what I did? I went home. I went to the newsstand on my iPad and I bought that magazine and I actually ended up buying it for $4.99 versus the $7.99 I would have paid in the store. So they gave me a bad customer experience that just really turned me off, and so I just went home. Then they wonder what’s happening with their businesses. Why bookstores can’t stay alive. They’re not adapting to the times. I know they’ve got the Nook Reader and all of that kind of stuff, but come on you know give a good customer experience if you want to do the hard copy stuff.
CHRIS 46:03 Just the other night I walked by a Barnes & Nobles and–
CARL 46:06 And walked by it. Yeah.
CHRIS 46:07 There’s one in that mall right where I live. Here’s another interesting problem so you know in California real estate is so expensive that you pay for everything and the Barnes & Nobles in a mall that has a paid parking lot so you have to pay–
MITCH 46:26 Oh good grief.
CHRIS 46:28 –an hour or whatever the parking lot. And I walk by the Barnes & Noble and I thought – interesting that you say this Carl – because I had the exact same experience thinking “You know it might be nice to go check out the magazines.” I used to spend so much time perusing magazines. I walk by and I go “You know the car’s two bucks an hour. No, I got to get back to the car.” The very fact that I would have to pay rues– well no, I don’t think so.
CARL 46:57 A musician friend of mine, several years ago, we worked on releasing a – I guess we were early adopters – We were a little bit ahead of our time because we created a record label. And our goal was to – we were going to eliminate the middlemen, like private music, RMI and all those guys – So what we did is we went in and said we’re going to print our own CDs. We went in and did everything ourselves and then we became the distributors. [chuckles] Printed 40,000 copies of CDs and it may seem like a lot or maybe it was just really optimistic, but this guy had sold hundreds of thousands of copies. So there’s no reason to believe that he wouldn’t sell these. But what happened is he did in fact sell them. But he never got a dime for any of them.
CHRIS 47:51 Why?
CARL 47:53 To Barnes & Noble and Borders. Because the only way you can sell to Barnes & Noble and Borders back in those days is you had to go through another middleman. And so that distributor would sell to the bookstore inventory and then he would invoice the bookstore. The bookstore wouldn’t pay the distributor, and the distributor wouldn’t pay the artist and then the distributor would file bankruptcy. And so we had all that inventory. They were sold because I would go into all these stores. I was doing spot checks. They had us well stocked. I could go into any Borders, Barnes & Noble, CD Warehouse, wherever, BestBuy and I’d find our CD in there. But we didn’t get money for those CDs.
CHRIS 48:46 Selling off the shelf?
CARL 48:47 Yeah. They were selling off the shelf. They had bought the inventory but they hadn’t paid for the inventory and they never did.
MITCH 48:54 Great.
CHRIS 48:55 Looks like a good business to be in.
CARL 48:59 Yeah, it’s a great business. So you wonder– how did I get off into this, we’re supposed to be talking about indie distribution.
[laughter] CARL 49:05 But you see the old model, it benefited a few. But see today– and we may complain about this 50% thing with Amazon, but at least Amazon is not really stealing your stuff, no one can steal it. They buy it, they bought it and you’re going to get a cut, even though it may just be 50%. It’s better than what we got with Barnes & Noble and Borders which was zero. A big fat zero.
CHRIS 49:36 So what you’re saying in essence is that there is injustice in the world.
CARL 49:44 Oh did I say that? There will always be that, won’t there? You just got to figure out how to eliminate the bits and pieces that will screw with you there.
CHRIS 49:58 I feel like selling something on Vimeo On Demand.
[laughter] CARL 50:01 You should.
CARL 50:02 Let me ask you another question. Do you think Netflix could be a viable distribution platform for indie producers?
CHRIS 50:11 Interesting question. Yeah if they wanted to deal with the accounting. That’s really the issue with these things and Apple always said that the reason they didn’t let indies use iTunes is that they didn’t want to deal with the accounting but that’s not entirely true because they’ll gladly take my money $0.99 at a time, why won’t they give it to me $0.99 at a time.
MITCH 50:32 No Carl, Netflix would be horrible because they don’t have individual pricing. It’s just basically you pay a flat fee per month. If my movie were watched how would I get a chunk of that money?
CARL 50:52 Well there’s a blogger his name is Jason Brubaker and he has a cool website that I just discovered it’s called Filmmaking Stuff. And he has an article called “Sell A Movie To Netflix.” Now this published back in April of 2011 so I don’t know if this is still current or not. But he makes his point. He says in the world of Indie filmmaking, it sure seems like Netflix has become the holy grail. But after working with several other filmmakers on their distribution strategy, I really do not think Netflix offers the Indie film maker a viable option for distribution. And part of the problem, he’s says, just getting your movie in their database. How do you do that? Who do you contact? How do you just get it in there?
CARL 51:37 It seems to be like Apple’s store, it’s kind of arbitrary, who gets in and who doesn’t. And then he says, even if you are fortunate enough to get into their database, you still need a gazillion people to ask for your movie in their Netflix queue. And then this will influence the actual amount of money Netflix will offer you.
MITCH 51:58 Right, so that’s the difference. It would be more like a true distribution deal where somebody says okay, your movie is worth $500,000 for me to try to distribute.
CARL 52:10 Right.
MITCH 52:11 As opposed to a one piece at a time thing like Vimeo.
CARL 52:14 Yeah. Okay. So that doesn’t seem like an attractive option. It would be cool if you could do that. I imagine it’s the same with Hulu and Roku and some of these other services, which I have no experience with, whatsoever. I’m really out of my league talking about this, because I have no experience with any of them. And I don’t have anything that could go on any of them.
MITCH 52:35 Well, I think the major advantage and excitement about Vimeo and iTunes is the fact that you can get your movie up there, that you don’t have to sell it to anybody, that you can sell it one piece at a time. You don’t have to do a $500,000 deal with iTunes, in order to have it published. That’s the big advantage.
CARL 52:57 And that’s all I know. I think it’s a pretty cool thing.
MITCH 53:03 It is. It should open up a lot of movie options for people to sell their movie to five people, and they’ll say “Hey, look, I’ve got a movie that people have bought.
CHRIS 53:18 I’m interested. So two-hour listeners here is our task. Find something that you want to sell on video-on-demand, Vimeo on Demand, and let us know. I want to buy something that’s worth watching.
MITCH 53:31 I’m going to put Incident on Marmont Avenue up there.
CARL 53:35 There you go. Try that, and see what happens. So what would you price it at?
MITCH 53:41 Barry is in Hawaii right now, I can’t talk to him about that. [laughter] I’m jealous, can you tell?
CARL 53:47 You’re mad Eddie. Well, you’ll get over it when he gets to town.
CHRIS 53:52 No phones in Hawaii?
MITCH 53:53 No.
CARL 53:54 No. He’s mad, Eddie.
MITCH 54:00 Realistically because it’s a 15-minute short, in comparison like a rental on iTunes is $5, right? Which I think is ridiculous for a full-length movie, of course, this is more of a purchase as opposed to a rental, isn’t it?
CHRIS 54:24 Yup.
MITCH 54:25 And so that’s different.
CHRIS 54:27 And have it only available for X number of days.
CARL 54:31 I’m thinking 150 bucks.
[laughter] MITCH 54:37 That’d be a great price if I want to sell it zero times.
CHRIS 54:42 So what have you did to movie and ended a bit behind the scenes and a technical how to, how you work with, how you got your actors, big name actors. How did you work with them? How did you direct them? How did you produce it? How did you choose the music? How did you go through the editing process? What were the trade-offs? What was…
MITCH 55:01 That’s the ebook I’m working on.
CHRIS 55:02 Oh. Okay.
CHRIS 55:04 Now it becomes a school.
CARL 55:05 Yeah, exactly. Vimeo on Demand is one. You’re putting a price tag on one individual video. I could use Vimeo Pro and I know someone who does that already and they’re having good success with that. So I could do that, but because I have so much of the video [chuckle], I would probably– and also I want some really detailed analytics because I want to know where people are – how they’re watching the video, where we’re losing people. I want to see what the engagement is on the episodes that we do, because that helps us do better, make better videos knowing where people are dropping off. So I am seriously looking at Wistia.com for our product. So our version 3.0 of [inaudible] TV I may switch from Bits on the Run to Wistia because of the analytics that they have and plus they’re less expensive, a lot less expensive.
MITCH 56:09 Smart and simple video hosting. Maybe they would sponsor our show.
CARL 56:15 Nice. That would be nice. I like the way – they got a lot of cool stuff going on. The other thing in Wistia is that you got a lot of call to action themes and the player is very good and I love the quality of their video compression. Bits on the Run is so stinking ugly I just I don’t what it is and they are not growing I don’t see any technological advancements with the Bits on the Run it’s kind of like they have been there for all this time and they are not — As far as I know I don’t see any improvement. There hasn’t been any changes to the analytics there hasn’t been any changes to the quality of the videos and my bill – just gives you the idea of how expensive this can be in January this year I sent them $816.49.
CHRIS 57:07 That’s awesome.
CARL 57:09 So now I’ve got to renew. It’s mid March and I’ve got to refill up and spend another $800-$900.
CHRIS 57:21 And is that because of the bandwidth that you’re being charged for.
CARL 57:21 Yeah. Because I’m streaming almost 200 gigabytes every thirty days and that only goes up as we get more subscribers. So that’s a good problem to have. The subscribers are paying for it. Now, I’m at that point where okay, Bits on the Run– at the time when I chose them, there weren’t really a whole lot of options out there. See now there are a some options, there’s iPlay or HD is out there. They have a good quality conversions. They have a nice player. They have RTMP streaming playlist and they’re only 30 bucks a month. I would have to pay a little more to use them because I exceed their normal parameters of hosting. I could go with them. But Wistia has been just knocking it out of the ballpark, man. I signed up for a trial with them and their quality is just superb and I love their player. And I love their support, they’re very responsive. Whereas Bits on the Run, I can be days before I hear something from somebody.
CHRIS 58:27 It’s an interesting note about providing a product or a service is that in today’s day and age where everything works so quickly, we look for change. We are expecting improvements, we have come to assume that things will get upgraded and when they sit stale for a period of time we get antsy.
CARL 58:50 Well I guess we’ve beat this up a good bit. I guess we need to move on. It’s about time to wrap up the show.
CHRIS 58:57 Mitch, aren’t you a Drobo user? Don’t you have a Drobo?
MITCH 59:01 I did. I dropped the Drobo for a Thunder Tube’s G-RAID when I upgraded my iMac.
CHRIS 59:10 That’s right. I remember now.
MITCH 59:13 It’s still sitting here on my desk as a back-up actually. I actually use it as a back-up but I usually don’t have it plugged in.
CHRIS 59:19 We’re getting another iMac today. It’s supposed to be in the mail.
CARL 59:24 Cool. I have a Drobo Elite that has an ISCSI interface so I use ISCSI which is basically the ethernet cable.
CHRIS 59:34 How’s that work? Can you edit off of ISCSI?
CARL 59:36 No. No. It’s never lived up to its dream or its promise. In fact it took about a year for them to finally get the drivers fixed so that you would have transfer speeds that were not glacial. USB2 hard drive would just run rings around the Drobo and it use to just annoy the daylights out of me.
MITCH 60:04 I bet.
CARL 60:05 But now it’s relatively fast, but I say relatively, it’s not – there’s no way you could edit from it. I can’t. It’s just won’t work. I’ve tried it. It’s a miserable experience.
MITCH 60:18 Well, I’ll never go back now that I’ve done Thunder Tubes. It’s amazing the speed this thing has.
CARL 60:27 Really awesome isn’t it?
MITCH 60:28 Yes.
CHRIS 60:28 Yeah, the Pegasus that I have, the R-4, is just been – that is my work drive. So these where the project reside. The Drobo serves as a intermediate archive if you will. And then the individual bare metal drives are my back-ups and several of those go to the – you get rotated out of the vault at my bank from time to time.
CARL 60:51 Cool.
MITCH 60:54 Mine go to my mother-in-law’s house.
CARL 60:57 She runs? [chuckle]
CARL 61:00 Always make sure you got a copy somewhere that’s not in your house, right?
MITCH 61:02 Yeah.
MITCH 61:04 Amen to that.
CARL 61:06 Alright guys. It’s been, kind of a fragmented interesting show, right?
MITCH 61:13 Right. They’re always interesting.
CARL 61:15 Yeah. So, Planet Mitch where can people find out about you?
MITCH 61:20 The forums at Planet5D.com.
CARL 61:21 Alright, Mr. Chris Fenwick.
CHRIS 61:24 You can always find my stuff on my blog, chrisfenwick.com. And you can follow me on Twitter at @chrisfenwick, and I’m also on Vine because everybody should be making little six second Vine movies.
CARL 61:40 You’ll become a better movie maker if you do.
CHRIS 61:43 Yeah, that’s interest – there’s some – actually on Vine, there’s a feature called ‘Editors picks’ or ‘Favorite’ or what’s popular right now. And there’s some really creative stuff, people have taken that six second limit and done some clever things, so.
CARL 61:55 That’s cool. That’s cool. Alright. You can find me at digitalfilm.TV, as well as gainfullyemployed.TV. And on Twitter as The Carl Olson, that’s spelled O-L-S-O-N. And we want to thank our show sponsors, Crumplepop Film and Broadcast Effects for Final Cut Pro. Please rate us, leave us feedback in iTunes and we certainly–
MITCH 62:19 Tell your friends. Tell your friends.
CARL 62:19 Yeah, certainly do that. Appreciate everyone listening to the show. We’re up to episode – yeah, this is episode 114. We recorded it March 17th in time warp. [chuckles] Well, March 13th, but we really thank everyone for joining us. Join us next week. There are more stuff to talk about. Send us your questions, we’d like to do a list your question show. So, just send, if you got something you’d like us to comment on or research. We’ll give it our best shot. So go out there and format your CF card, your USD card and charge up your batteries and clean your lenses, get them all nice and sparkly and dust off your script. Write a script, you got be better than that. Just get out there and write a script. Get our there and make a movie. Well, gentlemen, I think that’s a wrap.