Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Terrortory 2 Update, Plus Stuff

I know, been a while, right? It's almost like I've been busy. So here's a couple of bts pics from Terrortory 2.

Josh and Alex in the "Mad Gathering" segment. People should pay attention to this segment, because there's more than meets the eye here.

Two funny things about this shot: One, how fat I am here. Clearly I was putting on the weight, and I'm now down 20 pounds from there. Second, we barely used my steadicam rig at all--it's very time consuming when you want to change a lens, because it throws off the balance on the rig and you have to reset the whole thing. We don't have that kind of time on these shoots.

A little spoiler alert here--yes, the Midnight Clown AND Smiling Jack--together in one segment. The pic above shows you how much post-work goes into making Jack's head look hollow. I did a quick pass on the pic just to show you sort of what I have to do to EVERY FRAME of the movie that Jack is in. (remove the eye holes(on both side of the pumpkin "nose") and hollow out the head.


Anyway, the big stop on Terrortory 2 right now is the weather. We have one segment left to shoot, but because it features an actress being completely naked outside, covered in blood at night...well, under 50 degree weather isn't going to work.

I keep looking at every weekend of April, and have to keep pushing it. And every time I push it, I lose an actor or a crew member who can't work on a weekend. It's pretty frustrating.

This segment has been cursed. I've NEVER encountered as many problems on ANY shoot I've ever done like I have on this segment.

But I am nothing if not stubborn. We've got some great actors who are all committed to the new dates, so weather-permitting, we're shooting it soon. Hell, even if the weather doesn't cooperate, I may shoot it anyway at this point.

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I've started getting music from Terry, the composer to the main storyline. He'll also do the Mad Gathering segment, but so far he's sent about the first 8 minutes of music and it's great. It's very nice to not have to micromanage everything, and he seems to have a great grasp on what I was looking for.

One of the highlights of making a movie is when you get music to lay over your film. It never quite FEELS like a movie until the music starts going on. All of a sudden things start clicking, and a lot of the second-guessing of myself goes away.

I also talked to Ben, the other composer who will do more synth-based scores for the other segments. He's excited to start working. I sent him the Pumpkin Trail, and I'm as equally excited to hear some new stuff from him.

Lastly, I secured the end-credit song. Contract signed, money paid. The group is insanely talented, and I love a number of their songs so I was psyched when they said yes to me. (but I stayed silent until the contract was signed) More on them after the movie comes out.

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On the Amazon front, their new pay schedule started, but here's the rub: They are showing NO earnings estimates on any of the Prime movies now. They haven't since March 1st. I just this week finally sent them a message to find out what's up, when are they going to start showing what we're making, and this was their reply:

Thank you for contacting Prime Video Direct. I understand you would like more information on when Prime royalties will begin displaying in the Earnings Report again. Your Earnings report will display Prime royalties again in June (or sooner). 

I'm sorry for the inconvenience this has caused. In the meantime, exporting the Performance Metrics report will allow you to calculate the earnings for March, April and May's Prime streaming events. We issue payments approximately 90 days after the end of the month in which the revenue event occurred. 

This means that earnings for March will be paid in June. By the time the payment is issued, the Earnings report will display Prime earnings so that you can reconcile your payments properly. 

For more details regarding Royalties and Reports, check our Help pages: - Royalties: https://videocentral.amazon.com/home/help?topicId=202037410 - Reports: https://videocentral.amazon.com/home/help?topicId=G201973680 If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us back.

So technically you can figure out what they owe you by adding up all your minutes, dividing by 60, and then multiplying by .06

But it's not as easy as they make it seem. The spreadsheet they send you every month is organized for the bi-polar. For me, there's 7 movies, there's a different line for each country for each movie(so you can see what you earned in pounds, in yen, etc), then a different line for the movie if someone PAID for it rather than just stream it for free.

It's all just thrown in randomly. Like, if all of Garden of Hedon's were together you might be able to figure it out, but it's like--screw it, I'll show you.

Obviously I blurred some numbers. But this should give you an idea.

I did look into Distribber and a couple of other options, but I'm not sure it's worth the amount of work and money I'd have to dump into it to get it all moving, and I'd DEFINITELY not be able to put the movie on Amazon in October if I did it. (I'd have to let it run through a lot of the other options before putting it on there).

So I think we're just going to do it the same way as the first and see what happens. We got a LOT of views on the first Terrortory, so I've gotta hope we can do at least that again. My entire month of September and October is going to be spent promoting the film.




Saturday, March 3, 2018

Amazon Video New Payment Plan: It's Worse Than You Thought

If you didn't read my post when I first heard the news, go read that first:
https://indyfilmmakeradvs.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-amazon-shoe-just-dropped.html

For some reason I had it in my mind that if your video reached the insane 5,000,000 hours streamed to get back to the $.15/hour payscale, that would mean Amazon would pay you $.15/hour for ALL 5,000,000 hours.

It appears that it's not that way. That they will pay you the lesser rates up until 5,000,000 and then start paying you the $.15/hour for any time after that many.

It's insane.

But it gets worse...

They're also going to RESET YOUR STATS every January 1st. So if you thought that hey, maybe you'll get to the next pay tier later--say, September...then you're only getting the better pay for 3 months before your stats go back to zero.

It's crazy. It really feels like Amazon was getting too many submissions and this is their attempt to slow down the submissions.

As if that'll work...I mean, Youtube is free and millions of people put their shit up on there.

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On how our flicks are doing...the past two months were the strongest since last January. Mostly on the back of Garden of Hedon and the Making Of . The Making Of Bounty has certainly seen an uptick which correlated with Bounty's views going up too, but nowhere near what GOH is.

Shame to watch that money get cut by 60% from now on, but I guess it's because Amazon needs to pay all those taxes they payed last year.

https://www.seattlepi.com/business/tech/article/Amazon-paid-no-US-income-taxes-for-2017-12713961.php


Thursday, February 1, 2018

Abandoned Asylum, The Re-Visit

Went back today with both brothers this time. We hit some of the buildings  we hadn't been in before, including the church. Also found an underground entrance to somewhere, but didn't have time to check it out. Maybe next trip.

It was funny going into the church--there was two people already there shooting video. They asked if we could wait five minutes, so we did.

We heard the one guy doing some sort of monologue to God, so after we went in we asked him what they were shooting. The guy said he was doing a spoken-word poem for his church.

The funny part was, they walked out to the alcove as they were leaving--out of our sight--and then we hear a spray paint can being shaken--then the sound of them spraying.

What kind of church guy graffiti's a place? (I mean, it's not like it's out of place with how much is already there, but still...made us all laugh)





























Monday, January 29, 2018

The Amazon Shoe Just Dropped

You can't say I didn't warn you to get your movies up there as soon as possible.

Amazon today announced an overhaul on their payout that will absolutely destroy our ability to make any significant money on movies. Personally it probably means I'm going to lose money on Terrortory 2 unless I seek out other venues, and the problem with that is that many of those venues don't want your film if it's already playing on Amazon.

Amazon used to pay a measly $.15 per hour of your movie streamed, but it could add up to okay money if you keep your budgets very low.

Now, unless you stream over 6,000,000 minutes then you will be paid a pauper's $.06 per hour for your film. Roughly a 60% cut to their rates.

If you can stream over 6,000,000 minutes then you get a dime per hour.

If you can stream 30,000,000--that's 30 million minutes--then you can get back up to the $.15 per hour.

All of my movies combined from when I put them up nearly two years ago wouldn't add up to that.

So do we have any other options? As far as I can see, no. There is no other way to get your movie out there as easily and with the accounting transparency that Amazon has. Distributors will demand a lot of things that will cost you more money(QC--quality control--can bury you in thousands of dollars of additional debt)--and they probably won't offer you an advance.

Which means you probably won't see any money.

The only other thing I'd now consider is an aggregator who could submit to places like Hulu, Netflix and Itunes, but that costs upfront money for EACH place you submit to, and doesn't guarantee you placement on the venue. Also, even if you're accepted to, say, Netflix...you don't know what they're going to offer you, and you now have to pass their quality control standards.

Wish I had better news, believe me.

You can read the full text of their new terms here:
https://videocentral.amazon.com/home/help?topicId=G202037410&ref_=avd_sup_G202037410


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Making Of Bounty -- Now on Amazon Prime



My continued attempts at Amazon Prime world domination continue -- I put the scene study "Naked Cannibalism" in front of the Making Of, and exported the whole thing out. The Naked Cannibalism is just a 10 minute segment going into the detail of the motel scene.

It has a LOT of nudity. Hence, putting it at the front. The Making of GOH formula. If it's not broke, don't fix it, right?

I even went ahead and made a cheesy poster by taking one of my stills and putting a really poorly-photoshopped bikini on it. I'm pretty sure Savannah has never worn a bathing suit in her life.

Hopefully I can get some eyes on this, which will lead to more eyes on Bounty.

I mean, it has Tom Proctor in it, so how can it be the least-watched flick in my oeuvre? Guy's the coolest guy in the universe.



Friday, January 19, 2018

The Making Of Garden of Hedon--it's big, folks.



There's a sight I haven't seen for a while. One of my movies in the top 100 horror chart...and it's a Making Of!

The numbers keep going up on it, and pulling the actual movie "Garden of Hedon" up with them.

I can tell you that it's cemented the plan to put the "Making Of Bounty" up there in order to get more eyes on that movie, which is my least-seen film on Amazon(which is weird, cuz it stars the legendary Tom Proctor!).

I'll put an eye-catching(read: BEWBS) poster for it, and hopefully start getting some people to check that movie out. I'm fiercely proud of that movie, and especially what we were able to accomplish on the smallest budget I've ever worked with(before Terrortory).

But don't believe the internet about "Bounty". There are no zombies in it. Trust me.

https://books.google.com/books?id=52NyBAAAQBAJ&pg=PA344&lpg=PA344&dq=bounty+zombie+kevin+kangas&source=bl&ots=qCj6f_8wj2&sig=P1WKzXsXqHrppBXYjUaP1BGTL1Q&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj6zq-4g-TYAhUESq0KHSNuDGUQ6AEIWTAM#v=onepage&q=bounty%20zombie%20kevin%20kangas&f=false



Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Updates. Amazon Prime. Terrortory 2. Garden of Hedon.

Don't have imdbpro? Well, the above is what a page of it looks like. Well, specifically MY page. As you can see, how exciting! I'm the 84,787th most popular person in/out of Hollywood, which is up like 173,000 spots from where I was last week.

What does all this have to do with anything?

Well, if you saw my last post then you know the Making Of Garden of Hedon went live about a month ago on Amazon Prime. I put it AND the Making of the first Fear of Clowns on there. I think they both have some entertaining parts, but obviously GOH has the boobs so I figured it would do better.

It has, and not just because Amazon's metrics screwed up on the FOC making of, claiming that ZERO minutes were watched the first month it was up. I knew that wasn't true. Eventually they got back to me and said it was a glitch in the system, but they did have the numbers and would update them.

Eventually they did, but sure makes it hard to trust them, right?

Anyway, the Making of GOH started climbing a few weeks ago. Did good numbers in the UK, like three times as much as the U.S., but then the U.S. started climbing.

In the past week, it's doing more than all my other movies combined and is steadily climbing up the page popularity list.

Obviously, putting it up was a way to get some more minutes per month in the metrics, but my secondary plan was to hope that if they stumbled on the Making Of, then maybe they'd be interested enough to check out the actual movie "Garden of Hedon".

I'm happy to say THAT'S working out too, as GOH has been logging 5-10 times the traffic it was doing over the past couple of months.

And that picture up there shows that it's pretty high on the movie meter--it usually hovers been 20,000 and 35,000 on the meter, but right now it's at 11,000. That's pretty high, so people are definitely checking it out.

I guess the question to be asked is this: What can filmmakers take from this? That putting a Making Of on Amazon can help lead people to your movies?

I wish I could say that's a definitive yes, but the reason I put TWO Making Ofs up at the same time was to test it. Putting up one tells you nothing. Put up two...you can compare.

And the Making of Fear of Clowns has done VERY little. Which leads me to believe if you have some sexy chicks to put on the cover of your Making Of, they will for sure be more of a draw than a shirtless clown.

So I'd say if your Making Of poster has sex appeal, by all means put it up and perhaps it will draw people to it AND your movie.

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Man, I'm DYING to show you this poster. It's so freaking cool.

I sort of put Terrortory 2 on the back burner as I finished other things. We're still working on some of the effects, but since I'm leaning more and more to releasing in October, I have plenty of time to finish it. I can take a serious breather and go back to it with fresh eyes.


Here's a throwback pic to the first Terrortory's Midnight Clown segment--and one of these characters will have an appearance in the sequel! Which one will it be?