Film may be one of the only industries where long-term revenue is marginalized (by the press) in favor of short-term earnings. Weekend grosses are hardly a bellwether of a film’s ultimate success (as far as financials are concerned, at least). A ten million opening weekend for “Clerks II” may not make for sexy headlines, but it puts us on target to hit our profitability mark of twenty million. How many films this summer (shit, in any quarter of the fiscal year) have doubled their budget in their opening weekend? How many will hit their profitability mark theatrically, to the point where home video (wherein the real filthy lucre lies) is all gravy? No matter how many times Nikki cries “failure”, the cold hard truth of the matter is that “Clerks II” will earn. Maybe not big (theatrically), but we’ll earn. Numbers never lie. How hard is it to comprehend a business model that’s outside the norm? For many, not very. For Nikki? It’s old dogs and new tricks (and, in truth, this low budget “trick” isn’t even all that new).
Let me put it another way: I was not gifted with a big dick and I grew up fat (and grew to be even fatter). Because of these shortcomings, I learned to eat pussy really well. That way, ultimately, I can provide a satisfying enough sexual experience where whatever chick was feeling charitable enough to get horizontal with me might reason “He did make me cum once, so I’ll give him another shot,” somewhere down the road. I took that logic into filmmaking, too: my stuff isn’t wildly popular in the mainstream, but if I make up for the lack of audience by spending less, ultimately, I can turn someone a profit. Harvey and Bob Weinstein have always respected this, which is why I still have a job after twelve years and no theatrical grosser over $30mil. In essence, Harvey and Bob have only financed five of the seven flicks I’ve made because… well, because I lick their pussies well enough, I guess.
Now, if all teachers could emulate Kevin's approach to teaching with humour, I think school would be a lot more fun for everyone involved, don't you?
The first of our Ebay auctions went better than expected. I really thought this would take at least a few months to really get rolling, but we sold all three available spots on G'Day World. The PSP Show sold one of three. It should really have done better than G'Day World because it has a specific target audience - people who play the PSP. Anyone writing games or applications for the PSP should be advertising on it. Whereas G'Day World's audience is best described as people who DON'T think I'm an idiot - which is a small and eclectic bunch of people. Anyway - some further education required. The rest of this first batch of auctions have some bids as well but we still have some spots without bids.
I'm kicking myself for not starting these auctions ages ago. Like I'm also kicking myself for not moving to the US a year ago. My 2WebCrew mate Nik Cubrilovic, The Boy From Gong, is kicking ass and taking names over there for his start-up Omnidrive and detailed in this story in the Sydney Morning Herald. Anyone in the US with a spare couch I can sleep on for a couple of months? I don't eat much. All I need is broadband.
My Flickr Pro account expires on Sept 1. Should I pay another US$25 for another year or should I change to another photo service, like, for example, Zooomr? What other online photo services are you kids using? Any recommendations for me?
Only 18 hours to go on the first round of G'Day World auctions and so far we've got a couple of live bids. The other shows that we've put up also have bids, so it's going well for a first round! Check out all of the auctions here.
Wayne Turmel, host of TPN's Cranky Middle Manager podcast, was recently interviewed for a terrific article in the Chicago Tribune. Check it out (registration required). His sense of humour really comes through and he talks about why he does a podcast. Wayne's been with us a year and has one of the top rated shows on TPN and I'm really happy to see him get some recognition. Onya mate!
Every now and again I get to do a podcast that feels important. It's obviously not up to me to judge whether or not they actually DO mean anything. But they feel right. This is one of them. Tonight I interviewed Ibrahim, a blogger who lives about 40kms from Beirut. He has been calling for PEACE NOW on his blog for the last couple of
weeks and getting a wide range of responses, from international support
to extreme criticism. He talks to me about the background to the
current conflict, his personal perspectives on what needs to happen to
secure peace, the role of bloggers in a time of war and we even talk
about time travel (he’s a SCIFI nut).
Last night, after we finished recording G'Day World, Michael Bailey skyped me and told me he had a new idea he wanted to run past me. What if he built a service that would make it easy to get a screengrab of a website? I said "hell yeah, that'd rock", as I often go through the laborious process of CTRL-PRTSCN, then find an image program to dump it into, export as jpeg, upload to flickr, and FINALLY you have a URL to post into a blog.
Well 12 hours later and Michael has it built. He's called it THUMBPRESS.
I was chatting with someone yesterday over coffee about TPN and trying to monetize it, and I mentioned that we have about 250,000 listeners. He said that's about the same circulation as The Age gets for their weekend edition in Melbourne. He explained that, although they claim a readership of 1,000,000, that's based on the presumption that four people read every copy of the paper that is actually bought. I'd love to pull that one with TPN... surely you guys are sharing around the podcasts you download, right?
Anyway, he made the point that an ad on the front page of The Weekend Age, sells for something like $50,000. Now I just need to figure out how to find advertisers that want to reach our international audience of early technology adopters, bloggers and podcasters.
I've been thinking lately that the ideal "network" advertiser for TPN would be one of these Silicon Valley Web2.0 start-ups that raise a bunch of cash from some Sandhill Road VC. Surely they have "marketing" against a column in their budget. What are they going to spend it on, Superbowl Ads? Not in 2006. We have the audience they want to get to. I need someone to be reading TechCrunch and hitting everyone of them when they pop up.
Today I'm launching the first of an ongoing series of Ebay auctions to sell advertising space on TPN podcasts, starting with G'Day World. There are three advertising spaces available on G'Day World and more to come on other TPN podcasts over the course of this week.