Be Kind, Fast Forward with Jamie Wilkinson (Episode 81)

Jamie Wilkinson is the co-founder and CEO of VHX, a service that delivers movies online to the customers of filmmakers. They exist in sharp contrast to many video sites — operated by the likes of Amazon, Apple, and others — in that they only deliver films free of digital rights management, take a sliver of the purchase price, and truly facilitate filmmakers reaching their audiences.

Sponsors and patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

Thanks to Cards Against Humanity, which is helping underwrite our new indie ads: inexpensive, short advertisements designed for independent artists, makers, programmers, and others. Thanks to Cards Against Humanity, which just launched a site where you can buy directly from them, including their Bigger Blacker Box and their 2012 and 2013 holiday packs, the profits from which are donated to charity.

Our indie advertisers this week are:

  • GaymerX, the inclusive gaming conference for everyone, celebrates the diverse culture and history of gaming. Get $20 off registration with the code "newdisruptors."

  • Pixelwits: hand-crafted pixel portraits. Listen in the show for a chance to win a custom portrait by following @jesselane.

  • DrinkControl helps you to keep track of moderate drinking and your drink expenses.

  • And an ebook novella, Scolding the Winds, is currently being funded, and you can help make it happen.

Thanks also to patrons Ben Werdmuller, Alex Bond, and Garry Pugh for supporting us directly through Patreon! You can back this podcast for as little as $1 per month. At higher levels, we'll thank you on the air and send you mugs and T-shirts!

Show notes

Alex's co-founder is Casey Pugh. He directed Stars Wars Uncut with which Jamie was deeply involved. Jamie also built the Know your Meme system. Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail mentions how many screens on which movies are shown when they are in wide release. The number of movie screens in America has increased in recent years! Andy Baio is one of the guys behind XOXO, which just announced its 2014 line-up and registration. Dave Sifry coined the phrase, "the Magic Middle."

Shane Carruth shoots sometimes on inexpensive gear. I and Jamie mentioned the Red camera and Black Magic Camera.

Julian Velard used PledgeMusic to fundraise for a recent album. Jack Conte of Pomplamoose explained how poorly YouTube pays even with massive traffic in his talk at XOXO 2013. Louis CK solid a concert for $5 and changed the economics of that forever.

I spoke to Adam Cornelius and Chris Higgins about their movies The Tetris Masters (2011) and Coined (upcoming) in last week's episode. Lisanne Pajot is the co-creator of Indie Game: The Movie. Aziz Ansari handled his comedy concert with VHX.

Kickstarter has started to produce reported features on creators, starting with this terrific one about Max Tempkin, friend of the show and one of the creators of Cards Against Humanity.

Jamie and I compared notes about the movie Stripped, which used iTunes, VHX, and Google Play during its launch. The creators of that film were guests on this podcast a few weeks ago. The redemption process for the Veronica Mars movie was kind of a mess, but it all got worked out. They relied on Ultraviolet. VHX posted a case study called "Stripped and the Power of Bonus Content."

It's Like Money You Can't Hold with Chris Higgins and Adam Cornelius (Episode 80)

Adam Cornelius and Chris Higgins are making the film Coined, about the rise of cryptocurrency. They previously worked together on Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters. Adam is a documentary filmmaker; Chris, a journalist. They've just launched a Kickstarter to fund Coined, and have shot quite a bit of footage already. We talk about what they learned on the last film and how they plan to make the next one.

Sponsors & patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

Thanks to Cards Against Humanity, which is helping underwrite our new indie ads: inexpensive, short advertisements designed for independent artists, makers, programmers, and others. Thanks to Cards Against Humanity, which just launched a site where you can buy directly from them, including their Bigger Blacker Box and their 2012 and 2013 holiday packs, the profits from which are donated to charity.

Our indie advertisers this week are:

  • In Flux, a new compilations album from Brave Wave by video-game composers. Get 10% off with coupon code DISRUPT.
  • Storming Mortal, an interview podcast with technological celebrities
  • Rainblocks, a fast-paced iOS puzzle game featuring charming pixel art
  • Bee, an issue tracker and timesheet app for the Mac
  • Chroma Videos, a professional promotional video service for Mac and iOS app developers
  • Wordundrum, an iOS game that's like Sudoku with words
  • The Novelist, a quiet introspective game, currently 50% off

Thanks also to patrons GravityFish, Mike Mansor, and George O'Toole for supporting us directly through Patreon! You can back this podcast for as little as $1 per month. At higher levels, we'll thank you on the air and send you mugs and T-shirts!

Show notes

Dogecoin is a cryptocurrency that "forked" from Bitcoin, and uses the same open-source underlying code. It was meant as a bit of a joke, and now represents a somewhat illiquid equivalent of tens of millions of US dollars. The Dogecoin community, highly active on Reddit, threw a party in New York in February that Adam and Chris attended to film. Billy Marcus forked Dogecoin.

We talked about a bunch of documentaries:

The inimitable Jason Scott documents (in NSFW language) the extent to which King of Kong was problematic in its narrative and treatment of its subjects. A Harper's article about the controversy is locked in its archives. Twin Galaxies, the definitive video game achievement site, is currently up!

Adam Cornelius not only made a movie about competitive Tetris, he co-created the Classic Tetris World Championship, which returns for its fifth iteration in Portland this October. Chris wrote an article for The Magazine, "Playing to Lose," about the event.

Dogecoin has a tipbot on Reddit that makes it easy to be generous. Berkshire Hathaway is $190,347 a share at this writing (for its "A" shares; its "B" tracking shares are $127 each). When Dogecoin's "reward" — the coins received for mining — halves, it's called the Halvening.

Creativity, Inc, a great book by Pixar co-chief Ed Catmull about dealing with failure, documents how the animation studio nearly lost all of Toy Story 2 because of a failure to have good backups.

VHX works with filmmakers to distribute their work digitally. Next week's episode (81) of The New Disruptors is an interview with co-founder and CEO Jamie Wilkinson. A monopsony is a market in which there is a single buyer for goods or services that can dictate terms to sellers. This is like Amazon being the dominant seller of DVDs and Blu-Rays on line holding Warner Home Video over a barrel (as it is now) to negotiate prices.

Humble Bundle creates packages of digital media (games, books, movies, and more) and lets buyers set their price, a portion of which goes to charity. If one pays above the average price, one gets additional parts of the bundle.

Lisanne Pajot, the co-creator of Indie Game, recently was hired by VHX as its filmmaker ambassador. She and James Swirsky, her partner on the film, finally had the time to get married after years of constant work on the movie!

Sara Benincasa is nearing the end of her Kickstarter for her "This Tour Is So Gay" project, which is a live storytelling show.

Live in Portland: Book Reading and The Doubleclicks (Episode 75)

Listen in as The Doubleclicks, a geeky two-sister band, perform four songs, and four authors read parts of their reported features from The Magazine: The Book at our last live book event in Portland, Oregon. The event was held at Reading Frenzy, and features John Patrick Pullen, Alison Hallett, Chris Higgins, and Elly Blue.

Sponsors & patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

We're sponsored this week by Cards Against Humanity, which just launched a site where you can buy directly from them, including their Bigger Blacker Box and their 2012 and 2013 holiday packs, the profits from which are donated to charity.

 

Thanks to patrons George O'Toole, Jonathan Mann, and Sean Wickett for supporting us directly through Patreon! You can back this podcast for as little as $1 per month. At higher levels, we'll thank you on the air and send you mugs and T-shirts!

Show notes

Chloe Eudaly owns the bookstore Reading Frenzy. It raised over $50,000 via Kickstarter to move its store after losing its downtown lease and then having a space fall though. If you visit Portland, you have to stop by.

Andy Baio is one of the fellows behind the XOXO festival, and is in the middle of fundraising the return of Upcoming, a site he co-developed, sold to Yahoo, and recently bought back.

John Patrick Pullen read from "Beacon of Hope." Alison Hallett read from "What Lies Beneath." Elly Blue read from "Hub and Spoke." And Chris Higgins read (the footnotes) from "Playing to Lose."

The Doubleclicks performed four songs for us: "Worst Superpower Ever," "Oh, Mr. Darcy," "Impostor," and "Velociraptor." They were guests on this podcast in February 2014.

Sailing in Brackish Waters with Maggie Vail and Jesse von Doom (Episode 73)

Maggie Vail and Jesse von Doom are the co-executive directors of CASH Music (Coalition of Artists and Stakeholders) a non-profit organization that brings an open-source approach to music distribution and production. CASH focuses on educating around those ideas through online resources, stakeholder events, and face-to-face workshops, as well as offering a software platform.

Sponsors & Patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

MailRoute filters your mail, quarantines any suspicious mail offsite, and delivers only clean mail to your mailboxes. With one simple click, your domain, mail server and other precious resources are protected. For 10% off the lifetime of your account, and a free 15-day trial, visit mailroute.net/disrupt!

 

Thanks to patrons George O'Toole, Jonathan Mann, and Sean Wickett for supporting us directly through Patreon! You can back this podcast for as little as $1 per month. At higher levels, we'll thank you on the air and send you mugs and T-shirts.

Show notes

Maggie mentioned two early groups that helped independent artists and labels handle digital distribution: the for-profit Merlin and the trade group A2im. Maggie worked with bands at Kill Rock Stars for 17 years before becoming the co-head of CASH.

Jonathan Coulton is on CASH's board, and I spoke to him about his career in "Baby Got Back Catalog," March 2013. Back in 2000, Courtney Love explained how the sausage of music-industry accounting in big labels is designed to rip off artists.

I visited the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation in 2012, and wrote "The Sound of Silence" for The Magazine about the issues of preservation and rights. Pandora has a good explanation of how music rights have to be licensed in America.

Jesse received a fellowship from the Shuttleworth Foundation, which has freed them a bit from the endlessly cycle of fundraising to move forward and grow the staff. Dan Sinker is in charge of the Knight-Mozilla OpenNews project for the Mozilla Foundation, and the founder of Punk Planet, an underground culture magazine.

Community Supported Appliculture with Henry Smith (Episode 72)

Henry Smith is a games app developer, and the evil genius behind the addictive multi-player app Spaceteam. Spaceteam won oodles of awards, and it has the added benefit (or problem) of being free. Henry has an active Kickstarter to fund future development of free work over the next year.

Sponsors & Patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

New Relic helps everyone's software work better, and if you’re in any business today, you’re in the software business. New Relic monitors every move your application makes, across the entire stack, and shows you what's happening right now. Visit newrelic.com/disruptors to find out more.

MailRoute filters your mail, quarantines any suspicious mail offsite, and delivers only clean mail to your mailboxes. With one simple click, your domain, mail server and other precious resources are protected. For 10% off the lifetime of your account, and a free 15-day trial, visit mailroute.net/disrupt!

 

Thanks to patrons Andy Baio, Jonathan Mann, and Abraham Finberg for supporting us directly through Patreon! You can back this podcast for as little as $1 per month. At higher levels, we'll thank you on the air and send you mugs and T-shirts.

Show notes

Watch for an upcoming interview with Greg Wohlwend, the developer of the app Threes.

Henry shares details openly about Spaceteam's downloads and revenue. He wrote a post summing up all the money that's come in, including commissions and prize winnings. Henry's Spaceteam Manifesto is a more formal expression than this podcast of a lot of the principles driving him.

Greg Knauss talked about exiting a long-time job, some of the paralysis that followed, the fear and reality of failure, and finding a path forward in "Falling Upward" (Episode 63).

Wheels on Fire with Elly Blue (Episode 71)

Elly Blue is a bike activist, writer, and publisher, and has run more Kickstarter campaigns than nearly any other person or group. She is fiercely in favor of using bikes as a necessary mode of transportation — though it is not necessarily the ideal — and describes herself as a feminist bicycle activist. We talk funding, publishing, and persistence. (Square photo by Caroline Paquette. Expo photo courtesy of San Francisco Zine Fest.)

Sponsors & Patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

New Relic helps everyone's software work better, and if you’re in any business today, you’re in the software business. New Relic monitors every move your application makes, across the entire stack, and shows you what's happening right now. Visit newrelic.com/disruptors to find out more.

Abraham Finberg, CPA: From dealing with those pesky 1099Ks to complex accounting needs, go to finbergcpa.com for all your financial support. Services can be as simple as a 15-minute phone consultation session all the way up to outsourcing your whole internal accounting office. Use promotion code DISRUPT to get a free phone consultation today!

 

Thanks to patrons Brian Rutledge, Sean Wickett, and Abraham Finberg for supporting us directly through Patreon! You can back this podcast for as little as $1 per month. At higher levels, we'll thank you on the air and send you mugs and T-shirts.

Show Notes

Elly has launched 19 Kickstarter campaigns; the 18 completed campaigns have all funded successfully. Her 19th is underway. A children's book, Zoom! The story of a boy and his balance bike, was her biggest project with over $10,000 raised. (Sign up for her mailing list.)

Jean MacDonald spoke to us about App Camp for Girls; she recently left her for-profit job to become executive director of the program she helped found. Amelia Greenhall explained the purpose of and process to create Double Union, a women-oriented makerspace in San Francisco. (Amelia and colleagues recently launched the publication Model View Culture, and just shipped their first quarterly issue.) Elly's boyfriend, Joe Biel, founded Microcosm Publishing. I talked to Matt Bors about his book crowdfunding campaign.

I wrote an Economist item recently about the perils of taking a book aimed for print production and creating an ereader edition. Elly mentioned George Packer's lengthy article about Amazon.com in the New Yorker. Elly wrote about Dutch-style cargo bikes, bakfietsen, for The Magazine.

What the Outfoxed Says with Dylan Meconis (Episode 69)

Dylan Meconis is a prolific cartoonist who lives in Portland, Oregon. She constantly labors away at a mix between her solo work and projects in collaboration with others, including writing the script for Scott Kurtz's popular PvP webcomic. She is part of Periscope Studio, which we've talked about in previous podcasts. We talk about building a career and learning from mistakes while keeping all the plates spinning.

Sponsors & Patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

New Relic helps everyone's software work better, and if you’re in any business today, you’re in the software business. New Relic monitors every move your application makes, across the entire stack, and shows you what's happening right now. Visit newrelic.com/disruptors to find out more.

Creative VIP is the exclusive membership club for creative professionals, writers, and designers. Membership includes discounts on world-class online services and apps, and access to a growing library of graphics, vectors, icons and themes. Save 25% on your membership, forever, by visiting http://creativevip.net/disrupt

 

What do Lil Wayne, Black Girls CODE, and Humans of New York have in common? They've all raised funds on Indiegogo! Indiegogo has hosted over 100,000 campaigns since 2008 and distributes millions of dollars every week around the globe. Listeners visit tnd.indiegogo.com to receive a 25% discount on fees.

 

Thanks to patrons Andy McMillan, Andrei Matetic, and Abraham Finberg for supporting us directly through Patreon! You can back this podcast for as little as $1 per month. At higher levels, we'll thank you on the air and send you mugs and T-shirts.

Show notes

Dylan's books include Outfoxed, Bite Me! (a vampire farce); Family Man, a graphic novel being told pages at a time, and then collected into volumes; and Danse Macabre 2.0. My friend Alison Hallett recommended Dylan's work and the Bone series by Jeff Smith. Dylan mentioned the artist Ivan Bilibin as an inspiration for Outfoxed.

Portland has a ton of creative people of all sorts, and cartoonists and comic-book artists rank high among them. Both Dark Horse Comics and Oni Press are based there. Erika Moen, a Periscope Studio participant, was on this show in August 2013. Bill Amend (Foxtrot) became internet famous.

Dylan's Kickstarter campaign was successful, but she hit a bunch of snags we discuss. Her wife, Katie Lane, is a lawyer who advises freelancers at Work Made for Hire on making good decisions about their work and rights! Katie performs legal work for cartoonist Matt Bors, a previous guest on this podcast.

I and Dylan listed off an oodle of conferences, which include Gallifrey One, Rose City Comic Con, Emerald City Comicon, PAX, the XOXO conference, MaxFunCon, and JoCo Cruise Crazy.

Erika Moen is using Patreon to fund each cartoon she creates.

See You in the Funny Webpages with Dave Kellett and Fred Schroeder (Episode 68)

Dave Kellett and Fred Schroeder created the movie Stripped about the past, present, and future of comic strips and their creators. Dave is the creator and cartoonist of two webcomics titles, Sheldon and Drive, and the co-author of How To Make Webcomics. He is one of a small but growing group of webcomics artists who are self-sufficient. Fred is a veteran cinemographer, nominated for Best Cinematography at Sundance for his work on Four Sheets to the Wind. He has been shooting commercials for much of his career.

Together, they matched Fred's filmmaking skills with Dave's personal knowledge of the field and his contacts to create the first feature-length documentary on the topic, funded in part through two Kickstarter campaigns. They don't pull punches about the difficulties of being a comic-strip artist, but they show all the joy and love that goes into the work along with many potential bright lights already illuminating parts of the field and shining on the horizon.

Sponsors & Patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

Media Temple: Web hosting for artists, designers, and Web developers since 1998. World-class support available 24x7 through phone and chat—and even Twitter. Sign up with coupon code "tnd" to get 25% off your first month of hosting.

Creative VIP is the exclusive membership club for creative professionals, writers, and designers. Membership includes discounts on world-class online services and apps, and access to a growing library of graphics, vectors, icons and themes. You can also get a regular goodie bag on your doorstep. Save 25% on your membership, forever, by visiting http://creativevip.net/disrupt

 

Abraham Finberg, CPA: From dealing with those pesky 1099Ks to complex accounting needs, go to finbergcpa.com for all your financial support. Services can be as simple as a 15-minute phone consultation session all the way up to outsourcing your whole internal accounting office. Use promotion code DISRUPT to get a free phone consultation today!

What do Project for Awesome, the world’s most compact e­vehicle, and a baby have in common? They've all been crowdfunded on Indiegogo! Indiegogo has hosted over 100,000 campaigns since 2008 and distributes millions of dollars every week around the globe. Individuals can start raising funds immediately. Listeners visit tnd.indiegogo.com to receive a 25% discount on fees.

 

Thanks this week to patrons Greg Hayes, Neil Richler, and Abraham Finberg for supporting us directly through Patreon! You can back this podcast for as little as $1 per month. At higher levels, we'll thank you on the air and send you mugs and T-shirts.

Show Notes

You can watch a short preview of Stripped on YouTube.

Bill Watterson created the poster for the movie! He's interviewed by audio (as we discuss).

We mentioned Topataco, a company that helps fulfill webcomics' artists books and other material. I spoke to Topatoco's Holly Rowland a year ago.

Fair use is an incredibly fraught topic because there's no simple and inexpensive way to determine in advance whether a creator's use of copyrighted stuff would be covered by the legal principles! I wrote about Stripped and its second Kickstarter for clearance-rights funds for the Economist.

We also talked about errors and omission (E&O) insurance that movie theatres require in order to let your film be shown in their venues. The Documentary Film Program at Stanford University provides advice about fair use to filmmakers as well as helping them obtain insurance plus find pro bono or reduced-rate legal assistance.

David Malki and his chums took Machine of Death to the top rank among books sold at Amazon.com as part of a concerted effort among their fans. They beat out Glenn Beck, who was not happy about it at all. I talked to David about this, his comic strip, and the second book in the Machine series last August.

VHX is the DRM-free streaming/download service that helped Indie Game: The Movie deliver to its backers and later buyers, and did and is doing the same for Stripped. The makers of Indie Game were among my first guests, and I checked in with them last December to talk about the aftermath of the film's release and the production of their deluxe edition.

However, if you're a regular iTunes user, you can help boost Stripped to No. 1 in the iTunes movie or documentary rankings by pre-ordering a copy by April 1!