How do we get more people to come to Indietalk?

Nate North

Business Member
indieBIZ
Just to clarify, you're crowd sourcing your own film or are you trying to build a platform to let people crowd source their own films? Is this the Tech CEO thing you mentioned in the other thread? or was that another business?

The best way I can explain h44. He was a stain on your underwear that not only didn't wash out, you couldn't remove the stink. Contributes nothing but manages to make your life hard at the same time. A wannabe filmmaker who never found an excuse he didn't fall in love with. That's h44 in a nutshell. If I had an employee who's greatest contribution to a project is to stand in the corner and not breathe, it'd be h44.

ok, to answer your first question with medium clarity, it's neither, but more towards the latter. It's a strength in numbers system where everyone works cooperatively and we build a large shared asset pool. We offer mentorship in skillsets, and provide the direction required for to refine the cumulative efforts into a commercial ready product that can pay dividends and create opportunities for the people involved. Still not a good answer, sorry. An the tech CEO was about 5 other jobs before this. I started out as an AI developer, made a lot of money in my early 20s, then moved on to just spending that money and drinking in my late 20s early 30s, then became a pro filmmaker for household name corporations, then Quit everything for a while, and now I'm back doing Save Point. SP does use a certain amount of AI technology, so I guess you could say I'm still a tech CEO, the project just wouldn't work without a lot of integrated tech solutions that I engineer and oversee.

Secondly, I don't mean to read between the lines, but I'm starting to think you didn't like this H44 guy. lol.
 
ok, to answer your first question with medium clarity, it's neither, but more towards the latter. It's a strength in numbers system where everyone works cooperatively and we build a large shared asset pool. We offer mentorship in skillsets, and provide the direction required for to refine the cumulative efforts into a commercial ready product that can pay dividends and create opportunities for the people involved. Still not a good answer, sorry.

I think I have the gist of what you're trying to accomplish. I've seen slightly differing versions of this idea tried on differing scales. I haven't yet seen any work. I guess it's to do with getting critical mass or a disproportion of required skills. I even tried a local scale version of it myself but the time to benefit ratio wasn't worth continuing for me. I wish you luck. Having a deep learning (assuming that's the AI area or ML) background would definitely help you with automatically handling the details and may even push you through. I don't envy the journey you're going down but you may have thought of a better angle than anyone else.

I'm starting to think you didn't like this H44 guy. lol.

To be honest, he reminded me of a valuable lesson. Some people are a bona-fide waste of oxygen and space. I have to remember to stop letting them live rent free in my head.
 

Nate North

Business Member
indieBIZ
I think I have the gist of what you're trying to accomplish. I've seen slightly differing versions of this idea tried on differing scales. I haven't yet seen any work. I guess it's to do with getting critical mass or a disproportion of required skills. I even tried a local scale version of it myself but the time to benefit ratio wasn't worth continuing for me. I wish you luck. Having a deep learning (assuming that's the AI area or ML) background would definitely help you with automatically handling the details and may even push you through. I don't envy the journey you're going down but you may have thought of a better angle than anyone else.

I've got a lot of angles in play that really weren't an option 5-10 years ago. It's always a new world, and it's common for things that didn't work before to start working under new conditions. Take as an example the rise of competitively priced production audio sites. Yesterday I worked all day curating project assets. 700 new assets filed, categorized, licensed, and ready to use for all team members in one day. 200 recordings of footsteps to give a more concrete idea. Basically putting everyone's storylines on one channel allows me to buy up cheap, high quality assets from all over the world, and let many team members do creative work on a drag and drop level. That's a big deal for lowering the threshold of who can actually contribute. It's like that across much of the project, with the higher level guys like me creating thousands of custom asset libraries so people with time and energy can work creatively with less friction. I would also point you to the lip sync video in the videos section. A good example of how this might work when others did not. And the biggest deal is the animation format itself. No need for jet tickets to film that scene together!
 
Kinda going over old ground here (see this thread from June 1st and this other one from June 2nd) so I'm not really sure whether the following comments will be of any additional help, but let's give it a try, even if it's completely off topic for the thread ... :cool:

I will need a larger audience before I can grow something like this. Much larger.
my goals are different, and I basically need an army
If you need army, then you're definitely going about things the wrong way; and if you (think you) need a larger audience before you grow something, then ... you're going about things the wrong way. As far as this thread is concerned, you find either the larger audience or an army here.

I'd be better off typing more information like this into the site rather than here.
My concept doesn't fit onto a banner ad, or a facebook meme. It's big. It takes a lot of explaining, and on the other end, a lot of time to understand.
Again, if this is where you are in the development of the project, you're not ready to go big. You have to accept that the vast majority of people, regardless of how intelligent they are, are not naturally inclined to engage with something that need a lot of explaining.

Now before I upset you with some hard truths, I'll repeat what I said in this post: I've been in your position before, and if you don't simplify the project and its presentation, it'll run aground.

I've had a look at your site, and it's a mess. Lots of words, but very little information, and the words are badly chosen even to do what you want. This matches your posts here, where you write a lot! - which is fine amongst friends, but not at all appropriate for a presentation to an uninformed audience of strangers. Instead of adding more information, you first need to radically clean up what you've already written. Make it very clear and very simple, using the bare minimum of jargon and buzzwords.

Next: on the site, and on here, you emphasise over and over and over again how big and expansive this project is. But (standby - bursting bubble alert 🎆) it's not really that big or that expansive. Compared to, say, shutterstock, you have almost nothing in the way of images. In fact, I dare say you have less in the way of background images than I have in my photo archive for each of my most recent serious trips. How many TB of data does the project in it's current state take up? Don't oversell what is, in essence, a very simple concept: a digital version of the CYOA books. All the stuff about collaboration and shared resources is irrelevant right now if you don't have your 10-words-or-less description in place.

And where's the demo? The site's home page has a load of images sliding around all over the place in pseudo-parallax: lots of visual confusion, yet nothing that says "Try Me!" and gives a clear, simple demo of an adventure. Instead of pouring energy into trying to find "an army" for which you have no clear mission objective, you should be looking for one person to write one set of scripts for one adventure; and one person to produce one set of graphics for the same adventure, and one sound engineer to produce one set of effects for the experience.

Only once you've done that will you have any hope of attracting more interest; but equally, once you've done that, you can much more effectively target your recruitment efforts - because you'll then have your simple selling point: on a creative writing forum - "See this story? Fancy writing a plot fork for it?" To a class of graphic artists - "See this plot fork? Fancy doing the graphics for it?" On a board such as IndieTalk - "See this narrative and graphics? Fancy doing the sound for it?"

Once again, I'll say that I think you're "in too deep" and have lost your sense of perspective. Both the site and your posts here suggest you're completely submerged by the potential vastness of the idea and not paying enough attention to the fundamentals, and probably making things unnecessarily confusing for your users with too many words. You need to fix that.
 

Nate North

Business Member
indieBIZ
Kinda going over old ground here (see this thread from June 1st and this other one from June 2nd) so I'm not really sure whether the following comments will be of any additional help, but let's give it a try, even if it's completely off topic for the thread ... :cool:



If you need army, then you're definitely going about things the wrong way; and if you (think you) need a larger audience before you grow something, then ... you're going about things the wrong way. As far as this thread is concerned, you find either the larger audience or an army here.



Again, if this is where you are in the development of the project, you're not ready to go big. You have to accept that the vast majority of people, regardless of how intelligent they are, are not naturally inclined to engage with something that need a lot of explaining.

Now before I upset you with some hard truths, I'll repeat what I said in this post: I've been in your position before, and if you don't simplify the project and its presentation, it'll run aground.

I've had a look at your site, and it's a mess. Lots of words, but very little information, and the words are badly chosen even to do what you want. This matches your posts here, where you write a lot! - which is fine amongst friends, but not at all appropriate for a presentation to an uninformed audience of strangers. Instead of adding more information, you first need to radically clean up what you've already written. Make it very clear and very simple, using the bare minimum of jargon and buzzwords.

Next: on the site, and on here, you emphasise over and over and over again how big and expansive this project is. But (standby - bursting bubble alert 🎆) it's not really that big or that expansive. Compared to, say, shutterstock, you have almost nothing in the way of images. In fact, I dare say you have less in the way of background images than I have in my photo archive for each of my most recent serious trips. How many TB of data does the project in it's current state take up? Don't oversell what is, in essence, a very simple concept: a digital version of the CYOA books. All the stuff about collaboration and shared resources is irrelevant right now if you don't have your 10-words-or-less description in place.

And where's the demo? The site's home page has a load of images sliding around all over the place in pseudo-parallax: lots of visual confusion, yet nothing that says "Try Me!" and gives a clear, simple demo of an adventure. Instead of pouring energy into trying to find "an army" for which you have no clear mission objective, you should be looking for one person to write one set of scripts for one adventure; and one person to produce one set of graphics for the same adventure, and one sound engineer to produce one set of effects for the experience.

Only once you've done that will you have any hope of attracting more interest; but equally, once you've done that, you can much more effectively target your recruitment efforts - because you'll then have your simple selling point: on a creative writing forum - "See this story? Fancy writing a plot fork for it?" To a class of graphic artists - "See this plot fork? Fancy doing the graphics for it?" On a board such as IndieTalk - "See this narrative and graphics? Fancy doing the sound for it?"

Once again, I'll say that I think you're "in too deep" and have lost your sense of perspective. Both the site and your posts here suggest you're completely submerged by the potential vastness of the idea and not paying enough attention to the fundamentals, and probably making things unnecessarily confusing for your users with too many words. You need to fix that.
you'll be surprised to learn that I agree with almost all of that. One major issue is that I'm constantly sleep deprived, and trying to do way too much at once. Jumping constantly from one aspect to another amidst distraction, and never really nailing any one thing. It's not so much an excuse as an explanation for why I began trying to recruit help before the project was in a polished state. There's a lot more to it than just recruitment, and I'm trying to free myself up to work on the pipeline and internal process which is a lot of work by itself.

As far as overblowing the project, that's not the intention, but it will require far more than an average project to execute correctly. It's difficult for me to get across the difference between my project and something hundreds of times less ambitious at first glance. Overall, you are absolutely correct, everything must be clean, logical, and simple before it's really ready to present to the public. I have started trying to recruit before it's really ready to be presented, simply because there is more work to do for that presentation than one person can effectively accomplish in a reasonable time.

I think it will look exactly like you are imagining, in 6 months from today.

As far as images and scale, I don't think comparing our image library to Shutterstock is fair. All 9 star wars movies didn't have one percent as many images as Shutterstock. I could say that someone's film wasn't a big deal because it had less images than google earth.

I'm selling it as a big project because it is one, This will take hundreds of people to execute properly, it will take ten thousand sound files, it will take many hundreds of individual videos, and way more moving pieces than I'm willing to write here. Without some explanation, people can't tell the difference between this and a guy that makes a 4 minute cartoon about his dog. I don't mean to come off as a jerk, but IRL I frequently run into this situation. I tell someone that I use a lot of resource files on my computer, and they immediately respond that they do also, tons of them, working super hard with all kinds of programs and files. So I go look at their computer, and they have a free copy of windows movie maker, and a 400 meg directory of stolen images from a google search. That's not an exaggeration. So when you look at my computer, there are around 30 terabytes of project files. Spread across a large array of drives. I've spent will over 150k on film software and hardware, yet everyone I meet that has 500 bucks in the game immediately tries to sell their investment as equal. That's not really fair to me. I had a guy sneer at me the other day and explain with pride about he was a much higher level cinematographer than me, this was in front of clients. He had a gopro. He was using a Chromebook to edit, and yet the client was convinced he was more experienced than me, by his sheer confidence and swagger. I shoot on a Red Epic on an 18 foot crane and a gimbal. I didn't even mention it, just let them hire the overconfident moron. They faceplanted and lost 150k on the project. The film looked so bad, and the directing was non existent. This guy that bravely explained that he was the real expert, he didn't know what a reveal was. Just the single most basic tool of film directing. There wasn't an ounce of actual cinematography in the entire film. Tripod shots for 90 minutes straight. Yet his pitch was that he was better than everyone. I think he honestly believed that. I wont draw any comparison to recent political situations.

Point being that maybe I'm starting to overcompensate in that area, because modern people just cannot differentiate between the real thing and their own ego. I feel like I have to say something, because laymen can't tell the difference between 10,000 hours or work and training, and just a guy shooting his mouth off.

The project is less than one TB in size right now. That's not actually that small. most FINISHED feature films I've made didn't take a TB in total asset storage, and this one is nearing that in it's infancy. I curated and added almost 700 files to the project yesterday alone (foley). The number of images on the site represents maybe a fraction of a percent of what's currently available to our members. The big slowdown in releasing new demo material is in the character animations and designs, which are time intensive. The characters seen in current demo materials must be completely replaced with custom assets before I can create the first demo cell.

The short demo is on the story page and is accessed through the alpha test button. It's not very far along, and doesn't really show what the finished product will be like, which is why I haven't been talking that up. But it is there. It's just text, to demo the concept of interactive fiction to people who have never encountered it.

The real demo will take many months to produce. That's just for a most basic demo. The quality of direction, animation, and sound has to be quite high, or else this is just another YouTube channel. If that is what it turns out as, then the project is doomed. It really has to exceed expectations in a lot of ways or fail.

And I've always been in too deep, lol. My first project when I was 23 eventually had over 170k individual assets, and I had 20 people working for me. It was a Turing test capable AI innovation that worked intelligently with what are now called stems. It really doesn't make much sense to me to spend decades improving my capabilities and hardware, and then do something far less ambitious than what I worked on when I was just out of college.

In general your response is fair, though as I've explained I think there are some factors not taken into account. I don't intend to sound argumentative, it's just that for the previously mentioned reasons, I have to stand up for my own work. It's taken a lot to get this project as far along as it is now, even though much of that work is invisible on the surface.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
This place is so active about not being active!

The Daily Show Reaction GIF by The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
It's like Facebook man. Post your new movie. Crickets. Post your new music. Crickets. Post a meme asking to remove one food option. 5,998 comments! :rofl:
 
Yet his pitch was that he was better than everyone.

There's a lesson to learn there. The pitch it an important piece of the puzzle in acquiring clients.

Do you have any sales training? If not, it might be worth investing in some.

the client was convinced he was more experienced than me, by his sheer confidence and swagger. I shoot on a Red Epic on an 18 foot crane and a gimbal.

I've met plenty of people with decent cameras who couldn't shoot to save their lives. As you know, just because I use the latest version of visual studio (or have an impressive looking setup) doesn't mean I know sh*t about writing quality code.
 
I feel like I have to say something, because laymen can't tell the difference between 10,000 hours or work and training, and just a guy shooting his mouth off.

Without some explanation, people can't tell the difference between this and a guy that makes a 4 minute cartoon about his dog.

And that's the reality you're going to have to live with forever. To borrow a quote I once heard in a veterinary clinic: it doesn't matter what masterful surgery you performed on the dog's internal organs, the only thing the owner sees is the patch of shaved fur and a line of stitches.

As far as your consumers are concerned, they really couldn't give a dam about what's "under the hood" and if they can't tell the difference between this and a cartoon about a dog, then you'd better hope there's a thriving market for dog cartoons. :scared:

The short demo ... doesn't really show what the finished product will be like .... It's just text, to demo the concept of interactive fiction to people who have never encountered it.
:no: A demo that isn't a demo is a Bad Thing; probably just as well you buried it ... :blush: It isn't just a poor use of your time - it'll create the wrong impression for those who look at it, people who (as you say yourself) have never encountered the concept before, but now you've put a false version into their minds.

The real demo will take many months to produce.
Then take the many months and do it properly. The same goes for the website - I know you want some kind of on-line, publicly accessible explanation, but as of right now, that website is advertising your project as ... ummmm ... stuff ... and ... ehhh ... well, more stuff coming soon ... and ... euhhhh ... wanna help me finish it? That makes sense - it's a product of your sleep-deprived imagination, so get some sleep! :secret:

I'd willingly help you re-do that side of things, but as it is, I'm right in the middle of trying to build a project of my own on shifting foundations ... and speaking of which, I have e-mails to send.
 
The best way I can explain h44. He was a stain on your underwear that not only didn't wash out, you couldn't remove the stink. Contributes nothing but manages to make your life hard at the same time. A wannabe filmmaker who never found an excuse he didn't fall in love with. That's h44 in a nutshell. If I had an employee who's greatest contribution to a project is to stand in the corner and not breathe, it'd be h44.
That's accurate.

I think (hope) he was really just a troll, and not ACTUALLY that incompetent. Performance art, if you will... One of a handful of reasons I took a lengthy hiatus.

Oh, hey, I guess I'm back.
The Simpsons Reaction GIF
 
@Nate North I've just spent 20 minutes going down memory lane, reading the old Deathworld mansion threads. I think your last post on Indietalk a decade ago said you'd tell us the story of what happened to the Deathworld mansion one day. Could that day be today??

For those who don't remember, Nate and some Indietalk members rented a big house in California – the Glass Mansion, as they called it – to start shooting films, hoping eventually to culminate in a feature film called Deathworld. The idea really polarised people at the time, but I think it's the most IRL an Indietalk project ever got. Would love to know what happened out there in the desert...
 

Nate North

Business Member
indieBIZ
I suppose so. It's sort of a sad story, and I guess more boring than people might hope, which is why I never talked about it much.

You're right about all that though. For one shining moment, it seemed like the dream was coming to life. It wasn't all bad, more anticlimactic. Another reason I don't discuss it much is because there were certain tensions between some of the crew and with all of them gone from here, I didn't want to speak ill of anyone in their absence. There was basically one guy who weakened the team a lot, creating division. Don't get the idea that is was a total disaster. We all became good friends and had some great times together. There were just financial problems with contracts that didn't come through, and frictions between team members. I guess I'll talk about it, I'm sure people want to know. I'll make a post about it, but it may take a few installments to get through it. It was kind of a bizarre time in my life. There were some interesting parts.

I could call up all of those people, and get them together to do a 2011 retrospective. For me, it's not a fun idea. Think of the Steven king novel "It" and you have a good feel for how I feel about getting this gang back together. It's not the people I didn't like, it was the situations we found ourselves up against.

And I've always been a polarizing figure. I have strong opinions, and no beliefs. That's enough to polarize most.



 
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H44...
His amount of variations of the same questions could potentially destroy the autofill of google, :P

He was an example of disguising procratination with perfectionism while at the same time hoping to get a short cut anwser that would enable him to conjure up the next Avengers movie in just 2 hours of work.
I tried every possible way to explain that doing was the way to learn.
And he did things and did have some interesting ideas (the wine short) and some troublesome ideas (incel style).

Anyway: I have little time to dwell here, alas.
In january our son was born and he is doing well :)
Still making videos for a living, despite covid changing the landscape.
And yes: I am one of those people using facebook for work. Some local groups generate some leads now and then.
I promise: when I'm finally a millionaire I will produce the rest of 'Threads' (the community project).
 

indietalk

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Congrats!
 
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