Original online series on Vimeo

IMG_1675.PNG

Back in 2007 when I was interested in learning video creation as a videographer I didn’t have either the grades or the money to go to any film schools. I went out and bought a cheap camera, computer and editing suite then a few friends and I went out and started shooting some crazy vids so I could practice filming and editing. Worthless Insanity was born.

In 2017 when I was forced to relaunch Jpm Films Worldwide everyone thought I’d deleted those videos when I shut down my  previous YouTube channel, well that didn’t happen. Those videos are far too important to me as they were my entry into a deeper love of filmmaking. The first 10 episodes have been on Vimeo for a while now and I’ve been re editing the closing credits sequence on the last 40 episodes.

Today I uploaded the fresh edited versions of the next 10 episodes to Vimeo. You can watch them on the worthless insanity page on the website or indeed check then on Vimeo itself  

www.vimeo.com/jpmfilmsworldwide  

Season 3 will be going up soon.

Big Love Rodders  

New Patreon update videos. Public and Private

IMG_1464.JPG

I’ve been thinking long and hard about the future of the content I make. It’s extremely frustrating trying to push forward to making this a full time career. People in the past have been encouraging me to give up my full time job to follow indie creation. As much I appreciate that support the reality is that it’s an extremely long hard road towards that goal. I’ve got more than enough content ideas that I could upload a new piece of content everyday for the next 5 years but I estimate that at the current rate of support it will take about 2 years to get to the point where ad revenue begins paying me. 

Biggest problem content creators such as myself face is getting the time to make the projects we are passionate about while also making a living and paying our bills. In reality  you seem to be doing the one or the other. We work 40+ hours a week and squeeze everything else into evenings and weekends. The bigger the project is the harder it is to get it done. Truth is the only reason I had the time to get my last 2 indie film projects Weapon of Choice and Conclusions made was because I was actually on sick leave from my full time job due to a back injury. 

As in my last blog post I talked about the huge amounts of money it takes to create indie film projects that comes out of our own pockets which makes it incredibly difficult to do both that and pay our bills. When we are in that situation the hardest thing to do is to create regular indie film projects as professionally as possible as we are constantly trying to get people to work for free. In the long run that really isn’t the ideal thing for anyone. Would you stay at your full time job if they announced they were going to stop paying you?

That being said I’ve decided to only put fully funded indie film projects into production. I’ve got full faith that eventually the YouTube and podcast content could eventually begin funding these projects via ad revenue but again that’s an insanely long time investment to get it to that point. With all that said I’ve reset my Patreon account to work towards that. I’ve set up 2 tiers to help create regular content for both online content and indie film content. 

The first tier

IMG_1467.PNG

This tier will be the main one to help create regular online content such as YouTube and podcasts as well as help towards equipment replacement and repair costs. Basically for the same amount of money you would spend on a single visit to a cinema for one person you could support me for a full year. 

I will be making weekly update videos on Vimeo to keep people updated on both the YouTube channels and the 3 podcasts. There will also be content on the patron only feed that won’t be available anywhere else online.

IMG_1469.PNG

The second tier

 

IMG_1468.PNG

This tier works out to $60 a year. This tier will be the one that all funding will go towards the creation of indie film projects. I’ll be making monthly deep dive videos with all the indie film updates that Jpm Films Worldwide will be working on.  

IMG_1470.PNG

All the Vimeo deep dive videos will be private videos so that if you do become a patron you will be the only person with a viewable video link. 

This is an option I hope you will consider. It will make it possible for me to get my content to the next level. I will continue to work towards getting ad revenue in place but right now indie film is pretty much dead in the water as wear and tear on editing hardware is pretty bad. 

What also helps is you guys sharing my videos and podcasts.  

Big Love Rodney  

My return to indie film

IMG_1410.PNG

Back at the beginning of summer 2018 I did a blog post on “semi retirement from indie film”. Some people took that as a literal “completely quitting indie film”, that is not true. I then had to clarify in another blog post that I’m not quitting just refocusing my efforts back into the parts of online content that are essential in the bigger picture. 

Truth is I will be making a return to indie film but in a very different way than I have ever approached it before. Basically i’ll be returning to indie film once it is a financially viable thing to do. See we all as indies trick ourselves into thinking that we should be constantly making things on zero budget and hoping someone in power sees it and hires us to make big budget films that will make us successful. That does happen but it’s very rare and we will burn up a lot of money out of our own pockets trying to make that happen. If you are an indie filmmaker have you ever sat down and calculated have much money you have spent in the pursuit of making content. I say content as I’ve actually done the calculations on every free project I’ve worked on since 2005. The number is a shock to the system, I’ll share that at the bottom of this blog.  

I’ve made the decision that from here on Jpm Films Worldwide will only put fully funded indie film projects into production as the headaches involved in the zero budget arena are not worth it. But what if projects can’t get funded? Well then they don’t get made, plain and simple. The major downside to always making zero budget films is that the name “zero budget” says it all. There’s no budget. No budget for paying actors or crew or covering repair costs. And what happens when we burn out a professional editing suite? No money being generated to replace one of those. Unless we are one of the lucky ones who “gets noticed” we remain in that sickening cycle of always trying to get people to work for free. Down side to that is if you are never paying cast or crew there’s no incentive for them to continue to consistently keep giving their time to you. Eventually all the contacts you make will start moving on to bigger better things while  you are still spinning your wheels hoping that the “powers that be” may decide to throw you a bone. 

I’m content to keep working on the free online video and audio podcasts that I produce. That’s been the one thing so far that has generated at least some sort of financial income. I can already hear some people say “Ah ha you are only in this for the money” No I’ve just come to realise that you will never make a career out of something if you always do it for free. Plus the complete lack of real partnerships in the indie space doesn’t give me any incentive to return to the zero budget productions. I’ve spent a lot of time in the past encouraging and sharing others content and never see them engaging on any online videos or podcasts been producing by me. I’m not interested in one sided deals. There is nothing worse than putting work and support into others and not getting the same in return. 

Having said that there are a lot of people I owe some freebies for the help they gave me on Conclusions and I will honour that. Outside of that I’ll not be working for free again. If you are good at something don’t do it for free. 

I’m sorry guys that this blog post is a bit of a downer but I feel it’s important that if you are considering getting into indie film you should see the side that most of us try to hide. A lot of the big benefits come from the things are projects do for the people that see them. Take the short film I directed and edited Weapon of Choice. In the first few days of it being released online it inspired one woman to get out of an abusive relationship. That’s worth more than money. Another example is the 50 episode series I produced Worthless Insanity. A cancer patient messaged me to say that the series gave him something to look forward to while he was going through his Chemotherapy. Having lost both my parents to cancer that was a message I’ll hold dear the rest of my days. But as good and wonderful as those are you can’t pay your bills with them.  

So what is the number? Money spent since 2005 on equipment costs, repair costs, rental costs, travel, food for all the free projects I’ve created for myself and other people in the hopes of “Getting noticed”........ £24.873

Time to stop wasting time and money.

Big Love Rodney. 

Simplicity is key

IMG_1376.JPG

Recently due to circumstances beyond my control I was forced to simplify my video editing. While I was on my trip to America I was intent on uploading videos to YouTube and was hoping to buy a new editing laptop before i began my journey, unfortunately I wasn’t able to raise the funds in time. 

On the trip I shot with my Canon G7X mark 2 and edited the footage and added copyright free music using the iMovie app on my iPhone. As an editor this isn’t the ideal situation as we like to have as much control over the editing process as possible, I like having a lot more control over the sound. I was actually really surprised at how well the videos performed having so little work put into them so I’ve made a point of actually switching my YouTube content on both the vlog and review channels almost fully over to iPhone editing. This has also really helped out on a financial front as my current video editing computer is getting up in years and realistically could die at any moment. In fact it’s just about past it’s use in editing bigger short film projects. Unfortunately that’s the thing with editing computers, these days the updates tend to get ahead of the hardware. I’ve put a lot of editing hours through that machine and honestly can’t believe it’s still running at all. The only thing I use it for now is to re cut my YouTube videos for Facebook video and strip out the review audio for the Soundcloud and iTunes podcast versions. 

I wish I’d decided to make this change sooner as this new way of making online content has made it much quicker and doubled my productivity which will really help in getting me back on the partner program sooner rather than later. When I do get to update to a new editing computer I can keep that bad boy for the more detailed film projects. 

Now some people will criticise this decision. I’ve no doubt of that as It wasn’t that long ago I got a strongly worded email from a person who felt the need to tell me that there’s more to filmmaking than turning on a camera and recording. This was in regard to me as a youtuber and I found it especially funny as it’s clearly impossible to both manually focus a camera and be in front of it at the same time. Video blogging isn’t filmmaking after all but I feel a good way to build part of an online presence between film projects. 

I love the simplicity of this new way of doing things because as I’m sure you know it’s incredibly hard to get content noticed online these days, so why burn out a professional editing set up when you can do a more than acceptable job using a smartphone. It’s just a smarter way of doing things. 

So there you have it. Simplicity is key. If like me you are trying to build a structure of free content in the hopes that it can generate a revenue stream to fund other bigger projects this is a good way of going about it. So get out there and create your content and don’t be worried about the opinions of other people who like to point out your shortcomings. From experience I can tell you one thing for sure. It doesn’t matter how good or bad you are at anything you do, you will get criticism either way. All that matters is you are doing your thing and keeping forward momentum. 

Big Love Rodney

THANK YOU AMERICA

IMG_1250.JPG

The time has come to start my journey back to Northern Ireland. This has been an amazing experience seeing so many things and sampling far too much amazing food. 

The hospitality my pen pal Karen and her family showed me was fantastic. I’ll be forever thankful to all of you guys. All of you made my trip one I’ll remember for the rest of my life. It’s been a journey that took me right out of my comfort zone and I’m excited to start looking for the next travel experience.  

You can check out all the videos of my trip on the destination USA playlist on my YouTube Vlog channel.

 

 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWMWWARBM7-e8PfqJtUXdUQ

Thank you Karen for being my safety net on this trip and being one of people I can consistently depend on. 

Big Love Rodney  

Chicago here we come

IMG_1080.JPG

Having a fantastic time in America. Traveling alone wasn’t as stress filled as I had expected  honestly it’s really given me the travel bug.

 

Its been great to get to hang out and reconnect with my Pen pal Karen. She’s been a fantastic host and guide showing the local attractions of her city.

 

Today we are jumping into her car and road tripping up to the Windy City of Chicago. It is going by to amazing. When I flew in I was actually in Chicago airport getting a connecting flight to Evansville and saw the city skyline it was absolutely breathtaking.

As always you can subscribe to The Here’s Rodders Vlogs YouTube channel to follow my adventure. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWMWWARBM7-e8PfqJtUXdUQ

Big Love Rodney. 

Here we go

IMG_0938.PNG

The time has finally come. I’ve been talking long enough about doing more traveling and right now I’m sat in Belfast airport waiting to board my first flight to go to America. 

3 years ago my pen pal Karen traveled here to Northern Ireland to visit me and now it’s my turn to go visit her.  

 

I’m not an experienced traveller so I’m pretty nervous to be going alone but hey you need to do these things. 

It’ll be an exciting experience and I’ll be vlogging as often as possible on the same YouTube channel as the abiogenesis video. 

Subscribe and join me on this journey. 

Big Love Rodney. 

Podcasts are back

902C3F7C-6928-421E-9476-9E212141939D.JPG
IMG_0369.JPG

Lately I’ve been spending a great deal of time re editing my Vlogs and review videos to work on the Facebook platform which means I’ve had to postpone creating new Vlogs and Reviews so that I can get YouTube and Facebook video working together as one.

Upside to this is its gives me a little time to put some more work into some of my podcasts during rendering and uploading videos. It’s been a great chance to pre record some episodes to cover incoming weeks especially with my trip to America only a couple of weeks away. 

Current upload schedule is Wednesday 8pm GMT for The Here’s Rodders Podcast and Thursday 8pm GMT for Stories of Ireland. 

For Stories of Ireland I’m hoping that I can begin to get guests on the show to share interesting and funny stories, or maybe local Irish legends or ghost stories. If you or anyone you know would be interested in getting on Stories of Ireland feel free to email the show at storiesofireland@gmail.com with the subject line “podcast guest”

If you are a content creator or indie filmmaker I’d love the chance to get you on The Here’s Rodders Podcast. For that email rodders@jpmfilmsworldwide.com with the subject line  “podcast guest”

My current studio set up if fully Mobile and can be set up in a matter of minutes so I can travel to record interviews. Or I could also work interviews over Skype calls.

This is an area of content creation I’d love to spend more time working on.  

Big Love Rodney. 

 

Going Multi Platform

IMG_0886.JPG

When we start out as creators we generally see ourselves as one thing. Maybe you see yourself as a filmmaker or a Podcaster. Or maybe you see yourself as the next big YouTuber.

Point is we almost all fall into the trap of only doing the one thing. That’s ok if that works for you. I thought that a few years back. I had a YouTube channel that was starting to reach a point where it was beginning to start paying out the first of its ad revenue. I was thinking yes this is starting to work, but I was wrong.  See no matter how hard you try you can’t please everyone. Biggest problem the channel had was I was creating content that was varied, I had videos, podcasts, short films and event video projects. Subscribers coming in for one kind of content were leaving again because they weren’t getting the content they came for on a regular basis. 

Kiss of death for the channel came with my short film Conclusions. It was a story based on suicide awareness which brought on some extreme backlash. I’ll not go into much detail on that as most of the conversation took place via email and DM’s. Everyone is entitled to privacy and as a serious creator I intend to take privacy policy seriously. 

What I can say is people can get really nasty when you create content on suicide awareness no matter now tastefully and respectfully you deal with it. I fully respect the feelings of anyone who has ever had to deal with the effects of suicide on their families. A great deal of the backlash to Conclusions came from some people that had supported the channel for years. They were behind me 100% as far as Vlogs and podcasts went but when it came to this short film they were enraged. Some started trouble, others stirred the trouble and one was intent on shutting down the channel. That’s all the info I can give you without breaching privacy. 

I’m not bitter about it. In fact I’m glad that it happened as it showed me the weakness I had as a content creator. I’d put all my eggs in one basket. All the projects that had been supported were now under threat by one project. 

I made the choice to pull the plug on that one channel before I got shut down. Better to restart on the stronger business model than get potentially barred from YouTube due to a small group of people. Conclusions has proven to be the most expensive short film I’ve ever made. It cost me a 10 year old channel and my faith in the church and it’s people. 

I’ve now realised that the best way to at least try to make it as a content creator is to go multi platform. If you are only putting your content out on one platform you are only reaching one audience. 

If you simply share a video to Facebook from YouTube you may get some more views but you almost never get those viewers to subscribe on YouTube, but what would happen if you uploaded that video directly to Facebook? You are now reaching 2 separate audiences on 2 separate platforms. What if the audio from your video could work as an audio podcast? You could upload that to soundcloud, iTunes or another podcast sharing platform. There you go. You do the work once and share it out on multiple platforms to multiple audiences. 

You are now working smarter not harder and reaching more and more people than ever before. Plus you are safeguarding you content as your eggs are no longer in one basket. Think about going multi platform with your content it’s been the best decision I’ve made so far.

Big Love Rodders  

 

Consistently create your content.

IMG_0848.PNG

This is probably something that doesn’t need to be said but I’ll say it anyway. You really need to try to be consistent in creating your content whatever it may be. I’m still not great at being consistent myself but it’s something I’m getting better at the longer I do it.  

If you are interested in creating online content you really need to aim to upload at the very least once a week. The algorithm for YouTube right now favours creators that upload more regularly. Now I know this will most likely bring up the old argument about quantity over quality but in reality if your trying to make a mark in online content the truth is that if you are not cranking out content on a regular basis you are pissing into the wind. 

You can go for quantity without sacrificing quality. It’ll just take a bit of time to find your routine especially at the start when you are trying to balance work life and family life with the work you want to do.  

In reality you may only find a window of a couple of hours in the evening to work at your content so it’s important to find a way to make the most of those few hours. At the beginning we all tend to get into a habit of filming, editing then uploading one project at a time.  I’d recommend pre recording as much content as possible in advance so that you can bank some uploads. If you are aiming to upload once a week and if your content isn’t time sensitive you could record a few weeks content in one sitting, that way you’ll get into a habit of always being a front of your work. This way if work or family life needs more attention you wont be falling behind on your online work. It’s worth remembering that if you have already been building a following online and you take a month off you in reality give yourelf a setback of at least 6 months. A year off could also kill a channels following completely. 

Its different for everyone and you need to find what works best for you but if you are serious about doing something like this there is no reason at all why it can’t happen for you as long as you are consistent.

get out there and make your content. 

Big Love. Rodney