How We Made A Documentary Series & Sold It To Netflix | Pawel Jarecki | Skillshare
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How We Made A Documentary Series & Sold It To Netflix

teacher avatar Pawel Jarecki, MTV/Netflix/Viceland Director

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Introduction

      4:30

    • 2.

      Mission Statement

      2:48

    • 3.

      Pre-Production: Finding Your Drive and Passion

      3:28

    • 4.

      Pre-Production: Finding Your Team

      4:24

    • 5.

      Pre-Production: Psychological Tips

      3:56

    • 6.

      Pre-Production: How Are Shows Sold?

      2:36

    • 7.

      Pre-Production: Getting Started

      3:18

    • 8.

      Pre-Production: Finding Inspiration

      2:20

    • 9.

      Pre-Production: Money Talk

      3:06

    • 10.

      Pre-Production: The Equipment

      8:50

    • 11.

      Pre-Production: Other Expenses

      8:03

    • 12.

      Pre-Production: Basic Administration

      2:43

    • 13.

      Pre-Production: Release Forms

      1:18

    • 14.

      Pre-Production: Online Presence

      3:47

    • 15.

      Pre-Production: Planning your Stories

      4:58

    • 16.

      Pre-Production: Contacting People

      3:51

    • 17.

      Pre-Production: Outro

      1:03

    • 18.

      Crowdfunding: Tips

      6:34

    • 19.

      Crowdfunding: Example Video

      2:44

    • 20.

      Production: Introduction

      1:19

    • 21.

      Production: Camera Setup

      3:59

    • 22.

      Production: Workflow

      7:33

    • 23.

      Production: Recording Sound

      3:47

    • 24.

      Production: Lighting Tips

      4:17

    • 25.

      Production: What to Film

      6:55

    • 26.

      Production: Frozen Dead Guy Segment

      16:20

    • 27.

      Production: Being on Camera

      1:10

    • 28.

      Production: Storytelling

      5:55

    • 29.

      Production: Interviewing

      4:15

    • 30.

      Production: Raw Interview Example

      12:53

    • 31.

      Production: Ways to Interview

      2:07

    • 32.

      Production: Note on Directing

      1:10

    • 33.

      Production: Photos

      0:37

    • 34.

      Production: Social Media

      2:17

    • 35.

      Production: Conflict Resolution

      2:06

    • 36.

      Production: Managing Energy & Mental Health

      1:41

    • 37.

      Production: Outro

      0:55

    • 38.

      Selling: Introduction

      2:06

    • 39.

      Selling: Prepare for Rejection

      0:58

    • 40.

      Selling: Setting up a Company

      1:36

    • 41.

      Selling: Terminology Recap

      0:34

    • 42.

      Selling: Film Festivals

      1:29

    • 43.

      Selling: Elements to Sell With

      3:55

    • 44.

      Selling: Our Pilot Episode

      25:58

    • 45.

      Selling: Hitting People Up

      4:34

    • 46.

      Selling: Our Selling Process

      5:33

    • 47.

      Selling: Journey & Destination

      1:44

    • 48.

      Selling: The Contract

      3:39

    • 49.

      Selling: Broadcaster Involvement

      1:06

    • 50.

      Selling: Distribution

      5:37

    • 51.

      Selling: Protecting Your Intellectual Property

      0:45

    • 52.

      Selling: Outro

      0:38

    • 53.

      Post-Production: Introduction

      1:45

    • 54.

      Post-Production: What you'll Need part 1

      2:18

    • 55.

      Post Production: What you'll Need pt 2

      2:17

    • 56.

      Post Production: What you'll Need pt 3

      1:58

    • 57.

      Post Production: What you'll need pt 4

      9:45

    • 58.

      Post Production: Segment Lengths & Storyboarding

      1:57

    • 59.

      Post Production: Setting Up Your Editing Project

      4:36

    • 60.

      Post Production: Preparing Interviews & B Roll

      2:34

    • 61.

      Post Production: Audio Tracks

      1:20

    • 62.

      Post Production: Censorship

      1:19

    • 63.

      Post Production: Constructing Your Edit

      4:31

    • 64.

      Post Production: Recording Voice Over

      2:32

    • 65.

      Post Production: Outside Eyes

      1:58

    • 66.

      Post Production: Putting on Straps/Titles

      2:04

    • 67.

      Post Production: Show Opener & GFX

      1:44

    • 68.

      Post Production: Credits

      1:22

    • 69.

      Post Production: The Audio Mix

      4:33

    • 70.

      Post Production: Color Correction

      0:44

    • 71.

      Post Production: The Final Export

      2:58

    • 72.

      Post Production: Exporting Video & Audio if You Haven't Sold The Show Yet

      1:37

    • 73.

      Post Production: Finished Segment Example

      9:19

    • 74.

      Post Production: Outro

      0:24

    • 75.

      Potential Deliverables: Introduction

      1:16

    • 76.

      Potential Deliverables: Music Cue Sheets

      0:43

    • 77.

      Potential Deliverables: Post Scripts

      6:06

    • 78.

      Potential Deliverables: Photos

      1:01

    • 79.

      Potential Deliverables: Marketing your Show

      2:59

    • 80.

      Outro

      2:47

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About This Class

Hi there, I’m Parv Jarecki, an Australian filmmaker.

A few years ago I took off with two of my mates for a road trip across the USA. We weren’t accomplished filmmakers. Until that point I was mainly getting paid to edit short, uninspiring videos for different advertising companies.

When we left for our trip we had a cheap camera, some basic equipment, a $700 Toyota Camry, and very little money.

We filmed our journey across the country, making a 6-part documentary series which we called ‘Unplanned America.’

We then managed to sell our show to Netflix, SBS Viceland, Amazon Prime, Canal Plus, and a bunch of other broadcasters all around the world.

This course will take you through our entire process, step-by-step, so you can understand how to make your own documentary film or series and sell it to broadcasters. This covers pre-production, production, post-production, selling, as well as the other bits-and-pieces that broadcasters might require from you after you make the sale. I also cover some psychological aspects of undertaking your dream project.

This course is going to demystify the process for you. If you're ready to take your filmmaking dreams to the next level, then this is the course for YOU!

Who Am I?

I'm an Australian documentary filmmaker who stepped up my career by making my own documentary series with two friends and selling it to Netflix. Since then I've worked as a Producer & Director for the likes of Netflix, SBS, Viceland, MTV and more.

I'm now starting to create educational & motivational content to help enable others to make their dream projects come to life.

 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Pawel Jarecki

MTV/Netflix/Viceland Director

Teacher

Hello I'm Parv Jarecki,  an Australian documentary filmmaker who has worked as a Producer & Director for the likes of Netflix, SBS, Viceland, MTV and more.

I'm now starting to create educational & motivational content to help enable others to make their dream projects come to life.

See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: [MUSIC] Hey guys, I'm Parv. This is a really great time in history for filmmakers. The traditional models of making film in TV have been turned upside down in the last decade. As well as that the tools of the trade, the cameras and software and all that jazz have become so accessible and cheap in comparison to what they used to be when I was first getting into media. As a result, being able to make great content that's worthy of being on a television screen is no longer just the domain of big production companies or television networks. Anyone can do it now, the traditional gatekeepers no longer hold a monopoly. On top of that, there's so many new outlets for content. There's all the TV networks all over the world, plus all the video on demand services like Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, Netflix, and there's more all the time. These places are hungry for content and they don't care where it comes from as long as it's good content. Now if you're a filmmaker who feels like you've got an awesome project in there waiting to get out, then this is the course for you. Just because anyone can do it these days doesn't mean it's it easy and it can be tricky to know what the actual steps are to getting something on it. That's why I've made this course. But what are my qualifications to be making a course like this? Why should you listen to me? Well, I'll tell you a bit about my story. A few years ago, a mate of mine hit me up and said, "Hey, let's quit our jobs and go on a six-month road trip across the USA and let's try and make a TV show about it." I wanted it in. At the time I wasn't feeling fulfilled as a filmmaker. I had been working in TV and media for about five years. I was getting stuck in a loop freelancing for different networks and advertising agencies, making lots of uninspiring content. I was getting a bit jaded with the industry. I really felt like I could make something cool if someone just gave me the chance. But I felt like no one was giving me the chance. Plus at the time I still thought that before you can make a TV show, you had to be a big shot director that had worked in the business for ages. Maybe one won a few Film Festival Award. I thought you had to be working for a big production company or TV network. I didn't fit into any of those categories. I was decent using a camera, but by no means a higher professional. I felt I had pretty solid editing skills, but really I felt my best skill was I had a good attitude and a strong will to make some awesome content. But making my own TV show which is me and a couple of mates, that was going to be a huge leap. We had no idea of what the process looked like. We knew how to film and edit stuff. The packaging it up into a TV show and selling it, not really our bag. We decided to take the plunge anyway. There was no way I could've predicted where that journey took me. We ended up making that TV show. It was a six part travel documentary series called Unplanned America. Guess what? We ended up selling it. Then it ended up on a bunch of channels here in Australia, as well as Netflix internationally, Amazon Prime, and a bunch of other broadcasters all over the world. Were even ended up on the front page of VICE magazine for our efforts. After the success of the first season, Netflix and Australian broadcaster, SBS, teamed up to fund two more seasons of the show. We basically spent the next few years living the dream as we traveled around the USA making our own travel documentary series. I went from being a filmmaker that was only getting hired to make shot on inspiring videos to a guy who was now getting paid to produce, direct, and edit his own TV series with a crew of his friends. Pretty big career jump. Now look, I'm not saying we made the best show of all time. In fact, that first season was dodgy, but that dodgy little show took us places that I'm really proud of. We barely had enough money to keep ourselves alive and we had a video camera and some basic equipment. We made heaps of mistakes and learned a lot, and I'm going to share that stuff with you. I'm going to take you right through our journey from beginning to end and tell you all the stuff I wish I had known before we started from pre-production and the equipment you're going to need, to crowdfunding tips, to methods of filming and interviewing, to post-production techniques, and walking you through how we sold the show and got distribution. I'll tell you about the kinds of deliverables networks you'll expect when you deliver a show, as well as the annoying legal forms and documents you might need along the way. I'm also going to cover some of the psychological aspects of undertaking your passion project. I wish I had someone to tell me all this stuff when we did it. We really bungled our way through this process. But what's great about that is you get to learn from my mistakes. I'm really stocked to share this stuff with you. If you're ready to take your filmmaking dreams to the next level, then this is a place for you. C'mon you scallywags. 2. Mission Statement: [MUSIC] Let's talk mission statement. The approach I'm imparting through this course, the approach that I believe has the best chance for you selling your content to a television network or video-on-demand service is the approach where you make the content yourself and then sell a finished product to these outlets. This is the approach I've come to believe in after our outcomes with our show Unplanned America, our subsequent projects that I've worked on or collaborated with since then. The traditional way of making a TV show was this. You'd be a well-known production company or a director or producer with an impressive resume and years and years of experience under your belt. These people or companies approach the TV network or Netflix or whichever broadcast and say, hey, I've got a great idea for a show give us lots of money to make it, and the broadcaster says, sure, that's a great idea and we trust you to make it because you're a well-known production company or director with a great resume and years and years of experience under your belt. You see the risk at this and fair enough they're not going to give you heaps of money and trust you to make a show if you're a nobody in the industry. I was a big-time nobody so were my mates. Sure we were competent content creators, but no heads of any production companies or TV networks knew our names. Our chances of convincing any broadcasters to give us money to make our dream show was close to nil. Here's the thing, you got to do what we did. You've got to make the thing yourself and then show them the finished product. They're not going to trust you with their money to make something awesome because they don't know who the **** you are and they get hit up by people all the time. But if you show up with something already made, all they have to do is watch it and if they like it, boom, it's a low risk. You've already done all the hard work. It's way more likely for them to buy it off you at the tail end than at the front end. Then once you've done it this way, it's a lot more likely for broadcasters to trust you to make shows for them, because you'll have a credit to your name. After our first season was a success, Netflix and SPS gave us the money to make our next two seasons and they barely even checked up on us. They just set a date for when they wanted the thing delivered and waited the rest. They trusted us because they had seen the proof. We had proved ourselves. This course is about making this thing yourself and trusting that you can. I believe that's the best chance for getting it on air. It may not be the same format as our show. It may be a one-hour film about love. It might be a four-part series about hermaphrodite frogs, whatever it doesn't matter. From doing this course, you're going to get an understanding of how to make a show yourself and the kinds of processes it's going to take to get it across the finishing line. Now your journey is going to be totally different to our journey. But by learning about our journey, you're going to know way more than we did when we set off. Let's do it. Let's get your show made and sold. 3. Pre-Production: Finding Your Drive and Passion: [MUSIC] What was driving me and what was I passionate about? These are two things you should probably ask yourself before you decide to embark on a project like this. What was driving me? Well, I had wanted to be a filmmaker and I got into it in my early 20s with these great dreams of making awesome content and that would really touch people. That by making this content, I would unlock a lifestyle where I was earning money making staff that I was really proud of. Fast-forward, 6-7 years and I was feeling pretty stuck. I was getting paid, yes, I had ticked that box, but I was making content that I wasn't really that into. I was doing it over and over again. I wasn't feeling very inspired by it or challenged by it and I was feeling pretty gray inside. When Gonzo hit me up with his idea of making a show, I felt that drive come back. I wanted to make stuff that I was proud of and I wanted to unlock a lifestyle where I was earning money making stuff that was actually fulfilling to me and that actually mattered. That was my drive. That was my motivation. What type of show would we make? Well, that's where the passion comes in. If you're going to take a risk and try and make your own show, it's got to be something that you're passionate about. It's going to be a long process so you need that passion to keep you going. Otherwise, you'll probably going to fizzle out halfway because this thing is going to take a lot of time, energy, probably a bunch of your money. You might not be heading off and making a travel show for six months like we did, you might just be doing this on weekends or whenever you've got some spare time. But the point is, you're going to be dragging yourself away from your couch, away for your biz, away from your Dobby, away from your Netflix and you're going to be putting effort into this thing. You're going to need to find the right motivation and you're going to need to have some passion for it. Otherwise, the Dobby, and the biz, and the Netflix, they're going to win. You see, Gonzo was passionate about the USA and road tripping. I was passionate about traveling outside of the normal tourist destinations and I loved weird sub coaches. Boom, we decided to combine these two passions and the rough premise of the show was born. A road trip documentary in the USA where we quit our jobs and go on this adventure to weird places and hangout with strange sub coaches. It was pretty exiting. Also remember when you're considering concepts, that a show that talks to people's dreams is very marketable. Our show was a road trip documentary, yes, that was the content, but the premise of the show that we quit our jobs and went on this adventure that talks to a lot of people stuck in the daily grind. That was something that really appealed to our viewers. Also consider that when you're coming up with a premise. You don't need to look too far to do the market research. What are your dreams? What were your dreams? That's a pretty good place to start. Figure out why you want to do this thing. Try and be really honest with yourself and figure out what's motivating you. Figure out what you're really passionate about. Is it food, travel, diving, ballet, drugs, drugs and ballet? Whatever it is, figure it out and make this project about that. If you're working with other people, try and find a compromise so that you're making something that you're all passionate about. Otherwise, the others will probably fall away once things get tough. Remember, a show the talks to people's dreams is going to be easier to sell down the track. 4. Pre-Production: Finding Your Team: [MUSIC] There's a good chance that you can't do this all yourself, I definitely would not have been able to. Your team is out there, trust me. Most filmmakers got into this industry to make some awesome film or show that they're proud of, and most filmmakers are making a heap of **** for someone else that they're not proud of. They're just waiting for the right motivator or project to come up and light them up inside. You've got to start talking to people and posting on Facebook group for filmmakers. Start putting yourself out there. Start making your intentions known. Maybe the first 30 people you talk to won't be interested, but eventually you'll get some buds. Try and find people that compliment your skillset. If you're not a good editor, try and find a passionate editor. If you don't want to use a camera, find someone who's passionate about it. Try and find the smallest viable team that you think you might need to try and get this project done. The more people involved, the more difficult it gets to try and line up schedules and all that crap. Scope each other out, have a few coffees, do you like their vibe? Good. You got to really like the vibe of the people you're working with because this is going to be a real journey that you're going to go on. You're going to have ups and downs, and arguments, and all stuff, so it's good if you dig their vibe from the beginning. Now, just remember, if you're involving people in this project then you've got to properly involve them. It's time to start letting go of some of those control freak tendencies of yours. This is all of your project now, everyone's voice is valid, and you've got to make them feel that way. You need to value their input and opinion, and you need to actually take it on sometimes. It can't just be my way or the highway, or you're going to find people will start dropping off really quickly. This is a collaboration, and that means that this project is a mix of everyone's creative output, not just yours, so find people who you respect and who you're happy to share your creative output with. Compliment people. The best way to keep morale up in a team is to compliment people, but not with ****** fake compliments that aren't real. Find real things about the person that you find awesome and respect and let them know. Like, did they film something in a particularly great way that day? Did you like the way they edited a particular section? Whatever it is, people can sniff out if you're being fake, but if you find things that are genuinely cool about them and let them know, they'll really light up, and the project will really benefit if you have a bunch of people working on it that are feeling good about themselves. It feels good to hand out compliments, give it a go. Let's try this together, Perv, you are a bloody legend. Didn't that feel good? I had an interview with Hollywood writer and director Judd Apatow, and he said that if you're going to do a project that involves people, then you might want to ask yourself if you're a good person to be around, and if not, then you might want to change that first. Obviously we're not perfect, but if you're a grumpy ***** all the time, maybe try and sort that out. If you always think you're right and other people are wrong, then time to look at that. If you think you're better than everyone else, well, guess what? You're not, so time to get that through your head. If you never say sorry, well start practicing mate. There's nothing worse than someone who won't take responsibility for their actions. You going to make heaps of mistakes during this project. You're going to mess up and sometimes you're going to do wrong by others. If you say sorry when it's your fault and don't be stubborn ***** as much as you can help it, then you and your team might just work. Just remember, it all comes back to you. Don't blame externally, look internally. That's where you got to make the changes. [MUSIC] To find a team, you need to start putting yourself out there. Make your intentions known to more than just your best mate and your mom. If you're going to let other people into the project, make sure you respect them and treat them with respect. This is a collaboration between all of you, so make sure everyone's input is being valued and considered equally. Compliment people, this will do wonders for the morale of the project, but find genuine staff to complement them about, otherwise it'll just come across fake. Take a look at yourself. If you're going to be working with people then make sure you're a decent person to be around, and if not, then work on that first. [MUSIC] 5. Pre-Production: Psychological Tips: [MUSIC] Look, this thing is probably going to take a long time. It's going to be a lot of hard work and that's what's going to make it feel great when you get to the end, whatever happens with it. But there's going to be some tricky times. My biggest hurdle through the whole project was really me, my own mind, my own fears and doubts and insecurities, my imposter syndrome. I was constantly getting that voice in my head telling me that I wasn't good enough, that I was a poser, that I had no right to be thrown down with a big dogs who made television shows, the legitimate filmmakers. I doubted myself constantly. I had so much fear and you know what, I still do it. I've come to realize that these things might not go away. They actually might be with me for life. But the huge lesson that I learn making this show is that they're just opinions that are a partly for throwing out there and you don't have to listen. Almost every day that I made that show, I had that voice pop up from time to time telling me that I should quit. But I kept going regardless. I pushed through and I kept showing up and putting in the effort day after day. In the end, it worked out, even though that voice told me it wouldn't, even though it told me over and over again that I would fail and that I was a loser, it all worked out fine. Because of that, and I saw that things worked out even though it told me those things, I realized it was just giving me an opinion. It's not the truth, it's just an opinion. It was up to me whether I wanted to listen while I wanted to act from that place of fear. I still get that voice. Even writing this course, it was saying, these course is **** man. Why would anyone want to listen to you man. There are more experienced filmmakers than you out there man. But these days are more likely to ignore it because I remember it's ******** from every project I've ever done and how despite its inlining opinion, things usually turn out just fine. Really I think one of the biggest keys to doing a project like this is to realize the voice is just offering you an opinion. It's an opinion that's very convincing some and has some great arguments. But at the end of the day, it's a fee-based opinion and it's not the truth. Something else to remember is that a project like this can be very heady, isn't to say, lots of thinking. I found that I was starting to get a little obsessed with the project and it was becoming a bit all consuming in my life. I was starting to notice in my anxiety was getting a bit jacked up and sometimes I wouldn't be able to sleep because I was constantly thinking of ideas. You really got to try and balance his stuff out. Try and learn to have work hours and then switch off outside of that. Just go back to life. I think it's really good to get some exercise routines going so you can balance that head stuff out with some body stuff and just help you switch off a bit. It's easy for me these days because my wife gets a **** with me when I blab on about whatever project I'm working on too much. That's a pretty good motivator to cut it out. But also I like to go swimming or surfing just to help dehead a bit. I've found meditation really helpful. I used to hate meditation, but then I started doing these guided meditations on YouTube and I just found it really helpful to take a break from all the chatter in my brain. But obviously, you have to find your own strategy. The point is having some other routines to help balance you out, to help these projects stay fun, and that way you won't end up as an anxious divorcee. [MUSIC] Remember, the hardest part of a project is probably going to be yourself. Try and get in the habit of not listening to that negative voice in your head. It's just an opinion and things that are actually going to turn out fine. Try and foster some good life habits to help you switch off and always thinking about the project, and also just make you feel good in general. The better you feel, the more likely you are to keep this thing rolling and rolling in a fun way. Whether it's going for long walks are getting oiled up and wrestling with him Mike, there's no judgment here. Just keep yourself feeling good and help that mind switching off from time to time. [MUSIC] 6. Pre-Production: How Are Shows Sold?: [MUSIC] Knowing the different ways that broadcasters buy shows will be helpful when you're figuring out how to approach this process, if indeed you're hoping to sell the show like we were. Now, when selling a show, there are generally two main options. The first is a commission. This is usually when a broadcaster pays to have a show made for them. Think shows like X Factor or Game of Thrones, HBO commissioned Game of Thrones to be made for them. They pay for everything and then usually own the rights to the show. If you want a commission, I would suggest you go ahead and make the first episode of the show, this is called a pilot episode. Then you'll approach broadcasters or distributors with a pilot and other documents that I'll talk about in the selling section. That is not what we did. We didn't get a commission, we got an acquisition because we self-funded the production and went and shot everything ourselves. This meant we had bypassed the commission type of deal, which meant we went into the acquisition category, so the deal we got was an acquisition. This is when a broadcaster pays you a license fee to show your content, but you still ultimately own the right to your show. To make this a bit clearer, think about Netflix shows. There's the shows that Netflix has made themselves, those are the commissions, and then there are all the other shows that Netflix didn't make but are on the platform anyway, those are the acquisitions. Those are shows that Netflix has paid to be able to stream on their platform. Now, we had a contract with them saying they could show our program for two years, but we still own the rights to the show and could sell it to other places as well, even though it was on Netflix. Now to be clear, commissions are harder to get, but it means you get more money upfront, but it also means the broadcaster generally owns the rights, that we call the shots more. Acquisitions mean that you have to do more hard work upfront and might have to self-fund the project. The acquisitions deals are for less money, but on the plus side, they are easier to get because they're less risk for the broadcaster and it also means you ultimately own the rights and might even be able to sell it to multiple broadcasters and make more money in the long run, if money is your main motive, which it wasn't really for us in the first season. There's two types of deals, commissions and acquisitions. Commissions are when a broadcaster pays to have a TV show made for them, acquisitions are when a broadcaster pays to stream an already existing program on their platform or channel. Have a think about which path you would like to go down. [MUSIC] 7. Pre-Production: Getting Started: [MUSIC] We had decided we wanted to go and make a show ourselves, self finding it and everything. We decided we wanted to go the acquisition road instead of a commission because we knew from working in the industry how hard it was to get a commission. What were we going to make? Quite simply, we didn't have much of an idea. As I told you before, Gonzo like road tripping in the USA and I liked off the beaten track travel and some coaches. We went with that to start. That was our rough premise, a road trip to the USA where we hang out with interesting and weird people that we meet while traveling and also make some of it up along the way. We both agreed that the end goal was to get it onto television. We decided that we would try and make a series and multiple episodes and decided to work towards six half-hour episodes. Now keep in mind there's different options. You don't have to make six half-hour episodes like we did. Some of the other options are a one-hour documentary, a feature-length documentary, which is anything upwards of 70 minutes, full one-hour episodes. There's a bunch of options, so you really got to think what suits the type of show that you're making. Just watch different shows on Netflix and see what formats suit different types of shows. Even if it doesn't end up this way and changes into a different format, that's okay. Just give it a rough structure to work towards. We came up with a working title for our show, which was quite simply two men and a camera. We banged up a basic logo and boom, we had a project. How exciting. Now the logo and the name of the project ended up changing down the line when another mate came on board. But it was good to have something to work with for now. We decided we would set a date for when we would like to start filming and then work towards it. We gave ourselves about a year. We figured this would give us enough time to save a bunch of money, research what equipment we might need and just start getting in the zone. The money was the main thing. We needed time to save a bunch of money, but it also bought us a bunch of time to start focusing on our upcoming project. We started getting down to work. It felt scary and exciting to be working towards this thing without having any idea of where it was going to go. [MUSIC] Don't spend too long refining your show idea name, etc. Start with a rough guideline and let the show evolve as you go. You can never predict the outcome from the get-go. At the same time don't be too vague with what you're going for. We ended up shooting all the content for our whole series. You might not have the time and money to do this, but at the very least, aim to shoot the first episode. Figure out your engulf from the start so you can work towards achieving it. We wanted to get on TV, but you might be just interested in an audience or the money or the creative aspect. Know what you're after, before you start. Branding is an important aspect that can help you create an identity for your project. But again, don't spend too long refining the details and characteristics of your brand. Make a mock-up and let it evolve with your work. Setting a deadline is essential in helping you achieve goals. Be realistic with when you'd like to get started and then do everything in your power to make sure you stop by that time. [MUSIC] 8. Pre-Production: Finding Inspiration: [MUSIC] At this point, I started looking around for inspiration pretty heavily. I was looking around at the people I respected, who are making shows and I was really watching how they were doing things. I was a little inspiration sponge just sucking it up. I was watching a bunch of Louis Theroux stuff because I liked the way he would go into weird subcultures and interact with them, asking really great questions. From watching him, I was starting to get a better idea of how to ask people questions in a good way. I watched this great online series called California Is a Place which are these nine videos about different characters around California and I just loved them. I really deconstructed the videos. I would watch them over and over again to see how they did the interviews, what shots they would use when they brought in music and what music they would use. I even emailed the guys who made them and ask them questions about what cameras they used and stuff like that. Then there was this show called Backpackers that I'd remember I'd seen on Australian television years ago. It was about these [inaudible] guys that had gone to Europe and traveled around with a handy-cam or something. I managed to find some old episodes on YouTube because it was a similar thing to what we were going to do. The production value is actually pretty bad, but it was still inspiring because these guys had obviously had no money and still just went for it. Now we weren't surfers or anything, but I loved the vibe of surf films, so I wanted to scope out how they did that. Often around the actual surfing, they would have these great moments of them camping or traveling. I wanted to absorb that stuff as well. I was doing my homework and unlike normal homework, it was heaps of fun. I was watching heaps of stuff and really just absorbing how they were doing it. It was just making me feel really inspired and excited about doing it for myself. [MUSIC] Inspiration is important. Consider your role models, shows you'd like to emulate, film-making styles you admire and pick them apart, watch them over and over again until you've learned how they were put together. Then you can single out the elements that are really speaking to you and try and use them for your own project. Don't be afraid to branch out and seek inspiration from other projects that seem dodgy or unprofessional. There's always something to learn from any piece of work. [MUSIC] 9. Pre-Production: Money Talk: [MUSIC] A really massive factor is obviously money. Production companies and TV networks will usually have budgets of hundreds of thousands of dollars. You don't have that and we didn't have that, so don't worry about it that didn't stop us and it will not stop you, but you do need some money. Obviously, the way the big production companies go about things is they go to the network or Netflix and say, here's our great idea and the network goes, we love it. He's a bunch of money and you can go and make it. That will be great. But it's super rare for anyone without a track record to score that. Also, it means a network gets to control it, which means it's some network executive gets to sign off on all the ideas. We knew we probably weren't going to score a commission because we didn't have a track record so we had to go and do it all ourselves, and that meant paying for it ourselves. Gonzo and I got pretty serious about raising money for this trip. Gonzo moved back home with his parents for the year leading up to the trip so he could save every dime and I moved into tent in so friend's backyard and they charged me like 20 bucks a week rent or something like that. We barely ate out or went out. We just knuckle down and saved. By the time we left in the USA after we'd bought all the equipment, I had saved about 12 grand. That was the money I needed to live and love with the next six months that we were there for. That might sound like a lot to you, but in TV land, it actually isn't and I ran out halfway and needed to raise more money through crowdfunding. You might not need that much money or maybe you need more. Remember, we wanted to be traveling around for about six months, so that's quite a long time. By looking back on the trip, I can now see the calculations I should've done before we started to give me a good idea of how much money we might've needed and I'll walk through those with you. By the way, I'm just talking about the money you need to do the production. Once we came back from the production, we all got part-time jobs which helped us hustle on the side until we sold the show. Let's focus on production first. The main expenses for production are going to be the equipment you need to buy to make the show and the other main cost is going to be the daily expenses of traveling around and making a show while eating and sleeping, and putting petrol in your car and smoking cigarettes and all that stuff. I'll break down these costs in two main sections so you can start the calculation for the money you might need. I'll also do a segment on crowdfunding later in case you want to raise some money that way [MUSIC]. To make the project of your dreams happen, you're going to have to make some sacrifices to your daily life and expenses. For me, that meant moving into a tent. For you, it could mean giving up takeaway coffee, selling your car, or moving into mom and dad's place. Do whatever you got do to make your project happen, make a budget. I'll get to that later, but factor in the fact that you will need to do a bit of math before you hit the road for your own good. Finally, you can and will create something without the massive budget of production companies and TV networks. [MUSIC] 10. Pre-Production: The Equipment: Our first major expense was buying the equipment we needed to make the show, the camera gear, sound gear and so on. Most important thing is your camera. For our first series, we decided to buy a Canon XF100. It was a great camera that was pretty cheap. It still broadcasts quality. Unfortunately, I can't show you our one because it got lost in one of our later production trips. The downside of that camera was that it didn't have interchangeable lenses. All you filmmakers who want to get fancy with your lenses this might not be the camera for you. But the upside of something like the XF100 is it's basically a glorified camcorder. If you're a really amateur camera person, it's best to get a camera like this, the professional camcorder type. Pretty basic to use without all the bells and whistles. This is the Sony FS700. We bought this one for our next couple of seasons. It's also a pretty great camera and it does have interchangeable lenses. The downside of a camera like this is it's a little bit more complicated to use I'd only head in that direction if you're feeling confident with the camera. The XF100 can be bought for around a 1000 bucks second-hand and the Sony FS700, maybe two grands sometimes less. Heaps of older cameras will do just as great a job. The XF100 was great for us because we were making a lo-fi style travel show and we found out that the XF100 is what a lot of the vice videos were getting shot on at the time, and we liked that look so that's the camera that we went for. I would do a bit of research about what camera is best for you. I'm not going to talk about all the different cameras because we'd be here all day. There's so many out there and there's new ones coming out all the time. It's important to note that you don't need the latest and greatest. We had one of the cheapest pro cameras on the market. I would say whichever camera you're looking at, just watch a bunch of reviews on YouTube and make sure you don't go for the review where the guy is saying that everything is awesome because they've obviously been sent the camera by the manufacturer. You want to find someone who is obviously being a bit more honest about the pros and cons of each camera. The main thing I would recommend with the camera is that it has XLR inputs so your sound gear can plug directly into the camera and record into it. You also want the option of being able to set the sound levels manually. Make sure your future camera can do this. It'll usually mean to have little sound dials on the camera. Also, you want your camera to have the sound input option where you can switch between mic input, line input, or plus 48. This is so you can plug in the different microphones that you'll need. The pills usually need the micro line option and the top mark I'll talk about runs on plus 48, which is also referred to as phantom power. I'll cover these microphones in a second. After we got the camera, we go a decent tripod. Now we knew that we were going to shoot mostly handheld because that was the style that we liked. The tripod wasn't that vital, we just got a photo tripod from one of their other mates. I'm sure you've got some mate who wanted to get into photography and bought a bunch of gear and now it's just sitting around getting dusty. Hit them up and borrow it. Otherwise, just get a secondhand tripod for 50 bucks. We also had a little GoPro because we wanted to do some driving shots from the front of the car and also shooting back into the car just to get that road trip vibe going. Now sound gear is pretty important. In the era of reality shows and all that stuff people can handle video that isn't shot really well, but they won't abide by bad sound. Good sound or bad sound is what will differentiate a good production, a professional production from an amateur one. We got two things. We got this rode NTG1 mic. This was generally our top mic, which means that it was the one that sits on top of the camera. This is a really great microphone and served us really well. If you want a boom mic like those ones that they hold up on film sets, you can just trap it to a stick or something. This mic is the **** and it only costs between 200 and 300 bucks, which is pretty unreal for a pro quality like this. This mic runs on phantom power, which is a weird turn. It basically means it needs juice from your camera to run. That's plus 48 option that I talked about before. That'll power a microphone like this. Then we bought one lapel microphone. This was for when we did interviews. Now later down the line when we had more money for season two and three, we bought it great sine highs of lapels, but they're pretty pricey. If you can afford one of those, great. But otherwise, for Series 1, we just bought these asden ones. This was a 15 BT and I don't think they make them anymore. They are about 300 bucks and they served us really well. Just make sure when you're buying sound gear that you don't get the cheapest thing out there because you'll get what you pay for. Get the mid-range staff or just go as high as you can without breaking the bank. You want decent quality sound gear and get a stack of AA batteries or whatever goes in your lapel. That's it for sound. Series 1, we just had the lapel and the road mic. That was our sound gear. We had a cord to connect it to the camera and a long XLR cable in case we wanted to use the rode mic with a longer reach. Generally, if we were talking to the camera in the car or if someone was talking to the camera close up, we would just use the rode mic on top of the camera. If we were doing interviews, we would put the lapel on the person we were interviewing and we'd use the rode mic as a backup. I will go over sound recording in the production section. We had a decent pair of headphones so we can monitor the sound as we were shooting. You want to find out right away if the sound is coming in badly or too low, not later when you're editing. We also had a spare battery for the cameras so that we can shoot for the ages. That way we could charge one while shooting with the other one. Two spares wouldn't hurt either. You obviously want to charge it to go with it. And a car charger is super handy in case you don't have access to power and you can charge on the go. You want some big SD cards or whatever cards your camera shoots onto. Do not buy cheap ****** ones. We bought a couple of cheap ****** SD cards and they corrupted at some stage. Buy decent priced ones from well-known brands this is not the thing to cheap out on. I'm all about cheaping out. This is not the place to do it. You also want a card reader so you can transfer the footage. We also had this little top light so that we could still film if the lighting was crappy or if it was dark. Later we bought this awesome one, but for season one we just had this little guy. You also want a lens wiper thingy so you can keep the lens clean and some power adapters for whatever country you're going to. Now, hard drives. What I would really recommend doing is having two hard drives and putting the same footage on both drives. There's the main drive and then there's the backup drive which is a mirror image of the main one. This is in case the main one dies or is lost or something. We learn the hard way that if a hard drive dies or gets corrupted for some weird reason, and you don't have a backup and you've already wiped the cards then it's sucks. If all your footage takes up three drives, you actually want six drives because each hard drive should have a backup hard drive, which is the mirror image of its bro. When you get back and start editing, you probably want a main master drive to put all the footage onto, but we'll go over that in the post-production section. Let's stay focused on production here. Now, you'll need a laptop so you can be dumping footage on the go and also reviewing footage and probably editing cubits of footage on the road. Then you're going to want some editing software. Now I use Adobe Premiere on a yearly subscription, but just go with what you know. That's it for production equipment. That is all the stuff that we had when we set off. [MUSIC] For series 1 we used the Canon XF100 shape of broadcast quality. That said it didn't have interchangeable lenses. Series 2 and 3, we had the Sony FS700, which does have interchangeable lenses. Do your research and know what vibe you're going for before settling on a camera. Don't be afraid to go secondhand. Make sure your camera has XLR input so that you can directly plug your sound gear into the camera. Also makes sure the camera has the option of setting sound manually, as well as the mic line or plus 48 phantom power options. Don't skimp out on sound gear. While shoddy video can scrape by with audiences shoddy audio is never okay. Invest in decent quality sound gear or at least go for the mid-range products. Avoid cheap sound gear like your professional life depends on it because you know what? It does. Grab a good set of headphones for testing out sound while you're shooting. This is the best time to pick up on crappy audio coming into the camera not after. Just like sound gear, don't skip out on your SD cards or whatever your camera uses. They are holding the lifeblood of your project and it is not placed to take chances with fake. Double up on all your hard drives, trust me, make sure each and every hard drive has a clone. Be prepared and you'll never have to face a data loss disaster like we did. [MUSIC] 11. Pre-Production: Other Expenses: [MUSIC] Guys, let's get down to the other side of the money you're going to need, all the non-production equipment stuff. These are the things you're going to have to consider. I can't just give you a figure and say here, you need 18 grand because that's not the case as each production is different depending on what you want to do and how you're going to go about it. But from having done the trip, I can give you some things to think about that will give you a rough idea of the money that you're going to need. Firstly, if you're doing it in another country like we were the plane ticket. How much is the plane ticket going to cost for return ticket and how much are visas going to cost for that country and how long does that visa allow you to stay for? Next, how are you going to get around? We bought a cheap $700 Toyota Camry. Now with cars, you need to check the legalities of being a foreigner buying a car in that country. Being Australian, we weren't able to buy a car in certain states in the USA, but managed to buy one in California. But even then we had a bit of trouble trying to get insurance because we weren't citizens. It's a really good idea to research this stuff. Maybe you have to hire a car, how much is that going to cost? Research. When buying a car for the love of God, please try and get someone who knows about cars to check it out first. Our car was cheap and we ended up paying for it in the long run. It broke down and needed bits and pieces replaced so many times that by the end of the trip, we were basically driving a different car because we had replaced so many pieces of it and it cost us a few thousand dollars in mechanical repairs over the course of the trip. It's going to be a really important part of your trip, so don't be too relaxed about it like we were. Also, it's really good to look up cars that are really easy and cheap to repair. Lucky for us, we had an old Toyota Camry and although it broke down heaps, they're pretty inexpensive cars to repair and get parts for so that worked in our own bums favor. After the car, a good idea is to get travel insurance. I never used to get travel insurance. Before this trip my dad convinced me to do it. I'm stoked that he did because on the trip my appendix burst and I had to go to hospital in the USA. The cost of the operation was upwards of 30 grand. I would've been truly screwed without travel insurance. Another type of insurance you might want to consider is insurance for your equipment. We didn't actually get any, but that's a pretty risky maneuver and our car did get broken into in Atlanta. Luckily, they didn't grab too much stuff, but that could have been a real disaster for us. Public liability insurance is another type of insurance to look into. This covers you in case you heard someone else while filming. Again, we didn't have this in the first season, but we did have it for the next two seasons. It's up to you if you want to run the gauntlet. I'm just telling you things to consider. Now we had a decent 10. You can usually borrow one from one of your mates who never uses theirs. There's heaps of people who fantasize about going camping all the time and board the gear just like the tripod and it's getting dusty. Ask around and get some good camping gear with a good sleeping bag and a decent mattress. This will save you heaps of money and accommodation. On that first trip in the USA, we paid for accommodation maybe a total of three weeks over that whole six months. We saved a buttload of money there by camping and couch surfing. Also, you can get some good cooking gear that will save you stacks. What you spend on one prepared meal is what you can spend on ingredients to cook for an entire week, so it's really worth thinking about. It ends up being nice because a couple of times a week when you do decide to pay for a meal, it feels like a real treat. Next up, you need to figure out how much money you're roughly going to need for traveling. You need to work backwards here. First off, think of what the format of your show might be. This can change, but it gives you something to work with. Say that our show was six by half hour episodes. The rough equation for filming documentary stuff that someone once told me is it takes at least an hour of filming to turn into a minute. Now that's super variable, but at least it gives you a starting point. At the minimum, I would say each half hour episode would take at minimum like 30 hours to film. It's always safer to give yourself more time if you can. Let's say you want a week per half hour episode and then you have six episodes. You're at six weeks and then you probably want to add a couple of weeks as a buffer because **** happens, like cars breaking down and appendixes bursting. You're at like two months. That might be too much time for you. We had ages. We took six months to cruise around and do our first season. But let's just work with my equation so you can see where I'm getting at. Say you have the two months that you think you're going to need to make six episodes. Then you try and work out your daily budget, your budget and how much you're going to spend on food each day roughly. You add in petrol depending on how much you want to travel, how many beers you drink per day, cigarettes, water, work the **** out. How many times a week are you going to budget for staying and accommodation and how many nights are you going to camp? Add it all out and average it out to the daily cost. Then times that daily cost by the two months and now you've got a figure. Ideally add some money in case your car breaks down and in case you lose your microphone one night when you're drunk and you're going to need to buy a new one. Add some money in case you need to hire a car for the first week before you find one to buy and boom. You're starting to get a good idea of how much money you're going to need. Then you add that to the film equipment and you're getting a good idea of how much cash you need for this project. Now it might be a fair bit more than you think and you might have to make sacrifices. I saved all my money for a year. I pretty much stopped eating out that whole time, barely drunk any alcohol, made heaps of sacrifices in my day-to-day life. You'll be amazed how much money you'll save when you cut out all those unnecessary costs. It's tough because you're used to those luxuries. Trust me, the feeling of an achievement like this will fire away all those bottles of beer. Now we underbudgeted and ran out of money halfway due to car issues and also just having no idea how much money we might need. We had to use crowdfunding to raise more money and finish the show. Like I said, I'll cover crowdfunding later. Now whatever you do, keep a track of who is spending what. We kept a good record of who bought what equipment and who was spending what money as we were going along the pre-production and production. That way, when money starts coming in, once you sell the show, you'll know who needs to get what. Go figure out how much money you might need. You'll never get it completely right, but it's good to have a rough idea or at least more of an idea than we had, which isn't hard because we had no idea. [MUSIC] If you're going to be doing this overseas, make sure you thoroughly research visas, insurance, and all that pretty boring stuff that's essential. Consider how long you need to stay, how you'll be getting around, whether you can buy a car there, and whether you can buy insurance for that car. If you do plan on buying a car, make it a trusted brand that is easily and inexpensively repaired. Even if you have to splurge a little more, you're better off paying a little extra in the beginning rather than basically putting in a whole new engine bit by bit like we did. Look at what insurance you might want. Travel insurance, I now stand behind 100 percent after saving my *** in the USA. Then do you want equipment insurance , public liability insurance? Even if you don't want to pay for any insurance, just do your due diligence and know what it is that you're not insuring yourself from. A general rule is that one hour of filming equates to one minute of footage. Consider how many episodes of what length you want to create and use the above formula to estimate how much time you'll need to record, then add more time as a buffer. If you're with the crew, keep track of who is spending what. Write this down somewhere. It's easy to think you'll remember, but after six month and a **** load of crazy experiences, it's the last thing you'll remember. [MUSIC] 12. Pre-Production: Basic Administration: [MUSIC] Admin, what a boring world? Well, you can't escape it and it's going to be a lot less painful if you get a good system going. First of all, Gonzo and I were a bit sloppy for a while, so maybe just skip that bit. We would start a document on his computer and then one on mine and then save one on his desktop than one on Google Drive or somewhere. It was a miss. Then each time we were like, hey, let's open up our document of potential ideas or our document or potential equipment, we would be looking around, didn't you save it in that folder or maybe it's my computer, or I think it's on your computer. It was totally amateur. You got to get involved in shared drives like Google or Dropbox or whatever. Get a good file structure going two men and a camera, pre-production, potential ideas, potential equipment, contact list or whatever. But just get some organization in there and use a shared drive it'll make it much easier. This is how professional cruise role and you're starting to be a professional crew, so begin acting like one. The other thing you need is a decent email address. My email address used to be captainpoland@hotmail.com and that wasn't going to cut it anymore. At the very least, you just got to have your name with Gmail at the end of it? No, Tim rule 778 or any of that ****. Even better would be Timproductions@gmail.com or something like that. Just make it look semi-professional. You don't want people thinking is some preteen clown. Once we had decent email addresses set up, it was time to contact people. I always use the same email address to contact people. So all the emails were in one place. I would also highly recommend that anytime you get an email relating to your show, put it in a folder. That way when you email gets really messy or you need to look for someone's contact or some important bit of information, it will be in that folder in your email. Really good habit to get into. [MUSIC] Admin is boring, especially when you're filming a bad *** production, but do it. Do it earlier rather than later or you will spend hours fixing up your mess and wishing you just listened to me from the get-go. Get onto shared drives like Google Drive or Dropbox. I personally prefer Google Drive. Label your files and folders appropriately. Silliness is fun, especially when working with mates, but not when it comes to bite you in your bum later, sort out your email address and get professional. Make sure you always use a dedicated email address for anything related to your production. Get on top of things like labels and filing. So it's easier for you to track down specific emails in the future. [MUSIC] 13. Pre-Production: Release Forms: [MUSIC] Now, the second part of the admin is the legal forms and documents you're going to want. One, release form. If you haven't seen a release form before, this is what one basically looks like. This is a form that you need to get people to sign when you film them. What the person is signing his permission that you're allowed to film them and use that recording in your production. This is a legal requirement and if you intend to sell your show there is always a possibility that the network you sell it to will ask to see the release forms. They usually won't, but it's good to have them just in case. The other reason for a release form is if someone that you film sees himself on TV and they don't like it, and they try to take legal action unless you've got a piece of paper where they've given you permission to film them. The second one is a location release form. This is just like a release form for people, but it's for places. This is for when you're filming in someone's restaurant or shop or something like that. You just want to get the permission of the owner so that you're covered to film there for all the same reasons as above. Download free ones. Every country has resources where you can get a hold of these. Trust me, type in free video release form and there will be heaps. Just make sure it's coming from a legitimate source. [MUSIC] 14. Pre-Production: Online Presence: [MUSIC] Website and social media and looking legit. We had another mate join our little gang, Nick, as it turned out that maybe three people will be better than two. We re-branded ourselves from two men in a camera to Unplanned America. Our mate brother came up with a cool logo and we decided this was going to be the name of that show. Now, we decided to get a website going and a Facebook page. Let's talk social media and website and all that stuff. Do you need to get involved? It's a great question, and I'll tell you why it was a bonus for us. We started a Facebook page, and in the beginning it was just a way so our mates could follow our journey. What we did is we were traveling and making the shows, making little updates and short videos and funny staff that we would post on our Facebook. We were just having fun, but we ended up slowly building up a following. By the time we were trying to sell the show, we had about 2,000 likes on our Facebook page and some of our videos on YouTube had a few thousand views each. Now, none of that is big numbers or anything, but what it did was prove to people that we were meeting with that we were serious about trying to do this thing. It showed that we were putting some effort into it and also that people were starting to respond to that effort. This helped down the line for us because it showed the network that we sold it to that people out there were actually liking what we were doing. It gave them some evidence of that. Yeah, if you can't be bothered, get an Instagram going or whatever social media thing is happening for you and just have some fun with it. Divide it up so each person is responsible for it at different times so you don't get completely sick of it by doing it all yourself. Just have fun. I think the trap a lot of people get into is like, "What am I going to post that other people are going to like and how can we make our shows other people will like it?" I really think that's the wrong way to go about it. Making sure any social media post and everything you do so that you like it and you'll find your audience. Make sure first and foremost that you're having fun. When you start to build up a following, you got to nurture your little community. These people are following you and take an interest in what you're doing, so engage with them and nurture them and communicate with them. Don't just wait till you've got heaps of followers before you decide that they're worth anything. You should be nurturing them from the very first person. Marketing guru, Seth Godin, talks about you following as a tribe. Imagine that you're starting a little tribe, and nurture your little tribe. You're their leader, so be a cool leader. Be nice to them and make them feel valued and they'll keep coming with you on this journey, and they'll probably tell their friends. Now, we got a website going. It's really easy to get a website happening, so if you can be bothered, then just do it, even if it just has some stock footage of a car driving with coming soon written over the top. We would often email people and say, "Hi, we're an Australian documentary crew filming a project about traveling without a plan." If they ask to see more stuff, we could just push them to our website. That just showed them we were serious enough to get a website happening and a logo or whatever, even though our website was just a short video of stock footage and the words Coming Soon. It's really not hard to look legit these days. If you're serious about this project, then just put a little bit of effort into it and make it look that way, and it will go a long way, and just have fun with it. Don't make it a chore. Do it if you feel the buzz and be creative with it. People will dig it. [MUSIC] Get on social media, even if you're just posting fun little updates for your mates, you never know where that will take you. You could end up with more fans, shares, likes, viral posts, you never know. A website is a gateway to looking professional. If you're going to be talking to a lot of people to get permission to film, get a website, even if it's a blank page with just the words Coming Soon, you'll look that much more legit. [MUSIC] 15. Pre-Production: Planning your Stories: [MUSIC] When you start building an episode, you want to think of the two main aspects of a documentary. There's the interviews and the visuals. You want the interviews and information to be interesting and from interesting people and you want the visuals to look cool. We've all seen documentaries that have good information but they're boring because they're just a bunch of people sitting there and talking without much action. We've also seen heaps of videos that have great visuals, but have very little substance because they don't have good interviews or information. Try and have both. For interviews, try and research people that are experts on a subject or right in the thick of it. If you're making a documentary about gangsta rap, talk to experts on gangsta rap, but also talk to gangsta rappers themselves. Then try and film lots of cool stuff of them, hanging out, wrapping down to the local club, the neighborhood they live in, lots of stuff. For example, I'll talk you through an episode we did about Detroit. One of the other boys, Nick, lined this episode up and I think he did a really great job with it. He was fascinated with Detroit, he loved the fact that half the city was abandoned and that there was these great abandoned buildings everywhere. But he'd also heard that there was this great scene of activists, and urban farmers and artists that were slowly reviving the city in a whole different way, focusing more on community than on industry. He went digging. He looked up news articles, read stuff online, watched some little documentaries on YouTube about Detroit and the same. From this, he started getting an idea of the things to go in the episode. He found out where the iconic abandoned buildings were and where other neighborhoods that were abandoned were. He lined up this local photographer called Eric, who took us on a tour of the abandoned buildings in the area, so we could film them for some great visuals. He found out that there was a very well-respected author and activist in the area called Grace Lee Boggs, who had kicked around with people like Malcolm X back in the day and had some really inspiring philosophies about Detroit, so he lined up an interview with her. He found out that there was this couple who was turning abandoned properties into urban farms and teaching kids how to do it too, so we lined up in an interview with them. He found a young entrepreneur who had bought a whole factory for $50,000 and turned it into this shared workspace where all these social initiatives and artists could work from. We lined up an interview with him and we lined up an interview with the people in their workspaces. He found this local poet who had been very vocal about her crappy upbringing in Detroit and how she was transmuting it all into something more positive, so we lined up an interview with her. My mom had me at 16 and didn't really know how to raise a family. We went through a lot of things. He found a local hip-hop club where all the upcoming local hip hop artists would perform at. We went there, got amongst it and interviewed some of the hip-hop crew. You see, he was really putting together a pretty dynamic and interesting episode, which was a mix of good interview subjects and good visuals. Then the rest we made up as we were there, depending on what jumped out at us when we were on the ground. That often happens. You line up a bunch of staff but also keep your eyes open for the good stuff when you're in amongst it, even if it's not part of the plan. When we were there filming with the gangsta rappers in Chicago, one day this cool character in a pink suit rocked up on a motorbike and turned out he was a local legend with heaps of great knowledge. We asked if he could do an interview with him. Don't be afraid to stray from the plan if you think there's some goods to be got. Now we didn't do much storyboarding when we were putting together an episode but if you need some visual help with how you might be putting it together, and I would recommend getting out the postage and sticking them to the wall with the different elements you're laying out just to get a feel of your episode to see if it's too hectic or too empty or just see what you're lining up. I would always recommend filming and lining up more than you think. Sometimes interviews don't turn as good as you think. Were you in hot tub time machine? No. No. It's easier to cut stuff out when you don't need it rather than try and find stuff if you don't have enough when you're in the editing stage of your production. Off you go. Time to start lining up the elements to make a really interesting and visually great episode. Just so you know, don't worry if your cinematography isn't world-class. If you find a great story, that's the main thing. If the subject is interesting, people won't care if it's not going to win an Oscar for its cinematography. [MUSIC] Remember that a good documentary is a mix of great interviews from good sources and good visuals. The more dynamic, the better. Do your research on your potential story and start lining up a plan of places to film and people to interview. Then start getting in touch with them and lining it all up. Imagine that you are a private detective who's doing the research and finding out all this cool stuff so that you can then show it to your viewers. [MUSIC] 16. Pre-Production: Contacting People: Once we were starting to find people and places, it was time to get in touch and see if we could film with them. Now, this is an area where you just need to stand by yourself and pretend that you're legit. When we would contact people, we would say, "Hi, we're an Australian documentary crew making a show about interesting subcultures, and we were hoping we could talk to you guys about being in our show?" We would also have our little logo at the bottom of the email and a job title for ourselves like Director or Producer, just to back up the perception of our legitness. You'll be surprised how many people were more than happy to be involved. Don't just assume that people are going to say no. In my experience, people actually say yes. How often do you get the chance to tell your story and be treated like an expert on a subject? Now usually you can get a hold of people through Facebook or LinkedIn or just searching online through their email. But here's the thing, if you're going to film with people don't just email them or message them on Facebook. You have to call them at some stage and have actual conversations. It's a really good practice to get into. Yes, email them, but at some stage jump on a call with them and start building up rapport with people before you meet them to film. What I would do is have at least two conversations with them before I'd meet them him film. One way you ask him some questions and try and get a vibe for them, and the other one where you just have a chin wag and get comfortable with each other. The more comfortable that people are with you the better, and more comfortable they're going to be opening up when you're there with a camera. Now, if you going to be filming with people, even if you're not going to be on camera, make sure you're comfortable talking to people. If you're a bit awkward at making conversation and it's not your forte, that's okay. There's heaps of books out there that you can get some tips from. I read a few books including this one which was called How to Talk to Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere, The Secrets of Good Communication by Larry King. It wasn't the best book ever, but I definitely got some pointers from it. There is stacks of literature or YouTube videos that can help you out. Also, something to be aware of, if you're planning to film with minority groups or indigenous people, please be very aware that there's often different etiquette and things don't always work the same way that you're used to. In these instances, make sure that when you first make contact that you say something like, "Look, please excuse me if I make any errors in etiquette, it comes from ignorance. I'm not doing it on purpose. Please make me aware of anything I can do better or the proper etiquette." It's very important to acknowledge that you are not aware of the proper etiquette but that you want to learn, and that you are being respectful that they might do things differently. Please don't be another ignorant white person who doesn't give a crap about anything except your own culture. People will smell this a mile away and they will react accordingly. Really this goes for everyone you're going to potentially film with. People can feel the way that you're approaching them, so try your best to be open to them and respectful. If you feel like you're better than them or have some other crappy attitude they will sense it and you're not going to get the best from them as filming subjects. [MUSIC] Before you start contacting subjects, make sure you've really embraced you're legitness. You are a professional, you have every right to contact these people and they would be honored to be a part of your project. Don't think you can get away with just virtual chat with your potential subjects. Get on the phone and give them a call, build rapport. If you're socially anxious or a bit awkward, get reading some conversational tips and advice, there's plenty out there to learn from. If you're working with minority groups who are indigenous folk, make sure you announce your ignorance beforehand. Apologize just in case you should happen to offend someone. Ask them to point out any errors in etiquette or behavior. Take it on board. Try to integrate with their ways of being and socializing, learn from them. [MUSIC] 17. Pre-Production: Outro: [MUSIC] That's it for pre-production tips. Pre-production is about trying to make sure that as much stuff as possible is in place for when you hit the road and you hit production. Now, things are going to change, and you're not going to be able to prepare for everything. We add heaps of stuff go down that we could never have full saying like our car breaking down every five minutes and stuff like that. But you want to try and feel as good about things as you can once you hit into production. By the time we were about to fly to the USA, the three of us felt like a little unit. I was super nervous when we started production. I wasn't sure if we had prepared everything properly in pre-production because I'd never really worked on a project like this before, and I had no idea if we were going to make something that people would actually want to buy. But we pushed ahead anyway. I realized that even if we tried and failed, I'd feel a lot better about myself than if I'd never tried at all. Onwards we went. I'll see you in the next section. [MUSIC] 18. Crowdfunding: Tips: [MUSIC] All right everyone, it's time to talk about crowdfunding. This might be a road you want to go down to raise some funds for your project. Now, we didn't rely solely on crowdfunding. In fact, we hadn't even considered it until our car broke down mid trip, and it was going to cost us more than US$2,000 to fix. That was going to take a huge chunk of cash out of our bank, and we weren't even sure if we're going to be able to finish the trip after that. We decided to do a crowdfunding campaign. We aimed to raise around $6,000, and actually managed to raise $9,000, which was super amazing for us. I'll tell you how we went about things and what I've noticed from other friends running their own crowdfunding campaigns. First-off, be very clear about what crowdfunding is about. For 99 percent of us going into crowdfunding, the people you'll be receiving money from will actually just be your friends and family, and their friends and family. It's going to come from your network and your extended network. We had this illusion that there'd be all these cashed up people cruising around the internet just looking for projects today to donate thousands of dollars too. Now, this might be the case for the Auto ID, which is going to change the game and going to be the next Facebook or revolutionize the way we make coffee. But for the majority of projects, we'll be getting money from people that you know personally. The next thing to be aware of is how much money you can realistically raise. Now, we were lucky because we raised 3,000 more than we aim for, but from watching our own crowdfunding project and a few of my friends' projects and averaging them out, I'd say that the amount of money you can aim for is about AU$1,000 to AU$3,000 per person involved in the project. Don't aim for something unrealistic, like 30,000 or something like that because it's just not going to happen. Now, to get the cash, you're going to have to be very proactive. There's no such thing as a free ride here, so don't think you can just put the campaign up, sit back, and let the money roll in. You're going to have to promote it shamelessly. That's the key word here, shamelessly. First off, you need to pick your platform. We went with Possible, but there's also Kickstarter, Indiegogo, all these other platforms. Do a bit of research to see which platform you're liking the vibe off the most. They all have different processes, deadlines, ways in which they work. Look at some of the other projects that has successfully raised money. Look at the video, what they wrote for the project, and just get an idea of what's appealing and effective and works. Next up, shoot a slick little video that shows your faces. Explain to people what you're doing, and open up a little. Tell them why this project means a lot to you. People love to help other people go for their dreams, so let them know how much this project means to you. Make sure your video isn't too long. Unfortunately, the video we made is long gone, so I can't show you an example of what we did. But in the next video, I'll show you what one of my friends did, which helped her raise the money she was aiming for successfully. You can get a vibe of the kind of thing that works in this scenario. I'll put up the link to her project and another friend's project just so you can scope out what they wrote in their descriptions. After the video and the blurb, you need to set some rewards. The way most crowdfunding platforms work is that you have little rewards for people who donate money. Now, we made this process way too difficult for ourselves. We promised people photo books and all these elaborate ****. But remember that most people are giving you the money because they like you and they want you to succeed, not necessarily because they want a reward, so keep it simple. Things you could give out include a personal video message saying thank you, and invite to a screening of the first episode, which could just be in your backyard with a projector, or even just an invite to a barbecue or something. Make it easy and simple and cheap. There's no point raising money for a project if you're just going to spend it all on people's rewards. Now, once you've got the rewards sorted and the video and the blurb up, get a friend to have a look over everything just to make sure it's good. Then get it up, get it live. This is where the hard part starts because now, you're going to have to promote it like crazy and make sure people are aware that it's happening. I really hated this part. I felt like a sleazy salesman, but you got to do it. Posts it on your Facebook wall or whatever social media you use and keep doing it every week. Message people you know, tell them to post it on their walls, tell your friends, tell your family, just be shameless about it. I would private message people the link and say, "Hey buddy, I'm raising cash for this project I'm doing, which is basically chasing my dreams of creating my own TV series. Here's the link. Reckon you could share with anyone you think would be interested in helping me out?" That way, I wasn't directly saying, "Hey man, give me cash," but I knew that they would have a look at it anyway. Now, a lot of those people actually ended up sending some dollars my way. A bunch of my friends even shared it on their pages. It's going to be the most anxious months of your life, but it's going to be worth it. It's basically free money, but even free money isn't free. If it costs a bit of anxiety, that's pretty fair. One last thing to add is that whatever money you get is often counted as income in many countries. Just make sure that you're aware of your tax responsibilities. Don't come whining to me if you get busted for dodging tax, you little ****. [MUSIC] Not all crowdfunding sides are the same. Research each one of them carefully, and know what's involved and how the process works. Then choose the most suitable one for your goals and project. Make sure you dedicate enough time for crowdfunding and just don't whip the whole thing up overnight. Put some time into it and effort to produce a great video, and write up a professional and convincing blurb to entice people into donating. You might be excited to start raking in the dollars, but speeding through the step means you might not earn as much. Keep your reward simple and personal. You're going to be busy working on the project of your dreams, so don't promise time-consuming and expensive rewards you're going to regret later. Be realistic about how much money you can raise on this project. Don't expect your campaign to bring in millions. Our rough equation is AU$1,000 to AU$3,000 per person, but that's only if you're willing to shamelessly work your butt off and promote that link to everyone you know. You're only going to make as much money as you put effort into this step. Share your link and make sure everyone you know has got your crowdfunding campaign on their radar. Swallow your fears, anxiety, and insecurities, and do what it takes to make your campaign succeed. Remember, you could be taxed for your earnings. [MUSIC] 19. Crowdfunding: Example Video: [MUSIC] Here is my friend Gen's video that she used for her crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the launch of her art business. My name is Genevieve. Art has been in my life since I was born. My parents are artists and are teachers, but it was in high school that I probably actively started to engage with it mainly because I was just losing my **** and didn't know how to function, so it was a really good outlet. I ended up coming to Australia and studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts, which was super fun, and over the next 15 years, that passion never left me even though it was a part-time thing. But I worked in galleries and I had my own shows, kept painting and producing until recently, I did an advanced diploma in visual arts and really ignited my full passion to take this full-time. I've decided to launch my full-time art practice business, which is called Miss Unicorn, and that has four parts. One is monochrome paintings, the second one is the lord frameworks on paper, the third one unicorns and shows. The color of monochrome paintings are medium large scale. They were born out of being really overwhelmed actually, and I just found that working with one color field is actually quite common and simplifying in the experience of the world, which is often quite overstimulating. The Lord frameworks are works on paper that are really intuitively driven. They turn into these abstract poetic messages that were catered specifically for the recipient. The next part are the unicorns, and they're like my icon or totem animal. I feel like they reflect back to people the magic and beauty that's in the world than in themselves. Lastly, I love to put on shows. This is not the moneymaker of my business, but it's a passion thing, and I really like to create immersive environments for people where they lose their day to day hangups and just saturate into a little world that's been set up for them and all these dormant parts of themselves come to the table, which is quite freeing and expressive and joyful. I really appreciate your support. I truly feel like a lot of things in my life have come together for this moment in time, which makes me very excited. I'm so happy for you to be involved and to see what's coming. [MUSIC] 20. Production: Introduction: [MUSIC] It's time for us to jet to the USA and make the magic happen. We got to the USA, bought a $700 piece of **** Toyota Camry, got a bunch of people who had just meant to help us paint it and then we hit the road trying to make our own show. Now we were living pretty rough to save cash. We were camping, sleeping in strange places, couch surfing and occasionally staying in cheap dodgy motels, but you know what, there was all good fun and we were fueled by the passion of making our own show. Now, what we were trying to do in essence was telling an interesting story and tell it in a way that was going to be engaging and cool for our future viewers to watch. We needed to capture our story in an interesting way. The production stage is about filming your show and recording the sound in the best possible way that you can manage. Now obviously the best possible ways to have a huge crew with a great cinematographer behind the camera and a camera system, a lighting guy, an experienced director, sound recorders, some little intern getting you coffees, but we didn't have that budget and you know what, our show is still pretty cool and had its own particular charm. There was only three of us doing everything, so it can't be done trust me. I'll show you some of the stuff we were doing. Follow me. [MUSIC] 21. Production: Camera Setup: [MUSIC] [NOISE] One of the most important things for us was our camera setup. I'll do a section on recording sound and workflow later but what's really important for us was having a basic camera setup that was ready to go at the drop of a hat. That way if something happened, that was really awesome like someone driving next to us who was doing something funny or whatever it was like this guy driving next to us in New York. [NOISE] *****'s reading his ******* paperwork [LAUGHTER]. What's he doing? You are kidding me. Do you see it? [LAUGHTER]. He's unsafe. Just a small example but you get the idea. At the very least we would try and make sure that there was a battery charged in the camera, as well as a card with a bunch of space on it. The top mic, which was pretty much permanently on the camera so that we could always record decent quality sound really quickly. We mainly shot everything hand-held so we didn't worry much about having a tripod handy and it meant we could just turn on the camera and start shooting. [NOISE] Also, don't be ashamed to shoot stuff in auto-focus with auto settings like white balance and things like that. I know that to be a top-level professional, you would know how to shoot everything in manual and set the color balance perfectly, and all that and you know what? I do know how to do that stuff now but at the time I didn't but I wasn't going to let that stop me. I mean we were just three guys trying to do everything and we couldn't nail everything perfectly. We were traveling, lining up people to shoot with, shooting, recording sound, editing. We just couldn't be aces at everything, we shot heaps of stuff in auto. The way technology is these days, the auto function usually works great. I mean, just make sure it's looking good. I know heaps of people are going to get their ***** at me for even saying that stuff. Now, if you're doing this course, you should already know the basics of filming. But if you're super green, then I'll give you some basic settings to keep your camera in, which will at least get you across the line. Shooting in PAL or NTSC. Depending on what country you're from while depend on whether you shoot in PAL or NTSC. As a rough guide, if you're in North America, you shoot in NTSC, most other places, PAL. Just look it up on Google what country shoot in NTSC. If you're in one of those countries and make sure you have your camera at 24 frames a second or 30 frames a second. If you're in a PAL country, then set your camera to 25 frames per second. It sounds a bit complicated but it's all you have to worry about. If you don't know much about shutter speed then generally just set it to double your frame rate. So 50 if you're a PAL person and probably 60 if you're an NTSC person. Now, most of you will be all over that stuff and you'll be able to change those settings when you're getting fancy because you know what settings to use for what. But I just wanted to go over it for the greenies but make sure you're really familiar with your camera. Learn where all the little switches are and a bit about its different functions and all that stuff. This thing is basically your new spouse so get to know it really well, you don't want to be figuring things out in the middle of a shoot. So at least figure out where all the basic things are and how to navigate the menu. We had our rig ready to rock at all times [NOISE] [MUSIC]. Make sure your camera is always set up and ready to go at any moment, you don't want to miss a spectacular spontaneous shot. If you need to shoot in auto settings, don't feel like a phony or a rookie, you doing great. Maybe you'll learn to use manual settings after this project, who knows? Point is, do what you need to do and don't feel bad about it. Basic settings for the beginners is people in PAL countries set your camera to shoot at 25 frames per second, usually, it says 25 P and get your shutter speed at 50. NTSC folks you're shooting at 24 P or 30 with your shutter speed at double that. Make sure you know your camera inside and out before you start. Don't leave it till your mid-shoot to work out how to do that one thing. [MUSIC] 22. Production: Workflow: Getting into a good workflow was really important for us and we kept refining it until it became a template. Now when we started, it was a bit of a dog's breakfast and we'd be starting shoots with cards. It hadn't been dumped onto the hard drive or a battery that hadn't been recharged or we'd lost something but we got better at it after a while. By workflow, what we did each day while we were shooting. First step, we would make sure all our batteries were charged and ready to go. That had been charging overnight or whenever. We had fresh batteries for things that might run out of batteries like the lapel. We didn't want lapels to run out of battery halfway through the shoot, and have to duck down to the shop because we did do that a few times and it was embarrassing. Our laptop was charged in case we needed to dump footage on the go, phones in case we needed to call people or urgently look up YouTube videos of how to do something on the camera. We would check our equipment. Did we have everything we needed for the day? Camera, check, microphone check, top plug, check, tripod, check. You don't want to forget anything. It's best if two of you do this in case one of you is a bit scattered or hangover or something. Till we have the SD cards and our camera was recording onto. There's no point having a camera if we didn't have a card to record onto, but also have to take our hard drives so that we could dump footage at the shoot. If we weren't going to be able to do that, that we had to make sure we had enough cards and COD space. It's also good to bring an extension code and a power board in case you want to set up a charging station for your batteries. We've got all this stuff. Now we head to the shoot. We're shooting. Now the two main things that might happen is you need to change the battery or you need to change the card out of the camera. Just to note, some people think it's really great to have cards that are hundreds of gigabytes so you can shoot for 12 hours or something. I personally don't agree here. I think it's better to have smaller cards like 32 gigabytes or whatever. That way, if you card collapse and it does happen, instead of losing two days of footage, you've only lost a few hours. Anyway, when we finish shooting with a card, we take it out and we used to put a little bit of colored tape on the case. This way we'd know which card was full and shouldn't be used. Putting a fresh card and away we go. This is the same process with batteries. Once a battery runs out, it's good to have a little marker on it so you know which one not to use again. Afterwards, it's time to charge this spin batteries and ingest the footage that you shot. We would put the batteries on charge and start ingesting footage. It's really best if you ingest the footage on the same day you shoot it, otherwise things can get really messy. Now when you're copying the footage to the drive, make sure you've got some structure on the drive as in an organized folder system. This is so that it's not a total **** show when you're editing all that work down the track or worse someone else's editing and they just have no idea where to look for footage. The structure the we use was would break the folders down by shoots. If we were with the superheroes, we'd have a folder called superheroes then a folder saying day one. Then in that sub folder would be card 1, card 2, card 3, depending on how many cards we used. For the **** star shoots, we would have **** set, day 1, day 2, day 3, and within each day, card 1, card 2, card 3. Now that's just a system we used. There's probably better systems out there and you need to go and figure out what your system is. But the important thing is once you've decided on a system, stick with that. Anyway, we would ingest the footage into the appropriate folder. Now remember earlier when I said two hard drives, so there's the main drive and then there's the backup drive. If you don't remember, I'm going to say it again because it's super important. You want twin hard drives. You dumped the footage into the first drive and then copy it over exactly the same to the backup drive. They're twins of each other. You want a main drive and a backup drive. Drives do fail from time to time or someone drops it or something happens and it's a nightmare if you don't have a backup. Trust me, main drive, backup drive. Once the footage is copied off the cards and onto the drives, make sure you take the tape off the card so you know that the card can now be wiped and re-using again. Now I'd recommend reviewing some of the footage from the day. Just check random clip to see how they look, to see if the sound was recorded properly. You'll often see from reviewing the footage anything you might want to do better than next day. Once we'd reviewed the footage and made sure that it'd been copied to both drives, we would wipe the cards so that they'd be fresh and ready for the shoot the next day. Now after all this is done, a really good habit to get into is to put your equipment back in the same place, whether it's a suitcase, a pelican case, a backpack or whatever, and just check you have everything. Things do get forgotten or misplaced. It's a good idea to try and find out as soon as you can so you can call the place you were filming or run back there and get it. We lost some stuff. It does happen, so don't be so far. Among some of the stuff we lost was our first top light. We had to go get another one. Believe it or not, a few times we even forgot our main camera. One time we left it on the floor at Walmart and thank God when we got back there he was still sitting there. Getting the habit of checking your equipment and taking good care of it. These are the tools of your trade so look after them. Now that we had all the batteries on charge, ingested the footage and backed it up, checkout equipment and packed it away, we were ready to go to bed and start again the next day. We just keep repeating this workflow until the end of the shoot. Now just a little note about drives, what we do and we'd fill it up and drive and the backup drive is post one of them back to our parents place, this way we'd have one drive and the other would be in a whole different locations safe and sound. Now this might not be the best system of getting one of the drives to a different location. I used to live in a country where you couldn't really trust a mailing system because things that were valuable would often go missing. I'm not going to say which country because I don't want to be *** pooing any postwar systems here. But in some places that just not the best way to go about it. My point is, is that you should think about trying to get one of the drives to a safe place in case some of your stuff gets stolen or something happens, at least you won't have lost both drives because that'll be a huge tragedy. It actually makes me sick even thinking about it. Anyway, that's workflow ticked off, tick [MUSIC] Setup a good workflow before you leave for a shoot, during the shoot, and after the shoot. Once you've got a good hang of the process, it'll just be a part of your everyday system, keeping you in check so your work is organized, efficient, and everything goes smoothly. Charge everything every day. Even if it still has some charge in the battery, do it. Check your equipment before you leave either twice or by having two people look over it, human error is a real thing. With SD cards, I prefer to shoot on multiple cards with less storage rather than one card with tons of storage. Because if that card corrupts, I'm going to lose a whole bunch of work. Work out a tagging system for your SD cards and batteries. This will help you know when batteries are charged, or need charging and when SD cards have been used or are ready to wipe. Having organized folder system ready for when you're dumping footage on your hard drive. It's easy to think, I'll do that later, but by the time later rolls around, you could have a whole bunch of messy footage to rifle through and organize. It's not a good time. Sort it out early and make your life easy. I structured my folders by shoot day and SD card. Don't take chances with technology. Have two hard drives, one main drive and one backup. Dump all your footage on both so that they are exact replicas. Once you've used up all the space on them, keep one with you and send the backup to a far-off location where it's going to be safe. 23. Production: Recording Sound: [MUSIC] People will abide by bad video, but they will not abide by bad sound. Sound's what really separates an amateur production from a professional one. People are used to bad production quality when it comes to video, mainly due to the reality show era. But sound is what sets things apart. You really want to make sure you're recording sound well. We only had two things with us for the first season. A top microphone, and one lapel microphone. Two lapels would be great, one for each person, but one did just fine. Top mic first. Now, remember that for the top mic, you want that plus 48 phantom power setting to make it work. Here's some examples of sound we recorded with just the top microphone. We bought the two things we need, we've got the six-pack and the stun gun. [NOISE]. Here we sit at the dry ice facility where we come once a month to pick off about a ton of dry ice. If you must pick a cost to fight for, I pray you pick this one because Detroit won't last another day without you. When you're using the top mic, just make sure that you're nothing close to the person. The farther away you are, the crappy the sound quality is going to be and that's what you want to avoid. Then what we usually did when we were doing an interview was we would put the lapel on the person we were interviewing and then we'd use the top microphone as a backup in case anything went wrong with the lapel. He's an interview we did with a real-life superhero guy from one of our episodes in Seattle. We've got the lapel on him and we're using the top mic as a backup. This is the audio from the lapel. When I realized I was going to get serious, I went and looked up online what I was going to need and it was about 10 grand, little short of 10 grand. I was going to be a loan. This is the audio from the top mic. When I realized I was going to get serious, I went and looked up online what I was going to need and it was about 10 grand, little short of 10 grand. I was going to need a loan. You want to have both so you can use one as a backup if the other one is dodgy. When you're recording sound, whether it's through the top mic or the lapel, make sure you're wearing headphones. You have to monitor the sound. The last thing you want to do is find out that the sound wasn't recording properly, because that'll mess you up big time later. You also need to be able to adjust the sound as it's coming in. For example, if the person starts talking really loudly or not loudly enough. As you can see here on the camera screen, this is the spot on my camera where the audio levels are displayed. You want to make sure that they're not tapping that top line because once they pick out, then it doesn't matter what you do in the edit, it's going to sound ****. You want the audio levels maxing out around the last quarter. That way you have a little room in case someone suddenly talks a bit louder. Also a good thing to grab is code at most. The sound mixer in the edit will potentially want this later. Basically, whenever you're doing an interview at the end is get everyone to shut up for a minute and just record the sound with no one talking. The sound of the room or wherever you are. It's a good thing to have up your sleeve for when you show is getting audio mix later. Look, we were pretty sketchy with sound stuff when we started, but we got better as we went along. You will too. It's pretty much like everything in life. You start **** at it, and then you do it a bunch and you get better at it. [MUSIC] Bad video can be overlooked, but bad sound quality definitely won't. You want to give sound quality, it's due attention, but that doesn't mean you have to invest in heaps of expensive equipment. We go by with just using a top microphone and a lapel mic. This way we had two recordings of the shooting case, one of them staffed on. If you can get your hands on two lapels, even better. Always wear headphones when recording sounds so that you can keep an ear on how things are coming out and whether you need to adjust audio levels. Record at least a minute of at most the sound of the room or location with no one talking for about a minute when you've finished your interviews. You're always going to start out **** and improve with practice. Just keep going. [MUSIC] 24. Production: Lighting Tips: [MUSIC] I'm going to give you the most basic lighting tips because I'm not a pro at lighting by any means, so this is how we approach lighting. When you're a documentary filmmaker, especially when you're working with a low budget, you're basically going to be using whatever light is available to you from existing sources. You'll be happy to know that we never actually had a lighting kit with us on production. We always use whatever light was available wherever we were doing interviews. [MUSIC] The only light we ever had, which is what we use at night, was this little LED top light. Now when shooting during the day, the best thing to do is to get someone to stand in the shade if you can, like what I'm doing here. Direct sunlight can be pretty tricky to expose for, but shade is a little bit more consistent and easier to work with. Overcast days are good for this too as the clouds diffuse the sun and make the light more consistent. We're actually battling the sun a little bit today. My wife is filming and the sun is going in and out behind the clouds, and that could be pretty annoying. If you are determined to shoot out in the sun, then what I would recommend is you don't shoot in the middle of the day. In the middle of the day, the sun is going to be coming right from above. It's pretty intense and it's very difficult to expose for. What you want is the sun coming from the side, so I'd recommend morning or afternoon. A really good idea is to go to the location day or two before to see where the sun is going to be at certain times and see what you're working with. A really good app that I would recommend is called Sun Seeker. You can get it on your phone and when you go to the location, it'll tell you exactly where the sun is going to be coming from at different times, so you will know exactly what you're working with. Your other best friend is going to be this guy, this is a standard old reflector that costs like 30 bucks. This is for if you want to reflect more light onto your subject. I never know how to fold these things up. [NOISE] Another handy piece of gear which isn't vital, and is only going to be for those of you who are using interchangeable lenses is a variable ND filter. This is a filter that you screw onto the end of your lens and you can control how much light goes through. This is good for those of you who want to keep that aperture open for nice shallow depth of field, but still want to expose properly for the sunlight. The way they work is they match up to the size of your lens. See here on my Canon 24-105 lens is a number at the end of the lens here, which tells me the diameter of this lens. When I buy a variable ND filter, I buy one that is the same size. See here I have bought one that matches this diameter and now I can screw it on and it's ready to rock. A lot of lenses will have little threads at the end to screw filters such as these on. When shooting at night, we would do two things. The first is just use light from available sources like street lights. This was good to create a street gritty feel which suited the vibe sometimes like when we were shooting with the real-life superheroes in Seattle. The other thing we would do is use a top light. In the first season, we just had this little LED top light that we used at night. In the second and third season, we got these bigger bad boy. [MUSIC] If it's too intense, I would recommend taping some baking paper over the top to diffuse it a bit. That's it. That's all we were doing. Really we were just looking through the viewfinder on the camera and trying to make things look as good as we could with what we had available. I'm sorry if you expected more from this bit, but that's how we did it. I'm not a lighting guy. I do know that getting the hang of good lighting can really amp up your production value. But if you have very little idea about lighting like we did, then you're going to be fine because we were fine. 25. Production: What to Film: [MUSIC] What do we need when we're filming an episode? To be honest, it's not rocket science, but it does start to become a bit of an art once you get the hang of it. For starters, film heap is a ****. This isn't the old days where you have to be careful of using up expensive film. It's a digital era, so live it up, enjoy it. I like to use what I call the condom theory. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. When in doubt, just film it. We had about 200 hours of footage when we got home from our first production trip. The finished product was only six-half hour episodes. That's three hours of total footage from 200 hours. Now in Series 2 and 3, we ended up becoming more streamlined and more efficient. But the first time round, we didn't have too much of an idea of what we were doing, so we just filmed heaps. Now remember what I said earlier about the two main elements of a documentary, interesting interviews, and interesting visuals. That's all there is to it. Generally one of our stories would play out like this: We would set up the location, show people where we were, the city, us driving into the city, a crappy motel room, a quiet suburb, whatever the case may be, we would shoot it. A good guide for each shot is to hold it for at least five seconds. That just gives the editor some time to play with. Don't get too excited and just whip around, just chill a bit and hold those shots for longer. Often we'd spend a few hours just getting shots of location. These shots are great to have up your sleeve in case you need to cover stuff in your edit. Then at some stage we would do a little introduction piece to camera, telling the viewers what was going on. We would just do them a few times to be on the safe side and get different styles and options. Sometimes funny stuff would happen when we were doing it and we'd just keep rolling. It can add character. This is a packet plant, 38 acres of now abandoned semi-demolished, burned, graffitied property, where they made luxury cars enclosed in 58 apparently, and was for a time the most modern car factory in the world. We made it to Seattle. On the way, I had a horrible pain in my stomach. Turns out my appendix might rupture at any moment. I stopped in a hospital. They told me I should see a surgeon. But I bought this suede jacket and nothing is stopping me from going on patrol with the Rains City Superheroes tonight. I'm more kidded up and I'm ready to go. We're going to hang out with a girl named Ayla who does this for a living, and not get insider into this world. Run. Keep left. Sweet driving. [LAUGHTER] If something significant happens during the filming, feel free to give a little piece to camera just to update the viewers. I'll show you what I mean. This is a time we were filming an episode in Colorado and the car broke down. Our ******* car just exploded, so now we're riding in the back of the truck with them. I don't know what we're going to do about the car. When the superheroes got a call over their radio that shots had been fired. Shots fired. We got a problem here. That's fine. This is Jones. I'm going to need all the details possible on shots fired. Let's keep going, guys. We might hang back off these dudes because shots have been fired and that's not really my domain. We were hosting the show and so we were the viewers guide through the story. We'd try and keep them updated about what was going on. That also helped them to see more of their personalities as well. After we had set the scene for where we were with shots and a little intro, it was usually time to meet our subjects or go to the place where we were going to do the bulk of our filming. Now we needed to set the scene here. If you're at someone's house, maybe meet them first and then show some things about the place. The viewer is really keen to get an idea of the person you're interviewing, so you need to start giving them that information. The same way you would be if you were in someone's house for the first time or in someone's office. You'd look at all the things around you to try and get the information you're after. So give it to the viewer. You're their eyepiece. Show them the pictures on the wall, the inspirational quote on the fridge, all that stuff. Start setting the scene so they can start profiling the person that lives there. Film their books, the way the kitchen is organized, the picture of them scuba diving in some tropical location. Just film it all. If you get somewhere and there's stuff going on like a party or something, and you know that the interviews can wait till later, just start filming the action. Things might not go to plan. Sometimes you just have to change the plan. When we got to the real-life superhero guys in Seattle, they were ready to jump into the action and go on patrol, so we just started filming and ended up doing interviews with them the next day instead. When we got to an anarchist skater colony in Ohio, there were some crazy party study, so we just jumped right in and started filming the party to get good vision, and then we got the interviews later. Just a little note, try to keep the camera rolling, even if weird **** is going on. By this I mean that even if **** is getting a bit too real, just try and film it anyway. You don't have to use it, but it's better to have the option. An example of this is when we had to give a statement to the police in Seattle after witnessing some domestic violence. 1701. Your name? Parvo. Thank you gentlemen. When some guy tried to fight us at the gathering of the jugglers and some other guy stepped in and defended us. You better calm down. **** you in your microphone *****. [BACKGROUND] We kept the camera rolling and both bits really helped to set the scene or tell the story. Don't do it if you're going to be in serious danger, just use some sound judgment. When you're filming, try and get heaps of different shots all in the same area. Get close-ups, mid shots, shots from a far, arty shots of the rain falling on the ground. Don't worry about trying to follow some film school template of how to compose a shot, experiment and get creative. Get really close fog at weird angles, get above, get below, find the things you like. Give yourself lots of different types of shots to use when you're editing. Variety is the spice of life. This goes for whoever the subject is for the episode. Film them walking, driving, doing stuff, film an interview with them, but also film an interview with them while they're walking or driving, get lots of variety. Variety is great and it makes for an interesting episode and therefore an interesting show to watch. But we'll cover interviewing techniques in a later video. I think the best way to see the approach we took to production is by taking you through a small segment that we filmed and showing you what we did, the things we filmed, the way we filmed it, and then at the end you can see the finished product that we edited out of that footage. Let's get into that in the next video. But just remember at the crux of it, you're trying to get interesting interviews and interesting visuals. [MUSIC] 26. Production: Frozen Dead Guy Segment: In this video, I'm going to take you through all the raw footage we shot for a small segment of our show we call the Frozen Dead Guy. This is when we found out that there was a dead guy being kept cryogenically frozen in a little shed on someone's property in the mountains. We found out that this other guy was being paid to keep laying fresh ice on the dead dude to keep him at the right temperature. We managed to get in contact with the ice laying dude and he said we could come along and film it. Here we go. Every single shot that we filmed for that segment. Buckle in and then I'll show you the finished piece we edited in the next video. Here we go. I'm going to take you through every single clip. I'm not going to take you through the full length of each clip because we'd be here for two hours, but I'm just going to show you each clip and explain what was going on. We hadn't actually filmed with these guys before. We hadn't even met them. We were going to film and meet them all at the same time filming the adventure as it was going. The first clip that we did was an intro to the camera, made explaining what was going on, that we'd heard about a guy who was frozen in a back shed in Colorado. He'd be in kept cryogenically frozen and that there was these guys keeping him frozen that had been paid to do it. We met them at the cryogenic facilities. Here is a shot of us at the cryogenic facility with him, that we're going to be leaving soon, so we didn't have much time there. We quickly shot a few shots just to establish that we're at a cryogenic facility, liquid nitrogen, etc. Then we did a piece to camera with the main guy. He explained what was going on, that they come here to this cryogenic facility, they load the ice. He's got his daughter and another guy that help him. We quickly did a shot of that. Then we jumped in the car. We started filming them through the windscreen, just filming them as they go up this mountain to a place called Nederland, we just shoot stuff out the window, getting lots of scenery shots. Set the scene of where we are, more stuff out the windows, scenery, more filming, then driving just through the windscreen. Then we add a little problem. Our car suddenly broke down, stopped working. We filmed that happening. Me looking ****** off. Us not really sure what's going on. The coolant system seems to be exploding everywhere. We hopped in the back of their truck, we left the car. I just did a little piece to camera saying, basically that our car had broken down. We had no idea what we're going to do. Then we just jumped in with them. Then we started filming from the back of their truck. We filmed the tub of the dry ice. Ourselves, just cruising the wind, sweeping our hair. More scenery. Lot's of more scenery. So much scenery. The open road, us living free in the back of the Ute. Loving life, living free. We were cruising next to a lake, so we filmed a lake. Then we stopped at this town and the main guy was just explaining to us a little bit about the town that we stopped in. He showed us this old bulldozer thing that apparently had been used to build the Panama Canal or something. Then we just kept driving through the town and kept going up the mountain. More scenery shots. Then we finally got there. We got out and filmed them, driving up and driving back to the shed where apparently the dead guy was being kept. Then the main guy Bauge, he took us on a little tour of the property just telling us a few things. Then we did an interview with him where he started explaining his job and how this all happened and just explaining how he came to be laying ice on this frozen guy that's kept in the shed. He showed us the main house. Then we did another interview with him. Quite a long interview, again telling us the details that he was getting paid by the family to keep their grandfather who had frozen himself and was in his back shed. The property was abandoned. There was no one there. He just comes up every few weeks to lay the ice. He told us about that and his philosophy, and a bit of background and just lots of questions and it was the main interview. Then once I was done, we started unloading the ice, just filmed the guys unloading the dry ice, opening the dry ice, and then him opening the shed. Then telling us a little bit about what's going on in there. Showing us the box where the guy's kept, showing us a liquor cabinet, showing us picture of the guy. Then the grand reveal, he opens up this big box. I thought I was going to see a dead guy, but actually the dead guy's inside this sarcophagus thing and they just lay the ice around it. I was a bit disappointed but a bit relieved at the same time. We were just filming all of that. He shows us that there is a little thermometer, so we film that. He shows us that they keep some birthday cake for the guy. Have all these weird little jokes. He showed us the birthday cake. Filmed that. Filmed the picture of the guy up close. Then they start unloading the dry ice. We just filmed that. Filmed them stacking the ice. Just keep filming it, we're just going forward like them putting the ice there, this little sarcophagus, us helping out. Packing the dry ice. More shots of the sarcophagus thing, all misty. More helping. Just more laying ice. Little stuff that they keep around the shed, little funny frozen dead guy related things. Just more unloading of ice, different angles. A bit farther away, gets some shot diversity. Here's some instructions about dry ice. More shots to the dry ice. Him putting in some ice, them laying ice. He would tell us interesting facts as we were going along, so we would just film him talking every time he had something interesting to say or even just when he said something in case it was interesting. Then just more shots of the truck. Then there's inside the liquor cabinet that they had in there. Filming that because it was funny, they had some Dilbert comics and other bits and pieces. Then again, he would just tell us interesting little facts or just say some stuff, so we would film that. Just film around the place. More him telling us stuff so we would just keep the camera rolling. Me helping, what a helpful guy. Banging into people. More filming. Same stuff. Then a shot of the house that's on the property that's abandoned, a bit farther away, different angles, underneath a bit. Then they had this little ritual way afterwards, after they had laid ice they would do a little shot of some alcohol. We filmed that. They'd use some dry ice so it looks cool. We were going to do the shots with them. There is Gonzo doing his shot. There is the other guys doing their shots. Me doing my shot. It's pretty strong that stuff. Then him putting the last bits of ice in. Then they close the box. Just filming them close the box. Then filming him saying as he was closing that he would never get himself cryogenically frozen. He felt is a waste of money, which we felt was really funny because he's the guy who gets paid to do it. Then after that, he took us on a tour of the house on the property and showed us inside. I didn't think we used any of this stuff, but that was what was happening at the time. So we just filmed it. We didn't know what we were going to use. He's just showing me it's inside. So we'd film all the little bits and pieces as he was telling us stuff. It's shirts and more decorations and things around the house. Outside, his daughter was telling us some stuff about how the house was built and then a little bit more about the house. Then some shots of the view. Another shot of the view. Then some shots of the stickers on his truck to say go to a bit of a vibe for him. More stickers on the truck, just some vibe. Then the next thing on the way down, they took us to this little carousel, the carousel of happiness. We had a little ride on this carousel. We didn't end up using this, but it was fun at the time, so we just filmed it. Then on the way back down, they showed us a dam and we filmed that too. I don't think we used it either, but we just filmed it in case. Condom theory. That's it. That's everything that we filmed for that segment. So here is the piece that we edited from the segment that went into our finished show. The town folk [inaudible] told us about some dead that has been cryogenically frozen in the town called Netherlands. So we're going to go check it out. We're meeting up with the head cryogenicist. Apparently they're replacing the ice on these dead dude who froze himself in the '80s or something. Some Norwegian cracker. Here we sit at the dry ice facility where we come once a month to pick off about a ton of dry ice. We've got our two containers on the back of the truck. We've got our personnel to help load and unload. It usually takes two of us and a truck capable of carrying a ton of ice once a month. This is our job. We've been doing it for 18 years. My ******* car just exploded. Now we're riding in the back of the truck with them. I don't know what we're going to do about the car. A frozen dead guy, otherwise known as Burrito Morris aka grandpa. He died in Norway about 25 years ago. They had him shipped to the West Coast of America, to Los Angeles at one of the cryonic facilities where they preserved him, and did everything necessary to him and got him ready. They kept in there for a year or two. Then his son [inaudible], came here, bought this piece of property, started to build all this stuff on it, and then moved his father from Los Angeles into the shed. When [inaudible] was deported, he had his friends doing the ice for about six months and then they got tired of doing it and he lucked into me and I've been taking care of him ever since. We bring up about a ton of ice once a month, and it maintains our cryogenic temperatures at about a minus 109 Fahrenheit, and it keeps our frozen grandpa in a state that should be okay until he's ready to be fixed. Ready. Inside. This is grandpa's sarcophagus. Well, actually this is his cryonic chamber and sarcophagus inside here. There's a picture of the gentleman up there, what he used to look like when he was alive. Now, we try to keep some comedy things here and there about cryogenics. This is his supply cabinet. He likes to invite people in for drinks and stuff like that. There he is. This is his case. They believe the soul is intimately tied up with the physical body. When a physical body dies and deteriorates, the soul goes away. If you put this physical body back together again, the soul will come back into it. Temperature at minus 70, something like that. That's always good. We've got our ice cream and cake here for where we have parties. This is his millennium birthday cake. We got for him back in 2000. You can see it's still got burrito on it. We saved the last piece of his cake with his name on it. We don't have to be philosophically aligned with the client to be able to perform. He believes that and I don't know maybe he's right. I don't know. I really don't think so, but maybe he's right. Meanwhile, we maintain this. If we make a couple of bucks at doing it, then he's got the money to do this because it's his belief, his philosophy. So who are to argue. That's why he's in America. America is the land for the free. All right grandpa here is the last piece. Find appropriate place for it. Prefect. As low as possible, all the ice is as low as possible. Put on our little air control device. Can I get one too? Sure. It's the ice coldness of it, you don't even feel it. Did you ever consider being cryogenically frozen? No. Why? Waste of time and money. 27. Production: Being on Camera: [MUSIC] Just to note about being on camera, if you're planning to be a host, being on camera feels really weird at first. I used to hate it and I'd be really weird in front of the camera at the beginning. It's really awkward and stiff. I found the two things helped me. First, you got to just practice hits and you'll slowly get more comfortable in front of the camera. Second, I found that if I was doing something while talking, it would really help me loose some of my stiffness and awkwardness. By that, I mean say walking or driving, just doing something instead of standing right in front of the camera and talking straight down the barrel. It would help me seem more natural. It's like how if you're at a party and you're talking to someone, it feels more comfortable to have a drink in your hand or a cigarette or something. Or if you're on a date and you're eating a meal or drinking coffee instead of just sitting opposite each other and not doing anything and try and have a conversation. It's just too intense and weird unless you have something to diffuse your attention. Hopefully, that helps you loosen up a little bit. But the more you practice, the more you start to relax and seem like a normal person in front of the camera instead of some weird malfunctioning robot. [MUSIC] 28. Production: Storytelling: [MUSIC] An important part of anything we film is the story. A filmmaker in my opinion is basically a storyteller, no different to someone sitting around a campfire thousands of years ago, entertaining people with a great story. When we were filming our episodes about different things, there was always a story that became evident at some point. It's our job to try and translate that story to the viewer by asking the right questions in the interviews, capturing the right vision and all that stuff. I feel like there are two main elements to any story we were doing. There's a surface element and then there's the deeper element. A really good story has both. Stories can still be cool with just a surface element, take the one I showed you where we went and laid eyes on that dead guy. That was a surface story really. It's still fun to watch and good viewing, but if you really want to leave people feeling like there was something special about your piece, then you've got to get the deeper element. Now I'll walk you through some of our episodes so you get an idea of the surface stuff and the deepest stuff that I'm talking about when you're finding a story. Example 1. We went and filmed at the gathering of the juggalos. Now juggalos are fans of the band the Insane Clown Posse. People call them white trash, social outcasts, the FBI calls them a gang, and the gathering of the juggalos is basically this big music festival they have every year with thousands of them amass in one place, and basically have a huge party. The surface level of this story is how weird and gross and crazy at all is, and how demented it all looks to an outsider. But the deeper level was how these crew are social outcasts where they come from, but here they find a community and a sense of belonging. In the outside world, everyone is judging them, but here they find acceptance and camaraderie. That's something we can all relate to; that feeling of wanting to belong to a community. Really anybody who's ever felt like they were outcasts or the downtrodden, well, society is trash. We're real sick of it, so we decided to band together and we started a club, and we said what would be a neat name? Juggalos. That's what it's all about. When they come here and they have these people just like them, they are also into it. You know you're not alone. It's like a sigh of relief beyond comprehension. Example 2. When we went and filmed with the gay voguers, the surface level was that there's a scene in New York where gay and transgender black and Latino men would come together to have these amazing dance offs. But the deeper level was that many of them had been thrown out of their homes or rejected by society, but here they found a place where they could belong and where they felt valued. We cannot just walk in the street every day with the costume on because we have a whole bunch of people judging us, gay bashing us. Most of us come out to the board room to enjoy the night, have fun, be ourselves, and also certain people they only have this to come to cause they don't have nothing. They lost family, shelter, everything, so this is like their highlight of their life. Example 3. In our Detroit episode, the surface level was that the city looked like **** hole. There's abandoned buildings everywhere that look cool in a messed up way, and the city is basically bankrupt. But the deeper level of this story was that there's all these people banding together in Detroit, ignoring the doom and gloom, rolling up their sleeves to rebuild their broken city from the ground up and not waiting for the government to come in and save them. They're doing it all themselves and it was really inspiring. It filled me with a really nice buzz. It is exciting. A little scary, but Detroit is full of movers and shakers, and they all don't have zillions of dollars in their pockets. But it doesn't mean they're not moving and shaking. There are blocks in Detroit now that I'm aware of that where they ring a bell and they actually commune for dinner in the alley. They've made makeshift tables and everything and they cook together, and they potluck, and people are realizing that that is what it's going to take to restore our neighborhoods. I think the future for the city is basically great. Truthfully, I think we about the blow back up. I think Detroit is really about to be the epicenter to the earthquake. Example 4. When we were in Chicago, we filmed with these gangster rappers. Now the surface level was that there's this cool hip-hop scene in the heart of Chicago's roughest neighborhoods. For an Ozzie like me, it was pretty cool to be hanging out with these legit gangster rappers like I've seen in the movies. But the deeper level was that these guys were working really hard to get out of some ****** situations, trying to turn a lot of negativity into something positive and also trying to be good role models for the kids in their neighborhoods. It was really cool to witness. I definitely know I'm going to inspire some kids. Some of the younger youth. Shout out to the little G's. I grew up on the low end of Chicago. It wasn't perfect, but I went through it. Violence has always been around, so just trying to get myself to do something positive. You see there's a surface level, and then there's the deeper level. The surface level is usually what the people are doing, the deeper level is usually what people are feeling. When you get people to connect with deep universal feelings like wanting to belong, to feel loved, to make a better life for yourself or loved ones, those are the kinds of things people can relate to. When you hit people right here in the heart, that's when you've told a good story. [MUSIC] Most stories have two elements, surface and deep. The surface level of a story is what's going on, what people are doing, and the deeper level is what's driving those actions, what people are feeling. To be a great filmmaker and therefore a storyteller, you need to access the deeper level behind every story and hit your audience with the feels. [MUSIC] 29. Production: Interviewing: [MUSIC] Because we were making a documentary series, interviewing was pretty important because it was basically the core of constructing any story that we were trying to tell. Now, just a little note, anyone who we interviewed had to sign a release form. Remember those forms I gave you before? Really good to get into the habit of using them because it'll cover your *** later if someone gets ****** off at you that you filmed them. Now, I really like to interview people a couple of times if possible. The reason is that sometimes I think of good questions later after mulling over the first interview we would've done. They may have said something that made me want to know more but I didn't really pick up on it properly the first time. We like to interview more than once if we could to get more good content. Also, we'd make sure we'd interview the person in a different location each time so then it's visually more interesting. An example is an interview we did with this anarchist skateboard guy in Ohio. We interviewed him sitting down. The full potential of an individual's creativity. We interviewed him in his room. Showing here I do my research, I got my literature, lots of different books, lots of really old books. We interviewed him while he was giving us a tour of the place, Which is probably a little bit messy right now because we also de-junking out front if you'd look. It just gave us lots to work with and makes it visually more engaging. Now, if you have an extra camera while you're interviewing someone, then film other things about them. It could be a different angle of their face that you can cut to, their hands, feet, anything. If you don't have another camera then just get them to stay still after the interview so you can film some stuff about them for a few minutes. It could be a badge on their hat, some tattoos, jewelry, things like that, so what should you be asking them? Well, everything. Just go for it. We would write a list of questions we had thought of and ask those but if they say interesting stuff during the interview then explore that a bit. It's okay to go on tangents. The big mistake I used to make was trying to stick to the questions I'd written down. I wouldn't really be listening to what they were saying. I was just waiting to ask the next question, and so as a result I'd sometimes miss really interesting stuff that they were saying and the chance to explore that a bit further. Now, Gonzo, one of the other guys from the show was much better at this than me, and I eventually got a bit better by watching him. The main lesson was to really listen to what the other person was saying, be present, try not to wander off in your mind, be there and listen and try and flow with what they're saying a bit. If things fizzle out then you can always go back to your list of questions, and remember the storytelling video from before. If you've picked up on an interesting story in the situation, then make sure you ask relevant questions during your interview to back that story up. Now often we'd ask heaps of questions and film with someone for ages and then only use a fragment of the answers in our episodes. But like I've said before, it's the condom theory, better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. The next video is the raw footage of one of our interviews, the uncut interview so you can get an idea of the way in which we were conducting our interviews. It might be a bit boring to have such a long video but you can just skip around to have a look. I just think it's handy to have something to watch as a reference. The next video after that will be some quicker examples of interviews we did just see you can get a bit of an idea of the different ways you can conduct interviews. [MUSIC] Get your release forms signed. It only takes a second and it will save your *** later. It's good to try and arrange for at least two interviews with your subjects. This way you can ask about anything that pops into your head after the initial interview. If you can try to film each interview in a separate location to get some different visuals. Try to get some unique shots of the person, be it a cool ring, a tattoo, their face from a different angle, these are great shots to use for editing later. Don't be too rigid about sticking to your script and list of questions. Let the interview be fluid and dynamic and let the subject guide you down different thought patterns and conversations. Your questions are there for you to return whenever you need to. You never know what could come out of an interview so try to let go of some of that control. Also, pay full attention to what your subject is saying so that you can respond and bounce off what they say instead of just mechanically reading your next question like a robot. [MUSIC] 30. Production: Raw Interview Example: [MUSIC] Here's the raw footage of the interview we did with the leader of the real-life superheroes in Seattle, Phoenix Jones. Ready? So first up is who are you and what do you do. I'm Phoenix Jones. I'm the leader of the Rain City Superhero Movement. It's a 10-15 member citizen crime prevention group. How did this all come about? Wow. [LAUGHTER] It started three years ago. I got my car broken into and someone left a glass on the ground and me and my son were running back to my car. He tripped and fell on the glass and cut his leg open. So I was bleeding everywhere, so I covered up the cut and I told someone to call 911 and this guy comes running up to me with his camera phone on me, and I'm like, "Perfect, call 911." He goes, "I can't," I said "Why?" and he goes, "Because it'll ruin my YouTube clip." [LAUGHTER] I realized that that's what America is. It's a bunch of people who are more excited about posting YouTube videos than helping people. That's when I decided I was going to trick them. I'm going to post YouTube videos that trick people into understanding that they should be doing something more with their time. How did you come up with the character or the alter ego of Phoenix Jones? How did I come up with the alter ego or the different [OVERLAPPING] character of Phoenix Jones? Well, Phoenix is a mythical bird. It dies and it rises from the ashes. It's always reborn. I like that idea, it comes back stronger, and that's what I thought it was like. Through tragedy I'm going to come back stronger. Jones is the most common last name in America. So when I put them together, I realized that has a good ring and title to it. It was a lot of evolution. Originally the first Phoenix Jones, if I can go back in time and take Phoenix Jones three years ago and introduce him to Phoenix Jones now, they wouldn't get along. The first Phoenix Jones was very violent and very exact justice. Then as I learned the legal laws and got lawyers and got more famous I realized that I need to do this a better way. Now you've got the legal Phoenix Jones which can allow a camera crew like yourself to do a documentary whereas before I couldn't even acknowledge that I existed. How long have you been doing it for now? It's three years, is it? It's about three years. The immersion of Phoenix Jones into the main populous and everything like that happened on November 19th, 2010. That was how I got discovered. I broke up a knife fight and I got stabbed and I wasn't able to get out of there before the police came, so they had to fill out a police report and the news got wind of it. It started going pretty crazy then. You obviously get yourself into some pretty hectic situations. What training do you have to deal with the scenarios? What kind of training do I have? I think it's besides common sense which is funny because coming from a guy in a rubber suit, the first thing you'd think of would be, this guy has tons of common sense. But you need to know when to get involved and when not to get involved right off the gate. But I have three black belts through different types of martial arts, over 25 professional mixed martial arts cage fights. I have years of military ROTC training. I come from a long line of military and family friends who were in the military. I also have blood borne pathogens, CPR, Community Response Training, CERT; Community Emergency Response Training. I was active in a small auxiliary of the air force called Civil Air Patrol. I reached a pretty high rank in that and I almost got an Eagle Scout as well. Now, you just mentioned your family. Do all your family know what you do? What do they think about it? Well, now they know what I do. Originally it was weird. I'm just getting you to say my family. My family knows what I do now. Originally it was just my mom and the only reason she knew is because I needed a co-signer to get a loan to make my new suit. When I realized I was going to get serious I went and looked up online what I was going to need and it was about a little short of 10 grand. I was going to need a loan. So I went to my mom and I said, "Hey, [LAUGHTER] I need you to co-sign a loan for me to buy some bullet proof gear." She wasn't too excited about it, she thought I was kidding and we're signing the loan for the thing and they're asking me because it's a line of credit, they're asking me what I intended to use it for and I said, "I'm going to buy a car." Mom goes, "Good, I thought you were going to buy a bulletproof," and we laughed and then I left and I said, I'm really going to buy a bulletproof. It was this funny look at each other moment. So how does your mom feel now and then the rest of your family, do they worry about what you're doing on the weekends going out and fighting crime? Are they worried for your safety? Well, my whole family and my mom are a little bit worried but now that I've been doing it for so long they know that I can handle myself. At the beginning they were much more nervous. I would call them and be like, hey, this happened or this happened, they'd be pretty nervous. Now they really understand it because I've been doing it for so long. [BACKGROUND] After the FBI called my parents and told them they believe in what I do and Homeland Security and this police department, it explained I'm not crazy. Yeah. Which is good [LAUGHTER]. Sorry. [LAUGHTER]. You mentioned before you have been stabbed once. Can you to talk us through some of the craziest things I guess that you've experienced while you've been doing this? The craziest things about patrol are not so much what happens, it's what happens when it's over. You get shot at, you hide and you duck the bullets and then you go after the bad guy. Then afterwards you're like, I just got shot at. Stabbings are totally different and that's what changes the game up. Because once you get stabbed, even if you fix the problem the knife is still most likely in you. [LAUGHTER] Then you've got to figure out, do I go to the hospital? Do I get stitches? How do I get the knife out? I'm bleeding all over my Kia of Justice. You're just bleeding everywhere. It sucks. Most of that is preparation. Before my first date with my wife actually, I had gotten stabbed the night before. [LAUGHTER] I didn't want to miss the date so I glued it shut and came to the date which was funny because I ended up gluing myself inside my own super suit because I fell asleep in it so the suit was glued to my body. I called her and I'm like, I know it's our first date but I want to let you know that I'm going to come dressed as a superhero. You can wear a mask if you want. Actually I didn't tell her I got stabbed. I said I'm just glued in my suit. Left it alone. We're having dinner, we're having a great time. I started laughing and I started leaking blood under the tablecloth into [LAUGHTER] the suit because the stitches ripped open. I'm thinking, well, this is a great way to ruin a date. But she was really cool, went out in the back alley and I took my shirt off and she actually helped me glue it back shut and we finished the date and that's when I was like, yeah, this is going to work. This is the one. [LAUGHTER] This is going to work. If you can glue my stomach shut, we're going to make it. We were on patrol with you last night actually and we came across, there was a pretty obviously tragic thing that happened recently that you were on the scene with the girl that got shot and passed away. Yes sir. Can you talk us through that? Was that probably one of the worst things that's happened since you guys have been doing this? What's so frustrating about that one is I've seen a lot of bad things, it's hard to quantify what's worse. What's worse for me is that I go within, if this is the bad guy, I got within this distance of the guy and I could have taken him out, I could've tackled him. The reason I became a superhero and not a police officer is to make my own decisions, to make my own choices. I had a chance to make my own choice and as I'm doing it, someone told me to stop and I listened. Then he got away. Everybody is like, you did the right thing. You listened to the police when they told you to stop, but being a superhero is about me choosing what's right, about my own code. What governs your own code of ethics? How did you develop your code of ethics for what you do? Basically everybody's moral compass has their own, how they judge right or wrong is their own thing. Originally my right or wrong was, if you're doing something that's wrong, I'm going to beat you up and that's right. After a while I realized I'm not making a difference really because I'm not going to be everywhere. I can't do this for the rest of my life. I started thinking about who are some of the people who've made large impacts. I looked at Martin Luther King, I looked at Gandhi, I looked at really large political figures, really large activists. What I realized they have in common is that they're dead and we're talking about what they did. No one is going to talk about what I did if I'm just beating people up and hiding in a bush. No one is going to get it. Ten years from now when I'm gone it's over. I decided I'm going to inspire everyone to step up to crime when they see it. That's going to be my legacy. So what I did is I set out on a campaign to make sure that my exploits were noted, tagged, and basically exploited for the good that they are. When I did that, people looked and they said, they have to make a choice immediately. They have to say either I'm with him or I'm against him. If you're against me you've got people go, "So what are you against? You're against standing up for your citizens?" If you're with me, you have to make the choice when you see a crime to say, I'm going to step in and I'm going to be a man. I'm going to stop this. Just that is making a huge difference. What has been the public reaction to what you're doing? [LAUGHTER] That's a hard thing to gauge. So where are we up to, public's reaction, getting the public reaction. Yeah, you can't gauge the public's reaction. Sometimes people will walk up to me and they're hyperventilating and they're so excited to see me that they literally have to sit down. I've got other people who think I'm bat **** crazy and they're like, "Dude, you are out of your mind." I've got the media people sometimes who think I'm cool depending on what I did and other times think I'm over the top. But the best part about all of it is that they're talking about me. They're striking up a conversation which is saying, this guy thinks he's fighting crime. What do you think? Which is bringing crime to the forefront. When I first started patrolling Belltown there was one cop in Belltown. What was his name? Officer Garcia, one cop. [LAUGHTER] I asked, I said man, you make a difference here and he said, "It's hard man. I'm one cop." Now, 13. Why? Because it's not good to have your town on the cover of the newspaper mass superhero breaking up crime. Police don't like that. Because they don't like that they're forced to patrol there and because they're forced to control there, crime has dropped down 25 percent. I'm not going to say 25 percent of it is mine but I'm going to say that I made a difference completely and the people of Belltown know I made a difference. A good example was last night, the crime that we broke up and caught on tape last night. Did you guys catch the news article about it? No. Yeah, it was on the news and it was on another article and the police responded by saying that they would step up patrols there tonight. Well, that's a direct response to what we did yesterday. They can deny all they want until you put the facts in their face and the facts are, I walk around the street and whether I find crime or not, people are under the illusion that I do find crime, and because they believe in that, the police are forced to do something about it. I force their hand. [NOISE]. So we touched on public reaction. How do the police react to what you guys do? [LAUGHTER] It really depends. I think the official response from the Seattle Police Department for a long time was that I didn't exist. Then after a video arose where I had to prove I existed their response was they don't work with us. But here's the thing. If you're a citizen and you call the 911 and you tell them, hey, there's a crime taking place and the cops don't do anything, that's a crime. So if I call 911, the cops show up and they stop what I'm telling them is a crime. They work with me whether they like it or not. They just don't endorse me. You know what I mean? Yeah, exactly. Now, what equipment do you normally get around with? I carry a bunch of different stuff. It really depends on what I'm going to be doing on patrol. Everybody's got a different assortment of stuff. I just have my pepper spray tonight. I've got bullet proofing inside the suit which is the most important. I've got my pepper sprays on the outside, I've got the 911 cell phone, a live streaming camera that'll plugin right over here like this, and then I've got my GoPro camera. The most important thing I can do on patrol though is get good video footage because the police are going to swoop in there and they're going to tell me to back off and they're going to try to handle the crime. But when it comes down to the come down, they need footage, they need evidence. That's the only way crimes gets solved is by evidence. Plus this cool impact shock breastplate in the center here, I've got a bullet proofing Kevlar by weave underneath, then a big metal plate on the chess piece right here on top of that. When you punch it it absorbs a lot of the impact. I want to show them, go ahead. Give it a good one though. Make it a real shot buddy. Real shot, hard as you can. [NOISE] No man. [NOISE] Nothing. [NOISE] Nothing. Nothing. You know what I'm saying? It hurts, your hands? Yeah. So that's what's up. [OVERLAPPING] So I guess a lot of people see what you guys are doing and their first thoughts for this guy is to comics and superhero movies, I was wondering if you yourself, are you a fan of comics and superhero movies growing up or are you still? Yes and no. I'm a big fan of comics. It would be foolish to say that I wasn't a fan of comics. But I think what I do transcends like people who look at comic books because originally I did this without really a suit, just more of just the gear. But walking around in bulletproof gear is foolish. You just get stopped by the police and it doesn't really work. So I took something, an iconography that people knew and already existed and stood for something good and I made it my own. That's why I embody the vision of a superhero. I think if people were enamored by scuba divers or enamored by firemen, if they wore a mask I could've been one of them as well. It was just what people looked at and said, that's a good guy and I took it and made it my own. [MUSIC] 31. Production: Ways to Interview: [MUSIC] Here's some more examples of interviews we did. You can get an idea of the diverse ways you can conduct an interview. It's a new normal. It's another thing that you have to do. This is life we all go through different things. As I get older and you meet more people. This is inspiring to be around and there's a lot of good energy and good vibes. Going about the city. Naked by [inaudible]. Yeah. I'm going to walk around and while walking around, I'm on a phone like, look, there's two mother ******* in a ditch. [LAUGHTER] Can you come and help by the ditch? You know what I'm saying? Sillu. You're going to want to get late. Its not late. He didn't generally don't leave your town to go. We've had conversations about the world. And everybody's huddled around him and he's telling us a story. This thing just scared him in what it was he described it as a ring of fire? All I know is from Paris, his burden. I saw that film like this, as much knowledge about the past of it that I do have. What are you doing to relax? What book you are reading now? Yeah, I'm reading right now James Patterson's toys normally every my iPad and I like play games with other people on it or have Netflix. Some bodies have just been demolded for the most part. We have a big track here that we rotate the bodies around. What would you like to say to them about their hang-ups and negative opinions towards ****? I mean, it's really not what you think it is. Is eye contact okay? Actually, I like eye contacts. I mean, personally, I do not do a lot of pull tricks. One because I bruise easily and who wants that? Can you describe it to them in what makes Portland unique? I think a lot of things make Portland unique. DIY style, make this a friendly and inviting place. Again, we're stuff's going on and people can route for the project and see cool things happening, even though we don't have a ton of money. If I don't keep doing this, it's going to happen to more people. Next time I might be able to help somebody [MUSIC]. 32. Production: Note on Directing: [MUSIC] Look, a quick word about directing. If you're the director of a segment or an interview, it's time to get decisive. The director is there to make the final call on things. When the crew ask a director, "Hey, should we film the interview under the tree or on the bench?" There's usually no right answer. You've just got to make a call the bench or let's shoot 30 seconds at each and see which one looks better. The minute you start getting all wishy washy, not sure everyone's going to start chiming in. Maybe we should do this, maybe we should do that and then it can get like herding cats. If you're in that role it's time to start being decisive and standing by your decisions. You'll make some wrong decisions sometimes, but you'll learn from that. But if you're planning on being a director more in your film-making career, learn how to make quick calls on things and not second guessing yourself all the time. And look, I've directed a bunch of shoots for a bunch of places now and I still second-guess myself all the time. But you know what? I'll just keep it to myself and I pretend I know what I'm doing. By doing this it seems most people I work with get fooled into thinking I know what I'm doing too so the act works. Just give it a go. 33. Production: Photos: [MUSIC] Look, take lots of photos while you're filming. The higher quality, the better. This will come in handy later down the line when you're promoting the show, but it's also great for social media. At the very least, take some nice portrait-style photos of people you're filming with. You'll never regret it. Actually, when we sold our show to The Network, they asked for a few photos from each episode as part of our deliverables, so it's just a handy thing to do. Even if it's just to look back home when you're old and crusty, remembering the good times when you went off and chased your dreams with your mates. [MUSIC] 34. Production: Social Media: [MUSIC] Don't forget to keep doing fun stuff on your social media. If you can't be bothered, make little videos from the stuff you've been shooting. Like 30 to 60-second videos. Post cool photos, and just find fun stuff to do. We were posting the online reviews of crappy motels that we were staying at. A paper would dig in that. We were making fun stuff which was enjoyable for us and would keep people engaged and create a fun energy around the project. Like this feed, we made when we were driving from Detroit to Washington DC. [MUSIC] [LAUGHTER] [MUSIC] Try to keep people engaged. Remember, this will help you down the line when you're trying to sell the show because it'll demonstrate that you already have some fans interested in what you're doing. It shows a network that you're onto a good thing. Look, don't get his hardened. I really thought that when we started, people would just flock to our project and our Facebook page. I don't know why I just thought that was going to happen. But actually, it's a slow game. It just slowly build and at some point it builds quicker. We gave ourselves small aims. Our first goal was 100 likes, then we work towards 500. We were really stuck till we hit a 1,000 and it just continued to build from there. Take it easy, have fun, and don't worry about it too much. Scheduled time for posting to social media, and always be aware of when you're out and about if anything entertaining or funny that you could post to your page. You want to engage audiences and keep things light and fans. So don't worry too much. 35. Production: Conflict Resolution: [MUSIC] Now look, the three of us spent a fair bit of time on the road together and there were times when arguments happened and we crack the **** with each other. This stuff happens. What we realized over time is that a good working relationship isn't about conflicts not happening because they're going to happen, but what you want to work towards is getting that conflict resolution time down as much as possible. When we had our first big flight, we didn't talk to each other for like a day or two and the next few days we had pretty weird vibe. By the end of the production, we were getting a lot better at having those chats. I found that it was really important to try and listen to the other boys when they had an issue with what I was doing and to not get defensive about it. My first reaction was often getting really defensive and to counterattack, sometimes attacking them on a personal level. That wasn't really a good approach. I realized later that it's best to try and keep my ego out of it and put the defense aside, listen to what they're saying, take it on board and try and have a reasonable discussion about it, maybe apologize for my role in things, all that stuff. If I was having an issue with the boys, it was best to try and chat about it as soon as possible because often I wouldn't say anything and then build up all this resentment for a couple of weeks, then I'd just explode in a rage over something small that had sent me off. [NOISE] That's also not a healthy way to deal with things. Hey, we were learning, we were spending a lot of time together and conflicts happened. I would really recommend doing a bit of research beforehand about conflict resolution and that subject because it'll go a long way for your working relationship and it's a very important part of any relationship really, so get involved, trust me. [MUSIC] If you're working closely with a team, you probably going to get into a few arguments. It's natural, try to detach yourself, not take things personally, avoid being defensive and approach conflicts with an open mind and a willingness to resolve the issue as soon as possible. The sooner is resolved, the sooner things can get back to the good stuff. [MUSIC] 36. Production: Managing Energy & Mental Health: [MUSIC] I know some of you are going to label me as some hippy, but I really don't care. I've been on this journey and now I have the experience to know what things are really important to focus on. Keeping up a good energy and keeping your mental health in a good place are two things that are vital to your project, having a good buzz around it. Now we felt like rock stars and some kind of tour around America. We spent a lot of the early days partying heaps, eating fast food and just feeling we were invincible. But turns out we weren't. That crappy lifestyle takes its toll on you energy and after a while you just feel worn out all the time and your mental health can take a bit of a dive. Neither of which are conducive to getting a project done well. I realized getting heap to sleep, eating well, doing a bit of exercise and all that good stuff went a long way to keeping me saying, keeping me feeling good and keeping the project going. I would strongly advise that you foster your own good routines to keep you in a good mental space and feeling physically good. Sure. It's healthy to let loose from time to time. Trust me, too much drinking and too many drugs and crap food and light night, are the last thing that you're going to feel like doing is getting up and filming. Let alone filming it well. Try and keep the bigger picture in mind. You can do all that stuff another time when you're not chasing your dreams. [MUSIC] Mental health is not hippy talk. Look after yourself and make sure your body is getting what it needs while you're out there shooting a project. It might be enticing to party all the time, stay up late and booze self crazy. But those things are just going to take energy away from making your dreams come true. [MUSIC] 37. Production: Outro: [MUSIC] So we'd be on the road for months and we had tried our best and filmed everything that we thought we should. We have film with jugglers, gay voguers, gangster rappers, real-life superheroes, **** stars, UFO chasers. We'd been to abandoned cities, pack frozen ice on a dead guy, we'd filmed our own little fun moments in-between at all, as well as bits like shooting from the car's bonnet while driving, then into the car and out the window. All in all we hoped we'd made an interesting show. We had ups and downs and **** stuff happened to us our car broke down here and my appendix burst and I need an operation, all that stuff. But overall, we'd had a great time, I would film what's hopefully to become a TV show. Now we'd run out of money so it was time for us to head back to Australia and move on to the next phase of it all, selling and post-production. [MUSIC] 38. Selling: Introduction: [MUSIC] This is where things will start to become a bit of a choose your own adventure book. I know it seems weird that the selling section is before post-production, but I'll put it there because that's the way it played out for us. We decided to take a gamble and try and sell the show from showing broadcasts as just one episode. We did this because we were very broke when we came back from the production stage. We got back and we edited one episode of our show, what's known as a pilot episode. We edited one whole episode, making it look the way we envisioned an episode of our show would look like. Then we go all our fancy documents together and started chasing that style. Now obviously to edit your pilot, you might need the information in the post introduction section. That's cool. You can go there. It's right after this section. Like I said, this was a gamble because we were still trying to sell as an acquisition of finished product even though we hadn't exactly finished the product. We were basically saying, Hey, we've shut all the footage and this is what an episode will look like. Now please buy it and we'll use the money to finish editing. This was a risk, and as a result, it took longer to sell than it probably would have if we had all the episodes finished. Luckily, one of the broadcasters we approach, ended up loving that first episode so much that they would convince the rest of the series was going to be great. So they bought it. With the money we got from the network, they paid half upfront and half on completion. We finished editing the show. Now most broadcasters will only buy a show once it's completed. If our little gamble hadn't worked out, we were still planning to get part-time jobs and fund the completion of our show so we could sell it as a properly completed product. I would still recommend trying to complete your show first before trying to sell it. But if you're feeling lucky and feel like rolling the dice like we did, then go for it. It never hurts to try. Just don't get discouraged if they don't go for it as it's a tad unconventional, but it does happen from time to time. I'll walk you through the selling process we went through first and then we'll do post-production after. That might be a little bit confusing, but I think you're a tough kid and you're going to be okay. 39. Selling: Prepare for Rejection: [MUSIC] First stop, you've got to prepare yourself for a lot of rejection. We got rejected heys by a bunch of places before we sold the show. To be honest, I was getting close to giving up. It took us about a year before we had any interest in the show, so hang in there. It's not going to be a quick thing, and if it is, that's awesome. But it just wasn't the case for us. In my opinion, this is the hardest part of the whole process. You end up waiting to hear back from people a lot, holding your breath, getting half excited, and half thinking it's not going to work out. It was a mentally pretty tough process. But I had to keep reminding myself that even if it didn't go anywhere, we were legends for even giving it a go in the first place. But you know what, in the end, persistence beat resistance, and it ended up paying off. [MUSIC] 40. Selling: Setting up a Company : [MUSIC] One of the things that we found out we needed to do was have a company to sign the deal through if we sold the show. We found out that most networks and distributors would only sign a contract with an actual registered company. In Australia, that means a Pty limited, so a properly registered company. Now there was a couple of ways we could go about this. We could either go to an accountant and set one up, which over here would cost about a $1,000, sometimes more. We'd also need that accountant to explain the legal guidelines for running a company to us because there's certain responsibilities we would have by law if we owned an actual Pty Ltd company. But don't be too put off by it. It's easier than it actually sounds. But what we actually did was ask our friends if we could use their company. A couple of friends had set up a production company a while ago that it was just sitting there dormant. It was basically a company that just existed on a piece of paper somewhere. But we really trusted those mates and they trusted us. They said that if we got a deal, we could use their company to sign it through. Now, only do this if you really, really trust the people because it could lead to all sorts of headaches. But it worked out fine for us. When we got the deal with the network and later with the distributor and Netflix and all the rest, they were all signed with no roles for SAM, which was our friend's company that we got to use. Now, I know this might sound annoying, but that's just one of the roadblocks we hit and that's what I'm here for, to give you a heads up on that stuff. Now, since then, I've set up my own company and now I run everything through that. [MUSIC] 41. Selling: Terminology Recap: [MUSIC] All right. Remember back in pre-production we talked about commissions and acquisitions. Now if you don't remember, go back and watch that bit because this is terminology that's really important in the selling phase. Because there's two main ways to sell the show, commissions and acquisitions, and what we ended up getting was an acquisition. Just go back and re-familiarize yourself with those terminology. It'll help some of this stuff make a little bit more sense. [MUSIC] 42. Selling: Film Festivals: [MUSIC] Look, we didn't go down this road, but something you might want to consider if you have a time and heaps of patience is that you put your show or film into some film festivals before you try and sell it. This way you might be able to rack up some nice accolades for it and it might help you in the selling phase. Everyone loves those little film festival laurels and they do add a certain zest that cannot be denied. What this might help with is proving to broadcasters and distributors that other people in the biz also think your show is good. The other good thing about entering festivals is you might get the attention of some industry folk. We could end up being a pretty solid exercise in networking. The best way to go about this is to get onto filmfreeway.com. This is a website that list all the different film festivals out there and gives you all the details you need for each of them, where they are, when the submission dates are, how much to enter, and all that stuff. If you're thinking of going down this road, then I would case through FilmFreeway and see which film festivals are right for the type of show or film that you've made and then enter those ones. Our camera man, [inaudible] who is actually filming this course, told me that if you're planning on entering multiple film festival then signing up for the FilmFreeway gold membership will end up saving you money in the long run as it offers discounts on the fee of entering age festivals. If you're thinking you might want to go down this road and get some extra attention and accolades for your baby before you try and sell it, FilmFreeway is probably the best resource for you. 43. Selling: Elements to Sell With: [MUSIC] Here's what we did when we started trying to sell the show. First of all, we edited the pilot. A pilot is basically a fancy word for the first episode. We spent a few months editing one whole episode of our show making it look exactly how we pictured it would look on TV. We knew whoever we sold it to might want us to change it a bit, but that was okay. We had to look through all the footage, had to think and thought we could probably make six half-hour episodes from what we'd shot. Again, we figured that if a broadcast would prefer something different, like three or four one-hour episodes, we could do that too. But the general format we thought we could turn our show into was six half-hour episodes. We made the first episode, we got our strongest stories and we put them into that first bad boy. It took us a few months because we were still getting the hang of editing an episode of our own show, and we were very slow and clunky, but we got there in the end. I'll put our pilot episode in the next video so you can watch it if you want. Next up, we caught a trailer. You want a nice, snappy trailer that's 30 seconds to 45 seconds long that just reels people in. Then we put together a nice-looking document that gave a bit of information about the show. Something we could send to people if they were interested or take to meetings and give to people. It was basically a small booklet. This was the front page. See down the bottom is a 6 by 30 thing telling them it's six episodes of half an hour each. On the other side is our little production company that I already told you about, No Roles for Sam. The next page had a bit more of our synopsis. It was basically an extended description with some cool photos to make it look awesome. See, that's where taking those nice photos during production comes in handy. Then we just had a few pages that had a little rundown of each of the proposed episodes. See, there's a quick synopsis of an episode with some nice photos at the top. Gets the message across in an easy to digest way. The people we were meeting were often busy and there was no way they were going to be reading any lengthy documents. Short, sharp, snazzy. I would really recommend an online program called Canva for making these proposals. It's a free version that has heaps of awesome templates and it's easy to use. I pretty much use that for everything these days. Once we had all those elements ready, our pilot, trailers, nice-looking booklet, we were ready to start hitting people up. A good bonus is if you know the key points of your show and the things you've written in your pitch document, so when you start having meetings, you can be nice and succinct. Try not to babble, even if you're nervous, and dress well. You don't have to wear a tuxedo, but dress nice. Look, you still do all this stuff if you decided to sell the show after completing everything. As in, if you've taken the approach where you're finishing editing everything before you try and sell it, not just the pilot. What you do in that case is you upload all your finished episodes to YouTube or Vimeo password protected, of course. You have a nice-looking booklet, the trailer, you'll have decided which episode is your strongest one to show them when they want to see an episode. You'll have the rest there ready to rock if they want to see more. New bloody ripper. [MUSIC] We looked at our footage and reason that we can make about six half-hour episodes. We edited a pilot episode using our strongest stories and short, snappy trailer. We'd attach the trial to emails to try and attract attention quickly, then send the pilot when we had someone interested. We always put together a nice pitch document with information about the show and lots of nice photos we've taken. Here you want to be more visual and less wordy. Just a short synopsis and run down a proposed episodes. If you've finished editing all the episodes of your show before trying to sell it, that's an even stronger approach. Upload them to Vimeo or YouTube with a password protection and have them ready to rock alongside your trailer and pitch document. Know your project inside and out and practice talking about it before you start having meetings so that you sound confident and don't babble. [MUSIC] 44. Selling: Our Pilot Episode: All right guys. This is our pilot episode that we caught and we started selling the show with. Now, be aware because this is definitely some adult themes. Just to reiterate there is mature content in this video, and sorry guys, of blood or the ***** out. This is Unplanned America. The show about three Australian mates who quit their jobs, hopped on a plane, board a barely roadworthy car, and hit the highways of the USA. Throwing away the itinerary, we find ourselves in the most weird, wonderful, intimidating, and inspirational societies, the land of the free has to offer. My name is Gonzo, in my opinion, I'm the leader of the pack. When you're traveling on the road, you're not always going to get a chance to stop the laundromat and clean your delicates. I'm always sharing, just take your underpants off and just scrub them with some soap and you having an electric window because this makes it a lot easier. Watch, they're not going anywhere. Texas clothesline, we'll ride through the desert for maybe half an hour. Good as new, maybe a bit dusty, might have a few dead bugs on them that better than the alternative. Next up, we have Parv. The best **** roadside cook in the USA. Eating out is for chumps, basically, and cooking in your motel room and stinking it out is not for chumps, that's for winners. Then there's Nick, the last of the three amigos, and the only one of this with a normal name. After four hellishly boring days after the car break down in the most nothing town in America, Laurel, Maryland, which you've never heard of, and please don't look it up, we're finally free. This episode is all about family from the Juggalos we encounter in Southern Illinois to the gay ballroom houses of New York City. We discover that family can be found in the most unlikely of circumstances. When they go home and they're living their lives, people are like you're a dork listening to that ****. To be out here in the middle of nowhere, and to reroute all these people, who have the same interests you do, it just makes wonderful people. Thank God I'm not alone. A Juggalo is a follower of a rap group called the Insane Clown Posse known for its violent lyrics. Juggalo say it's a way of life, criminologists call it dangerous. Authorities have classified Juggalos as a gang in Utah and Arizona as well as in portions of Pennsylvania and California. Rumors of violent, murderous Juggalos, and embracing gang classification from the FBI, had us wondering whether we were really cut out for the gathering in Southern Illinois. Mixed ingenuity in short, that at least upon arrival, we'd have some cool beers to calm our nerves. As we traveled to the biggest white trash event, that's a pretty judgment, but Sam and Fish, will probably love everyone there. I am advancing my design for my Unplanned America ICE vehicle on, which I think is suitable for such an adventure. One can, two cans. Then it was time to meet the Juggalo family. We are now at the gathering of the Juggalos. As Nick return the knife, it was fair to say we'd arrived at the gathering. We're at the gathering in the Juggalos, we're about to witness a blind role escape battle. With boxing gloves. On the count of three, you all ready to do this? Three, two, one, fight. We were definitely out of our element, and it seemed hard to reconcile the chance of family with the behavior we were witnessing. Police don't come in here? They're not allowed to come in here. There's people with signs like morphine, magic mushrooms, whatever you want. Look at the size of his joint. Behind us is the controversial what, drug bridge, where everyone goes to get their drugs. You can get any drug apparently that you want, you can get acid, mushrooms, molly, which is MDMA. Panadols. Panadols if you've got a headache, apparently, maybe even heroin, but that is an unconfirmed rumor at this juncture. That is the only drug we haven't seen here. Heroin is not any faster at the moment, is it? It'll come back. It's not easy coming back in [inaudible] . There was a whole lot more than drugs on offer at the gathering. Mom, please change channels. Don't tell the organizers, they're probably coming for free and not even get paid. Broadcasting live from the gathering of the Juggalos, somebody make some noise right about now. Sure, the wet t-shirt contests might not have been to everyone's taste, but it would've been frankly rude of me to turn down an offer to participate. While I'd succeeded at pretending to enjoy myself, there was still a few moments that left us feeling less comfortable. Show us that, what is it? This is 16 strands of steel. He just shaved his arm with the hatchet that he's carrying around. There are some nursing really ****** up Juggalos out there. There are some really ****** Juggalos. With places like here, I've seen three or four people get carried out. If you don't know what your limit is, you find it here? What's up boys? You might be able to have a quick chat with you guys. We will just start interviewing a couple of Juggolets and the Juggalo having a nice grand old chat. We respect one another, we treat one each other like equals. Being out of a cubicle route a big fat ****, and he's like stop filming. Then the square off began. These two guys start fighting each other, everyone's crowding around, the crowd started building. You're not even from this country. I'm not from this country? Fat guy push that in. You are fat guy, he's the fat guy. I'm not the fat guy. He came at me, push me. Then the other guy is like. The fat guy, which shouldn't be me, hit ground. Dare swing on me, bro. We were like, "Let's get out of here." About five minutes later, 15 Juggalos had stomped down towards us. The Fat Guys Crew wanted to see our footage. If a weapon had been used, all **** was about to break loose. I was trying to stop it the whole time, right before that guy started fighting with someone. Trying to break up the fight. Thankfully, there was no weapon and it never escalated. We managed to laugh it off, but it had been a pretty frightening experience. To be fair to the Juggalos though, the fight had only begun when one of their own defended us. You're not even from this country. We were still unsure about the FBI's assertion that the Juggalos were a dangerous gang, so we decided to dig a little deeper. Tell us what it's about being a Juggalo, man. It's about family. It's about lifestyle. We look out for each other. Gauges back. It's love no matter who you are or how you look or who you are, we don't judge. We accept you for who the **** you are. We got your back no matter who you are or what you do. We got you. Tattooed this the day I came up to the army. Today I turn 18. You're in the army, what? Yes, sir. Are there many Juggalos in the army? There were seven of us Juggalos with tattoos and ****, and they had separated us because we were gang-related. You had a lot. Even in the army, we were just still gang. The longer we spent at the gathering and the more time we spent with the Juggalos, we couldn't help but feel that got a bad rap. To us, it's saying they were just a group of guys and girls that had got together in the hope of finding people with similar beliefs. It means that I'm always going to have family to rely on that's not going to judge me, that's going to be down with me and ******* roll with me. **** the ******* FBI and their, "We're a gang and ****." We are too unorganized to be a ******* gang. The most organized thing we do all year is make it to gathering. Do we look organized? Do we look like we're going to harm anybody? Most people here are too ****** up to do anything bad to each other. Some of you may not have had cousins, some of you may not have brothers, some of you may not have sisters, good friends that you've never had in your life. Are here. You missed it, but you have it right here, it doesn't matter where you're from. It doesn't matter who or where you're from. You're from Australia? If you can make it. Your family. Come. Coming up, we speak to the fathers of the Juggalo family, the Insane Clown Posse. Because nowhere in the history of rock and roll period has there ever been anything like Juggalos. The gathering of the mother-effing Juggalos. Best time ever. Keep grinding. Same here, baby. We keep grinding. We keep grinding ninjas. We'd spend three days and nights to the gathering of the Juggalos. What had been the odd shocking moment, we'd been welcomed with open arms by this much-maligned group. Now the time had come to speak to the band behind the entire movement, The Insane Clown Posse. You basically got this huge community which is based on you guys. How does that feel? It doesn't really feel like the way you probably see it because we're just as amazed by Juggalo culture as the Juggalos are. We never planned this, this part of it. We never said, let there be Juggalos, you know what I'm saying? The Juggalo, well, created itself. The bond, the camaraderie is strictly managing. You guys made a big announcement that you're going to sue the FBI. We have to sue the FBI. Juggalos are so united and so passionate that the FBI scares them. People fear what they don't understand, so they label it a gang. If you do a crime and you're about to do a week in jail, if you're in a gang, that'll turn into a month in jail. If Juggalos meets out there peddling weed, then he goes to get sentenced, just because he's a Juggalo, he's going to do an extra three weeks. That's ****** up. That is the government's way of dictating what people can and can't wear, or what they can and can't listen to. Five years from now when the rest of the world accepts it that Juggalos are a gang, it takes something so special, which Juggalos are and it ***** all over it. It says you're nothing special, you're just a ******* gang. Anytime we have written about and talked about with this heavenly hard, people are listening to our **** in Juggalos, they go through **** just been a Juggalos. People give them **** at their job, in the school, or whatever. It's not easy being a fan of the most hated band in the world. But isn't that just amusing what they have in common? It's so many other things. I never had a mom and never had a dad. Most of us came from homes where it wasn't like a family, and we come here to replace that. Exactly. That's exactly it. Really anybody who's ever felt like they were outcastes or the downtrodden, what's said is trash and we're really sick of it so we decided to band together and we started a club, and we said what would be a neat name? Juggalos, and that's what it's all about. When they come here and they gather all these people just like them, they're awesome individuals. You know you're not alone. It's like a sigh of relief beyond comprehension. With the gathering in our rare vision mirror, we were back on the road. Only four days earlier, we were headed into the great unknown. But any fears had disappeared when we were accepted into the Juggalo family upon arrival. We found a culture where everyone was accepted for who they were, regardless of how society at large had viewed them, and we couldn't help but feel that the FBI's gang label was unwarranted. It had been a **** of four days that we weren't going to forget anytime soon. As we drove away, we'd already made plans to get back there for a family reunion. Tell everybody if you're not here, in fact, **** you you're not here. Next time, bring your *** here and you could enjoy all of this. This is our paradise, please come and join us. Gathering of the Juggalos. In New York you're forced to look at strangers in the train, you're forced to grab against people that you normally won't, and so that's why a ballroom exists here because it's probably the only place that it really can be what it is. The next part of our unplanned journey across the USA took us to the heart of the Big Apple, and headfirst into another example of a unique self-made American family, the Voguing and Ballroom Scene of New York City. The epicenter of this world is irregular Monday club night at a place called Escalator, an event known as Vogue Knights. That, of course, was where the boys and I headed. When we got there, the club was relatively quiet. It soon became apparent that those there were competitors warming up. As the club filled up and judges assembled, it also became apparent that we might be the only straight White people there. Then at around 1:00 AM, the competition began. The source of the Knights' music, DJ MikeQ, explained to us that the dancers were battling it out one-on-one for the honor of their respective dance houses, often named after the legendary fashion houses of Paris, such as Dior and Vuitton. MikeQ also outlined the different elements the Voguers we're judged on in each ballroom walk-off. There's five and sometimes six elements where Voguing dips, catwalks, duck walks, hands, spins, floor performance. Because all I'd seen was Madonna Vogue, and so I knew there was a little more legit dancing than just putting your hands next to your face, but I didn't expect it to be as tough. There's even change from what it was then till now. It's more dramatic now, and then you have a lot of the younger kids so they changed the flavor of the Voguing. A lot of the moves they come up with are their own. The Knights' proceedings were controlled by Kevin Jay-Z prodigy of the House of Prodigy, who's known in the ballroom scene as a commentator. Well, commentating is basically like MCing or rapping, a host of any type of major event. Can I get a nice little help, please? Let's go. If I get vulgar, I may recite poetry, but I may recite poetry as if I'm rapping it. I may just say things that come off the top of my head. Like if I would just want to say ***** or ***** or hand or get out of my face, I'll just make it sound really nice. How competitive does it get? It gets very intense. The cross-dressing ballroom scene in New York City dates as far back as the '30s. However, these balls were mostly the domain of White men, and Black participants were expected to widen their faces. By the late '60s, however, the Black gay community had grown the ball scene to heights unimagined by their White counterparts. Thanks to MikeQ and Kevin, there's wide-eyed White boys who are fast becoming expert observers on all things Vouging ballroom, but we wanted to learn more. Luckily for us, our time coincided with one of the biggest events on the ballroom calendar, the House of Latex Ball, where we would learn there's a much more serious side to the whole scene. We had found ourselves smack bang in the middle of New York City's legendary underground vouging and ballroom scene, where young gay, and transgender, black, and Latino men battle it out for the glory of the dance crews or houses. We've been invited to film at a charity event that really highlighted what this culture was all about. We're in the middle of New York City, in the middle of Manhattan, at the 22nd annual House of Latex Ball. We've put on by the gay men health crisis here in New York. This might be the epicenter of all things vogue, and ballroom which is the real reason that we're here. As we delve into that culture, we just had to be here and see what happens. Can we get some sound? Inside, we were blown away once again. This time by an insane fairy tale themed ball. Using the moves that Mike who had explained to us, the competitors faced off in a series of different categories. These range from straight up runway walking to intense vouging and other more fantastical costume categories. As we saw how fiercely they defended the honor of their houses, we started to realize that maybe these organizations were more than just a team to these young people. Each house was headed up by older members of the same, who took on the role of mothers and fathers in the vouge family tree. Behind the evening spirit of celebration, there were much heavier realities faced by members of the vogue and vouging community. The evening was run by a charity organization known as gay men's health crisis, and Krishna Stone was its head of community relations. Tonight this is the 22nd annual House of Latex Ball. It is about creativity and resiliency and amazing talent. It's also about stopping the spread of HIV. Young gay black men are disproportionately impacted by HIV in this country and globally. It's a historic issue around the meaningfulness of black people, transgender people, gay people. You're often thought of as somebody who has not really made it, and that's just really not the case. We need more role models, particularly for gay kids. They just don't have enough role models that they can talk to, who can talk to them about the issues around relationships, about identity, about sex. Krishna thought that mainstream society and media didn't provide the role models that these young people needed to stay healthy and happy. Trying to make their way in a country without basically the minority of the minority. Maybe some guidance was exactly what the mothers and fathers of their houses provided. We met the perfect man to answer our questions. Legendary vouger, Luna Khan, patriarch, and overall father of the House of Khan. Can you tell us a little bit about your love story coming into this scene? I first started coming to the House of Ballsy in 1998, I was about 17-ish. I was automatically intoxicated with this wonderful movement that people were doing. Most young gay people tend to go to the ball thing because it gives you that family that you don't have. Some had families who loved them but some, their family kicked them out because they're gay, and I was a kid in a house now I'm a father of a house. The difference between the mother and the father, is the mother a transgender person? Not necessarily because I was a mother once. A mother is just a title. You could be a mother of a house. A mother is just because maybe there's already a father, so they need a mother. What has the house protégé done for you? I feel like support. Just knowing that you have another family that you can come to. I was one of those young people that was dismissed and lost myself. My story begins and it will always begin at the age of 14 because I was infected with HIV at the age of 14. I had my first sexual experience and so what happened with that is I got HIV and that's what made my compassion for life and want to do more for people, more vivid. So have been living this long with it, I think that it's a gift, but I still have a lot of work to do because I know life can be taken away like that. But GMHP, which is gay men health prices was the first agency, the first service organization for HIV/AIDS in the world. Most of my work is to provide service to young people and make them feel they are loved because a lot of us aren't. People just don't care. We need to start loving each other and we need to come together because at the end of the day, that's really what it all is about. It's about what you leave on Earth, but how you touch the Earth. I think what's nice about House of Ballroom. Its that no matter why and what team you're part of, we still embrace you. So you say a lot sometimes they're kicked out, the gay community kicked out of their family homes and stuff like that. Then they come here or just come to the ballroom saying they've get to have that feeling. People that I usually don't get the same love and respect than anybody else would, they get that. They have people that are screaming their name in the name of love. Then you have family and then you have competition, and then if you win, you get the award and that will make anybody feel wanted, loved, all of that. We all want to be somebody. We cannot just walk in the street every day with the costume on because we have a whole bunch of people judging us, gay bashing us. Most of us come out to the ballroom scene to enjoy the night, have fun, be ourselves, and also certain people they only have this to come to because they don't have nothing. They lost family, shelter, everything. So this is like their highlight of their life. Their family may have dismissed them or society doesn't care about them, somebody loves them. For that little moment, you are Madonna, you are the Beyonces' of the world. We all strive to be that for that moment. When I die and how they say life flashed before you, there's going to be a whole bunch of ballroom moments because that's what it was. My life is a flash of ballroom moments and I think that's a beautiful thing. Yeah, that's a perfect ending. We'd come to realize that the ballroom houses have played a vital family role for thousands of gay and transgender black and Latino men. Many of whom were cruelly kicked out of the families they were born into. Thanks to ladies like Luna and Krishna, as well as the scene as a whole. Young people who face much more adversity than we would ever have to endure were given the love, acceptance, and even a sense of self pride that everybody deserves. After being welcomed with open arms by both the juggler family of Illinois and the ballroom family of New York City, it was once again time for the Unplanned America family to hit the road. 45. Selling: Hitting People Up: [MUSIC] Now that we had our selling material, it was time to start approaching people, TV stations and broadcasts generally. We started doing our research. Who were the broadcast is in Australia that might be interested in our type of content? Our show was pretty raw and a bit edgier than your usual stuff. It needs to target channels at play, that kind of thing. No point targeting the family-friendly soccer mom TV channels. Around Sydney where we live, we had some options. It was a channel called SPS, which played a Giancana stuff. Then there was ABC, which also had a sub-channel called ABC2 which sometimes played riskier content. There was also a few cable channels that might fit the bill. We started making a list of the type of places that were likely to play alcoholic content. Now we decided we weren't going to just email the receptionist at these places. We wanted to get our stuff into the hands of higher-level people. We'd got on the Internet and started doing our research finding the right people that work at these target stations. We asked all our friends if they knew anyone at those networks and then just got on Google and LinkedIn to try and find the right contact details. Now one of the handy tools for this is LinkedIn. I set up a spiffy-looking profile, and maybe some of the job titles that I put on there for myself were a little bit elevated, but I wanted to look good. I also started requesting people on there so that I could jazz out my profile and make my whole page look really good. I figured that if I was going to be hitting up industry big wigs, I needed more than 17 connections. It doesn't matter if your connections and just give mom and all her friends and your high-school buddies, just get those numbers up. You might want to consider signing up to LinkedIn premium for a little while. The benefit of this is that you can start messaging people who you're not even connected with, which can be helpful for those network big wigs that you've scoped out. The people we were looking for were those people at the broadcasters who had these titles. Acquisitions manager, commissioning editor, Head of Programming, Channel Manager, programming manager, senior programming. Those kinds of titles. We would try and source these people's contact details but also be having coffees with basically everyone we knew who might be helpful to the CORS, telling them about our project and seeing if they could help us out in some way. Occasionally someone would be like, I know someone who works with that network. I'll give you the email address then whether it was a message through LinkedIn or an email, we've managed to get a hold off through whatever means, it was time to make our approach would try and get our spiel nice and efficient getting across where we wanted to say without faffing too much. Here's an email I sent to a guy who was the head of programming fox till the biggest cable channel here in Australia. Hi blank, blank posts on your details. He used to work at Channel V, said you'd be a good guide to getting contact with. Myself and two other producers just returned from shooting a documentary series in the USA, think Louis thorough meets an awesome road trip. We were on the set of **** shoots, hung out with the Insane Clown Posse, patrolled the streets of Seattle with real-life superheroes, and a whole lot more. We were hoping to open a dialogue with you as now that the pilot he's caught, we are trying to discern which channel in Australia would be the best match for the content. I have attached our that treatment and the pilot can be viewed here. Vimeo link with possible that we are open to working with a network to mold the content to better suit their needs. I hope to hear from you with your thoughts, Cheers Father Jared's key director, producer neurons for Sam productions. See? It was nice, short with a length of a pilot and a document attached. Sometimes we'd also just attach the trailer. Now hate to people ignored us. People said they weren't interested or it wasn't the thing they were looking for right now. All sorts of stuff we just kept plugging away. It took us about a year to sell the show, and I'll take you through that in our next video. Our little journey to victory. [MUSIC] Before you start hitting people up, make a real nice refined list of people you'd like to target when selling your show. First, consider the major broadcasters and channels in your area and what kind of content they'd go for. Would they air your staff? If he is put them on the list. Next, seek out the big wigs at your chosen network and try to find the contact details. Look on LinkedIn, stoke them on Google, ask any friend who works within an inch of media and TV through whatever you can to get a hold of them. Now once you have that golden piece of contact info, send through a short and snappy email with a pitch document trailer and later the pilot, voila. [MUSIC] 46. Selling: Our Selling Process: [MUSIC] All right, so this is how it went for us. Keep in mind that this was during the span of slightly more than a year after we finished editing our pilot. First up we hit a channel called ABC because they had another channel called ABC-2 that we figured might like our kind of stuff. They said they weren't looking for that kind of thing right now. Next up, we went to a channel called SBS, would broadcast more documentaries and also edgier stuff. They also said they weren't looking for that kind of thing right right. Then we had a friend who'd done some work with Red Bull TV. We'd passed on some contact details. Red Bull was interested for a while. They strung us along for a few months and then they went cold. That was a major bummer because it was feeling like something was going to happen, so we were really bummed out when it went nowhere. Then a friend put us in touch with this guy who apparently had contact with networks in the USA. He had a meeting with us and promised us the world. He said he was going to sell our show in the USA, and all over the world, and he's going to make us famous, we were going to be massive. He got our hopes pretty high and we were feeling great about it. Then the weird thing is we never heard from him again. He wouldn't even return our emails. To this day that thing was such a mystery, but either way, we felt pretty let down by it because it was clear that he'd gone cold on us. If you're out there, Roly, you're a ****. Then a friend who had done some animating work at a broadcaster called Foxtel gave us the email address of the guy who was their general manager. That's the email I was showing you before. He emailed me back saying this "Hi Pawel. Thanks for the note. I've cc'ed in blank, blank, who is our Head of Programming and the best point of contact initially. I'll let him him back to you once he has had a chance to review. Kind regards, Mr. Blanky Blank, General Manager, the Music Channel and Head of Digital, Foxtel Networks Australia." Then I emailed that guy, and he emailed me back. Then I had to email him a couple more times to remind him. Don't be afraid to follow people up, just don't send too many follow-ups and start seeming like a weird ex-partner who is leaving a thousand messages on your voicemail. Eventually, he was interested and he got us in for a meeting. The three of us went in and we had the meeting and he was pretty into what we were doing. That really got our hopes up again, but then afterwards it would be ages before we'd hear from him, so we weren't sure if it was going to happen or not. Even though the general tone was positive, we decided to keep trying to sell the show just until something was a sure thing. Just keep in mind that you're a low priority to most people and you're going to have to accept that. They might take weeks to get back to you sometimes. It's sucks, but it's just the reality. Next, we hit up the acquisitions manager at a cable channel here called Studio. The guy who was in the role at the time said it wasn't really the thing they were looking for but he knew that SBS which was one of the first channels we'd approached and got rejected by, had just launched a new channel called SBS-2 which later became SBS Viceland, and they were looking for this kind of content. He gave us the email address of a guy who was a senior in the programming department of the new channel. We emailed that guy and he was interested. Then we had a meeting and it seemed to go well. Then there was some back and forth as they'd ask us some questions. Then they send us an email saying they'd like to see proper industry-style breakdowns of our episodes. We didn't have that and we didn't even really know what that was, but we had a couple of late nights, found out and we got it done. An episode breakdown is basically a document that shows what's going on in every little bit of your show and how long each bit goes for. This is so they can have a good idea of how each episode will look play by play. Seeing as our episodes were going to be half an hour, which in TV land usually means 24-ish minutes because they need time for ads. We came up with a rough vision for how an episode would look. I've attached