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Louis CK makes $1 million on a $5 downloadable special
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Mark in Minnesota



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 2007
Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
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The trend is toward general purpose tools replacing specialty equipment, and the cost of those general purpose tools falling to the point where we can make a profit, and therefore a living, doing things that previously wouldn't have been worth anyone's time.

Louis CK did this because he built his own production company to make a sitcom for FX, and once you have a production company it is in your interest to use it to produce things. He built his own production company to make a sitcom at $300K/episode when he had higher offers from other networks. I think he did this for pragmatic reasons, namely knowing (or hoping) that a show being made 100% under his control would be more successful than a show which was ultimately being produced at the whim and mercy of whichever production company the network decided to use. 20 years ago his best choice would almost certainly have been something like what Jerry Seinfeld ended up doing with Castle Rock.

So now Louis CK owns his means of production, and he's shown that he can likely even distribute his own content. If FX were to cancel Louie, he'll probably at least look at doing something like self-producing the show and distributing it on a subscription model. It's also possible that he could, if he were so inclined, employ his production company to film and distribute comedy shows for other artists. He's also already said that he's going to begin marketing tickets to his shows through the same website rather than using Ticketmaster.

This is the key. This isn't a one-off million dollars made producing a single stand-up show that got overbought by fans who liked the novelty of the approach and wanted to reward his faith in them. That happened, but it happened because he used this new/emerging cost model for TV production to create that opportunity for himself.

This is what he just did, right now, when we're still just barely past the tipping point where it became viable for a guy to star in a TV show by using the money he was going to make for appearing in a pilot to start a company and produce the entire show himself. The equipment and technology he's using to do it are just going to keep getting cheaper and easier to use.

It's not an accident of circumstance that he was able to succeed doing this. He decided that he was willing to invest the time and energy to take his career in a decidedly more entrepreneurial direction. He was willing to learn and do things himself that might not have been his job otherwise, and where he couldn't do this on his own he sought out and employed experts to help him realize a vision.

Sound familiar to anyone here?
Post Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:04 pm
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21574
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When does the kickstarter bubble burst?

I know some people say they need it. Or they think it helps. Or it does help them. Or whatever...but the digital panhandling that's been going on can't continue much longer. I'm certain of it.
Post Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:07 pm
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CriticalTheory_Breakfast



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 1404
Location: NYC/Rochester
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I don't understand how musicians use Kickstarter successfully. At all.

I know filmmakers who've used IndieGoGo (a slightly better version of Kickstarter) and have had much success. But that is also because they used it as a means for actual investors to dump big donations into, as well as the smaller ones.

I think Kickstarter is already a proven fail for musicians. I don't know many who still cling to the hope that their music project is going to be funded that way. A business plan for a music project doesn't work the way other business plans work when it comes to soliciting and seeking donations.
Post Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:16 pm
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tommi teardrop



Joined: 12 Apr 2007
Posts: 2215
Location: Las Vegas
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before I had really looked at kickstarter, I thought of it as panhandling, and some of the projects there are exactly that. On some level that is okay. If someone wanted to make a documentary that I believe in, I like the idea people can contribute to that cause.

The Classical is what got me to look at it because I'm a big fan of freedarko. And I think the outcome of that and other projects has been great.

But then I saw how people were using it just as a means to sell their product before it was finished. You pay $10 to help a band master and replicate their record and you get a copy of that record when it comes out. So you are not seeking donations. You are getting the money up front for a product you will deliver on later. Take a look at Amanda Palmer's recent thing and all the things you could get by "funding" it:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/amandapalmer/an-evening-with-neil-gaiman-and-amanda-palmer

I'm sure there are all sorts of reasons why that wont work for all sorts of projects, but fuck, MC fucking frontalot just got $30k to shoot some videos. That shit is working like a charm for many people.
Post Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:23 pm
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T-Wrex
p00ny tang


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 6401
Location: Detroit, Michigan
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speaking of Kickstarter..... i was happy to see Louis Ck to donate to Kiva.
it's like 3rd world kickstarter...

and, speaking of creative costs...

i only found out about the site thru Mac Lethal last month, but....
he used this 99designs shit to crowdsource a cash prize for people to compete in an album cover design... and i browsed around the rest of the site and it's really neat... i can't tell if the requests more like a job or a contest... maybe it's both.... but i think if i was starting a business and needed a logo, i'd probably use the site..
Post Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:04 pm
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21574
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There's something about kickstarter and the way artists use it that gnaws at my core. I don't understand why exactly, so I'm unable to articulate how it makes me feel so greasy, gross, and slimy. I have researched it, I know people who use it, I see worthwhile projects being funded, but, still in all, I think I would rather let a project die in the womb than resort to digital panhandling. And I'm sick to death of seeing people promoting their kickstarter campaigns in an ultra-shameless way, the way a peson might for a cure-for-cancer fundraiser.
Post Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:35 pm
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GrantherBirdly
D&D addict


Joined: 05 Jun 2004
Posts: 3145
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oops
Post Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:59 pm
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3flip



Joined: 30 Dec 2003
Posts: 2201
Location: Minneapolis
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louis c.k. is the man. props.
Post Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:36 pm
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Mikal kHill



Joined: 29 Jun 2002
Posts: 6851
Location: http://mikalkhill.com
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Sage Francis wrote:
There's something about kickstarter and the way artists use it that gnaws at my core. I don't understand why exactly, so I'm unable to articulate how it makes me feel so greasy, gross, and slimy. I have researched it, I know people who use it, I see worthwhile projects being funded, but, still in all, I think I would rather let a project die in the womb than resort to digital panhandling. And I'm sick to death of seeing people promoting their kickstarter campaigns in an ultra-shameless way, the way a peson might for a cure-for-cancer fundraiser.


I have an awesome musical instrument en-route to me because of it, so that was awesome.

Some of the folks I've seen do it grate on my nerves, as well, it does frequently come off as panhandling. At the same time, if you look at how ballet and some other art is funded, I sort of think eventually music is going to be funded this way almost universally. Small groups of interested backers funding projects they want to see come to fruition that otherwise wouldn't.
Post Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:09 pm
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