Alicia J. Rose - AMA The Benefits of Gusbandry Web Series Creator, Serial Crowdfunder and guerrilla marketer!

Hey everyone - Alicia J. Rose here! I’ve been making web series The Benefits of Gusbandry since 2015 and have been on the frontlines of indie episodic filmmaking now for 2 years. I’ve experienced all kinds of positive and weirdly negative things and have a lot to say about this short format - including getting press from the NY Times, working directly (DIY with Amazon) and being one of the flagship projects on Seed & Spark’s Cinema platform.

I come from 20+ years in the music business and have applied most of what i’ve learned to making The Benefits of Gusbandry a success. If there’s ANY tips I can give you on making/crowdfunding/distributing/dreaming up your own web series let me know!

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Alicia J. Rose - Creator/Showrunner/Director/Co-Writer/Music Supervisor:

Known for imbuing riveting story structures and a compelling visual aesthetic into her body of work, Alicia has created popular music videos for national artists like First Aid Kit, Cake, Blitzen Trapper and Bob Mould as well as playing a key role in branding NW bands like The Decemberists, Menomena and Laura Gibson. Rose has directed many short-form commercial/corporate videos, over 24 music videos and released her first narrative short “The Gift of Gravity” in 2014. She is an award-winning still photographer who spent 20 years in the music business doing marketing and sales before turning her eye to filmmaking in 2008. The Benefits of Gusbandry is her debut foray into digital episodic storytelling and has received wide acclaim from press outlets like The New York Times, A/V Club, PASTE - even landing on the “Must List” of Entertainment Weekly.

YOU CAN FIND MY SHOW AT: www.thebenefitsofgusbandry.com

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Woo! Thanks so much for being here, Alicia! When did you decide to become a filmmaker, and when did you decide to go into web series specifically?

I think I was born a filmmaker, but I didn’t really get to it officially til 2009, when I started making music videos. It took me a few more years - til 2015 to start making web series - specifically The Benefits of Gusbandry.

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Welcome, Alicia! What’s Benefits of Gusbandry about, and why did you want to make it? (especially- why did you want to make it YOURSELF rather than maybe pitch it?)

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I didn’t want anyone to tell me NO!!

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I have heard NO so many times, that things won’t work that I wanted full ownership and agency over my idea and most importantly TO JUST MAKE SOMETHING and build a fanbase organically using the same tactics i used for music videos.

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And can you talk about why web series? And not, for example, a short film, or a full length pilot, or a feature?

I looooove episodic. I think my brain just works better that way. I realized that I watch 10X more episodic than traditional film, and at the time we started in 2015 it seemed like a good idea. AND IT WAS

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Psst- remember to use the “quote” before answering!

Hiya! Welcome! Have you crowdfunded multiple times or just the once?

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I thought why not try episodic - keep it short form, quick bursts of story. and it turned out extra greatt because we could sort of self correct while we were making it. evolve the story to the times, and our own narrative whims.

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We crowdfunded twice for Gusbandry via Seed and Spark

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Is there any interesting things you’ve learned from making music videos that you’ve applied when crossing over into a web series?

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Wow! Would you recommend that? And how did you keep up momentum during your slumps?

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DEFINITELY. Music videos taught me how to tell a story quickly, make it beautiful, and keep the viewers attention.

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Hello and welcome! What do you attribute your crowdfunding success to? Especially TWICE!!

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I think this might have gotten lost in the already crazy shuffle!

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Yeah - I loved crowdfunding with Seed & Spark. First - it was cool that we could keep the same project and just add another round of crowdfunding. That way you could see our history and that we were funding for season 2. Kept our community fresh. In the time in between we focused on audience building. and took naps LOTS OF NAPS

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How did you focus on audience building? What was that strategy and how did you implement it in like practical terms?

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total insanity! oh and relentless communication with everyone.

PRO TIP - NEVER START YOUR CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN THE DAY AFTER TRUMP GETS ELECTED. that really sucked. but we did it anyway.

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