George Reese - Seeka TV Co-Founder/Author/Entrepreneur/Filmmaker - AMA!


(George Reese) #1

I have kind of a goofy background in all sorts of things, which means you can ask me about pretty much anything in the world of web series and technology. I started my career in television working on a variety of shows in Hollywood but ended up in technology. I’ve written a number of books on (at the time) cutting edge technologies like Java, MySQL, cloud computing, and RESTFul APIs. I started four companies and sold one to Dell in 2013. The latest company is called Seeka TV. Seeka TV is an online distribution platform focused squarely on curated web series. In addition, I’m the Executive Director of the Minnesota WebFest.

Outside the “9-5”, I play many different hats in filmmaking: writer, producer, director, editor, DIT (my production house is Imaginary Productions)

Areas in which I might be good for chatting:

  • Business models for online content
  • Creator technologies (pre-prod, prod, post-prod, distribution)
  • Web series: what works, what doesn’t
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Seeka TV

We've got an AMA for that!
(Bri Castellini) #2

Hey George! Thanks so much for being here today! To start with, what led you to create Seeka TV?


(sam lockie-waring) #3

hey george- was reading some of your thoughts from yesterdays web series chat and i wanted to see if you could talk more about them, re: the career options for people who want to create digital series. is it possible?what should we be doing to make it so?


(George Reese) #4

I saw a “content gap” between the cinematic stuff you get on Netflix and the crowdsourced stuff on YouTube. Historically, that’s been serviced through cable and broadcast television. But both cable and broadcast models are dying. So Seeka TV is an attempt to create a healthy “money cycle” in the post-cable world for that middle-level content.


(Meg Carroway) #5

I have so many questions! Starting with your career in television- how did you get one?! Any tips?


(George Reese) #7

That was a great discussion yesterday.

In order to have career options in digital series, there needs to be a healthy money cycle. When I use that term “money cycle”, what I mean is that you need:

  • people with money
  • a business model that provide them with a return on investment
  • professionals who can executive
  • a return on investment (and thus new projects)

Right now, that doesn’t exist in the digital series world. It’s impossible for find investors (as opposed to independent film where you can find investors to back your project). So people are either doing this on their own free time or because they themselves have money to burn.

So, to get to the point where a career is possible, we need to get to the point where it’s reasonable to expect a digital series to make money. And advertising and subscriptions alone can’t support the digital series. Seeka TV believes that it’s ultimately a multi-revenue channel strategy that will do it.


(Bri Castellini) #8

What do you see as the difference, in investors’ eyes, between independent film and digital series?


(sam lockie-waring) #9

what do those channels look like in your mind?


(Ayelette Robinson) #10

Thanks so much for doing this chat with us. I’d like to ask – what’s the process for getting a series posted on Seeka TV?


(George Reese) #11

I have one and only one tip to anyone who wants to be in TV or film: Get on set. Get on many sets. By hook or by crook. Show value. Anticipate the needs of the director while at the same time being invisible. You will get noticed for it.

And be professional.

Me personally? I took whatever job I could get. I decided I personally didn’t like working in Hollywood, which is why I ended up doing tech for a while. But I still love making films and shows and I couldn’t be kept away :slight_smile:


(Rayne M) #12

Hi! What is your programming priority when selecting shows for your platform?


(Hailey Harper) #13

Does that apply to wanting to be a writer in Hollywood too?

Side question: do you think we need to move to LA if we’re serious about wanting to work in film and TV and web long term?


(George Reese) #14

Independent films (feature) have outcomes that can make them their money back and then some. We know what happens there:

  • You invest in a solid story backed by a promising director or proven director.
  • Maybe get some reasonable star power in the mix
  • Make the film
  • Find a distributor
  • Make some money and pay back the investors

Of course, it doesn’t always work. No investment is foolproof. But we understand the cycle.

That just doesn’t exist for digital series. If I’m an investor, I ask, “How will I get my money back?” The answer doesn’t yet exist. I’m trying to provide that answer with Seeka TV, but we’re not there yet.


(Kallum Weyman) #15

Hello George thanks for joining us. What makes web series’ special to you? and what led you to starting a service about web series?


(Meg Carroway) #16

Are you working on any films and shows right now or recently that we might have seen or can look forward to seeing soon?


(Bri Castellini) #17

So the main difference is distribution, specifically, and distribution that makes money back? On that note, do you think brand partnerships/ “presented by” tags, or things of that nature will end of benefitting indie series creators hoping for ROI? Or do they just make the whole process muddier?


(George Reese) #18
  • Advertising with premium subscriptions (either value-add or to get rid of ads)
  • Donations (we call this tipping in Seeka TV)
  • Crowdfunding
  • Bringing agencies and filmmakers together to make content work for brands beyond simple advertising (I’m not talking branded content though)
  • Merchandising
  • Gaming

And anything else we discover along the way the will motivate a viewer to get out their wallet because either Seeka TV or the filmmaker are giving the viewer value.


(Blair Hunter) #19

Kind of building off this- what are the eventual big picture goals of Seeka, and how do you plan on continuing to improve for the creators on your platform? (also, hello and thank you so much for being here!)


(George Reese) #20

Mail programming@seeka.tv. As a Stareable filmmaker, Stareable has the ability to include you in their catalog as a Seeka TV fillmmaker.

We are a curated platform, so we don’t accept every show.


(Ayelette Robinson) #21

Thanks!