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


(sam lockie-waring) #22

what is “gaming”? also, since you brought it up, any tips on crowdfunding, and making it a semi-sustainable model so that fans don’t get burned out?


(George Reese) #23

I most look for characters. I love strong, deep characters. Strong, deep characters can grow with your budget. Concepts cannot. Secondarily, writing. Again, people get better technically–especially when given more budget. But bad writing is always bad writing.


(Jaime Lancaster) #24

Hi George! Producer/budget question for ya :slight_smile: What can more web series creators be doing to increase their overall production quality without a significant budget increase? I’m trying to be a producer and making good stuff on no money is my greatest challenge!


(Bri Castellini) #25

Changing the subject slightly- why did you decide to expand to a web festival (Minnesota WebFest), and what have you learned as a result? About web series, about web fests, about whatever!


(George Reese) #26

The long game is the creation of a healthy money cycle in the web series. I believe this is possible first and foremost because we know there is the demand for this kind of content. An independent filmmaker can create a show the quality of what you see on cable TV and broadcast TV for as little as $10k/episode. Sometimes less.

BUT, we’re not there with the quality in digital series yet and the money isn’t there. So, we have a bit of a path we have to pioneer by bringing up the quality of the digital series while at the same time monetizing it.

The end game is a real money cycle; right now, we just want to be a good place to put your shows and where viewers know they will see good stuff and make sure everyone in that mix is being fair to everyone else.


(Blair Hunter) #27

COOL! I love so many shows on your site by the way :slight_smile: What’s changed on Seeka since its start? Anything you have added/deleted along the way?


(George Reese) #28

As far as “what is gaming”, I’m intentionally being vague about that :slight_smile: I’m not generally very secretive as an entrepreneur. My mantra is “ideas are cheap, execution is dear”. But that’s one area where I’m still talking publicly only at a high level.

On the crowdfunding end, this is how I believe shows should be funded today:

Season 1: Favors, begging and borrowing (the entrepreneurial equivalent to self-funding)
Season 2: Crowdfunding (entrepreneurial equivalent to friends and family)
Season 3: Investor-backed

Season 1 proves you have something worth watching. No one should give you a dime until you can do that.
Season 2 proves you can make the concept live and that you can manage a real budget.


(Meg Carroway) #29

Thoughts on vlog/found footage series and their place in the web series ecosystem? That was a HOT topic on here like a week ago.


(George Reese) #30

The basic formula of course is that the more pages per day you can shoot, the cheaper the production. Fewer pages per day doesn’t inherently mean higher quality. So what are the things that cause the pages per day to go up without decreasing quality? The main answer is location.

Company moves kill budgets.

In other words, minimize your location needs. Fewer locations = reduced location costs, reduced permitting, more time actually shooting rather than moving people around. If you’re not shooting, your paying for equipment rental and labor you don’t need.


(sam lockie-waring) #31

any advice on finding investors or even just sponsors or brands? or is that still not really a thing? (for the record i’m thinking of “season 3” and “third season of a web series you make even if it’s a totally new show” interchangeably)


(Bri Castellini) #32

Signal boost! This question might have gotten lost in the shuffle!


(George Reese) #33

The MN WebFest isn’t a Seeka TV project. I’m part of a group called the Northern Film Alliance. It’s a non-profit group that produces niche film festivals in the upper midwest like the Duluth/Superior Film Festival and the EDU Film Festival. I noticed there were no festivals dedicated to digital series between the coasts except Austin. So I went to the board and said, “Why not make MN the first?”

They approved and now we have the Minnesota WebFest!


(Bri Castellini) #34

Signal boost again!


(Bri Castellini) #35

Cool! How is running a festival different from running Seeka or other businesses?


(Bri Castellini) #36

Signal boost. :slight_smile:


(George Reese) #37

I forgot to answer the second part here…

I primarily make short films myself. What I’ve noticed about traditional film festivals is that they suck at digital series. If you make a digital series, you should focus your submissions towards web festivals. They know how to handle your type of content. And they are a great way to network with others in the digital series world.


(Jonathan Hardesty) #38

In regards to my series, my Season 2 is largely shaping up to be what you have listed as your Season 1 (favors, begging, etc). As I move forward I’m trying to be smarter about it than I was years ago when I started. Does something like Seeka TV take that into consideration? How can we utilize extra-curricular content to boost our shows to hit that crowd-funding and investor-backed stage?

To continue using my show as an example: It’s built to look and feel like a video game, even down to much of the meta humor. Combat is turn-based, and the show has a very wink and nudge element to it. But because it’s based in a love for video games, all sorts of side content is possible like let’s plays of games that inspired the show, or live streams of animating the show, etc. There are a lot of things that can prop up an animated show like mine but it’s hard to tell in this landscape what helps, what hurts, and really where to start from a practical standpoint.

Thoughts?


(Ayelette Robinson) #39

Where could we find a list of web festivals?


(Bri Castellini) #40

One option!
https://blog.stareable.com/filmmaker-resource-2017-web-fest-deadlines-59e98f34f453


(George Reese) #41

We’ve been adding series to Seeka TV at a rate of 1-2 new web series per week (this week we introduced “Kate and Joe Just Want to Have Sex” and “What Do Men Want?”). We’ve also done some co-production for exclusive content like “BLEED”, “Hat Trick Bitches”, and “Theater People”.

We haven’t dropped/lost anyone yet!

From a feature perspective, we’ve been adding new stuff regularly just about every week. Most isn’t readily visible, but the biggest addition was support for watching Seeka TV shows on Roku.