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September 30, 2004 at 2:19 am #61469
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RevMen

I’ve asked a few people if they’re interested in this project. If you’re reading this message, it means I’ve asked you and you’ve responded with interest. So here we go:

Arvato Mobile is launching new content for download to mobile phone users in Europe. My understanding is that they supply content and technology to a number of phone companies and independent content providers. An example of a provider would be http://www.handy.de.

My contact at Arvato is Christian Twellmann, the “head of games & new products.” He came to me asking if I would like to supply brickfilms for their conversion and distribution to mobile subscribers. I’ve asked him a lot of questions and he’s always come back with straightforward answers right away.

He came asking for already-created brickfilms to be re-edited to be 15-30 seconds. I think there are a few films that this could be done on, but I’m envisioning a whole new series of 15-30 second films, ones that would make sense in such a short period of time. Obviously all content needs to be legal, so we’ll really have to mind our P’s and Q’s in terms of using copyrighted music, sound effects, and trademarked LEGO sets. He said dialogue could be used, but sound quality is pretty bad, so it’s a good idea to avoid it. In my mind that disqualifies music as well, since music sounds horrible even over a regular phone. I think the only sounds should be sound effects, and we’ll have to make sure we’re using ones that we have permission to use.

He has sent me a contract, which I need to sign and return. Here’s the summary:

-The Supplier (me, or us) maintains all rights to the material, and Arvato converts it, then distributes it over a variety of channels to, ultimately, end users.

-Projected sale price for a download is 2 Euros

-After VAT and a bunch of other fees are removed, the supplier gets 40% of what’s left. I imagine this is very little, maybe .25 per film.

-The agreement lasts 2 years, after which it can be terminated by either party.

-There is an option for exclusive rights in exchange for a higher percentage, which I declined.

So there is some money here, but I don’t know how much. Honestly I doubt it’ll be anything significant. I’m primarily interested in doing something cool and different, and getting brickfilms out to a new audience.

I told Christian I’d probably have a number of directors submitting films, and asked if he’d like to have a contract with each one separately. He said he’d much prefer to maintain a single point of contact and let us work things out for ourselves. I think that with the crowd I’ve called in here it should be pretty easy to do.

So, here’s what needs to be decided:

-Are you in? Are you interested in working on this project?

-What kind of films should we provide? Should we rehash old ones or make all new ones?

-What should be done with any money that we manage to collect?

I’ve shared my opinion on what films we should provide. I think that if each of us made a film or two we’d have a very nice collection to submit.

As for money, obviously if any of it is going to individuals it will go to those who made whatever film generated it. According to the contract, Arvato is required to supply me with a statement listing all downloads and how much revenue it means. I assume it’ll list each film individually, making it fairly simple to see who’s film has been doing what amount of business.

My thoughts are that any money generated up to a certain amount, maybe $20 or something, should go to contest prizes or some other Brickfilms.com expense. After that, if we’re actually making some cash at this, I can start forwarding the money to the revenue generating directors.

So there you go. Questions? Comments? Concerns? Say what you think. Don’t worry, you won’t my feelings if you think I’m being a crook. :)

September 30, 2004 at 2:33 am #61471
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jay

I’m interested, I think it’s a great idea. A few quick notes:

– I think we could rehash some old stuff but that new stuff would probably be better.

– What’s the intended audience? People sitting around bored with their phones or is it a cool extra-value exclusive download thing with this phone company.

– We retain the rights; does this include the right to make the same material available through our regular channels as well?

– I agree with the $20 “finder’s fee” coming off the top.

– We’ll need to know some specs to optimize our projects, like screen ratio, max. resolution and available colours.

– When would they like to get some delivered?

– Did they contact you? Did they reference any brickfilms in particular as to what they’re looking for?

Thanks again for the opportunity, Josh.

-j

September 30, 2004 at 2:43 am #61472
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RevMen

I think the intended audience is young people. They love their phones over there. In Europe you see kids on public transportation just typing away on those things. They also have GSM shops where you can buy and sell used phones.

Yes, we could distribute our work through regular channels

He says we should create our films in the normal 640×480 and they would convert them to a size that works for them. He mentioned MPEG or MOV formats. I think MOV would be the best.

The contract mentions delivery within 10 days of signing. From talking to him, it sounds like they wouldn’t really hold us to it. The way we worded the contract, individual films are not mentioned. Rather it’s kind of an open channel for constant submittal.

I got an e-mail from Christian a few days ago saying he and his coworkers are fans of brickfilms and thought they’d be perfect for what they’re doing. He didn’t mention any specific films.

September 30, 2004 at 2:59 am #61477
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protowrxs

Sounds like quite a challenge from the directors side to me.

To provide entertainment in a 15-30 second time frame without music or dialog will be interesting. I would imagine with the talent here at brickfilms it could be done.

Like usual I am at a total loss for any story line at the moment.. :)

-Stephen

September 30, 2004 at 3:01 am #61478
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RevMen

When I started thinking of possibilities for short stories, the old Spy vs Spy series popped into my head from Mad Magazine. I think a series of 5-10 films or whatever where 2 guys continually get the best of each other would work well. Sort of like Falling Out spread out over a bunch of films.

September 30, 2004 at 3:07 am #61480
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protowrxs

“RevMen” wrote: When I started thinking of possibilities for short stories, the old Spy vs Spy series popped into my head from Mad Magazine. I think a series of 5-10 films or whatever where 2 guys continually get the best of each other would work well. Sort of like Falling Out spread out over a bunch of films.

Yes… something sort of like silent movie slap stick might be a starting point but I bet we’ll see some really creative ideas from some others here..

-Stephen

September 30, 2004 at 9:04 am #61499
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Blunty

I’m happy to create a seiries of short, one-gag films, in the same vein as my 7/7 project, or to out it another way, something akin to the three panel comics you see in newspapers…. Garfield, Calvin and hobbes, that kind of thing.
I’m also happy to see any monies got o the brickfilms community projects. prizes for comps and the like.

will we be allowed to pimp out own sites url’s at the end of the movie?

September 30, 2004 at 1:31 pm #61511
Avatar of RevMen
RevMen

For credits he said we should probably only have a quick screen at the end of the film displaying “www.brickfilms.com” and “by Bluntman” or something to that effect.

September 30, 2004 at 7:55 pm #61542
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Blunty

For credits he said we should probably only have a quick screen at the end of the film displaying “www.brickfilms.com” and “by Bluntman” or something to that effect.

acceptable.
I hadn’t inended on full rolling credits anyway, just wondering.

October 4, 2004 at 8:44 am #61965
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Stefan

I just bought this set with 3 technic figs for Euro 3.50. It’s all I have to work with right now, but as there is clearly something in it for Brickfilms.com, I might consider doing some. I can NOT guarantee delivery within any reasonable period of time, though.

They couldn’t give a projected revenue for us per film?

Stefan.

October 6, 2004 at 3:14 pm #62246
Avatar of RevMen
RevMen

Time to pick up conversation here again. It sounds like there’s enough interest to move forward, and this may force me to pull out my animating digs once again.

So here’s the question. Shall we each work on our own separate projects? Or should we all decide on and contribute to a common project? Meaning, should we invent a series and all contribute an ‘episode’ or two?

My vote is for the common project.

October 6, 2004 at 8:45 pm #62261
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Blunty

So here’s the question. Shall we each work on our own separate projects? Or should we all decide on and contribute to a common project? Meaning, should we invent a series and all contribute an ‘episode’ or two?

My vote is for the common project.

A common project has a certain attraction to it, but I feel if we each went with our strengths individually the end result would be a variety of films. and when were trying to connect with an unknown, new audience, I think having variety would be beneficial…
It’s a shotgun method as opposed to a rifle. Rifles are more deadly only IF your aim is flawless.

October 7, 2004 at 12:26 am #62281
Avatar of protowrxs
protowrxs

It’s a shotgun method as opposed to a rifle. Rifles are more deadly only IF your aim is flawless.

True.. but I appear to only have a BB gun right now. :)

I’m stumped for a plot without dialog or music at the moment. I do have a short elephant clip that might get by without dialog although the dialog does a better setup. It is rather gross however but gross sells sometimes I guess… or is that ‘Gross Sales’?

Who else is in on this?

-Stephen

October 7, 2004 at 12:40 am #62284
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Shootin Bricks

I’m here- I just don’t know what contribution I will make, so I’ve just been listening.

I’m inclined to agree with the ‘shotgun’ method, but perhaps there could be some restrictions.

A couple of points:
You could use old jokes- so old they can’t be claimed as proprietary property by someone else.
Any written material in which the author has been dead for over 50 years is essentially public domain. That opens a vast wealth of stuff, but most notably in my mind, poetry.
Edgar Allen Poe, Shakespeare, Longfellow- you get the idea.
Another concept is in the spirit of WOW to create a series based on parables and fables.
Anyways, there’s my input.
Carry on.

October 7, 2004 at 5:20 pm #62337
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RevMen

Christian wrote me just now and said he’s sending a fresh new portfolio to one of their partners. He’d like to include about 5 brickfilms. The problem is he’d like it by next week.

So it looks like I’m going to need to assemble some clips to send him very soon.

If you think any of your films could be re-edited to a 30 second version and still be enjoyable I would appreciate if you would do that. One that comes to mind is Speed Demon. Perhaps Bluntman could make a nice edit of the fight between Dave (or was it Steve?) and the Red Ninja.

If you are up to animating a short or two over the weekend, that would be splendid. This is what I plan on doing.

I would suggest having no music and no dialogue in your film. Only sound effects. I think the lack of sound quality and a common language base make sound effects the only desirable sound.

For “credits,” perhaps we could simply stick the brickfilms logo at the end of each piece.

I plan on doing one, maybe 2 Falling Out style clips to send in, which means it’s time for me to pull out my LEGO, my desklamps, my camera, and my stickytack. I’m actually kind of excited because I’m motivated to animate once again. It’s been a while. Rather than knocking each other’s hats off, I think I’ll have Mr Red and Mr Blue fight over a single hat, inventing cruel new ways of stealing it from one another.

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