In 2007, I started a small podcast called THAT POST SHOW.
At that time, both early in the podcast world and early in the world of tools for editors, the show gained massively popularity, finally achieving over 60,000 unique downloads each month by the end of 2014, when the show was at its peak.
During this time, I wrote and directed two feature films, JAKE FORGOTTEN and HERO PUNK. Jake had a Production Budget of $65,000 and HERO PUNK (and all green-screen feature and the first film ever shot on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera) topped out at over $325,000 just for Production, with another $100,000 poured into visual effects and the HERO PUNK TRAILER (HeroPunk.com). We raised a little over $26k on KickStarter to help fund this trailer, which we completed.
The cost of Post Production would skyrocket to at least another $500k+ and we'd end up with a mediocre, watered-down version of our original vision. Post production is expensive and requires a huge number of resources. We chose to stop post production and reshoot HERO PUNK in the future, this time using much less green-screen.
JAKE FORGOTTEN is more complicated. It was shot on the JVC GY-HD100 (and 200) camera series. We spend 2-3 weeks in Production and showed a rough cut at the Tivoli Theater in Kansas City in 2007, just 90 days after finishing principal photography. Our sound engineer then lost all our audio and we were unable to properly reproduce a rough-cut. Chalk it up to my being young.
In 2013, we started THAT STUDIO and rebranded everything to "THAT STUDIO". I added several amazing people to the team, including Norman Hollyn, Alan E Bell and Wes Plate (among others).
We saw a huge need for both quality tools for filmmakers and editors as well as a streamlined process for the post-production pipeline.
We attempted to write and produce a pilot for Netflix, called STRING THEORY, for which we paid almost $185k just for production costs. They insisted on a known director, who clearly wasn't me, and who had a different vision of STRING THEORY than the writers (of which I was one). Needless to say, this whole process failed and, in the end, Netflix chose not to purchase the TV series, based on the scattershot pilot we shared with them.
If you’ve never seen it, you should check out the 18:20 Teaser Trailer. It's pretty good. The Making of 18:20 video shows the massive effort we went through to create this pilot episode.
As a result of That Post Show and the above films and workflows, with a distributed team of talented artists around the world, I have spoken at over a hundred film events. I was even the “video expert” during the Adobe CreateLive tour across the US and spoke about the workflow and their new Adobe CC products in over 20 cities.
During this time, very quietly, we spent two full years building a product, THAT STUDIO EFFECTS (a panel for Premiere Pro), using our own footage and a large library of HD footage we purchased from a company I'd rather not identify — both for legal reasons and because I don't want even one more person to ever go to their website or purchase their products, some of which we paid to own. This unmentioned company took our money, in payments for a full year, then proceeded to violate the contract we’d created and sell the very assets they'd sold us, but now renamed and rebranded. And, this wasn’t the first time they’d been involved in such an issue.
Obviously, this created a huge problem for THAT STUDIO and massive market confusion for customers of both products, but… we forged ahead.
We forged ahead until a company, who we'd considered a partner, used the very source code we'd been sharing with them — because we were having problems with their technology — to create their own stock footage product.
As a technologist who has personally founded six companies and been screwed over a few times, I had never in my career witnessed anything close to this kind of illegal disregard for agreements, contracts or basic human decency.
At this point, I decided to throw in the towel.
I (and the rest of the team) learned a lot, but -- as of October 13, 2016, THAT STUDIO is no longer in business and I am doing something else.
Literally almost anything else.
We hope you enjoyed taking this journey with us.
Champagne for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends. - Monty, 25th Hour (by David Benioff)