Thursday, March 07, 2013

Tropes vs Women launches first episode (UPDATED!)

Oh hey, remember that kickstarted webseries that people freaked out about because a woman was talking out of turn about man things, then decided it was actually a "scam" that would never actually come out when that didn't convince people that she was the antichrist?

Well, it came out. Here's a link. I'll chime back in later with what I actually thought of it.

UPDATE: At the suggestion of user "Nixou," I'm re-posting (with corrections) my response to one of the more consistent issues people seem to have re: the cost of producing a show like this (aka "how does THIS cost $150,000??) as follows:

Here's the thing: I (and I'm speaking strictly of my self-produced/funded stuff like TGO and American Bob here, not the Escapist gigs) and others working on the YouTube/Blip series side of this medium are generally A.) Making this stuff FOR the amateur/indie circuit and B.) using primarily materials we already have or can be "donated" either by ourselves or aquaintances. In my specific case, I'm not outputting OR shooting in HD, the shows themselves are not of "broadcast caliber" and I don't pay professional wages to the people who help out. If I did, the INCREDIBLY low-ball $6,000 pricetag she originally set (don't forget: the donations were so HUGE because people kept donating as a "screw you" to her detractors) would MAYBE cover 2 - 3 average-scale TGO episodes, tops.

I've noticed that people in general have a skewed view of what independent video/film production actually costs because a lot of guys on the indie/fanfilm scene (no, I won't be naming names) like to brag about how low their production budget is - the problem being that A LOT of the time these are guys who have "day jobs" in the professional film/video business and thus access to equipment and facilities that they would otherwise be paying substantial sums to rent or lease; or they don't include what they would normally charge a client for their services in their own productions, OR they have friends in similar circumstances who are "donating" their time/services and not listing what that would cost on a real job. For example: If "Game OverThinker" had the EXACT same schedule and final-quality but I was paying real industry-standard fees and wages for locations, facilities and crew; $10,000 would be a low-ball estimate for every episode.

 Having watched the video itself: She's shooting and outputting in HD/broadcast-quality (this has clearly been designed for classroom/seminar presentation moreso than the web video) and most the MASSIVE amount of game footage looks to have been captured from either original sources (I'm assuming MAME or download-service copies for the retro stuff) - which requires both expensive equipment and the expense of the systems and games themselves. Also, I don't know if she does her own graphics and animation, but her transitions all look like original work; and even if she did do them herself the "going rate" for that kind of work can get pretty damn high especially if you plan to buy or license it in perpuity. 

 ALSO: I don't know what else she does for a regular living, but I DO know the relative man-hours of putting a project like this together and they are substantial - thusly, if the ONLY thing all the Kickstarter money did was pay her bills and living-expenses (via supplmental income) while she cut down on her regular paying work so that she could free up the time to actually play/record the games, write the script and make the video I'm frankly perplexed that she ever somehow thought a paltry sum like $6,000 was going to cover it. She's currently operating out of San Fransisco, one of the most expensive places to live - even modestly - in the United States; so when you factor all that in... trust me, the expenses for this kind of production are much more substantial than most would imagine.