14-08-22 Marketing

    Yesterday’s epiphany really cheered me up and gave me a ton of energy to keep working. Walt Disney and I say that the difference between winners and losers is that winners don’t quit. He says “success,” and I say, “get back up again.” But, it’s pretty much the same thing. 

    It’s okay to take time off and recuperate. In fact, I didn’t do that every now and then I would truly melt. I’ve heard stories of directors who work themselves so hard that when they’re done with a movie, they end up in the hospital. I don’t mean, the Cayman Islands rehab. I mean the emergency room because some critical function within their bodies has stopped and they would have died if they didn’t get it taken care of.

    So, I walk, I rest, I weep. I do whatever I have to do to keep going.

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    And then there are days like today. I woke up with the beginning of a story for the web series. It’ll cost nothing and it’s with locations I’ve already got. Of course, that excitement did choose to wake me up at 3:45am and keep me awake until my wife left for work at 7:00am, but then I crashed.

    Last night, a fan messaged Spiritus Vult on ALGORITHM’s Facebook page and said he was sad because he had saved and waited and just got his most recent paycheck and wanted to buy a copy but I had taken it offline. He was sad and was wondering if there was anything I could do.

    My initial reply was that I was sorry, but it was offline and that it would go back up online with the official launch, whenever that is. 

    My wife said, “Really? You’re really going to say that? Why don’t you just put the store back online?”

    I told her my myriad reasons and she settled down a bit. It’s good to have a person on my side who always wants what’s best for me and is willing to argue when I’m being stupid. But, she also listens to reason and when I’m right, she admits it.

    Anyway, back to Fan.

    This morning I woke up and decided that Fan’s comments made me feel good and so I told him to send me an email, an actual message outside of Facebook. He did. I sent him a free copy of ALGORITHM and told him how his comments really made me happy. I thought, why not just give the guy something? I feel good. That’s worth something to me.

    A few hours later, in comes a donation. From Fan. He didn’t have to do that. It was kind of beside the point, counter to my intention, in fact. But, the fact that someone has that kind of conscience… it almost restores that degradation I’ve been feeling.

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    I’ve spoken with Sean Hackett and Earl Newton, two creatives who are also productive. They’re interested in working on the web series. In fact, the idea kind of excites them. There are quite a few more people to talk to before I’m willing to say it’s a go because it’s too much for me to do on my own.

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    Part of the business model for ALGORITHM, and the plan I’m planning on bringing over to everything I do, is the profit-share agreement. There may not be much profits, but if there are, they get distributed. Today, I modified the Google Master Doc Joseph and Phillip Matarrese created. It now converts the days worked by the cast & crew, into money owed.

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    Here’s the math I’ve used. There’s probably a faster way, but this works. I took the days worked by everyone, added it all up. It’s 386 days. I then divide 1 by 386, to give me how much of a percentage each day worked is worth. I then divide that number by 2, which gives me the percentage of total profits shared for each day worked.

    Each person has a line. Each line has the following in separate cells: their name, profit-share agreement contract status, number of days worked, address, email, phone number, position/role they held, days as percentage, total to be shared, amount paid to date, and remaining amount to be shared.

    I take the number of days they’ve worked and multiply it by the percentage I reached in the previous paragraph. That gives me the percentage of the profits that they get.

    I then have another section of that sheet that has the Gross Income. Gross income is the amount of money that’s come in before costs. As of my writing this, it’s $2,757.00. Under that, from a different sheet, I have Costs: $8,900.00 which is an approximation of what I’ve spent promoting it and what it’s going to cost to fulfill all the Indiegogo pledges. Finally, I have the Net Income: -$6,143.00. 

    That means, ALGORITHM must make another $6,143.00 to break even. After that, everything is profit, assuming there aren’t any more costs.

    Once I have the net income, I go back to the Total To Be Shared column. I take the Days As Percentages, which I’ve already worked out, and multiply that by the Net Income. That gives me the Total To Be Shared. The next column is Amount Paid To Date, which, since I’ve yet to break even and yet to send a check, is $0.00. The Final Column is Remaining Amount To Be Shared, which is everything right now.

    Here’s how it all works out. Phillip Matarrese has a hard date cap of 60 days because he’s working so much that they’d get a disproportionate share and the others wouldn’t get any. So, 1/386 total days means that 1 day equals 0.13% of total profits. Multiply that by 60 days and you get 7.77%, multiplied by the Net Profits equals 


    Since Phillip obviously doesn’t owe me money, and since I can’t figure out how to get Google Docs to display numbers less than zero as zero, all that shows is that ALGORITHM has yet to break even. But, it shows that the math works, that the spreadsheet works and that the system for calculating the profit-share is in place. That’s how I did it.

*          *          *

    I spoke with Phillip and Joseph to update them on my thinking about ALGORITHM’s alternative methods of distribution, and they agreed with all of my choices. We all have a feeling that something important is going to happen in London, but we don’t know what. It might be a good burrito, or it might be that we’re tapping into what Jung called the collective unconscious, or that we’re just inappropriately optimistic. The weird part is that my wife, Phillip, and I all came to this same feeling independently.

*          *          *

    After we finished talking about ALGORITHM, I pitched them the idea of the web series, and they were very into it. In fact, they think it’s probably going to be the next thing we work on! So, every great person I’ve asked about it is into it so far. It’s wild to have two consecutive ideas that get this much traction. What’s even stranger is that I’m very upfront about there probably not ever being money involved, but if there is, I’ve already developed a distribution method, as mentioned above.

    Today’s a good day.