End of Year, Film Production 2021

December 2021 Film Production

It's the end of the year and it looks a lot better than it looked last year!

SellerThink YouTube web series wrapped it's eighth season back in November 2021.  Eight years of a web series is a long time, it's currently unclear if an official ninth season will launch in 2022, Mr. Dreammaker is ready to do something different on YouTube going forward.

Actor Gus Caal on set
Before Color Correction

After Color Correction

Either way, it's nice to be back to working non-YouTube film productions here at the close of 2021.  

Two productions are currently in post production editing that have been on hold for quite some time.
It takes time as well as money to do what we do on YouTube, and it's not very profitable considering since season one, we have created over 500 episodes.  Many of those 500+ episodes have been removed over the eight years as their content became outdated and no longer relevant. 

100 to 200 views on a YouTube video only generates around 15 to 25 cents a month.  Compare that to a video with 800,000 views which generates around $10,000 and up in only a couple of days, but alas, YouTube isn't all money and they'll come and take $5,000 from that $10,000 saying its due to "Invalid Clicks".  It's kind of hard to argue with them, since they will not show you any evidence of "Invalid Clicks", but they'll certainly take the money whether true or not.  In 2021, YouTube's new "algorithms", significantly hurt smaller channels like SellerThink, changing the way videos are suggested or censored.  From 2020 to 2021, SellerThink like many other video creators on YouTube, experienced a 75% loss supposedly in views, even though we gained 3,000 new subscribers.  That 75% loss of course created a revenue loss, which we use to upgrade equipment and help to cover our expenses in film production, editing, etc.  Each video, regardless of the quality takes on average a day. So, we had to cut back on quality to compensate for the 75% loss of revenue.

Here at the beginning of December, production is focused on a commercial edit for a local small business.  It's being done free of charge since the owner of this business helped out on past film productions on short notice. In fact, one film production they helped with was filmed in the middle of the night into the early morning of one of the coldest, wettest and darkest past Decembers, with only 5 hours notice.

The second film production were working on here at the end of the year, probably into the new year, is the re-cutting of a movie short that won third place in a film festival about dumpster diving a few years ago.  Due to some copyrighted music the original video editor used in the movie, we were unable to show it again since the first film festival.  Film Festival's, YouTube, etc. are especially restrictive when it comes to music, because copyrighted music is easily located within a production through modern day artificial intelligent algorithms.  

Actor Gus Caal on set

Fortunately, the majority of original footage and one of the rough cuts was passed along from the editor before we all went our own ways and lost touch.  So we're working on a new cut/edit with new music. We needed a new Mac Computer and newer Final Cut Editing software before we could even think about actually moving forward, so this documentary has sat now for 10 years.  Honestly, 10 years is not a very long time when it comes to film productions.  Lots of film productions end up sitting before release for all kinds of reasons, usually due to budget.   Buying new equipment needed for a specific production isn't very budget friendly, especially when you use entirely different equipment and software for editing.

Final Cut is Apple's video editing software and it only works on Apple's Mac Computers.  If you have ever priced a Mac computer compared to a Windows PC computer, you know its pretty cost restrictive.

Additionally, Final Cut that this documentary was filmed on originally cost up to five thousand dollars, compared to our Sony Vegas software for windows PC that cost around $600.

The documentary will probably either not begin or carry into 2022, depending in part on how long it takes to edit the commercial before it, which is being recut from scratch.

Either way, it's nice to actually now have the equipment and software needed to begin both projects.  We purchased an older generation Mac in 2020, purchased the version of Final Cut we needed at the beginning of summer in 2021, and one day ago, purchased a 5 Terabyte hard drive.  It's a great time to do editing, technology wise, and cost wise.  The original 1 Terabyte LaCie Hard Drive the documentary has been stored on all this time, originally cost over a thousand dollars when it was purchased.  Yesterday, the new hard drive with 5 Terabytes cost slightly over one hundred dollars.

Why purchase a new hard drive?  The average hard drive is expected to have a maximum life span of thirteen years before it fails.  It's already been ten years since the documentary was filmed and the original version won third place at the film festival.  So it made sense to create a 100% copy of the old hard drive for safety both during editing and for longevity storage.  We'll edit on the new hard drive, not the original one.

The other advantage of the new hard drive is that it is cross-platform compatible, meaning both Apple's Mac and Windows based PC's can both read the information.  This was not the case with the original hard drive which uses the older technology restricting it exclusively to the Mac computer.

We'll do the reedit on a Window's PC from the original raw footage.  So it will essentially be an entirely new documentary in theory.  Our main video editing computer is an i7 eight-core Windows computer with Sony (now Magix) Vegas 18 editing software.  In other words, the windows editing system is super powerful compared to the older Mac.  Vegas 18 was released in 2021, our Final Cut Pro 7 software which was the last official version of Final Cut before version X was released in 2010 when the documentary was produced.  New technology in hardware and software is simply faster and more advanced, and that means "rendering" a movie on a Mac with Final Cut 7 which took several days to render in 2010, now only takes a few hours on modern equipment and software.  Rendering, is the process that the video editing software goes through, when it merges all of the video footage, audio, special effects, color adjustments, etc. to create a single movie, ready to be viewed.

That is our end of 2021 production update!  May you be more blessed going out, than you were coming in.