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They only come out at nite.

May 7th, 2010

Frederator Postcards Series 9.10
Frederator Postcards Series 9.10, mailed May 7, 2010

The chronic bickersons Penalty and Lloyd had argued their way through a memorable short from The Meth Minute 39 and their show Nite Fite became a leading candidate for a series spin-off. The Digitas advertising agency’s John McCarus agreed, and rapidly found a major sponsor in MarsStarburst Candies, a first for Frederator Studios’ internet productions and distributor Next New Networks.

…..
From the postcard back:

Congratulations!

You are one of 200 people to receive this limited edition Frederator postcard
www.frederator.com

History of Frederator Studios
Nite Fite
A Meth Minute 39 series
2008
Created by Dan Meth

Series 9.10

©2010, Bellport Cartoon Company.
……
More Frederator postcards

No. “Meth” is his name.

April 30th, 2010

Frederator Postcards Series 9.9
Frederator Postcards Series 9.9, mailed April 30, 2010

My wife saw a cartoon of Dan Meth’s on the internet and urged me to get in touch; it was funny, so I did. Soon Dan was ensconced at Frederator/NY working on web commercials for his clients while we figured out something to do together. He started working on a segment for one of our Random! cartoons and he presented the idea of his own shorts show. After I said no ($10,000,000 for one creator?) he explained he wanted to do internet minutes, not seven minutes for television and we were a go. Even though he sat 20 feet away, I wanted to give him room to make his films so I didn’t see any finished pieces until he’d done about 10 or so. 50,000,000 views, and James Brown, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sid Barrett, and Barry Jordan later, he clearly took great advantage of the room.
…..

From the postcard back:
Congratulations!

You are one of 200 people to receive this limited edition Frederator postcard!
www.frederator.com

History of Frederator Studios
The Meth Minute 39
2007-2008
Created by Dan Meth

Series 9.9

©2010, Bellport Cartoon Company
…….
More Frederator postcards

Tumblr rocks on.

April 20th, 2010

Our friends at tumblr have worked incredibly hard and well deserve their next level, a third round of funding from their main venture capital partners.

I’ve been involved with founder David Karp since he came to Frederator/NY as a high school intern. He went on to build our first blogging platform and invent Channel Frederator before renting a corner of our office to build tumblr. I joined their board at its inception, and there no way for me to describe how great it feels to work with these folks.

Go tumblr!

Ken Auletta works hard.

November 18th, 2009

ken_auletta.jpg

There’s no one who can translate the BS of media jargon for us like  prolific author and media observer Ken Auletta. Almost two years ago he came by to do background research for what turned into “Googled: The End of the World as We Know It,” his just released book. If you’re interested in the media revolution you’re living through (yes, this time it truly is a revolution; your kids will be reading the history of this era when they’re in school) it’s a must read.

Over his two and a half years of his usual, thorough, research (no quickie here) Ken came up with a bunch of truths that didn’t fit neatly into his narrative. Being involved in media for almost 40 years now, it still astounds me how… stuck media executives can be (me too, often). Writer William Goldman once said that in Hollywood “Nobody knows anything,” and media executives are really no different. No one knows how anything will turn out, but so many of them think they do so they rarely try things that are actually new (me too, often). They read stuff like Ken’s maxims and pretty much ignore the lessons.

Mr. Auletta’s warnings are embedded below. Read ‘em and get smarter.

…:::Update: I posted these Media Maxims of Ken’s and then read them, noticing my quote at the end of page 26. Thanks Ken. :::…
Ken Auletta : Media Maxims

I un-heart Frederator.com.

February 26th, 2009

Frederator.com

I haven’t really loved Frederator.com’s homepage for quite a while now. Actually, I’m kind of sick of it because it doesn’t accomplish everything it should. A little staid, a little “so what’s new?” Since Frederator Blogs launched  four years ago it’s always been my own go-t0 Frederator site, and most everyone who visits Frederator would rather be at the blogs too. But, I’ve been busy and lazy at the same time and never really followed through on doing anything about it.

Lazy no more. The re-think process on Frederator.com has officially begun. Nate Olsen and Michael Lee are taking the lead in figuring out the best way to incorporate the immediacy of the blogs with the usefulness of the original site. Since most people looking for the studio or any of us personally go to Frederator.com first it seemed to me they might as well get an immediate dose of what’s up at Frederator. So, as you can see, we’ve moved the navigation over to the left side, put the promotion slots over to the right, and the blogs posts are running, full size, right down the middle. This way, if someone wants a quick fix it’s all right there. If they want more, well, that’s there too.

Up above you’ll see the first stab. I know, the graphic design stinks, but right now it’s just a placeholder, clumsily adapted (by me) off of the original design.

What’s it to you? Well, that’s what I’d like to know. What could we being doing better, or smarter, or prettier? Or whatever?

On the radio.

November 25th, 2008

radio1.jpg

My former Next New Networks colleague George Stewart suggested me for an interview on Leonard Lopate’s radio show on New York’s NPR affiliate, WNYC, to discuss “TV on the Internet” with John Gottfreid (Devour.tv) and Geoffrey Drummond (A La Carte Communications). It turned out pretty well, considering the continuing surprise that some folks still have about how popular the medium really is. (Thank you, producer Leslie Dickstein.)

TV On The Web: The Leonard Lopate Show, WNYC-FM

“Straight Talk About Making Money”

May 14th, 2008

measakid.jpg

A forum post from Lenny Boudreau’s Channel Frederator RAW:

Is there money to be made making web animations? We all know that the people at the very top of the game are making enough money to pay high price call girls $2000 an hour JUST to drive them around in their limousines, but what about the rest of us?

How many of you do this for a full time living, part time to supplement a “day job”, for occasional chump change, or simply as a hobby? I fall in the “occasional chump change” category. Nothing I do is commissioned. I make animations and videos, post them on certain sites that pay a royalty, and then three to six months later I get a check or a PayPal payment for two or three hundred bucks (minus those PayPal fees).

I think of it as supporting my habit. I guess it’s not bad. I could be spending a crap load more on golf clubs and golf course fees every year. Plus, creating web content means I get to be around my kids more often than if I golfed. My kids love helping out with voice acting or suggesting silly jokes for use in my videos.

What avenues are there? Mobile content. Online greeting cards. AtomFilms. Anything else out there I should look at.

What are you guys doing?

Lenny

Happy with the mess.

November 12th, 2006

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Wanna read about cartoons? That’s mainly in the second section down below. Someone asked me for this piece because of my recent rants about the changing media. I believe it has everything to do with you and cartoons, but you might diagree or be too bored with my writing to care. Either way, thanks for hanging around our blogs.

Happy with the mess.
Thanks goodness media is in an upheaval again. As every art form should be. Sure media is a ‘common carrier’ of writing, music, film, and all sorts of art. But media itself is art, an expression. And like everything in art, in order to remain essential it’s got to be turned upside down and shook out ever so often to maintain its vitality. And its viability.

I’m pretty happy with this state of affairs; it seems like most of my baby boomer life it was television exploding network radio and movies, or the Beatles throwing over Elvis and Sinatra. Then as professionals in cable television we rewrote the rules of how TV talked to the world, and watching the beginning of interactive technology and communication alter everything in media that has come before in almost inexplicable ways. For me it’s always been the way of the world. And the way that I work.

TV, the massive bore.
Early in my career I struggled looking for places in the media where the rules weren’t already written (the Beatles influence was pretty clear; the idea of creating wild eyed commercial success crossed with high art held on strongly). Radio sure didn’t have it, music recording should have had it, and television and movies…please! Bob Pittman came along and made me the first member of his new cable programming team and we brought the rules of Top 40 radio to all kinds of television, from music to kids to comedy, and eventually around the world.

Let’s face it, to us 20-somethings, broadcast television was one massive bore, programming to everyone, satisfying no one except the out of touch advertisers.

The rules had been happily, and profitably, established 30 years before and there was an incredible army of conventional wisdom established that didn’t want to be rocked. We just wanted take over the world, so minute by minute and day by day (I’d say show by show, but we didn’t have no TV shows) we dissected how they did it, tore it apart. We reinvented the pieces that didn’t work (and kept the ones that did) and had the conceit that no one else knew how to do what we were doing.

I Want My {Brand} TV.
We were so conceited that when I took the world’s most famous TV moment, the 1969 moon landing, and planted a flag with 100 MTV logos, I joked that six year olds would forever wonder why the official version of the photo had an American flag. (And now those 31 years olds work with me and confirm my worst fears about how communication works.)

Unwittingly we were aided by mature industries (broadcasting and publishing) that had no room for our skills, our talents, or our ideas. There were hundreds of us that were too impatient to wait 20 years to take our place in the middle ranks of media management.

Along the way, the new orthodoxy presented itself:

• No TV stations, just channels.

• Don’t watch a show, watch a channel that talks the way you talk and sings the way you sing.

• It’s not your parent’s channel, it’s not your siblings’ channel, it’s not even all your friends’ channel. It’s your channel.

And my creative, marketing, and programming groups invented a brand new idea. Networks, nah! Shows, nah! Ratings, nah! (At least, not yet.) But what instead?

Brands.

Long before our current, common vocabulary, every channel I worked on was an idea, a community, an audience. A set of beliefs. In marketing: a brand. Add a vanity that our beliefs would not only change the media, but change the world. And now, take a look. MTV is the largest channel in the world, established in more countries than anything else in all of television, and synonymous with youth around the globe. Nickelodeon has more viewing than the children’s viewing of all the broadcasters combined (that is, before they abandoned kids altogether).

Now, if only MySpace and Neopets don’t steal their thunder.

………………………………..
CU Timmy Turner: “Ah? The internet?!?!”
But, of course they will. They’re already doing it.

I now produce cartoons. You know, like Looney Tunes, but newer. Cartoons went through their own paradigm shifts I won’t totally bore you with, but suffice it to say great feature cartoons (like Bugs or Mickey) gave way to simpler, more graphic TV cartoons like the Flintstones. They giving way to ‘animated sitcoms’ –yuck– and got really boring (The Snorks, anyone?). The producers like us who entered in the last generation couldn’t take it anymore and initiated a silver age explosion that resulted in The Powerpuff Girls, The Simpsons, and South Park. And now, they’re even boring! Why? I’ll let others speculate exactly how, but the truth is everything in media always wears out. And the new has to rush in.

What’s the new this time, and how’s it happening?

To quote Timmy Turner from our production of The Fairly Oddparents: “Ah? The internet!?!?”

You bet. All over the media (cartoons, news, sitcoms, whatever) a crucial link is being killed. It’s the network. Or more specifically, the network executive (or a producer like me, for that matter). Makers of all kinds of stuff are talking directly to their customers. Bloggers publish their own newspapers, filmmakers exhibit at their own theatres, cartoons run their own asylums.

Out of frustration with being ignored by the powers that be I’ve worked with regularly for 25 years (and we get in the door, they at least attempt to take us seriously) we’ve started over 50 blogs, and a handful of video networks. Within weeks we’d established millions of monthly viewers and readers and rendered out heretofore
back-room companies to brands with worldwide recognition. Advertisers are knocking on the door, and we’re being consulted daily within the automotive and entertainment industries as to how traditional brands can see the light (one day I’m hopeful they can, depressed the next they’re more interested in only protecting what they have instead of going boldly forward).

And the whole effort is being aided again by the perfect storm of talent and ideas. If you’re a young person with designs on media once again there’s a back-up. Buck the odds and get in the door and you’ll see a ten or fifteen year line ahead of you to get the job (or show) you really wanted in the first place. But, make your own idea, post in at Blogger.com or YouTube.com or ChannelFrederator.com, and you can have 500,000 friends in a couple of days waiting for your next pronouncement (ask my colleague Dan Meth what happened to his video Hebrew Crunk for a real life proof of concept).

The revolution will be televised.
Want to be a star? Want to be a living brand? Don’t wait for MTV, don’t wait for the New York Times, don’t wait for me.

Mostly don’t blame me. From now on you’ve only yourself to look at in the mirror if no one knows you’re alive.