I've spent thousands of dollars making silly comedies, action flicks, sci-fi videos, etc, as a hobby.
I've also spent thousands of hours on writing such videos, directing them, editing, visual effects,
bits of whatever else was needed to get them completed.
It's a hobby I've been fixated on since 2001, roughly, so it's two decades of backlogged video productions that I now have accumulated.
Why aren't they online?
Answer: They're not online because of a ton of cast members who have not signed off on their roles in ways that are conclusive and legally binding. The lack of consistent signed talent release forms is a recurring mess.
So now I'm putting the bulk of my videos on HornbostelVideos.com, not YouTube - with some custom branding. Many of them will be locked behind a paywall, those that aren't will have limited ads around them. My hope with the paywall design is to generate enough funding out of the gate to allow the videos to remain online, compensating all past cast members shortly after launch, AND secondly, to limit access to the video archives to those inclined to pay for access.
The idea has been kicked around in numerous directions, but at the moment I am making it all very simple. The paywall is a flat $9.99. Any revenue generated by the ads or paywall will be split among the cast of the various videos (besides myself) plus an extra, flat $100 every year added to the distribution total, along with 2% of my total income each year. I will not make a profit on these videos, it's all losses, but all the cast members who helped get them made will collect all of the revenue from them... plus extra. Cashouts begin as low as $2 and can be delivered via Paypal or Amazon gift card code at any point above $2 by request. I'll agree to take the time to manage all of this. It will involve a massive spreadsheet calculating earnings of every one of 100+ cast members over the past 21 years.
WHAT IF I'M A FORMER CAST MEMBER AND I'M OFFENDED THAT YOU PUT THIS MATERIAL ONLINE?:
There have been some cases in which people directly requested certain content not end up online. I will honor such requests and will continue to do so even after launch. If you don't want a certain piece of video content on the web I'll remove it, along with all revenue it was generating for you and/or others in that bit of content.
WHAT IF I WANT TO SUE YOU FOR EMOTIONAL DAMAGES?:
That's a risk I'm taking in posting any of this material. I won't have much money though. Most of the time my financial balance is below $150, a pattern I choose intentionally as I'm trying very hard to divest my earnings as fast as they arrive in the form of donations or spending on new projects... which means your potential gain by suing me is never going to be as high as the the cost of a one-hour consultation with an entertainment industry lawyer. ($200/hour, the legal category best qualified for handling disputes relating to video content) But if you want to lose the longer-term flow of cash from me, and lose more directly and immediately simply in the process of hiring a lawyer, that's your choice. A better option: Settle immeidately - ask for a removal of the problem content from the site (and) some small immediate payment directly from me as compensation.
WHAT IF THE VIDEO HAD A THIRD-PARTY IP INVOLVED?
There are a few such cases. The bulk of them are Troop 4 videos - which will not be monetized, and in large part limited to access only by past Troop 4 members in an effort to avoid issues with the BSA (Boy Scouts of America) and there will also be several 'fan films' relating to video games, which cannot be monetized in any way and therefore will not be. But anyone who participated in these still gets a cut of the total revenue as if they were monetized. I.E. they're paid at standard rates even though the video is not actually generating any revenue.
WHERE WILL YOU BE GETTING THE FUNDING TO COVER THE EXTRA LOSS MARGIN?
From Etsy and eBay and Itch.IO and games on steam, asset packs on the Unity store, etc. If the entire web network fails miserably over and over it could kill this so I hope *Something* succeeds soon. Ideally, maybe that'd be Vivid Minigolf which is set for an early October 2022 release.
The gains elsewhere will, I hope, offset continual costs and losses from my video projects.
IF YOUR VIDEOS AREN'T MAKING MONEY FOR YOU, HOW WILL YOU FUND FUTURE VIDEO PROJECTS?
Same way. Sales of indie games, stock media [texture collections, 3d asset packs, VFX elements], artworks, printing services, papercraft designs, etc. Basically anything other than the videos.
My strategy from here on out is to make casting 45-60% of the total video-production budget in most cases... and to raise the typical average budget per project from around $250 to more like $600+ which would be a thing I'd pursue in three categories.
The first, family projects. Stuff over summer or Christmas or split between both, involving family members.
Second, unfinished backlogged projects recorded in Houston circa 2017-2018 before I left there. These include Tinyville Disaster 2, The Annoying Magician, and Fortress Siege 2.
Third, I might on one or two occasions, have a list of people converge on Richmond, VA [or] Pittsburgh area, a group of about half a dozen cast members including the Davis Bros, one or two other friends from TX, maybe a few family members like Nathan or Katie's family or Sarah/Sean or whatever. Just assemble a cast and have that list nailed down a few weeks in advance. And then cover cost of getting them all here for a week, cover cost of food for them all, places to stay, and shoot a few fun video productions with the group. Then they all go home, and over the next 60 days I send payments out to everyone involved. Total cost would be around $1200-1500 just covering all of that, including free travel for those cast, housing and catering, and about $100-200 each in PayPal payment to everyone involved plus future residual payments after the video is finished and posted online.
Obviously if anyone proves difficult to work with [ie sues me, or even just demands a lot of stuff be taken down] that person will not likely ever be given further future roles. But if I know you, and have for some time, if you're friendly, reasonable, have a sense of humor and are up for this, it isn't crazy to think you might get cast in my videos and make a few hundred $ off that over the next couple years.
Ads on TriumphantArtists.com and other websites run by Matthew Hornbostel, include banner ads from Comic Ad Network [top ad - an unfiltered banner rotation system predominantly used by web comics, art sites, but occasionally some questionable items.] and my own banner rotation system [bottom - anything here is either my own stuff like websites, online shops, or social media profiles, or has been vetted by me and found to be generally legit. I have several cashback sites [all of them are ones I've used and cashed out tens of $ from successfully already] and major online retail stores [Sony, Microsoft, Amazon...] in that mix. Usually they give me some sort of small compensation if you buy from them through the link, which I'm disclosing right now. They're all legit spots, but if skeptical do your own research before committing to anything.]