Chris Gore from Film Threat put together a star-studded panel like none other at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, with YouTube heavyweights Gary Buechler of Nerdrotic and Eric July joining him to give a pep talk to independent creators about the future of entertainment.
While the panel’s main focus was film, the group talked about the virtues of building one’s own platforms and managing expectations to have a prosperous career in any form of independent media.
Gore packed the Marriot’s ballroom with a room completely full of fans and aspiring creators eager to hear wisdom from long-time independent creators. Several celebrities were in the crowd at the panel, including YouTuber ThatStarWarsGirl, comic-creator Dan Fraga, and Hollywood writer Marc Zicree (Babylon 5, Space Command). Several fans wore t-shirts of Eric July’s Isom comic character to support the Rippaverse.
Fans at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con are starved for good panel content, with Hollywood pulling out and canceling dozens of panels at the last minute due to the writers’ and actors’ strikes. Many attendees have grumbled on Twitter, asking if they’d get a refund for their tickets because of the lack of programming.
But these independent creators were not daunted, viewing the pull out of Hollywood as an opportunity to build their platforms and get seen.
Gore opened the panel with a talk encouraging independent filmmakers to pursue their dreams, stating that the environment today is better than ever before for making one’s dreams become reality on the stream. He offered the full crowd to email him directly and said he would send a document detailing how to crowdfund a film successfully.
The show was stolen by the charismatic Eric July, who detailed his entire background in coming into success with his comic Isom, the most successful crowdfunded comic of all time. The first issue nearly reached $4 million in sales, and the second campaign is nearing $2 million as of this writing.
He warned creators that they shouldn’t expect huge success their first time out. There was a lot of hard work and years of struggle in building Rippa’s now gigantic platform.
“I probably have been on YouTube longer than a lot of you guys. I’ve been building this over fifteen years,” July said.
All of the creators involved warned that success takes a lot of capital. Film is an expensive medium, and being able to hire quality actors and tradesmen is imperative to have a professional product. Even on the comic production end, it’s not all just profit. “I spent almost $300,000 to get everything off the ground,” July said.
Gary Buechler of Nerdrotic also talked about building his audience, working hard for a long time before attaining nearly a million subscribers on YouTube. He told the audience his key to his success is authenticity. The audience wants to know that he will give his real opinions, even if he makes a mistake from time to time. But genuine care about the audience is what sets him and others apart from the corporate media.
Nerdrotic warned creators to remember their fans first, stating, “Don’t use your audience as an ATM.”
The panel was a huge success, with a nice round of applause from the audience once it ended, with Gore, Buechler, and July all showing a vast difference between themselves and the entitled Hollywood establishment. They treat their fans with respect, and it pays back in dividends.
What do you think about Chris Gore’s independent film panel? Leave a comment and let us know.