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AICN Writers Being Dumb

Posted by The Swollen Goi... on Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A modest collection.

The Swollen Goi...
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Posts: 14343
Posted: 6 years 16 weeks ago

No. It's an incredibly active thread. It's nearing 6,000 posts. I doubt I've posted more than half of those.

Quasar
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Posts: 7588
Posted: 6 years 16 weeks ago

If Harry were even semi-smart, he'd realize that he's at his most popular when he's being bashed, and taylor his output around that.

Faster and faster, a nightmare we ride. Who'll take the reins when the miracle dies? Faster and faster till everything dies. Killing is our way of keeping alive. - Virgin Steele, Blood and Gasoline
Daltons chin dimple
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Posts: 12800
Posted: 6 years 16 weeks ago

 Swiftly.

....says "Kill Bond, NOW!"
The Swollen Goi...
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Posts: 14343
Posted: 6 years 16 weeks ago

People are calling attention to his claim that a decent-sized chunk of the second season has already been shot and wondering if he's trying to use the Kickstarter to pay himself back for stuff that's already done.

Quasar
Location:
Posts: 7588
Posted: 6 years 16 weeks ago

If Harry started a kickstarter campaign to have less seasons of his show, it would raise much more money.

Faster and faster, a nightmare we ride. Who'll take the reins when the miracle dies? Faster and faster till everything dies. Killing is our way of keeping alive. - Virgin Steele, Blood and Gasoline
Daltons chin dimple
Location:
Posts: 12800
Posted: 6 years 16 weeks ago

 Maybe we could do a Kickstarter to raise the money to buy AICN, then fire him.

....says "Kill Bond, NOW!"
The Swollen Goi...
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Posts: 14343
Posted: 6 years 16 weeks ago
The Swollen Goi...
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Posts: 14343
Posted: 6 years 16 weeks ago

There've been a number of update-worthy things on the Kickstarter front, but I've been lax.

The latest thing is that someone deleted the 11,500+ comments on Harry's original Kickstarter thread, and they've disallowed commenting on that page.

A few people have pledged a dollar to Harry's Kickstarter so they could comment on it, since only those who donate can comment. Despite this, the donated amount has been going down bit by bit over the course of the last five days. I'm not sure how many backers have pulled out, but it's been quite a few.

Most of the people who paid their dollar to be able to comment have been pretty respectful. A couple of them collected the more common complaints from AICN users and formed something like a unified front. You can read the comments here.

The Swollen Goi...
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Posts: 14343
Posted: 6 years 16 weeks ago

The Kickstarter Talkback was just returned to us. It had been disabled for hours. No telling how long it will last.

The current speculation is that the Kickstarter Talkback was returned to us because people were spreading out all over the site and continuing their bitching in new Talkbacks. Maybe they figured it was best to quarantine us in the Kickstarter Talkback.

Daltons chin dimple
Location:
Posts: 12800
Posted: 6 years 15 weeks ago

 This whole thing is a massive clusterfuck.

....says "Kill Bond, NOW!"
Corporal_Hicks
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Posts: 1664
Posted: 6 years 15 weeks ago

Harry's problem is a big one.

Sent from Dalton's IPad.
Corporal_Hicks
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Posts: 1664
Posted: 6 years 15 weeks ago

He didn't properly set up AICN as a functional business.

Or at least the plan he had was total shit.

Yeah yeah I know most people view "business" as a dirty word, but the second that site became his primary source of income he should have made a plan.

If you have seen his show, and I have seen all of them, a big piece of the show is Harry showing off all of the cool stuff he has collected over the years.

BROKE 40 YEAR OLD MEN WITH FAMILIES DO NOT NEED TO BE COLLECTING TOYS.

His downfall is that his hobby is fucking expensive, and since he couldn't budget it he's now asking for free money to fund it.

Did he really need the $100 12" Boba Fett that shoots a rocket out of the jet pack for his birthday? Think about it. Does a grown man with a family REALLY need to spend $100 on that?

Sent from Dalton's IPad.
The Swollen Goi...
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Posts: 14343
Posted: 6 years 15 weeks ago

I watched them all too, Hicks. They were tough to sit through sometimes. He would condescend to his guests. He would also cut them off, or he would nod his agreement with empty eyes--a clear indicator that he wasn't listening, and was, instead, waiting for his chance to speak.

Did I mention that the Emmy-winning director Harry crows about won a local Emmy for directing some videos for a small town newscast? I have no ill will for the guy, but it's at least a little deceptive to call yourself an Emmy winner and not clarify what sort of Emmy you won.

The general tenor among Talkbackers is that the format of the show isn't so bad, and that more people would be willing to watch it if someone else were the host. Most people consider Harry to be off-putting.

One thing people are harping on is that he's asking for $100,000, but hasn't backed anyone else's Kickstarter. It's apparently considered common courtesy to back other projects.

People also harp on the quality of his rewards. Most of them require minimal effort from Harry. Many of them require that a person live in Austin, or that that person fund a trip there to receive the reward.

One of the prizes is a Boiler ringtone. "Boiler" is a talking basement boiler. He's one of the show's mascots. Boiler will complain about something ("Michael Bay sucks!"), Harry will roll his eyes, pooh-pooh the complaint, and chuckle in Pee-Wee Herman-like mockery. (Maybe I should describe it as a "giggle.") In other words, Boiler is a straw man. He's a straw man after the Harry fashion, though, meaning that Harry doesn't actually refute anything Boiler says. He just dismisses it. Boiler is a clear stand in for Talkbackers. It's telling that this is how Harry views his Talbackers--the same people, by the way, he's asking to give him $100,000.

You get the Boiler ringtone for $25. It's a sound file. It costs nothing to make. If you really wanted, you could rip an audio file from one of Harry's videos for free.

The most popular big cash reward, of course, is the one that gets you a Butt-Numb-a-Thon ticket. Those go for $2,500. (Oh, and if you don't live in Austin, you have to buy yourself the flight out.) When Harry's not doing a Kickstarter, they cost between $50-100. I've already addressed the shadiness of these tickets above, I think, but here's something new: there were originally only four offered. Those four were snatched up. I just noticed that he has upped the total BNAT tickets offered to eight.

I guess you can do that. It was clear no one wanted any of the other high-dollar prizes. The two on either side of the BNAT tickets remain unclaimed. The $2,000 prize? "4 left of 4." The $3,000 prize? "3 left of 3." 

Let's look at what you get for $2,000:

"Backyard Film Party With Harry!!!! Harry and his team will come to your backyard party with inflatable outdoor screen and movies to delight, to horrify, to..... whatever! It's your own private mini film festival with the king of Filmgeekdom! You supply the backyard (Austin, Texas only), the guests, a power supply and the refreshments. Deliverable within the next 12 months, at a time that works with both backer's and Harry's schedules. Does not include travel or accommodations."

Who's going to want that? And for $2,000?

Here's what you get for $3,000:

"The Script!!! The Script!!!! Harry will read your script and give you a one hour consult over the phone. Deliverable within the next 12 months, at a time that works with both the backer's and Harry's schedules."

Seriously? I'm expected to pay $3,000 to get feedback on my writing from Harry Knowles? Dude's the poster boy for terrible writing. I guess the suggestion is that he's an insider in the biz and that he could help steer me in the right direction, but, shit, he's never even managed to get one of his own scripts produced. And he's notoriously shady. Do I really want to risk him selling my script idea to someone already in the biz?

By the way, if you don't already know what Butt-Numb-a-thon is, it's a twenty-four-hour film festival Harry puts on every year for his birthday. Yes, Harry throws himself his own birthday party. Like a German.

Corporal_Hicks
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Posts: 1664
Posted: 6 years 15 weeks ago

I went to Butt-Numb-A-Thon 2. Nothing cool of note happened there.

BNAT 3 was the one Peter Jackson, Mel Gibson, and several other really famous people went to.

Sent from Dalton's IPad.
The Swollen Goi...
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Posts: 14343
Posted: 6 years 15 weeks ago

Did you smell Harry?

Corporal_Hicks
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Posts: 1664
Posted: 6 years 15 weeks ago

I noticed even back then he was kind of indifferent towards people.

He had a kind of entourage of "friends" that he mostly ignored.

Sent from Dalton's IPad.
Daltons chin dimple
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Posts: 12800
Posted: 6 years 15 weeks ago

 This whole thing is a massive clusterfuck.

....says "Kill Bond, NOW!"
The Swollen Goi...
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Posts: 14343
Posted: 6 years 15 weeks ago

I'm breaking this one up into two parts:

Part I
Every time I think I'm done talking about Harry's stupid Kickstarter, something pretty interesting happens.

People keep asking for clarification on a number of points, but these three might be the main ones: 1.) How much did the first season cost? 2.) How many episodes will there be in the second season, and how long will they be? 3.) What's the cost breakdown for the second season?

These are reasonable questions for potential backers to ask. Harry made an insultingly halfhearted attempt to answer the third one last week. He listed sixteen different costs they would have to cover, but he didn't say how much was going toward each thing. (The different things, if you're curious: KS Fees, KS Rewards Fulfillment, Rent, Talent & Guest Expenses, Crew, Post Production, Equipment Rental, Craft, Utilities, Camera/Sound Supplies, Art Supplies, Set Maintenance & Repair, Props, Administration, Licensing, Offsite Production.)

No matter how you break $100,000 to cover each of the sixteen expenses, it seems like way, way too much money--unless they're planning to heat the set with the leftover bills. To be fair, it's hard to make a real guess at how much money will be going toward certain things without knowing how many episodes Harry intends to make or how long he intends to make them. There are things you can figure, like the Kickstarter fee. I think it's a set amount of ten percent of the total amount made by the project, assuming it reaches its initial goal.

Harry finally responded to the first two things yesterday. The responses were pretty unsatisfactory. They made things look even worse, in fact. He crossposted the response to both the Kickstarter project page and AICN. It's a pretty lengthy post, but here are the important points:

Hey folks, Harry here… I can’t tell you how frustrating it has been waiting to be able to answer some pretty elementary questions about the Second Season of AIN’T IT COOL with Harry Knowles. We’re basically asking for 1/3rd of what we had to do the First Season on....

The biggest difference between 1st & 2nd season is the type of show we’re trying to do. Initially when we started the KICKSTARTER we were thinking about 10 minute shows, but recent interests by a TV distributor has us restructuring for 24 minute (Half Hour Shows) that will be available on TV as well as the Web. We’ve been working overtime to be able to announce this before the KICKSTARTER is over – and believe me, we’re sweating that ticking clock, but emboldened by the challenge ahead of us.

I’m told that I’ll get to announce it this week, possibly tomorrow, but that TV distribution is contingent upon us meeting our Kickstarter goal. And for that $100k, we’d be able to produce 6 half-hour film shows like nobody’s business.

I left out the two instances of "giggle." Because I care.

First off, why the frustration? Why did it take three weeks "to be able to answer some pretty elementary questions"? Why not just answer them immediately? Looks like the answer was pretty simple. What, was he waiting on clearance from his apparently super secret TV sponsor? That sort of contradicts what he was saying about "recent interests." He could have answered the questions long ago with the original, non-recent-interests plan. Why didn't he? 

It sounds, instead, like this TV thing has been the plan all along. He says the TV deal is contingent upon them reaching their Kickstarter goal. If he manages to milk people of $100,000, then, he's essentially planning to do something with the money that differs from what he said he would do with it when he created the Kickstarter. More and more, this sounds like fraud.

The Swollen Goi...
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Posted: 6 years 15 weeks ago

Part II
Also... six fucking thirty-minute episodes? He wants $100,000 for 180 minutes of programming? With the set already built and interviews already filmed? And let's be honest. If it's actually going to be on television, the episodes won't be longer than twenty-two minutes. That's barely over two hours. (Granted, the plan may be to film longer episodes for the web and edit them down for broadcast. Also, it could be a public access station for all we know. That would allow for longer episodes.) 

If Harry is to be believed, this network is saying they'll air/distribute Harry's show if he can get the show entirely paid for on his own. That doesn't show much of a vote of confidence in the product. That said, I suppose this is sort of how syndication works. But I'm also wondering if this supposed network (forgive me if I sound like I don't trust Harry to be telling the truth about the network, but, c'mon, we're talkin' Harry) is waiting to see a completed episode. A half-hour episode and a ten-minute episode are different beasts. Harry already has enough trouble engaging the viewer with the shorter form.

I should mention, again, that the only way people have been able to get Harry to respond to them has been via comments made directly to his Kickstarter, and the only way people are able to comment on the Kickstarter is to donate to it. Most of these people have only donated a dollar. They've said they would donate more if he would provide satisfactory answers to their questions. He hasn't, of course.

Early this morning, Harry mocked these people who donated a dollar to him in his Kickstarter response feed. Here's the mockery:

Btw, you seem awful concerned for someone who has only pledged $1.00. While we very much appreciate every single contribution, our current average pledge amount is $124.00 and if this is causing you such duress, perhaps you should pledge that dollar elsewhere ;-)

And here is an awesome response to Harry's response from someone (the person goes by Tadeusz Plunko, but it's probably Dalty) who pledged $3,000:

Leaving aside what a joke that "math" is in regards to the necessity of your absurd budget, I want to address the extreme condescension of your previous reply to the $1 backer. I just pledged $3K, so based on your openly stated disdain for small donors, I'm hoping you'll pay attention to this.

If this project was truly desired by anyone other than a handful of dead-enders, employees, and sycophants, you'd have a much lower average donation than $143. In fact (excepting myself), if you remove the one $10K donation and the 5 BNAT tickets (which are shameful exploitations of a supposed charity), the average plummets to around $53. And even that's way too high. Based on the average views of the first series, if those viewers thought this was a product worth paying for, you'd have thousands of small donations and this Kickstarter wouldn't be moribund.

So congratulations on shitting on the people who were willing to help you out with a small donation in these difficult economic times.

Here's my request: If you can't get it together to post a legitimate budget and clarify the shady reformulations of the project, produce someone from Nerdist who can verify that you actually did manage to waste $300K on the first series, and that the show was indeed dropped due to a "change in direction" rather than low viewership.

Daltons chin dimple
Location:
Posts: 12800
Posted: 6 years 15 weeks ago

 I wish it was me, and I thought about it as a calcuated gamble.  But my current home situation means all funds are required to save for a potentially new Dalty-cave.  Couldn't risk losing $3k if one of Harry's 'Hollywood Friends' brought it over the line at the last minute.

....says "Kill Bond, NOW!"
The Swollen Goi...
Location:
Posts: 14343
Posted: 6 years 15 weeks ago

I kinda want to stick him with actually making the show now, just to put his ass to work.

Daltons chin dimple
Location:
Posts: 12800
Posted: 6 years 15 weeks ago

Unfortunately though, you just cannot get around the fact that he is completely unappealing as a host, even if he totally changes his persona and tones down the "Me, me, me - look at my cool toys" stuff.

Far be it from me to judge books by covers but he has, as we say over here, a face for radio.

....says "Kill Bond, NOW!"
The Swollen Goi...
Location:
Posts: 14343
Posted: 6 years 15 weeks ago

Despite his having harassed Kickstarter user Go for only pledging a dollar, Harry posted this to his Twitter feed early this morning: "47% reached, if everyone following me gave $1.35 we'd have Season 2."

Some things about this:

1.) When Go was attacked for his pledge amount, he attempted to illustrate the power of a dollar with this post: "AICN gets over 50K UNIQUE visitors a day. That is 1.5 MILLION UNIQUE visitors a MONTH. If just 10% of those visitors gave Harry just $1 he would easily have 150K. He would have easily reached his goal." Essentially, then, Harry had the audacity to steal Go's idea after making fun of Go for the amount of money he pledged. (I've encountered panhandlers who gave me shit for only giving them, say, $0.15--even though it was all the money I had on me. Harry seems to be copping a similar attitude.)

2.) Harry passed the buck on his Twitter account and claimed another member of "Ain't We Cool Productions, LLC" was responsible for the post mocking Go for his one-dollar contribution. His comment: "my partners are less adept sometimes at dealing with the more more negative variety of my followers." So now he's insulting his own team. He's made the point recently of saying he prefaces all his own comments "Hey folks, Harry here." Maybe he does, and maybe he doesn't. Harry's famously passed the buck before, of course. I think the guy he passed the buck to in that case is still in prison.

3.) "Ain't We Cool Productions, LLC" has tried to distance itself from AICN a couple times. They've done this in response to Talkbackers invading the Kickstarter. They insist they're a separate entity, and it's unfair to refocus Harry hate onto the Kickstarter, since it's not just Harry's dreams you're crushing. It's the team's. The problem with this: A.) they're trading on the name recognition of AICN ("Ain't It Cool" is part of the show's title, even), B.) Harry has pimped the show and its Kickstarter many times on AICN, and C.) They chose Harry as the lone spokesman for all the videos they've posted on the Kickstarter page, and he's spent the majority of his time tooting his own horn in those videos. It's foolish and deceptive to try to pretend the two entities aren't linked. If you want people to know who's behind the production, give us more voices and faces. If you're going to choose someone as loathed and inarticulate as Harry to be the face of your brand, don't be surprised when people bring their anti-Harry baggage with them.

The Swollen Goi...
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Posts: 14343
Posted: 6 years 15 weeks ago

One of the Talkbackers stumbled across this Kickstarter:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kiery/kierygeek-a-vlog-of-games-comi...

They thought she was clear with her intentions and reasonable with her request. It looked like she might not make her goal, so they decided to make it for her.

In other words, Talkbackers are now funding other people's Kickstarters in protest.

Daltons chin dimple
Location:
Posts: 12800
Posted: 6 years 15 weeks ago

 That's fucking brilliant.  Again showing up the hateful and inept man-child.

....says "Kill Bond, NOW!"