Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Frank Discussion of Machinima Production Costs

I have written both here and elsewhere about the importance of promotional vehicles for artists, especially virtual artists. It is also widely known, now, that I produce promotion machinima clips dealing with artists whose work interests me in one way or another. What is not known as widely, in part because machinima is new, are the costs involved in such productions, nor their benefits. Here I present a frank discussion on both topics, both to drive home the importance of these tools, but also to help make artists aware of what the real costs involved are.

First, what is the importance of promotional machinima? I have surveyed the four individuals for whom I have produced machinima presentations (they are not strictly speaking promotional, as they were not developed solely for promotional reasons, but also out of personal interest). It has become clear that the machinima clips have garnered increased recognition for the artists concerned in all cases. Not everyone was able to confirm a direct increase in sales due to the clip, but at least one of the four more than quadrupled sales following the clip's appearance.

Having established the importance of promotional clips, let's now look at how different clips compare with each other and the relationship between production values and effectiveness. In a recent survey of youTube promotional videos, despite the very high numbers of videos stored on youTube, I found relatively few that sought to promote artists work, indicating that there is considerable potential to develop this as a promotional tool.

However, for artists, in general, the average view count is about 200 views per month. Promotional clips of Second Life artists, on the other hand, seem to generate no more than about 50 to 60 views per month. I also found a relatively strong correlation between production values and view rates - low quality productions had view rates below 20 per month, for the most part, while high quality productions were in the upper view rate bracket.

With regard to my own promotional machinima clips, involving exclusively Second Life artists up to now, I observe average view counts of about 135 per month, hence relatively high. My machinima clips aren't of the very best quality, rather they are of intermediate quality. I do not spend time trying to achieve the perfect sound or the perfect image. Hence there is room for improvement, but even so, they generate nearly three times the viewership as do existing machinima productions for Second Life artists.

Now let's look at the costs involved. I take roughly 25 to 30 hours, on average, to produce a 5 to 10 minute machinima clip (the maximum length allowed on youTube). A professional producer will typically charge 35$/hour to 50$/hour for their time. Hence a machinima clip will cost roughly 150$/minute, much more if one needs to hire actors to play various roles. This is, however, compared to a cost of 1000$/minute or more, typical for a short video production (that is, using a video camera in the real world). The optimal length for a clip varies depending on a whole range of factors, but will typically be between 3 minutes and about 8 minutes.

The decision to invest in a promotional machinima clip for a Second Life artist depends, therefore, on total current sales revenues, and on expectations or ambitions concerning the growth of these figures. If total revenues from Second Life products are no more than a few dollars per month, this is unlikely to be a viable path to promotion. If, on the other hand, one earns on the order of a hundred dollars a month or more, the production of a promotional machinima clip may be very appropriate. In between, it's a judgement call, based on any number of factors.

If you would like more information about the process of producing a machinima production as a promotional vehicle, or even simply want to talk it through, please contact me inworld, I'd be pleased to provide information and feedback, without any pressure. I am not so much interested in making money as in promoting Second Life artists. That said, I'm not all that interested in working for free.

38 comments:

線位未來 said...

人是受想像力所支配的。........................................

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馨儀 said...

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YoungW21087 said...

I do like ur article~!!!...................................................

惠IdellA_Fecteau1231蘋 said...

不勞而獲的事情,並沒有價值........................................

雅茹WillyA_Mellinger0724 said...

Care killed the cat. take care yourself. ....................................................

黃k0822oryb_card said...

在莫非定律中有項笨蛋定律:「一個組織中的笨蛋,恆大於等於三分之二。」 ..................................................

韋于倫成 said...

A stitch in time saves nine. ........................................

韋于倫成 said...

Care killed the cat. take care yourself..........................

呈均 said...

幸福不是一切,人還有責任。..................................................

士銘士銘 said...

Habit is a second nature. ........................................

TerryM又來ontane said...

Judge not of men and things at first sight.............................................................

BryannaR22369 said...

喜歡這裡-支持你的更新..................................................

俊偉 said...

要持續更新下去喲!!祝你心情愉快.................................................................

皇銘 said...

支持你!!!期待你的更新!!!相信一定會更好!!!!.................................................................

江婷 said...

知識可以傳授,智慧卻不行。每個人必須成為他自己。.................................................................                           

俊偉 said...

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美方 said...

向著星球長驅直進的人,反比踟躕在峽路上的人,更容易達到目的。............................................................

毓er曹妃sf炳hd張jtr珠 said...

當一個人內心能容納兩樣相互衝突的東西,這個人便開始變得有價值了。............................................................

琇白 said...

Practice what you preach.............................................................

幸雨幸雨 said...

要用心經營哦~~祝福你~~
............................................................

冠宇 said...

Joy often comes after sorrow, like morning after night.............................................................

水慧 said...

來幫忙拼人氣~Go Go Go 時間可證明一切............................................................

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夏瓊陳詩蓁富 said...

真正仁慈的人,會忘記他們做過的善行,他們全心投入現在的工作,過去的事已被遺忘。..................................................

ToryO_Vis建銘 said...

愛看您的新文章!加油!..................................................................

李宜毛正任昌 said...

生命的意義,是在於活的充實;而不是在於活得長久。.......................................................

陳劉嘉韋蓉宣 said...

我們能互相給予的最佳禮物是「真心的關懷」。.................................................

承王蓁 said...

若有人問你成功時會不會記得他 試問若你失敗時他會不會記得你......................................................................

王辛江淑萍康 said...

如此動感的blog!!!............................................................

幸家陳瑋齊 said...

請繼續發表好文!加油加油加油!............................................................

冠霖林冠霖林冠霖林 said...

未來的幸福是用現在買來的。.. ... ............................................................

孟謝謝謝凱謝謝謝謝 said...

幸福不是一切,人還有責任。............................................................

瑰潼 said...

謝謝大大分享!!經典!~(。・ω・)............................................................

黃怡君 said...

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江仁趙雲虹昆 said...

感動 + 感恩 + 感謝(。-ˍ-。 )............................................................

王雅俊 said...

你不能左右天氣,但你可以改變心情............................................................