The Inside Workings of funnyordie.com
After over a decade of writing for SNL, Steele joined funnyordie.com, because he grew bored of the traditional medium. He believes that the internet is a viable option at this point, but people are still trying to figure out the silver bullet.
Funnyordie.com has created a platform that works. Besides the user generated comedy video content, they have been involving celebrities in the sketches they produce. The set up works beautifully. Their goal is to foster a place for talent to do whatever they want to do. It can be anything from trying something new in a risk free environment, to supporting a cause or to even changing their image.
They do everything on the cheap. This recent video combines a tremendous amount of talent….
Everyone got involved for FREE! Shot it on a Sunday, it was posted on that Wednesday. Ron Howard directed this sketch and before shooting, believed that it would cost six figures. Instead, it was under $5,000; most of that to pay for travel for the talent. So how do you get Chevy Chase, Dana Carvey, Jim Carrey, Dan Aykroyd and the others in one room? You give them a reason; the purpose of this sketch was to bring to light the need for financial reform.
Glover has been smart in the business structure as well. His creative offices are based in Los Angeles and Hollywood. The actual technology structure is based in Palo Alto and all the advertising sales and marketing offices are in New York City and Chicago.
While the platform of funnyordie.com seems to be working, much of the other things are a tad nebulous. Glover laughed that they can guarantee eye balls, but they cannot guarantee how viral the sketches will be. He said that just because it has a celebrity attached does not mean instant success. They actually create office pools to try an guess what will be a success and what may not live up to expectations.
Do not take any of that as the venture being unsuccessful. Their model of content is somewhat counterintuitive. A stand alone niche website is supposed to fail. Their site is definitely succeeding with seven million unique hits a month!
Along with the website and the HBO series, they are venturing into film making. They are currently working on a single focused film with Tim & Eric.
The panel was Q&A based and at the end Steele said something that has really been echoed in many of the other panels this year.
“We are in a creative explosion. Everyone can make a video. The one thing that drives all of this is hard work…you can be a movie maker in a second! Go out there and do it right now!”