• About HigletFilms

    Higlet

    HigletFilms was created in 2010 by Mary Higgins (WorldofHiglet) and hubby, Paul, as a showcase for their experimental web video/new media/webseries/web tv work.

    Their new webseries, 'Mind My Brains, Darling!' is now showing on Blip.tv.

  • Mind My Brains, Darling! Season 1

  • Goodnight Princess Omnibus (Acts 1-3)

  • Interview with Felicia Day

Voting open for #CTW6 – plus BTS photos from ‘This Human Body’

Celebrate The Web, CTW6, Production Log, videos, webseries

BTS This Human Body CTW6

Voting opens TODAY for the Celebrate The Web. You can vote once per day and voting ends on May 31st. Out of 25 teams who entered, there are 15 pilots to watch. We watched a few last night and there are some very imaginative takes on the three elements!

Our Team BREW entry, ‘This Human Body‘, is on the page so please scroll down and vote for us! It’s a powerful drama about a man facing up to his mortality and his past. You can see the pilot here, too:

Here’s some Behind The Scenes shots from our Sunday shoot with Rob Hunt – hope you enjoy them!

Don’t forget you can vote every day until May 31st. Thanks for your support!

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Team BREW presents: This Human Body, #CTW6

Celebrate The Web, CTW6, news, videos, webseries
Last minute editing for Team BREW

Last minute editing for Team BREW

After a few last minute technical glitches we uploaded to YouTube late last night and submitted all our documentation to Celebrate The Web and Audiosocket in time for the deadline of 10 AM this morning. So Team BREW are officially in CTW6!

So…what have we been working on for the last week? Well, it’s something very different to ‘Mind My Brains, Darling!‘. Entitled ‘This Human Body’, it is a powerful drama about a man who has to face up to his mortality and his past. You might need your kleenex:

And now, HUGE THANK YOUS to some people who have really made the difference in getting this film made:

Rob Hunt: who is a fantastic DP and brought so much to the filming. We learned a huge amount and can’t wait to work with Rob again. Check out Rob’s other work at Phasefirefilms.com and watchstandardaction.com
Megan Lynch: Production Assistant. Megan stepped in to help me with music selection and with some really good perspectives on the pilot and webseries descriptions. And she really helped to keep me on track when things got a little out of hand. Support an indie artist and buy Megan’s album here: http://meganlynch.bandcamp.com/
Rebecca Higgins: Actor. She was so much fun and good natured through all the takes we did. #cuteextreme
Our family: The rest of the family have been really supportive and helpful throughout this last week and that makes such a huge difference. Thanks, you guys!

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CTW6 update: weekend of shooting!

Celebrate The Web, IAWTV, videos, webseries
Rob Hunt, CTW6 Team BREW DP in action

Rob Hunt, CTW6 Team BREW DP in action

After a packed weekend of shooting our ‘Celebrate The Web’ (CTW6) pilot, thought I’d take a little time out to post a couple of pics and let you know how it’s going for Team BREW. We did all the filming in 2 days and now we are editing and sorting out music and all the post production things that need to be done.

A HUGE thank you to Rob Hunt for coming over on Sunday. Having Rob as Director of Photography really taken things to the next level for us. His vast experience with Standard Action and his other works was invaluable and gave us a new perspective on things. Plus, it was great fun even in the incredible heat.

We are also going to be announcing the other members of Team BREW later, people who have stepped in to really help out with all the post work that needs to be done at short notice. Thank you!!!

I’m not going to give anything away about the pilot itself. This is something new, and we think it will totally [censored] your [censored] off. Paul’s suggested motto for Team BREW:

flare sanguinem super clamans facies

I’ll leave you with that for now…

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Celebrate The Web 6: Team BREW! #CTW6

Awards, Celebrate The Web, videos, webseries

 

Celebrate The Web 6 graphic element from Steam Powered Giraffe

CTW 6 graphic element from Steam Powered Giraffe

It’s been all systems go here in Team BREW headquarters as we race to complete the Celebrate The Web 6 challenge of producing a new webseries pilot in seven days using three elements. We are one of twenty five teams that have entered CTW6 (full list of teams here). The three elements were announced via live feed on Thursday by Jenni Powell, Alexis Boozer and Logan Rapp:

The elements were then put on the CelebrateTheWeb.com website and emailed to all the teams:

The livestream has announced it! The elements have been announced:

THE QUOTE

I Give Thanks For This World As A Place To Learn And For This Human Body That I’m Glad To Have Earned –MCA, Adam Yauch

————————–

THE GRAPHIC (Courtesy of Steam Powered Giraffe!)

Download assets HERE.

————————–

THE NUMBER


1863

 

As soon as I had all the elements and had a chat on Twitter, I shut everything down and wrote the first draft of ‘Project Y’. Earlier in the week we had been talking to Rob Hunt from PhaseFire Films and he said he would like to be involved in CTW6. We met Rob at VCON last year. He came to the rescue during the ‘Webseries’ Panel and helped us sort out the projector so we could all preview our shows. Rob is Director/Editor/Director of Photography/Special Effects for the fantasy webseries ‘Standard Action‘, which is filmed in Vancouver. ‘Standard Action’ is fun, exciting and full of twists – and it looks amazing. This is the final episode from Season 1:

Between VCON and Geek Girl Con we met up with the Standard Action people a lot last summer, and they are a great, crazy-in-a-good-way bunch of folks. Rob also has an impressive portfolio of other projects, which does makes you wonder if he ever sleeps…

Having Rob on board meant we could really push the boat out in terms of style (he actually understands what F-stops are and everything!) so we didn’t limit our ambitions in the script. Since the first draft we have actually pared it down quite a bit, but the overall story is intact, and we are really excited to start filming today! Rob is filming a for Season 2 of Standard Action today, but will be braving Highway 1 tomorrow. We will be filming the main pieces with him and we’re really looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

The deadline is 10 AM on Thursday, so we are against the clock, but everything seems to be going to plan so far. Let’s see what the weekend brings…!

You can follow our progress on Twitter (and you see how all the teams are doing by searching for the #CTW6 tag):

@WorldofHiglet

@HigletFilms

@Phasefirefilms

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Celebrate The Web 6: last hours for submission – tomorrow we are GO!

Celebrate The Web, webseries
Mind My Brains Darling set building 3

Picture not related - everything for CTW6 will be brand new!

UPDATED WITH LIVESTREAM EMBED 🙂

Did you get your submission in for CTW6 yet? If not, hurry up because there are just hours left! We announced we were going to take part last week, and we can’t wait 🙂 Tomorrow (Thursday 10th May 2012) at 10:00 AM PST Celebrate The Web 6 will be officailly started, LIVE ON LIP.TV The LIVE STREAM will be here:

 

I’ve just checked with @CelebrateTheWeb on twitter about what the deadline is and they have confirmed that as long as THE FORM AND PAYMENT are submitted and accepted before the live broadcast, teams will be registered:

CTW 6 submission timeline

 

If you are unsure about what CTW 6 is, then check out the CelebrateTheWeb.com post about the rules – and there is lots more information about CTW on the site, too.

The challenge of creating a new pilot in only a week from scratch is absolutely thrilling. And scary! But more exciting than scary. I think. Tomorrow at 10 we will get to hear our fate – the pilot elements we have to include – and then I’ll drafting up some ideas and plots ready for when Paul comes back from work. It will be great to go into production again. It’s been almost a YEAR since Josephine Hoy and Alan Douglas came over to shoot their episodes of ‘Mind My Brains, Darling!’ (what an amazing weekend that was. Hope we can work with those talented people again soon!).

To all the teams about to embark on this weeklong rollercoaster – good luck!

P.S.

After MUCH deliberation about Team Names we think we have the definitive one. ‘BatStache’ was a real contender for a while but we didn’t want to tread on anyone’s toes (or wings). So it comes down to two other names:

  • Team BREW
  • The Pigeons

Which one should we use?

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Celebrate The Web 6: We’re doing it, are you?

Awards, news, videos, webseries

 

Celebrate The Web has an impressive pedigree. It was set up by Kim Evey and Jenni Powell in the wake of the 2010 Streamy Awards as a way to honour the community. Since then it has grown in every iteration and CTW6 is no exception. Teams have 7 days to create a webseries pilot that incorporate 3 elements that will be revealed live online on May 10th. And this time the all the pilots produced and submitted will be screened at VIDCON, with the winners being screened on Industry Day:

We are happy to announce that Celebrate The Web is partnering up with VidCon to provide our Judge’s and Audience Choice prizes a fantastic opportunity: To be screened on Industry Day at VidCon in the Anaheim Convention Center! When in the past one would receive access to a single sponsoring production company, this time around we will bring your pilots to many industry professionals all at once!

In addition to screening, each winning team will receive:

  • Two passes to VidCon
  • One hotel room near the Anaheim Convention Center
  • $250 toward travel costs

All completed pilots will get a chance to be seen in a special IAWTV Screening Room being hosted during the Community Days of the conference. Times to be determined.

(From celebratetheweb.com)

The list of partners is impressive:

  • Audiosocket are offering free access to their library of music AND will pay the artists, too.
  • SAG-AFTRA NewMedia have an Expedited Signatory process (more information here about how to use the SAG agreement)
  • Machinima are going to on the judging panel and will be offering a pitch meeting to two winners.

The judging panel also includes:

I have always loved the idea of CTW. In fact, I created the first CTW website because I believed in it so much. I’ve never entered it before – but this time, it’s personal! Yes, we will be fielding a team for CTW6 and I would encourage EVERYONE who has thought about trying to do web video to have a go. This is a great way to dip your toes into the wonderful world of web video for many reasons, but this are what I think make it the ideal opportunity:

  • Everyone has to produce their webseries pilot in only 7 days, so everyone is in the same boat
  • You will get to connect with other teams during the exciting and painful week of creating – and friendships forged during adversity usually last 🙂
  • If you complete and submit in time your pilot will be screened at VidCon, a bone fide video festival that has a huge following
  • You don’t have enough time to worry about whether you should be doing it, so all the doubts that have stopped you creating so far will be silenced
  • You will hopefully get feedback from people about your pilot. This is a huge thing for budding creators. It might be a scary proposition (anyone who has read the comments in YouTube knows how horrible commenters can be) but there is no reason to be afraid. The feedback you get is likely to be constructive and thoughtful. People in this community want to bring new talent on, and that includes you!
  • The only way you will really know if you want to create videos is to make them. When I interviewed Sean Becker he said he learned at least as much by creating his own videos as he did in film school – you only really learn how by actually doing it.

Have I convinced you yet? If so, submit your entry now and follow the instructions. You have until MAY 9TH TO GET YOUR ENTRIES IN, so hurry! I can’t wait to see what happens next week.

Let me know if you are taking part and what your team name is!

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How do you prove to YouTube that you have the rights to your own work?

Uncategorized

HigletFilms YouTube channel

 

YouTube – Monetise Yourself!

I’ve been on YouTube for a long time. Way before EvilWorldofHiglet or HigletFilms came along I was on there, and I’ve always quite liked the site. Sure – it’s chaotic, hard to navigate and reading comments will have you questioning your will to live – but I have always appreciated the fact that anyone, ANYONE, can upload their work there. When we were thinking about distribution options for ‘Mind My Brains, Darling!‘ we knew we had to be on YouTube, but chose Blip as a distributor because it seemed to make sense at the time (how that worked out is another post entirely).

In past I’ve had some brushes with ads being disabled on content on the EvilWorldofHiglet channel. Mostly this was due to bogus copyright claims, and this is a big problem on YouTube (as described here on Wired.com). However, I did manage to prove copyright and get the content back. Now there is a new type of problem. YouTube has expanded its Partnership program so that many more people can apply to have ads run against their content. That’s a great idea. BUT, (you knew there would be a BUT, didn’t you?) they are now clamping down and disallowing content even if there is no copyright infringement claims against your work.

Are you now, or have you ever been…

How does that work? Well, when you upload a video to YouTube you can choose to monetise the video if you have been accepted on the program. When I started uploading the ‘Behind The Scenes’ videos for MMBD, I thought I would try it out. I ticked the relevant boxes describing the content and certified that I owned all the rights to the material. The first two videos were accepted fine, and they are still monetised. However, shortly after uploading ‘Why We Developed BodyLineFilming Technique‘ on April 1st 2012 we had an automated email from YouTube stating:

 

“Dear higletfilms,

Thanks for submitting your videos for monetization. We have disabled monetization on the following videos because we were not able to verify that you have the appropriate commercial use rights for all included content:

 

If you can provide documentation that you have the necessary commercial use rights for all elements in your video, please take a moment to learn how to claim rights to a video, and then submit documentation using the links above.

Please note that we may only serve ads on advertiser-friendly content. YouTube reserves the right to make the final decision whether to monetize a video, and may disable monetization for users who repeatedly submit ineligible videos. If you currently have videos pending review, you may choose to opt them out of monetization by visiting http://www.youtube.com/my_videos.

Thanks,

The YouTube Team

I followed the instructions on how to submit a claim and sent this back to them within an hour:

“This video is a behind-the-scenes look at why we chose to film our
webseries, ‘Mind My Brains, Darling!’ in BodyLine, a filming technique we
have perfected over 3 years.

All the video, stills and music were created for the webseries and we have
full and exclusive rights to all materials – video, sound, music, graphics
and everything else. See our websites at http://higletfilms.com and
http://mindmybrains.com.

If you require more proof please indicate how this might be done and what,
in particular, caused you to disable monetisation on this video so we might
provide you with the materials you need.

We are hopeful that we will receive a prompt response to this since we have
replied within 30 minutes of receiving notification, even though it is 1:38
AM.

Regards,

Mary Higgins”

Then, we waited, bemused that our Video Manager still showed this:

Congratulations! We need that in triplicate, and in a super-secret format…

And then this morning I received not one, but two emails from YouTube Partner Support. Lucky me! Only, not really.

Email 1:

“…Hi,

We haven’t been able to confirm that you have the necessary rights to commercially use all the video material and music from the information you’ve given us, so we ask that you provide written documentation substantiating your claim.

YouTube is not in a position to offer legal advice or to counsel you in any way. However, we have listed some elements below which we have seen in contracts to give you a sense of the types of documents we receive.

-explicit permission to use the rights holder’s content commercially (example: “I, rights holder’s name, give your name or channel’s name, the right to use my original content commercially.”)

-electronic signature with date (this can be as simple as the rights holder writing out full name at the bottom of the document)

Please be sure to pay attention to any limitations and/or conditions specified by the rights holder concerning your use of the content.

Once you have the appropriate contract, please email it to us as an attachment.

If you would like to monetize videos that contain third-party content that you have permission to use commercially, please refer to our Monetization FAQs at http://support.google.com/youtube/bin/answer.py?answer=2490081….”

Second email:

“Hi,

Thanks for submitting your video for monetization. We need you to provide documentation proving you own the necessary commercial use rights to all sound recordings, musical compositions, performances, video material.

Simply stating that you own the rights to the content may not be sufficient. You must be as specific as possible whenever asked to make a claim on a video.

– If you created your own music, please provide the following information: Artist, Song, Music Composer/Lyricist/Publisher, Music Label (if any)/your relationship with Music Label, Rights Owner’s Name and Contact Information, Your Name (first/last).

– If you created original music or visuals from software, please provide the name of the software and a link to its license terms.

– If you used stock music or visuals from software, please provide the name of the software and a link to its license terms.

– If you used royalty-free music, please provide the following information: Name of the track, Artist of the track, Direct URL of the track, Link to the license terms.

– If an unsigned group or your friend gave you permission to use their song, please provide written consent for your commercial use from the copyright owner(s). To learn about what YouTube looks for in your documentation, please refer to http://support.google.com/youtube/bin/answer.py?answer=2490090.

– If your video includes any third party music, sound effects or visuals, please provide us with the source and license terms.

To learn about what kind of content is monetizable on YouTube, please refer to our Monetization FAQs at http://support.google.com/youtube/bin/answer.py?answer=2490081.

Sincerely…”

Once more, with documentation?

I thought that the information I sent to them would be enough, but apparently not. So now I need to find a way to word a response that will satisfy them that I have all the rights to all the content. Perhaps I will just send them this:

RAGE QUIT YOUTUBE

Why this is important

Granted, our viewing figures on YouTube are tiny, and we are not suffering a loss of income at the moment. BUT THAT IS NOT THE POINT. ANY MINUTE NOW our videos could be picked up, linked to or tweeted by a famous person, and then we would lose the potential to earn revenue. And we are not the only people this is happening to. Many YouTube users, including members of the International Academy of Web Television (IAWTV), have been having similar problems. If smaller creators are ever going to have a chance of earning any sort of money via their content, these sorts of issues have to be addressed.

YouTube needs to find a way to protect themselves from copyright claims that does not mean that content creators have to jump through ridiculous hoops to prove their claims. YouTube does give you examples of phrasings that might pass their automated tests, but obviously it doesn’t always work, and it is frustrating to be caught in this type of Brazil-type bureaucratic nightmare. Demotivating, indeed.

What can be done?

Firstly I would recommend that anyone hoping to monetise their videos makes a full and frank disclosure when they upload. And if your ads are disabled make sure you follow all the instructions. And then get really good at waiting.

I would like some more advice and guidance, too. If you have had videos removed or ads disabled, how did you deal with it? Would you like to see bodies such as the IAWTV put pressure on YouTube? Do you have any ideas how the situation could be resolved?

I would love to hear from you in the comments, on Twitter or Google+ so we can see how widespread the problem is.

29 Comments

Geek and Sundry Launch with a marathon, new videos – and a panda…

videos, webseries
Geek and Sundry Hangout with Felicia Day, Vince Caso, Robin Thorsen and Jeff Lewis

Geek and Sundry Hangout with Felicia Day, Vince Caso, Robin Thorsen and Jeff Lewis

Yesterday Felicia Day hosted an epic 12 HOUR Google+ HangOutathon as a subscription drive for her new ‘Geek and Sundry’ Channel on YouTube. Over the course of the day there was a non-stop line up of guests, competitions, teasers and panels covering a huge range of topics. The new channel has an impressive line up of shows, with something for everyone.

I couldn’t watch the whole 12 hours, but every time I tuned in I was sucked into watching far longer than I meant to. Felicia is a great host and has a superb team that really work together to create a quality product. I just wish we could have seen more of Kim Evey 🙂

There was an IRC chat going on over on the geekandsundry.com community site, and this held up incredibly well all the time I was online. I took some screengrabs when I remembered, which you can see on Flickr:

Today they launched the first of many shows, including Felicia’s new vlog, The Flog, and a all-new music video from The Guild:


 
Felicia is one of the reasons I got into making web videos in the first place. It might be hard to believe now, but four years ago Felicia didn’t know she would now be a huge star. Nothing has been given to her on a plate. She has worked incredibly hard to get where she is and she has done it with grace, determination and an inclusiveness that makes people feel like they are part of her success. She has continually strived to push boundaries and bring people forward with her, and to do things her way. I think we have only just seen the start of what she will achieve.

Could anyone else be as successful as Felicia? Who knows? If you are asking that question then you might want to consider something else. If you pursue your passion, work at your craft and produce the very best work that you can, will your soul be satisfied? If you can honestly answer yes, then carry on striving because you will get your reward. It might not be your own branded channel and suite of shows on YouTube, but it will be worth it in ways you might not even realise yet.

Now, please excuse me while I go and finish editing this novel* 🙂

Bonus: A panda!

Spot the geek and sundry panda

Spot the geek and sundry panda

* Not a turn of phrase, I really am editing a novel that I hope to have out by the summer. More on that soon!

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HigletFilms wins Indie Intertube Award for Innovation!

Awards, Indie Intertube, news, webseries

Indie Intertube 2nd annual logo

On Sunday we all tuned in to the 2nd Annual Indie Intertube Awards live broadcast on Mingle Media TV. And not just because ‘Mind My Brains, Darling!’ was up for three Awards! We have been fans of Indie Intertube for a long time, listen to their weekly podcast fairly religiously and we weren’t going to miss this event!

Indie Intertube 2nd annual awards live screen shot

Screen grab from the 2nd Annual Indie Intertube Awards with April and Amanda

April and Amanda hosted the event with humour and professionalism, all backed up with their encyclopedic knowledge of webseries, webTV and the denizens of this hallowed space. The chat room was on fire and there was a real party atmosphere as they presented award after award (full list of all the winners is on indieintertube.tv).

When they started to announce the second ‘Lonelykonkledaydon Innovation Award’ I had the weirdest feeling – oh my! They are talking about us! It’s a little bit of a haze but I remember they said some very complimentary things about BodyLine and how it had developed from a fan-based webseries (which was the Evil League of Evil Application Processing Office videos) to the Internet Play, Goodnight Princess (which still made them cry every time they watched it) to Mind My Brains, Darling! And that they thought it had changed the space.

To be recognised by your peers is a humbling experience. The announcement and the stream of congratulations in the chat room and twitter from people we had grown to know and love over these last years was truly an emotional moment for me. I tell you, I would have been useless if I had had to make an acceptance speech there and then!

Indie Intertube 2nd annual awards 2

Screen grab from the 2nd Annual Indie Intertube Awards with April and Amanda

We knew when we started pushing the boundaries of BodyLine that many people probably wouldn’t quite understand what we were doing, or that they wouldn’t necessarily enjoy it even if they did. But we wanted to see how far we could go, and see whether it was possible to create a coherent series in a style that had literally not been seen before. I think we achieved that.

Winning this award shows that other people have been paying attention and appreciate what we were doing. So I encourage anyone who is trying something new to take heart from that. Keep going. Don’t give up. Don’t be disheartened when people don’t understand what you are trying to do, or dismiss it, or ignore it completely. Listen to advice, criticism and feedback, but don’t lose sight of your goals. Web TV, webseries – whatever you want to call it – the point of it is that you can make it anything you want it to be. ‘Mind My Brains, Darling!’ as a BodyLine series would never be allowed to be on TV. It’s completely bonkers to cut the heads off the actors – what were we thinking?!? If you are on the cutting edge, don’t let other people push you. And for goodness sake sure everyone knows what you are doing, and, if you can, why.

We’ll be recording our acceptance speech tonight, so look out for that 🙂 And we will do a YouTube release of our video ‘BodyLine: Four Reasons Why’ later today.

Thank you for everyone who has supported us. This is a group endeavour. It is very hard to create anything, to keep on going, and every single time you made time to send an email, tweet, vote or comment helped us plough on. Yes – this award is all your fault. Thank you!

6 Comments

Hanging out with Friends – Tonight!

videos, webseries

Efehan Elbi and Nathan FillionEfehan Elbi and some other guy

I’m not sure when I first met Efehan. It was Felicia Day’s fault, I do know that. We met on The Flog and early Guild forums, which spilled over to Twitter and everywhere else. Efehan is an amazing artist/animator/musician/creator and when I first saw his animation ‘So Then, Don’t Wait‘ I was transported. His recent work includes the cerebral webseries ‘Family Contact‘  and this video for Jed Whedon’s ‘Ancestors’:

After all this time we have never spoken, but tonight at 9 PM PST we are going to try a Hangout on Google+. You are very welcome to join in the fun! You can find me on Google+ here and Efehan is on Google+ here. Hope to see you!

In the meantime you might enjoy this video from Efehan – a different version of the ‘Mind My Brains, Darling!’ animated intro:

 

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