The Reel Deal with Movie Monster was an experiment in branding and content creation. The co-production with Brock LaBorde of Studio8 was fun, and I think a lot of great episodes came out of it, (including a few really bad ones), but what I'm proud of in retrospect is the branding.
We built a great website, fun art and graphics, and an amazing fan club fun pack.
This was my first real branding situation, and what I learned is this: You can't successfully brand something that you're not fully behind.
By the time we started the full-on brand explosion I was having doubts about this character, didn't like to wear the suit and makeup, and felt like the best creative work was already behind us. But we were deep into the journey at this point, and we thought we had something we could eventually sell or license. And we were starting to grow a fan base. It's like being pot committed in a poker hand. Most of our chips were on the table already, and there was still a chance we could win the hand...so why pull out now just because of a few doubts?
Even though we did pull the plug shortly after finishing our full-on brand efforts, I'm glad we kept going. Sometimes it's good to take something as far as you possibly can just to know that you're capable of seeing something through to completion. It's a good feeling to take something as far as it can go. Sometimes you're one of just a few who believe that what you're doing is great, but if you keep creating art you believe in, eventually others will believe as well.
But make sure you still believe in it first!
Here is the website, which I'm shocked is still live somehow: http://www.ilovemoviemonster.com/
Millions of thanks go out to my friends and collaborators who helped us throughout the series, especially these creative geniuses who made the Movie Monster branding a reality:
Brock was my producing partner (who also did the thankless job of editing every episode).
Jess was the art director, who now does amazing work for animal rescues.
Alice did the illustrations, and continues to make art that I love.
Tommy did the website, and what a wonderful job.
Matt wrote the blog posts, and today is a hilarious comedian with a very funny twitter account.