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Revver, Nuns, Porn Stars, Dick Cheney & Sponsored Instant Video Publishing on the Web

By Mike Browne

I'm watching the Olympics and it is interrupted by news of Dick Cheney shooting his hunting buddy with a shotgun. As a cartoonist you HAVE to make fun of the situation. I know Harry got shot, but misfortune makes for great comedy. Hopefully he recovers from his injuries soon. 

Pre-internet, if you didn't have a gig with a newspaper, getting your political art published was nearly impossible. I decided to use the Dick Cheney incident as an example of how fast a :30 second animation could be produced and distributed. As a one man animation team, you write quickly and slam out your artwork. I guess I'll call it the "shotgun approach". Oh man, I suck!  Actually, what I am suggesting is a form of self-syndication.

This story reminds me of Jayson Williams, the pro basketball player shooting his limo driver. Mr. Christofi would have fared better at Dick Cheney's house, Jayson is a better shot. Part of making fun of a bad situation is that it reminds other people to not repeat someone else's mistake. Anyone picking up a shotgun now is thinking safety.


I decided to start the mini movie with Dick Cheney dressed as Elmer Fudd. He would be wook'in for a lawyer. I'd morph him into a clown that shoots his hunting partner before laughing like an evil madman. It ends with a simple message...Dick hurts! My goal was to complete the animation in two days. I'd borrow from previous animations to fill in the spaces. 

In past years, creating animation was limited to studios and years of dedication. I decided to go the comic strip route seeking syndication in the newspapers. Tough move. Even if you are talented, getting big time syndication is very difficult. What I am proposing is a 2006 version of self-syndication. Here is a little history.

In 8th grade, I drew a picture of a nun with a crooked finger threatening a girl in my class. She purposely had thrown a softball the day before that hit me in the groin. The girl, not the nun. I drew a picture of a really ugly, prune wrinkled sister threatening the girl with a  bony finger. The caption read, "Young lady, you look nearly as ugly as I did at your age!". I passed it around the class eventually landing in the hands of Bobby Dornan. Yes, the son of the outspoken Republican from Orange County, California Robert K Dornan.(best buddy to Rush Limbaugh) He looked at me, winked and started laughing really loud with the intention of getting me busted. I squirmed, he laughed. . .busted! I was brought up to the front of the class, told I was drawing pornography and was suspended indefinitely. Is that cool or what? But something went wrong here, I didn't get paid. . .I got kicked out. What's funny is the girl became a future porn star. True story.

When the Michael Jackson trial was coming out, my best idea was to start a website, "MJonTrial.com" and make fun of him. Selling T-shirts on the site would make me money. Very difficult. I really just wanted to do the "nun method," pass it around and bust people up, but at the end get paid. Since the MJ trial, technology has changed. 

Now there is a service called Revver. This is a new service, it's only been out a few months. It is still tagged as beta, but it is usable. They are promising serious upgrades in the near future. What you do is upload your videos similar to a CafePress or Zazzle for T-Shirts. 30 seconds to a minute shows are the most popular. They display your work, you can post on your own website or you can "send to a friend" easily. After they play, a short ad pops up at the end.  If your audience clicks on the advertising, the creator and syndicators make money. People are uploading some funny stuff. Things like "The Dildo Song" are hilarious, but much of the content is what you would expect, similar to "America's Funniest Videos." You can make money syndicating your movies or distributing others.  People are encouraged to grab the content from Revver, they even provide the HTML. Your show is "tagged" when you upload. You are paid no matter where it is displayed. Self-syndication without  the need of a server. Not bad. 

I'm going to go a step further. I have a number of animations that I have created over the years. DinkyTV.com would now become a free service using Revver to distribute mini movies and animated greetings. I retooled the DinkyTV.com website using the thumbnails provided by Revver. They are also coded and make it easy to create a menu page. In a short time I have launched a store with more than 40 greetings and animated mini-movies. The nice thing about sending a Revver-based message is that you don't have to register or join a club. None of that credit card stuff either. Tip the author by clicking on the ad. Easy.    http://revver.com/video/13771/5790

So today's DinkyMovie is "Dick Hurts ", a short story about a down and out V.P. losing his mind while shooting at some quail.  Now that I think about it, he should have done a "Jed Clampet" and shot at the ground. It's safer and more profitable. You know these guys and their oil.  Oh boy, I feel another animation coming.


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Mike Browne's art is unique both in style and approach. He is a traditional airbrush artist that went digital over 10 years ago. His characters and animations have appeared in movies, television, infomercials, DVD's and the internet using Flash like a flip-book. Today he sees the mobile phone as the new frontier for animated content.

Click here to email him.

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