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31/10/2010 19:27:54

RightURKen
RightURKen
Posts: 62
After looking at Muvizu, it's features and it's characters, I came up with an idea for a feature length movie that I might be able to pull off. I've been working on it a bit but very worried about the lack of a commercial license. Looking around the site all it says about a license is that it's handled on a "case by case basis"

I also read this interview-
http://myclone.wordpress.com/2010/07/16/the-myclone-interview-vince-ryan-of-muvizu/ Where I found this-

"The other good thing about this approach is that when some complete tosser asks for terms to license Muvizu for a project that we hate, we can just quote them something ridiculous and snigger as they go away in a huff. myClone: Sounds like you’re speaking from experience?
Vince: Yes, that has happened a couple of times already."

That doesn't sound very promising. And it's definitely not good business to randomly deny use of the product based on personal opinions of the project or the user. I certainly don't want to be judged that way. And of course, word will go around that you are not fair to deal with.

How does the "case by case basis" work? Do I have to make the film then submit it to be approved? I'm certainly not going to risk doing all that work with the risk it could be rejected. And if approved how much is it going to cost? Is there a set license fee or a percentage? The percentage idea doesn't sound good. I don't want to have to pay a cut over the coming years. Would I have to keep track of every dollar even 20 years from now and continuously send you some of it?

So how would this work? Should I even bother to keep working on my project? I would definitely perfer more straight forward and affordable options like Moviestorm and Iclone have instead of this "up in the air" thing where I have no idea what the situation might be.
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31/10/2010 22:04:45

pyrrho
pyrrho
Posts: 123
RightURKen wrote:
After looking at Muvizu, it's features and it's characters, I came up with an idea for a feature length movie ... very worried about the lack of a commercial license . Looking around the site all it says about a license is that it's handled on a "case by case basis"

I also read this interview-
http://myclone.wordpress.com/2010/07/16/the-myclone-interview-vince-ryan-of-muvizu/ Where I found this-

"... when some complete tosser asks for terms to license Muvizu for a project that we hate, we can just quote them something ridiculous and snigger as they go away in a huff. myClone: Sounds like you’re speaking from experience?
Vince: Yes, that has happened a couple of times already."

... it's definitely not good business to randomly deny use of the product based on personal opinions of the project or the user. I certainly don't want to be judged that way. And of course, word will go around that you are not fair to deal with.

How does the "case by case basis" work? Do I have to make the film then submit it to be approved? I'm certainly not going to risk doing all that work with the risk it could be rejected. And if approved how much is it going to cost? Is there a set license fee or a percentage? The percentage idea doesn't sound good. I don't want to have to pay a cut over the coming years. Would I have to keep track of every dollar even 20 years from now and continuously send you some of it?

... Should I even bother to keep working on my project? I would definitely perfer more straight forward and affordable options like Moviestorm and Iclone have instead of this "up in the air" thing where I have no idea what the situation might be.


Working things out on a case-by-case basis is sensible, as far as we're concerned. You may not know this, but we're fairly new and we're testing the water. Our model for revenue-sharing is based on Unreal's UDK, so it is a percentage of success - which seems fair to us. If one were to guess at a percentage, try 15% to 20% as a guideline; however, that's only a gambit. But even that would change if something became very successful - our cut would probably drop; we are not greedy.

What we are, though, is happy to collaborate with people who treat us fairly and recognise that our software really does enable people who wouldn't otherwise have a chance of doing so, outside the usual film industry machine, to create watchable 3D animated content. No risk to you, just a tax on any success. No outlay. Nothing up front.

And yes, as long as something was earning money with our IP and yours - which would always remain yours - there would be a split of revenues, with the lion's share going to you, the creator, and a percentage, probably diminishing with revenues earned, to us as having enabled it and retaining IP on our artwork and technology. Epic, as makers of Unreal Engine 3 which lies at the core of Muvizu would get a cut of our take, as agreed in our licence deal for the engine.

What's wrong with assessing business cases on individual merit?

You quoted an interview with myClone. It said, rightly, that some propositions had been rejected. This is not random. It is anything but random. We want Muvizu to be used for projects that we like. Here's the thing: you've agonised in the forums over a theoretical project, criticised us for what you perceive to be unfairness in wanting to deal with everything as an individual, unique case, but you haven't bothered to contact us and treat us as people with whom you may want to collaborate/co-operate/work with/swing/sass/do business.

You should try contacting us. We're not asking much, and we're not a public service. There is no right for you to use our kit commercially unless we can agree terms that are mutually satisfactory.

In your closing paragraph, you talk of more affordable options. More affordable than something that is free unless its success earns you money and you cede a cut to us? You've not even spoken to us. It's disengenuous to condemn us as unaffordable when you've no idea what terms may be discussed; and we're pretty creative and flexible.

But go ahead and use Moviestorm or iClone - they are both great products and there's some top-quality content out there created with them. Choose what you will. Choose what is best suited to your needs, and all three products have their own character, their own strengths and weaknesses, bonuses and limitations.

The most interesting question, to me, posed in your post was, "Should I even bother to keep working on my project?".

Taking a leaf from your book, and judging people before having had the courtesy to talk to them and see where they are coming from, I would answer: "No, don't bother." Nothing wrong with a reciprocal relationship, eh?

Oh, and "it" doesn't take the possessive. "It's" is a contraction of "it is". This is becoming something of a feature in these forums, perhaps there should be a Muvizu clip explaining it.
edited by pyrrho on 10/31/2010
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31/10/2010 23:42:41

Hermit
Hermit
Posts: 36
pyrrho wrote:
Oh, and "it" doesn't take the possessive. "It's" is a contraction of "it is". This is becoming something of a feature in these forums, perhaps there should be a Muvizu clip explaining it.


Its something I've thought about Stick Out Tongue

But RightURKen might have a valid point about the approval filter system for projects. Just because something might not meet with Muvizu's ideals doesn't mean that it should be dismissed. It's like opening the doors of creativity for all (which Muvizu does), but then stopping one or two from getting in. Such a policy can alienate and make Muvizu look bad.
Thing is, people will create nasty things with it, whether you want them to or not. It's the way some people are You just have to accept the bad with the good, the filth with the fragrant. You simply focus more on the fragrant, but still allow in the filth without pricing it out of the way. Although it would be funny if someone did approach with a project that Muvizu didn't like and you quoted them a 90% cut and they thought about it, then replied "Sounds fair!" The reaction on everyone's face at Muvizu would be priceless! LOL!

So with that in mind, it might be worth considering having a fixed and fair percentage for all (whether the projects are good or bad). A case of grin and bear it, really
edited by Hermit on 10/31/2010
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01/11/2010 00:12:25

pyrrho
pyrrho
Posts: 123
Nice one, Hermit, on the possessive side. :-)

But as for what is fair, what may or may not be dismissed by us as an interesting project - it's a two-way process. We'll work with people with whom we want to work. People can and do create what they want with Muvizu. That's the whole idea. But creating things on a commercial basis needs our consent. That is neither unfair nor unreasonable.

As I said earlier, we're not a public service - we're doing the best we can to make a little business out of this and, that being the case, we'll choose our partners based on whether we like the cut of their jib, and if they like the cut of ours.

Collaboration is not a dirty word. Consent, agreement, co-operation, creativity - these are all good things, too. So all we ask is that people talk to us.

As for you, I hope that your kit is working well. I don't know where you're based, but you're welcome to visit us in Glasgow and see what we do. We'll even take you out for a drink.
edited by pyrrho on 11/1/2010
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01/11/2010 07:38:09

ukBertyMuvizu mogulExperimental user
ukBerty
Posts: 976
Pyrrho, I think you’re being a bit harsh on RighrRUKen here.

He has a valid point. It appears from the interview quoted that projects have been effectively killed at birth by pricing them out of practicality based upon their premise or content.

OK, fair enough I suppose, but things may start out as a hobby and then suddenly go viral, creating a commercial possibility. At this point discussions would be had between the parties, but from what you and Vince have said here, you hold all the cards and can effectively take your ball home. I’m sure this is not the impression of your fledgling business you wish to leave.

Hermit is right – the wheat will rise to the top and the chaff will fall away, without the need for Muvizu to sift through it.

I think the forum is the ideal, er… forum to air these concerns and it’s best to get some of these ground rules out in the open rather than in a private discussion.

(I guess you’ll now want another 5% on that “Beware the Pie” T-shirt deal I’m working on?

Berty
edited by ukBerty on 11/1/2010
edited by ukBerty on 11/1/2010
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01/11/2010 08:05:43

pyrrho
pyrrho
Posts: 123
ukBerty wrote:
It appears from the interview quoted that projects have been effectively killed at birth by pricing them out of practicality based upon their premise or content. ...

(I guess you’ll now want another 5% on that “Beware the Pie” T-shirt deal I’m working on?



Hello, Berty -

We don't kill projects. We enable them. If someone wants to make a film, or write a book, or bake a pie (see what I'm trying to do there?), they can go ahead. There are plenty of materials out there to use that have nothing to do with us.

But if someone wants to use Muvizu commercially, then that, because of tech and artistic IP on our part and theirs, is a proposition on which both sides must agree. Would you really suggest that our artists and coders should have no say in how their work is used and by whom? Now that would be a bit harsh.

By the way, and to clear up any confusion, I am vince. I wrote to you via the Muvizu message thingy a week or so back but I've not had a reply yet. Come to think of it, I'm not sure that our message thingy works properly.

Finally, to serious business: Beware the Pie T-shirt? I'll send you a Muvizu one if you send me one of yours. Can't wait to see the next episode, by the way.
edited by pyrrho on 11/1/2010
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01/11/2010 08:40:22

pyrrho
pyrrho
Posts: 123
OK, it's a Monday morning after the night before. I've just been chatting to our lead developer, who says that there is confusion about what one may or may not do with Muvizu and that users are quite right to raise concerns along the line of yours. This would be my fault, so sorry for that.

Our model is this: if you make something with our software and earn money from it, we insist on getting a percentage - and let's say 20% - of revenues. We would, however, be likely to reduce that for something that turned into a global franchise. Also, we'd probably not come knocking on your door at 2am to claim a cut of something that had earned you only £1.50.

Last week, I asked a bloke who works for us (he was a lawyer in a previous life and has had a lot of commercial involvement with film and TV production deals) to take a look at our terms and thrash out something that's a lot clearer and that everyone can easily understand. I hope to get something concrete published soon.

In the meantime, get in touch if you want to make the next Pingu, Family Guy or Monkey Dust. We'd be interested, and probably encouraging and enthusiastic, but above all we'd be human and we'd be fair. I think that this is the key point here. You've no reason to believe that we're as decent as we say so, sadly, we'll have to be a lot more thorough in spelling out our terms rather than working it out on a person-to-person basis. We need to be less human and more corporate.

This is a shame in some ways, especially on a Monday morning :-(
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01/11/2010 17:02:37

ukBertyMuvizu mogulExperimental user
ukBerty
Posts: 976
pyrrho,

Thanks for your replies and reflection on this post.

Please re-send the message from a couple of weeks a go since I didn't get it.

Thanks

Berty
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01/11/2010 18:36:35

pyrrho
pyrrho
Posts: 123
ukBerty wrote:
pyrrho,

Thanks for your replies and reflection on this post.

Please re-send the message from a couple of weeks a go since I didn't get it.

Thanks

Berty



Hello again, and you can call me vince if it helps you to relax. The message isn't in my sent box so I figure that we have a few problems. All it was was to ask you to get in touch, and it wasn't even for any specific reason except that Beware of the Pie rocked so I wanted to touch base. If you don't mind me having your email address, would you ping contact@muvizu.com and I'll get back to you via my address, which I don't mind giving out I just hate the spam I get if I ever put it on line.
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01/11/2010 20:14:22

RightURKen
RightURKen
Posts: 62
pyrrho wrote:
Oh, and "it" doesn't take the possessive. "It's" is a contraction of "it is". This is becoming something of a feature in these forums, perhaps there should be a Muvizu clip explaining it.
edited by pyrrho on 10/31/2010


I know "It's" means "It is" that's the way I intended it. Read the sentence again. Perhaps a Muvizu clip explaining proper manners and professionalism may be something you should consider because getting sarcastic is certainly unprofessional and is, in fact, childish.

I asked the question "Should I bother" in the hopes of a professional response and that my fears would be abated and I would be encouraged to move forward with my project. Far from it seems to be the case. The situation is even worse than I feared.

You want 20 percent? That's ridiculous. It's the amount a financial investor might be able to expect, it's not what's paid for use of a piece of software. With an even mildly successful DVD movie that would mean paying you thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars. Even the highest end professional software doesn't cost that much. Renderman, the software Pixar developed and uses, sells in it's full commercial form for $3,500. Sorry, but your software is not in that league in any way. I mentioned MovieStorm and IClone because that's the league you are in. They cost a couple of hundred to use. That, or even a little more might be a fair fee to pay to you. But thousands? No.

And 20 percent of which monies? If I made this movie I would have to get a professional distributor. So from where would the percentage be taken? From "first dollar" - what the distributor gets? Or from what I would receive from the distributor? Considering that what I would receive from the distributor as the filmmaker isn't much more than 20 percent of total dollars made there doesn't look like there would be much left over for me as the creative person who actually made the movie.

You mention some T.V. series, obviously hopeful that your software will be used for the next big hit. But who's going to use it for that? At best it might be used for a cheap pilot to sell the series, but who's going to keep using software that demands a constant percentage payout? Once picked up for a T.V. series they would have access to the high end software that doesn't demand a percentage.

I just don't see how this business model you've come up with is going to work. Maybe it already is and the money is pouring in? Maybe that's happening but I doubt it. So far the output I'm seeing is Youtube videos full of poop jokes. If this is raking in the money or there's other money makers out there I don't know about then I stand corrected.

Now if you have other options such as a commercial license available for a one time flat (and reasonable) fee, email me. If the price is fair I will be happy to pay it.

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01/11/2010 21:24:21

mystoMuvizu mogulExperimental user
mysto
Posts: 471
Do you have an example or a "sneak preview" of your Muvizu project? I would like to see it and I'm sure there are other people that would like to see it as well.
edited by mysto on 11/1/2010
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01/11/2010 23:17:38

Hermit
Hermit
Posts: 36
I'd like to see it too, because it sounds amazing by the way he's being possessive of it!EEK!

20% is a good starting point for what is being given, and pyrrho has said that this is negotiable and could be on a sliding scale over time, and he's said that he's looking to clarify it to avoid any future confusion

If you had to employ modellers, texturers, animators, light riggers, bone riggers, scene riggers (yep, there are are myriad of specific disciplines in 3D production these days) it would burn a hole in even the most substantial bank balance, and that's not including the price of the software and hardware needed. Yes, you could use Moviestorm or iClone, although I find them to be a little too above their station, if you see what I mean. They're good for producing videogame graphic style animations, but they're not professional enough to produce decent animations. Muvizu may be in the same league as them, but what I think they've cleverly done is create the cartoon style in their models and animation sets to get around this, so in it's own way it encourages you to produce something comedic - which I think is good. I could probably do that myself with Blender, Animation Master, C4D, or Max (although I haven't used Max in years) but that would take ages. Muvizu is a convenient shortcut that gets ideas down quickly. So 20% is quite fair.

If you wanted to produce something more professional, then you could use and old copy of Poser, along with an old copy of Bryce and Daz Studio (which all should be available free from somewhere - usually on the coverdiscs of 3D World or 3D Artist) But then, they still require alot of work to be done, and those apps can be resource hungry - especially in rendering!

Which reminds me, Renderman is a renderer, used with various 3D apps. It's not a standalone 3D modelling and animation app. And don't worry about pyrrho's tone. I quickly understood it. He's got some good comebacks, which I can appreciate even if no-one else does LOL!
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01/11/2010 23:28:43

mystoMuvizu mogulExperimental user
mysto
Posts: 471
Hermit wrote:
I'd like to see it too, because it sounds amazing by the way he's being possessive of it!EEK!

20% is a good starting point for what is being given, and pyrrho has said that this is negotiable and could be on a sliding scale over time, and he's said that he's looking to clarify it to avoid any future confusion

If you had to employ modellers, texturers, animators, light riggers, bone riggers, scene riggers (yep, there are are myriad of specific disciplines in 3D production these days) it would burn a hole in even the most substantial bank balance, and that's not including the price of the software and hardware needed. Yes, you could use Moviestorm or iClone, although I find them to be a little too above their station, if you see what I mean. They're good for producing videogame graphic style animations, but they're not professional enough to produce decent animations. Muvizu may be in the same league as them, but what I think they've cleverly done is create the cartoon style in their models and animation sets to get around this, so in it's own way it encourages you to produce something comedic - which I think is good. I could probably do that myself with Blender, Animation Master, C4D, or Max (although I haven't used Max in years) but that would take ages. Muvizu is a convenient shortcut that gets ideas down quickly. So 20% is quite fair.

If you wanted to produce something more professional, then you could use and old copy of Poser, along with an old copy of Bryce and Daz Studio (which all should be available free from somewhere - usually on the coverdiscs of 3D World or 3D Artist) But then, they still require alot of work to be done, and those apps can be resource hungry - especially in rendering!

Which reminds me, Renderman is a renderer, used with various 3D apps. It's not a standalone 3D modelling and animation app. And don't worry about pyrrho's tone. I quickly understood it. He's got some good comebacks, which I can appreciate even if no-one else does LOL!




Well said.
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02/11/2010 09:11:49

pyrrho
pyrrho
Posts: 123
As I mentioned previously, we have a lawyer well versed in film and TV deals to provide more clarity for users and he is working on our terms of use this week. I received an amended draft of general terms yesterday evening.

When these are signed off and published, an announcement will be made. I suggest that you read them and then perhaps email us using the address given for commercial enquiries should you so wish.
edited by pyrrho on 11/2/2010
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02/11/2010 09:25:28

pyrrho
pyrrho
Posts: 123
Hermit wrote:
And don't worry about pyrrho's tone. I quickly understood it. He's got some good comebacks, which I can appreciate even if no-one else does LOL!


Thanks for that, I developed my tone during hostage negotiations and talking to would-be jumpers. Swift resolutions are a speciality, but I should work on the outcome. I'm thinking of joining the Samaritans, too.

Actually, it comes from more than 20 years of working in newsrooms. I miss the banter, I suppose - not to mention the widespread use of dictionaries ;-)
edited by pyrrho on 11/2/2010
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05/11/2010 09:53:14

pyrrho
pyrrho
Posts: 123
We have updated our terms of use and commercial enquiries pages. We hope that this helps anyone who was having trouble understanding the previous wording and would, again, advise such people to email us regarding commerical enquiries.
edited by pyrrho on 11/5/2010
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