What I learned from Bill Maher, Jon Stewart and John Oliver About Building a Studio
Coming up with efficient, repeatable strategies to create high-quality, high-value content, training, marketing and sales videos can be very challenging. Whether you're a rank beginner on a budget, an advanced marketer or a wealthy multinational corporate enterprise, everyone I've met is looking for a way to get their message and content produced and distributed quickly, easily and affordably.
I've been producing video and audio content since 1985 and my dream for years was to build a studio that could be used to produced online TV programs, products, marketing content and just have fun.
The current “Digital Cafe” studio is in it's 5th iteration. I don't watch TV – but I observe lots of programs. Specifically, I modeled the look of the “Real Time with Bill Maher” set, “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart”, “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” and countless TV talk shows, news sets to build the core sets. I've combined that with everything I've learned after doing hundreds of “interactive online television livecasts.”
My goal has been to build a studio that rivals that of a broadcast news television studio, with multiple sets, lots of cameras, have it capable of running with 1-2 engineer/producer/operators (most studios require 5 or more) and allow me and my guests to interact live with thousands or even tens of thousands of people.
The great news is it works. Really well.
Doing live, interactive online TV is one of my passions – it's also the most fun and lucrative part of my business. It's my opinion that livecasts represent the best way to rapidly create content, train, market and sell.
The studio has hosted many celebrities, mentors and friends of mine including Tony Robbins, Paula Abdul, actor Richard Dreyfuss, Tim Ferriss, JJ Virgin, John Assaraf, Joe Polish, Pam Hendrickson, Chalene Johnson and hundreds of our customers and clients who have participated in live or recorded productions.
The studio in many incarnations and iterations has been responsible for producing over 20 products, hundreds of livecasts that have made tens of millions of dollars in revenue.
That's why I produced this short video to guide you through the studio, show you the sets, the inner workings, the philosophy behind building it and how it's used.
Watch the video and let me know what you think! And please share this post on the social networks too!
Frequently Asked Questions about Digital Cafe:
Q: I'm going to be in San Diego…can I drop by and see your studio?
A: As much as I'd like to say “yes”, it just isn't possible. It's not uncommon for us to be shooting content 2-3 solid days per week or doing an all-day livecast that requires days of preparation and setup. If we aren't prepping, we're shooting!
Sometimes during our “Certification” programs, we bring our customers through the studio. We do certification training for our Traffic Geyser, Instant Customer, The Top Gun Consulting Toolkit, Publish and Profit and Make Market Launch IT programs.
Q: Can I get a detailed list of all the equipment you have in the studio?
A: It's included with the Traffic Geyser 2.0 training course. It's a detailed “Video Equipment Buyer's Guide”.
Q: How much do you charge to rent your studio?
A: My team is so busy doing our own productions that we don't have the resources or producers on staff to manage outside projects. Running a rental studio or agency isn't something I aspire to or am interested in. I'd love to find someone with experience running a studio who could come in and manage clients, staff and do that business for me! Mail me your resume if you have 5+ years running a profitable studio or producing shows and we'll talk!
Q: How much did you spend building your studio?
A: Not including my team or operational expenses, the hardware, computers, cameras, switchers, sets, truss, lights, microphones, cables, configuration and setup is about $500,000.
Please post your comments questions below! And of course, please share this on the social networks!
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