THE WALLET Comedy Series
What if you found a wallet that was empty, except that when you saw something you really needed to buy, the exact amount of money it cost appeared in the wallet? And what if that wallet only gave you money when it thought you needed it?
That's the kind of wallet the characters in the series find. Each episode tells the story of a different person who finds the wallet. The fun comes when they fumble through learning to use its power to make their lives better.
It's easy to see that the wallet concept is rich with comedic opportunities and deep with emotions and philosophical notions to explore. Our little financial fantasy makes it possible to create dozens of episodes driven by a wide variety of characters with their own wants, needs, and unique money problems who radically change their lives by finding the wallet and exploring its mysteries.
Though the first episodes take place in the present-day America, the wallet concept can be adapted to for any place, culture, or time where wallets are used.
We intend to develop episodes that each run about 20 minutes. Though each episode will stands on it own, they will be tied together by the perennial star, the wallet and the subject: money and the lack thereof. It is a subject that interests most people who work for a living and it never gets old. We think hard working adults and teens will want to see how each character reacts to finding the wallet and imagine what they'd do with such a wallet.
In the United States, there are roughly 120,000,000 hardworking adults and teens. Each month a certain percentage of them watch episodic comedies online. The monthly average number of viewers of the top five online episodic comedies is about 8,800,000. Even four percent of that number, i.e., 352,000, is a large number of viewers.
If each view of the initial 10 minute episode yields $0.70 of revenue, that works out to $246,400. The short, which includes music and a bit of animation, was made for about $12,000. That's would be a pretty good return on investment.
Besides demonstrating the concept, tone, and production values of a typical episode, the 10 minute short helped us work out a typical budget for a 20 minute episode. Though it was a small, low budget production, the short had all of the pieces of standard production.
There were three principle actors, the director-producer, executive producer, and a small crew of dedicated camera, sound, lighting, and rigging professionals. They, and the use of their equipment, were paid for at market rates. The actors agreed to work for SAG-AFTRA minimum wage, plus overtime and transportation costs. The craft services and props were paid for at market prices. Other work and items, including the script, storyboards, shot list, and setup list were provided by Splashtastic Productions.
The short proves the concept and demonstrates the quality of the product that can be produced in our Kirkland, Washington location with local staffing. It is also possible, and even desirable, to produce episodes in other locations, to provide a wider variety of settings and character types.
While casting and producing the prototype, we learned that THE WALLET script and concept attracts talented, experienced, and reliable actors and crew members from all over the United States. For example, 250 actors submitted their resumes, headshots, and reels for the role of Gina.
The short also helped us estimate the costs for the production of a typical 20 minute episode with a five day shooting schedule. If we pay market rates for everyone involved in the production and for equipment rentals and craft services, the production cost is $178,900. That is $67,500 less than the estimated revenue from the 10 minute short.
Hence, it appears possible to garner enough revenue from selling views of the short to recoup the cost of the short and finance the next episode. We can then sell views for the short and the next episode to finance the production of another episode. As each following episode is produced and posted online for viewing, we add another tributary to our revenue stream.
So, you could say that selling views of the 10 minute short is our crowdfunding campaign. Unlike traditional crowdfunding, instead of asking viewers to donate tens or hundreds of dollars for a movie that doesn't exist, they pay to see a well produced finished movie.