Countdown Entry #34
3:55 PM, Saturday, September 4th, 1999:
This is seriously NOT good.
Because of creative differences with me, ABOT Productions have decided to discontinue work on all 4tvs sets, and completely cut-off ties. This begs many questions and concerns. The first being: "What on EARTH could you have possibly done to piss them off ADAM?!?!" In order to fully explain this, you have to know a bit about our agreement.
Although I've paid them over $2000 for work done so far, it is WOEFULLY under what they would normally charge. 4tvs sets are incredibly render-intensive (time consuming and taxing for their computers) and would easily cost $2000 per 15 minute set at any normal rate. Let alone letting me borrow their camera from time to time, or making demo tapes for me. They have helped me because they believe in the product, and know damn well that if anything were to happen with 4tvs, they'd be my right hand company. Our entire relationship is based in this loyalty and because of this, their feelings about the product tend to have a little more weight than a normal production house. With that being said...
By the second day of shooting in MARCH, it was very apparent to me that comedy was the future of 4tvs. No matter how much I wanted to do serious music, the tendancy to laugh at 5 of the same guy onstage is just too great. In June when I completed what I felt to be the greatest sets so far, Parody 1 & 2, the rumblings began. Neither Adam nor Omar (the AB and OT of ABOT Productions), was really thrilled with the direction of 4tvs and wanted it to stay music oriented. They felt that bits like "Chest Hair" and "Screw You" cheapened the show. They also have the argument of all arguments: Champps. Those 2 sets are easily why I will never play there again.
I on the otherhand, am performing night after night for adults in bars and know what works. I have a very adult sensibility when it comes to comedy anyway - but more than that...the reactions to the "funny shit" are overwhelming. It's a no-brainer. No matter how COOL it is that I can pull off Eleanor Rigby, people remember "Sex with Andyman". Period. As well, the FUTURE POTENTIAL of 4tvs in comedy has no limits...from characters to full out interactive movies - WOW. Musically though, it'll get boring: QUICK. Well, I officially "broke the camel's back" on the last set...
"TL's set" is basically the top left tv being in a pissy mood and rantin'. A lot of dialogue, some funny songs and I incorporate a Blair Witch TVs parody in it. This is where the problem arose. TL mentions that he was astounded they never has sex in the movie. 2 guys lost in the woods with a girl, and there's no sex. He proceeds to do his version and there's a sound effect and camera shaking implying masturbation. That did it. Buh-bye.
Omar is a very religious person to begin with, and I deeply respect his convictions. He's turning away money in order to uphold his ethics. And it's not like I'm doin''s as little as "sexual innuendo" and he's drawing the line. We had a final meeting today, and it was like breaking up with a girlfriend. It felt horrible. Unfortunately there is no real grey area here. Had it just been this one bit, maybe I could've let it go...but this in my mind is just the beginning and incredibly tame. I see 4tvs in comedy clubs, and a "sexual innuendo" is nothing.
What I'm faced with now is quite daunting. I have to put together my own editing suite. The Media 100 card alone costs $3500 and I'm not even sure my current computer could handle it...but it has to be done. I need more material. I'm scrapin' by at these bars that want me to play 3-4 hours. I've already spent $1500 on a digital camera, and the 4tvs funds couldn't be lower. This is an INCREDIBLY expensive act, from the tvs to the computer that runs it all, to the trailer that houses it all, to the new car I'm leasing with a v6 engine to pull that trailer. It's dizzying. I have absolutely no idea how I'm gonna be able to pull this off...
...on the other hand if I do, then I'm free. I can create freely and as often as I like. I'm not beholden to anyone else's production schedules or anyone else's opinions of how 4tvs should be. This could be a great day in the long run. Right now, this is the biggest blow 4tvs has ever faced. In March I was standing in their offices seeing the first minute of the classy Eleanor Rigby with elation in my heart and 6 months later I'm storming out of it for a dick joke. (sigh)
Anyone want to lend me $5000?