I would like to deeply apologize for having not even once updated my Patreon with info and news about my career since I started it. This is for many reasons, some of them actually understandable, but the most significant one is that I was incredibly busy trying to plan for what you're about to read, while also spinning the many plates of a day job, depression, a divorce, and a health crisis, all at once.
Things are better. Like 10000 times better. So much better!
I saved my Shovel Knight money, all of it, and invested it entirely in closing, renovating, staffing, and reopening the recording studio where I wrote Shovel Knight's music, as an original media production playground for me and my friends and anyone who's passing through town.
I'm now a 50% owner with my best bud and mixing cohort, Robbie. He mixed Big Bad Bosses - Power Overwhelming, Double Dragon Neon, and The Impresario, and most of my other music that sounds "legit", and is a hilarious and equally ambitious gamer nerd, who just happens to be awesome at mixing, building construction projects, HVAC, and Die Hard quotes. He has run the studio as a commercial small-scale project studio for many years, since his father before him, with a dream of living off original projects someday. Now, we're closing it to the public, and reinventing it as Command Studios, Home of Mint Potion Productions.
Also, Dale North is coming. For good, if possible. To work with me every day as my composing and songwriting partner!
I'm structuring my business for equal sharing of all profits among 5 founders, as a full co-op LLC similar to Yacht Club Games; if we succeed financially, nobody feels left behind because we all get paid the same, with bonuses for success. Also, whenever we green-light and produce pitches with outside people, when we sell music or merchandise that involves them, we will split money straight down the middle. Keep it simple and honest.
Giving back is a huge goal of mine, and as covered below, for one day a week, we'll pledge the income from new subscribers to a foundation for music education. Hopefully this will be both good outreach for us, and excellent news for kids whose schools SUCK. I'm tired of waiting for the educational system to catch up to the technology offered by streaming video, so music teachers, PLEASE use the resources I'm about to provide, and adults who want to learn the first thing about understanding music, you're all welcome, and I'll start slow. Nobody's too dumb to learn about chords, harmonies, scales..
From today onward, all of my income from musical activities will be poured into my company, and I will draw a salary, and so will several of my best friends and a small team of fairly paid freelance creative masterminds, who will help me produce original albums and music videos, an entire original network of Twitch streaming content (both gaming and creative/educational shows, as well as original comedy and improv), YouTube videos, and original independent games. I can't do this all by myself, not even close, but with a team of skilled audio, video, and business people, we're going to try to break into new forms of entertainment and strike big deals fast.
We are leasing a very affordable 4,000 square foot studio complex in Valencia, CA (near Six Flags Magic Mountain), which we are currently stuffing with Mac Pros, 4K monitors, game consoles, gigantic TVs, projectors, green screens, cameras, new ergonomic furniture, speakers, lights, and totally renovated paint, floors, and fixtures. We already have a fully working, commercial-grade studio kitchen with track lighting (originally built for "action cooking photography" which is apparently a huge thing), as well as a massive brand new composition lair custom built for me in a custom shape, decked out with the best we can afford in music equipment and soundproofing. This is my new desk, for example.Just a sample picture, not my actual desk, but that's the model of desk I'll be working at in a few weeks.
We will be streaming 6-7 nights a week, with entirely original shows, random concept pilots, and other ephemera that you'll have to watch to believe -- but if you miss a show, don't worry, we'll have On-demand video and YouTube highlight reels too. Or you can buy it on a custom-engraved thumb drive at any time.
We'll also be offering live classes to the local and streaming communities -- anyone in LA who signs up and snags a spot in time will be invited to our studio for free live streaming / archived group lessons in drums, music theory, mixing, singing, or even VR technology. Whoever is willing to volunteer can come in and do lessons! All ages are welcome, if any of you are out in LA and want to learn something. If not, you can watch online in 360 degree 3D VR video!*
...Or regular video!
We plan to go live in the next few months. No final timeline yet, but we're shooting for 2-3 months before we're fully renovated and able to start ironing out the kinks in weekly stream production, and we'll ease into the full scope of this, and not bite off more than we can chew at once.
This is my job now. You all helped it happen. THANK YOU.
A small sampling of shows or projects that my friends have already agreed to write / produce / star in with me:
- Watch us develop Jake's successful Kickstarter VR audiovisual project [NUREN] The New Renaissance LIVE twice a week, on a 4-way split-screen between 2 artists, a programmer, and a composer/songwriter team. Each can "grab" the full screen to show you neat things, and we are going full-speed with tight and seasoned developer communication, so you learn several disciplines at once from real pros!
- I will become the Bill Nye / Alton Brown / Neil DeGrasse Tyson / Dan Carlin of music, and I will teach you basic music theory, and do various single-serving, single-topic, weekly or monthly fascinating shows about music history and appreciation. From complete beginners to Ph.Ds, there will be topics we can all enjoy, and lots of guest teachers!
- Cooking shows (obviously) of several different revolutionary and hilarious types, YES, including a full-on Looney Tunes musical with singing, DUH.
- Watch us work basically whenever anyone's in the office
- All filming sets are designed to be fully audience-interactable, using dozens of small home-automation, "Internet of things" toys, and IFTTT enabled devices that viewers can toggle and adjust during shows, allowing people to randomly troll us by toggling lights, fans, and other silly things on camera.
- Watch us write, produce, and score the "big" shows on the network in a multi-camera "reality show" format, except with no conflict or losers (except me) but we can still have the dramatic cymbal sounds
- Sit on the couch next to several asshole CG muppets playing video games on a huge bigscreen TV in a virtual living room or sports stadium on your VR visor, or just watch a regular 3D CG realtime puppet show comedy gaming stream on Twitch KNOWING it's being simulcast in VR, because we live in the future
- The music team takes turns ducking out of a gaming stream to write, record, mix, and master an original song while the couch crew holds it down with a speedrun or Let's Play. We then sell it at the end of the 6 hour weekly stream to make money to keep the studio running, with a thermometer on the "rent" number. The audience is in on the joke, but has no idea what's going on until the end, since the Picture-in-Picture view of the music team taking turns working is SILENT, and you see all kinds of chaos happening, but once you listen to the finished song, it all suddenly makes sense and you realize what all just happened in 6 hours.
- Famous comedians from all over LA will be unable to resist the lure of our studio when they find out the aforementioned puppet-show couch has 3 seats, and that all new subscribers we get that day go permanently toward an arts foundation I am establishing for this purpose!
- Nugget will be on camera A LOT but my room is soundproof as hell, so he won't have much to bark at. And in case he does I'll just use a really aggressive peak limiter.
These are just a few of the dozen or so shows and projects we're launching, with a team of maybe a dozen people and a dedicated, inexpensively leased studio whose buildout and usage we control. Things are moving fast, and plans are in order for me to put Patreon money to good use, so I'm going to make a bunch of posts with progress, milestones, and ways you can get involved from the start.
Love all of you, and thanks once again for being PATRONS OF THE ARTS!
Music Director, Mint Potion Productions