Is This The Year Of The Dragon?
By Cobra Momiji
It’s 2014 and something has come to Second Life — something BIG, breathing fire and ready to spread its wings onto avatar worlds everywhere just as its doing in the physical world. What is this force making its presence known here first via Nu Vibez Magazine? Well it’s an IMOOGI, but what is an IMOOGI you ask, for the answer to that question (and the others that will naturally follow) we have with us the CEO of IMOOGI TV, Tracy Renee.
NVM: Tracy thanks for sitting down with us for this exclusive interview.
TR: I’m thrilled to be here, thank you for having me!
NVM: The first thing we should cover Tracy is what exactly is an IMOOGI, and how does that relate to IMOOGI TV?
TR: Oh this is my favorite story. An IMOOGI is something very unique out of Korean mythology, a type of dragon. When born, the imoogi, while very large, resembles a king cobra more than a dragon. It has no arms or legs, no wings, no spade tail, nor fins or any other part that would make it obvious to be a dragon. In the lore, during an imoogi’s first 1,000 years it must learn and do honorable, good things to nurture and grow spiritually — not just physically. Always an imoogi must seek to improve upon itself and as it achieves these goals, its missing dragon parts develop and grow. In the end, an imoogi will resemble what is commonly perceived as a dragon, fire (or other types) breath and all.
Taking the connotations from that lore, on iMoogi.tv, our creators are just like an imoogi of lore in that they start out as one thing and through the interaction, voting and input of our viewers and our industry professionals, they learn and grow into something much more than where they began.
NVM: So really IMOOGI TV gives up-and-coming content creators a chance to be an evolving IMOOGI as well?
TR: Yes, definitely. iMoogi is a test marketing and fan-base generation solution for creators, just as much as it is an online television or entertainment network for our viewers. There are two sides to what makes iMoogi what it is. For a creator’s content to make it in the world, especially if the final destination is the big screen, distributors want to see that you have an established fan-base in order to gauge how well the property will do at the box office. Without one, it will be very unlikely they’ll take a second glance. It’s the primary reason you find nothing but remakes of past successes and comic book hero’s coming to life these days.
NVM: I noticed something on the IMOOGI TV site called the Hatchery what’s that all about?
TR: I’m glad you did notice that Cobra. The Hatchery is where new creators can upload their brand new concepts and works, not requiring iMoogi approval, to compete for viewership and ratings. When a property climbs to the top of the ratings, we award them their first iMoogi part so to speak, and move them up to their own channel on iMoogi.tv prime time. When this happens, the creator partakes in a share of the revenues generated from advertising on their property and has the opportunity to earn other iMoogi incentives and support which includes funding under the right circumstances.
NVM: So we can gather that IMOOGI TV plans on being an online Television network like Netflix or Hulu that showcases the work of unknown film makers, machinimists, and more that could one day be the Peter Jacksons Stephen Spielberg’s of tomorrow.
TR: Technically yes, though there are some big differences still, from what we’re doing to what they do. We are not trying to compete in their space as much as create our own niche in order to best fulfill the needs of the market we know so well, a market that just may be what Netflix or Hulu might consider a bit too low on the totem pole for them. But with our help, our creators will move up those rungs swiftly!
NVM: However unlike either Netflix or Hulu, IMOOGI TV has a very unique feature that really involves the viewers in a new way they have never been involved before. Please explain the interactive new role the viewer’s play in IMOOGI TV.
TR: Fans, or viewers, know what they like, they know how to discern what is good from bad, and even if it’s bad, they tend to still find things in a property that makes it worthy of going viral. We see it all the time on YouTube. They are highly intelligent beings with valuable insights and opinions and we want to capture that, inviting them to be a part of taking what they like to watch and being a part of turning it into tomorrow’s huge block-buster. We have even more interactive solutions on the back burner for later this year. We strongly believe that interactivity is the future of entertainment!
NVM: Viewer programmed television sounds amazing but it also sounds challenging. What happens when the public wants a show or web series the critics and the industry considers being crap?
TR: Honestly, if the fan-base is large enough, for whatever reason, in the end the ability to earn revenue from a property will drive it’s future success, to spite the “professional” critic’s and their opinions. How often have you seen A-list movie reviews that shredded the work, yet the box office far exceeded the producer’s greatest expectations? While the professional’s opinions are very important and highly valued, in the end, it’s the audience that decides what it is they want.
NVM: Another unique aspect of IMOOGI TV for those using it to get exposure for their careers launched is your media partner program. Please tell us how that works.
TR: There are so many talented people out there, they have ideas, they have properties, they have the means to create, but they don’t have the education, connections or wherewithal to turn this creativity into a career.
To become a Media Partner with iMoogi.tv, a creator’s property has moved up from The Hatchery to iMoogi.tv prime. That’s step one. Once there, the iMoogi team goes to work on bringing quality advertising opportunities, of many kinds (not just commercials or static ads), to the creator’s channel. When this happens, that creator is earning a large portion of those advertising dollars! Further, it is written into our business plan that a percentage of the overall iMoogi profits is reserved for reinvesting not only into marketing of the network to keep our viewership growing but into sponsorship programs from which our creators can benefit.
We are firm believers in “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life,” and we work hard to help our creator’s enjoy that mantra as well!
NVM: Now will IMOOGI take a percentage of ownership in any projects that get picked up or even privately funded as a result of the work done by IMOOGI TV to promote that work?
TR: Ownership? NO. We don’t want to take a property away from its creator. We were founded by creators of content for creators of content after all.
NVM: Can you elaborate on what it means to have IMOOGI TV promoting your work once you are voted from Hatchery to featured content on the network?
TR: Well, in the Hatchery it’s all about what people discover on their own, but once you make it to iMoogi.tv prime, your works and your name become part of the iMoogi.tv mainstream marketing campaign. We don’t just market iMoogi.TV, we market the properties featured on it and will incorporate these works into our scheduled Live-stream programming, negotiate advertisers for the creator’s channel and share that revenue with the creator. It’s all about helping these magnificent artists to earn a living doing what they love to do … what they are best at!
NVM: From checking out the site I see you already have some well-established entertainment contributors like Rob Feldman, creator of Earworm Media and the web sensation Dr. Shroud. Can you tell us more about Rob and how he came to IMOOGI TV?
TR: I met Rob at a real world gathering of content creators. He’s been in the industry for a long time and has ties to one of the leading horror magazines out there, Fangoria, and has been welcomed proudly to the studios of well-known animators such as the creators of Cartoon Network’s “The Fairly Odd Parents.” Not to mention that his property, Dr. Shroud, is on the lips of actors such as Nicholas Cage. Nick himself has expressed to Rob on numerous occasions, his desire to portray Dr. Shroud. Yet still a fair deal with Hollywood remains difficult to achieve.
Right now, Rob is actually working on turning Shroud from a horror cartoon to a live-action series modeled after 70’s B-movies. There has even been talk of one of the large internet TV networks picking the show up and yet, he was very excited when he learned about iMoogi and the concepts that created this network. It was a very quick “YES!” when I asked him if he’d bring Dr. Shroud to our viewers, and I hear tell when he has more on the Live Action version, our viewers may just be the first to see it anywhere!
NVM: IMOOGI TV is also showcasing the work of well-known Machinima content creators Pooky Amsterdam of Pooky Media, and Draxtor Despres of the now very popular Flufee webisodes correct?
TR: Yes, it was a wonderful day when Pooky and Drax moved in. The Flufee series is adorable and it’s quite an accomplishment that they were able to make it take off the way they did, resulting in a huge RL game deal (as I understand it) for the creators of the Flufee avatar in Second Life. Kudos to them, we cannot wait to see what’s next. We’re working on getting their Sci-Fi series moved in, but they are so swamped right now with the current season, we’ll just have to wait a little longer I suppose.
NVM: Oh and we also got wind of efforts behind the scenes to get the acclaimed work of Tony Davis (of Star Wars fame for creating R2D2) and Machinima pro Chantel Harvey. Can you confirm that?
TR: Yes, that is a definite confirmation Cobra. Chantal and Tony will be moving into their own iMoogi.TV channel very soon now! Fans can expect to find these amazing creators rocking the pages of iMoogi very early in 2014!
NVM: Well that’s all very cool news which leads us to our final question. With such a big 2013 under your belt, what does IMOOGI TV have planned for 2014 and do you think 2014 will be the year of the dragon?
TR: Where 2013 witnessed the birth of iMoogi, 2014 will welcome the first stage of growth. We will be sprouting wings and igniting the screen with some of the best Indie content available from machinimists, animators, and movie-makers — even recorded live performances. Yes Cobra, I would have to say this is definitely the Year of the Dragon!
NVM: Thanks Tracy for talking with us and as they say in the movie business, everyone that’s a wrap!!