Ron Valderrama is the founder of Stream Now TV, which is a new video platform; here is a link to the website:
Q: What inspired you to start Stream Now TV?
A: I was starting to meet with some filmmakers who kept asking me to get involved with projects they were working on. I decided to start working with an amazing filmmaker named Michael Campo and we actually landed a meeting with two of the most powerful film executives in Hollywood. We planned on turning one of Michael’s films, which these executives already had licensing rights to, into a series. I thought a series based off of a successful film they already engaged with was a no brainer. Turns out I was wrong, and the project was not picked up. It was at that point that I decided to create a platform for indie filmmakers to gain exposure and truly make a living off of their work.
Q: What kind of professional background and training do you have?
A: I actually have no experience in film or technology. Most of my career has been in healthcare finance and revenue cycle. Along the way, I have helped people put deals together which I believe is why some of these filmmakers wanted to work with me. It’s actually pretty amazing when you don’t know the rules of an industry you are trying to work in because you will try anything. You will wind up breaking some rules that others won’t even attempt because “that is not how the industry works”. In the end, I think that is what is leading to success. The game is changing.
Q: How does one go about getting a show on Stream Now?
A: When the platform launched in June, I was basically scouring the internet for content and begging content makers to take a chance on me. Now that we are almost five months into it and it has taken off, we can’t keep up with the submissions. Content makers can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration. If we are on the fence about it, we actually rely on fan votes to help us decide.
Q: What kinds of things do you look for when procuring videos?
A: There are some really talented people that just need exposure and that is what we look for. People that can hit on all three phases (production value, acting, writing). If one of those phases is lacking but it make up for it in the others, we may still give it a go.
Q: Are there any kinds of videos that you would not have on your site?
A: There aren’t really limitations from a censorship perspective with the exception of porn. It is not my job to decide what is right or wrong, but rather to give a platform for good content. For instance, we have a show about tacos called Taco Talk. I almost did not know what genre it would go under but I knew it was really good, so I went with it.
Q: What is the biggest hit on your site right now?
A: There is an episode of FIRSTS called “First STD scare” that really took off from a total views perspective. We also have a show called Teacher’s Lounge that has some big name comedians guest star in each episode. The one with Lewis Black was pretty big for us.
Q: What do you think made it a hit?
A: All of these shows and films are good. We try and put all of them out there from an exposure standpoint, but those two really took off from after a campaign on some bookmarking sites.
Q: Why should someone have their web-series on your site instead of YouTube or Funny or Die?
A: The real question here is “why would someone put it only on one platform?” We have shows that are currently on YouTube and Funny or Die. The reality is content makers need to be everywhere unless someone has offered an equitable exclusive licensing deal. In fact, I just introduced all of our content makers to another site (http://www.teamprocreate.com) that would also feature their content and several are going to be on that site too. This is still a new medium to a degree. The way I view it is, if the water rises then all the boats rise with it. We all need to support the medium not just ourselves to win.
Q: What is the oddest video anyone has submitted?
A: We had someone submit a game show about picking up women. Honestly it is a good concept but lacks on the production value, so I am not sure if we are going to pick it up yet.
Q: What is the biggest mistake you see people make when making a web-series?
A: The biggest mistake people make is thinking that making a film or web series stops after it is produced. You can’t just make an awesome project, load it on YouTube and expect massive results. YouTube is an amazing platform but its filled with cat videos and babies biting fingers. It does nothing to expose this type of content. These projects are like any other product, it can be the best in class, but it will fail if no one sees it.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)