I've cooked up an idea for a weekly youtube series where I play a piece and talk about it etc. The tone and intent would be very similar to things like crash course, wisecrack, and extra credits. I plan to set up a Patreon for the series. I've got the process and format all figured out, and the first episode is completely written and recorded, but I have a bit of a chicken and egg problem concerning the visuals.
I mentioned I how love extra credits, I think their illustrations are the perfect balance between engaging and efficient to produce. I think the ideal version of this series would use a combination of me talking into the camera and illustrations in that kind of simple and approachable style. I think that would most engage people and make the content approachable, and would have the most success attracting patrons. And it would be the most efficient for me to produce. I'm also a programmer, and I've put together a python script that would allow me to take a bunch of images and automatically assemble them into a video. But there's the problem...
I can't afford to hire someone to do illustration work. So far I've been really creative about finding free audio/video equipment and recording space, so at this point I haven't spent any money. My skills in illustration or photo manipulation or animation are non-existent, I've never had an ounce of talent or proclivity for that sort of thing, and I strongly ascribe to the belief that to be successful one should have a short list of things you're dedicated to becoming excellent at, so I really can't justify sinking a bunch of time into trying to make engaging visuals, especially since there's every chance I couldn't even remotely succeed.
So I have two choices:
- Press on with my existing skills, digging up images online and doing my level best to make some of them, and make the first Patreon goal to hire an illustrator. It will take longer for those patrons to come in, and lots of episodes will be made with my awful image skills at the helm.
- Try to find an illustrator to work for free for the time being, with the hope that their engaging work would help bring in patrons faster. Every dime of the patronage money would go to them until they were being paid a fair price every week, at which point I would start using further money for other things. This prospect is a scary one for them, since there's no guarantee the series will ever be successful, let alone be successful soon.
Is this an arrangement someone would ever possibly agree to? I would be more than happy to give them a shout out at the beginning of every single episode to help them get their name out there, and of course once there was money coming in I would be thrilled to pay them, but at this point I have to play scrappy.
And if I do try to find someone, where could I find someone in a position to actually benefit from an arrangement like this?