Welcome to HappyProduct (pt.2)
by Mark Osborne
Part 1 | Part 2
When the hype had long since passed, after a period of creative and financial struggle, I decided I would upload MORE to the Internet. I selected a website called iFilm which hosted thousands of short films online. I was looking to promote my latest independent project (a live-action feature film Dropping Out) that was about to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.
Even though I had enormous reservations about putting MORE online - fears of it being exploited, of people not truly being able to appreciate the beauty of our handmade craftsmanship in a tiny, sputtering little window on their computers- I felt like it was my only chance to help me find an audience for my newest crackpot venture. At the same time, I also hoped that MORE would at least reach a larger audience – people who could appreciate it, might be moved by it or connect with it in some way.
Putting MORE on the Internet changed everything- and not in the way I expected. Almost immediately it was voted by peer review to be the most popular short film on all of iFilm – and it stayed in the number one slot for almost a year. It was being seen by hundreds of thousands of people - many of whom e-mailed me to tell me how much the film meant to them.
With the film quickly finding an audience online and me suddenly having a direct connection with thousands of fans of MORE, I found myself in truly uncharted territory. While the industry had no real use for the film, a growing Internet audience did. People began e-mailing me daily, asking me to release the film on DVD. Many expressed interest in seeing a documentary about the making of MORE. Some wanted to know if I had any other short films made or planned.
Among the flood of emails I received was one from a writer at Despair.com. At first, he just wrote to compliment the film. But after a few months, he wrote seeking to buy DVDs for Despair's customer base, believing the film might have special meaning to their audience. I told him of the uphill battle I had been facing- of unsuccessfully trying to get a MORE documentary and DVD funded and made. Given that the short was still greatly in debt, nobody was interested.
But then, Despair got peanut butter in my chocolate- and I got chocolate into Despair's peanut butter. Lo and behold, a friendship and partnership was born. Using Despair's expertise, partners and funding, we are creating documentaries, dvds and an online world for my stop-motion films.
But what exactly is Happy Product?