Hi! We're Kim Werker and Ben Z Cooper. One night, hours into talking about this web show we want to make about DIY skills, Ben waved his arm around and said, "And then we show how to make a taco hat." And Kim laughed. And so we've called our project Taco Hat TV since then. Fun times!
UPDATE (6th November): With one week to go, here's a wee video update!
Taco Hat TV is a web show for curious people and makers. Where most DIY (do it yourself) shows try to cram instructions on how to make a particular project into a ridiculously short segment, our show is about teaching you skills and know-how you can use however you want. Our not-so-short segments (that aren't too long!) will be full of information that isn't rushed. By focusing on the fundamentals of various kinds of skills, we'll arm you (and ourselves, let's be honest), with a solid foundation for getting started, and enough knowledge to figure out what questions to ask next.
Like, instead of spending four minutes showing you how to bake a cake from start to finish (fake oven and all!), we'll spend an episode teaching you the basics of how baking works so you'll be more comfortable tweaking recipes however you want, or we'll introduce the basic concepts of electrical wiring so you can fix a broken lamp yourself.
We call it "why to" instead of "how to". Why do it yourself? Because now you'll know how. Or at least you'll have a solid enough foundation that you'll feel equipped to go learn more.
Each episode will be about eight minutes long – long enough to get into the meat of the topic and short enough to watch all the way through in one sitting even if you're frequently interrupted by your kids, your co-workers, your cat, or even if you're a chain smoker.
This first series of eight episodes is like our pilot season. With your help, we'll shoot the episodes in early December (tentative timeline), spend a couple months in editing and post-production, and launch on our YouTube channel in the early spring of 2013. We'll release one episode a week for eight weeks, and in the end we'll have a great show and an enthusastic audience (not to be presumptuous or anything) to build on for a second season. (Read: The pilot season is like our proof of concept, which will allow us to establish a sustainable business for future seasons.)
Kim will be the host, and her curiosity on camera will be genuine. She's a crafter who's worked in the crafts industry for years, but she doesn't know much of anything about the topics we're going to cover.
Ben will perform the feat of singlehandedly operating two cameras, and he'll also direct the filming.
UPDATE (24th Oct.): We've confirmed our first guest! Award-winning food blogger Jeannette Ordas will be covering food. Leave us a comment here, on Twitter or Facebook and let us know what you'd like her to focus on!
With wit, humour and great visuals, each episode will present clear, engaging information that's at the core of building a solid set of DIY skills. Our goal is to arm us all with the confidence that comes from understanding enough about something to figure out what questions to ask next.
- Basic clothes mending and altering
- Soap-making and household cleaning (but fun!)
- Upholstery basics
- Fundamentals of cooking
- Fundamentals of baking
- Fundamentals of electronics
- Fundamentals of plants
See all those "fundamentals"? We mean it. We want to know how ingredients interact with each other so we can understand why some foods we make taste great and other dishes are disgusting. We want to be able to substitute one kind of flour for another when we bake, without ruining the muffins. We admit we should have paid more attention in shop class, and we need a refresher about the basics of electronics so we can figure out how to fix or hack our household appliances. Plants? Why do some of us seem cursed with a black thumb? What can plants do for us and what can we do for plants, from decorative houseplants to edible gardening.
What's in it for you?
It's all about you, really.
We believe that knowledge is pretty much the most important thing in the world. There are loads of shows and videos out there showing you how to make a specific duct tape wallet or how to cook a particular soufflé, and we watch those all the time, ourselves.
Taco Hat TV adds to this body of web video by going deeper than one unique project so we can focus on the skills and understanding we need to stop following other people's instructions to the letter. We want to arm ourselves and you with the knowledge to get more curious about how things work and how we can make things work differently if we're so inclined.
We have some great perks ready to send your way in thanks for your support, but there's another thing, too. By supporting Taco Hat TV, you're not just helping us spread DIY knowledge, you're also joining an effort to make the kind of show other people think isn't worth making. Kim's been told that a cable television show with a broad, non-project-based focus is pretty much a no-go. Well, she's out to prove otherwise. She can't be the only one who wants to know why things work the way they do, right? In a way she can apply to her daily life? I mean, you want to know, too, right?
We mean it when we say we want you to be a part of the show. We want to hear what you think, what you want to learn, what you think is awesome and what you think we can do better.
We love doing projects online because of the community that can grow up around them. Won't you join us?
UPDATE: We plan to make many seasons of THTV beyond this crowdfunded pilot season. In this video, Kim explains how we plan to build a sustainable business for the show, including a description of the kinds of supplemental materials we'll work with our guests to prepare and sell.
UPDATE (16th October): We're very pleased to announce that Emily Smith will be our illustrator and graphic designer! This completes the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire triangle of awesome, as Emily is the person who started the event and it's because of her that Ben and Kim met. She's wildly talented and we've already started talking about what our title sequence will be like. There may be wool. There will almost certainly be mascots. Exciting!
UPDATE (1st November): Get to know Emily a little better!
This is the section Kim was pointing to in the video at the top of this page. (No, she did not intend to point at, you know, her... lap.)
The lowest budget we need to make this pilot season is $9000. With this relatively small amount of cash, we'll be able to rent the space and minimal equipment we'll need to shoot over three days, and we'll be able to pay everyone involved (except ourselves – we're quite desperate to make this show, and we'll do it without pay if that's the only way it can get done; if we raise more than the minimum amount we'll start to pay ourselves at the same time we start to spend more money on spiffing up the production).
We've got some fun perks set up to get you even more excited about being a part of the show. Even a buck gets us closer to making a show we really want to watch, and a few bucks or more will get you some nifty stuff and credits. If you're a business and you want to get involved, check out the three business-oriented perks – we want your logo on our show, man.
Here's a rough outline of what our expenses will be (most of these amounts are educated estimates):
- Studio rental – $1,000
- Camera rental – $1,000
- Lights rental – $400
- Sound equipment – $0 (Ben has some basic equipment we'll use)
- Editing / Post-production – $2,000
- Animation / Titles / Credits – $500
- Illustration & graphic design by Emily Smith – $800
- Hair & makeup – $600
- Craft services (food during the shoot!) – $200
- Set design + dressing – $500
- Set building – $250
- Honorariums for guests – $800 (1 guest per episode, $100 per guest)
- Tools and supplies – $200
- Website theme – $0 (If we raise more than the minimum goal, we'll spiff up the website.)
- Domain Registration – $33 (Kim already paid this.)
- Fees related to this campaign – $630
- Ben's time – $0 (unless we raise more than the minimum goal)
- Kim's time – $0 (unless we raise more than the minimum goal)
Other Ways You Can Help
Not so much with disposable income right now? We totally get it. You can still help us make the show! Here's how:
- Follow us, like us and subscribe to our channel – being counted amongst our fans will show potential sponsors we're already building an audience.
- Tell your friends about this campaign. Use the share buttons on this page to tweet, share on Facebook, etc. It couldn't hurt to pick up the phone every once in a while, if you know what I mean.
- Tell us what you want from the show. Your interest means a ton to us, whether you can back us financially or not.
Ok, aside from two people who get slap happy at the end of a long brainstorming session, who are we, really?
Kim is a writer, editor, speaker and brainstormer. She runs Mighty Ugly, helping people confront the crappy thinking that holds them back from doing creative things. She's published six books about crochet, started and eventually sold one of the largest crochet websites, served as editor of a crochet magazine, and is a founding board member of Maker Foundation, the organization that puts on the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire.
Ben is a filmmaker and imaginographer. He has been on the internets since the days of 14.4 modems and has been holding cameras since they still had film in them and you had to focus them yourself. Throughout his film career, he's worked on a wide variety of projects from music videos to reality TV.
We're based in Vancouver, Canada, and we met through the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire.
Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom! We can't thank you enough for your support.