The Future of Trigger Warning.

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Hi All,

As many of you will already know the TW studio, along with other businesses in the building, was burgled in the early hours of Thursday morning. The thieves made off with equipment worth around £8k. It’s looking unlikely that the insurance will cover this (Nobody involved with TW is to blame here, nor anyone we work with, it’s just a horrible set of circumstances) which means TW as we know it is essentially broken thanks to two people who probably didn’t know the value of what they stole nor care about the impact it would have.

Naturally I’ve been asked quite a bit what we’re going to do, when we’ll be back, and the like. It’s actually quite wonderful to see so many messages of support, thank you for that. If you don’t mind I’d like to tell you a little story about the studio and how it came about so you can see where I’m at right now. It’ll only take a few minutes but feel free to skip to the last paragraph if you’re pushed for time. I won’t hold it against you.

The studio came about because I had a bit of a dream, not for a business so much as for a project I believed would be a positive force of sorts. I knew I enjoyed making The LiveLeak Show and I figured a place where other people could produce online shows without editorial interference would be something cool, something I could enjoy, and something I could be proud of. With a company called Accounts Direct we put together the first studio. Commercial work would help meet some of the costs and away we’d go.

The first studio was pretty damn cool. We had a three camera set up (two Canon XF350’s and one XF150) and all the software we’d need along with full chroma capability in a nice sized room. It was cool and I was like a kid at Christmas. From there we produced The LiveLeak Show (obviously) but also The Richie Allen TV Show, GameFace Show, Force Talk, and These Charming Fans. Sadly, as happens, it didn’t all really pan out and I realised that people really did want to produce shows but there was too much riding on one person, namely me. The workload meant I was losing out financially too greatly. Thing is though, it was awesome.

Then we were burgled and the thieves made away with around £14k’s worth of gear. Although gutted I didn’t flap, it was just a matter of rebuilding and we did. We changed the set up to a two camera one (Panasonic AG DVX200 cameras, oh I loved those cameras) and three PC’s (one for ingest, one for streaming, one for Skype and mail) along with everything else we’d accrued. Yes, it was cobbled together and occasional went south for no reason we could fathom but we put it together, and Graeme came on board at that time too. This made it even more fun and he works like crazy so everything seemed more manageable.

This year we’d planned to do so much. It’s no secret that the last 12 months pushed me to the brink of being so broke there was a risk I’d lose the family home but even in this position I felt positive. Work was slowly starting to come through and I was facing the task of completely rebuilding my professional life at 47 but fuck it, everything is possible. We were talking to Richie Allen about bringing back the Richie Allen TV show along with a couple of other folks interested in broadcasting. It was going to be a cool year for TW and then this. They came and stole our stuff.

I’m not going to lie, the idea of trying to rebuild the studio again but this time while I’m fighting for my personal life and without funds I can just dip into is not appetising. For the first time in a very, very long time I feel beaten. Even Graeme and myself have only discussed around the edges of the problem because I’m genuinely heartsick about all of this.

TW wasn’t a business, it wasn’t a venture aiming to do anything other than what it did. It was a voice against the authoritarian arseholes who constantly police our speech and thoughts. It was a platform where you could say damn near anything providing you had the testicular fortitude to say it. It was also massively fun. I love doing it, I love the interaction, hell I love being a shouty gammon. But is it worth it? Is it worth the pain all over again?

So, here are the cold hard facts of the matter. To rebuild to do everything we want to do – even in a scaled back fashion – would cost between £4-5k. This is a LOT of money. Crowdfunding has been suggested but it’s still a LOT of money and people already donate generously each month. We aren’t a massive show with massive reach and I don’t know if we can achieve this. Add to that the fact that without any commercial activity there’s every chance we’ll lose the studio space. It costs quite a bit of money to keep TW rolling. I just don’t know how we’re going to manage that.

I’ve been asked if this all means I’m throwing in the towel. I’ll be honest, if you’d asked me up until last night I’d have said “Probably”. It’s all a little overwhelming right now. But, it’s a new day and I’m full of coffee and nicotine and I’m notorious for making poor choices so the answer right now, right at this minute, “I don’t think so”.

If we can raise the funds, we’ll crack on. If we can’t (and I believe this is most probable) then TW will have to change quite a lot. Will it work out? I don’t know. But once more I think Graeme and myself will probably strap in and see if we can fire this monster up again and drive it until the wheels fall off. I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

Let’s see what happens.

Cheers

H

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14 Responses

  1. So sorry to hear that news the other day, absolutely gutted for you guys after all the hard work that’s been put in.
    Hopefully TW can bounce back in a short time.. (third time lucky eh?)
    Things are financially tight for everyone these days but hopefully over the coming weeks I should be able to donate a few bob towards the cause.. it may be a slow process guys but you will get there!

  2. What can anyone say in situations like this? It’s like when you experience a close death and someone comes at you with the “everything’s going to get better with time” bs. Sure it’s true, but that doesn’t stop you from wanting to hit them in the face with a brick.
    Stay strong and move the fuck on the best you can fellas.
    In the meantime… close to half your shows were from your personal residence anyways. I’m sure that also has its own issues and me telling you that I can’t associate a sweet bit you guys did together was in the studio or not doesn’t change the desire to acquire a studio again.
    Jump back on that fucking horse and shout into the cam once again. You don’t need me to tell you that you actually can do a show these days with free software and equipment you most likely already have. With that said… you have lots of “friends” in your audience that are more than willing to help in anyway we can.
    #teamcherry

  3. Hi guys – I’m so sorry to hear this news of – I found out this morning listening to Richie’s show.

    I’m on a bit of a social media blackout because I don’t do Facebook and I closed my Twitter account in December, so it’s nigh-on impossible to hear a lot of developing stories among those I’ve taken an interest in. The plus side is I’ve had more time to plough into work BUT it’s times like these when it’s a proper hinderance to me.

    I really hope that you continue. Your work has so much worth, I hope you realise that – I’m not a sycophant: I don’t agree with you on many things but I love hearing your take on them and you’re always balanced, thoughtful and logical. Best of all you’re funny as f*ck – you make me laugh and in this day and age that’s a beautiful thing.

    It’s abysmal that this has happened to you – especially as it comes hot on the heels of the issues with YouTube – it must be so disheartening but if I can give you any encouragement it is that you’re doing something brilliant and it’s something that needs time to grow and for it to find its audience – there’s no doubt in my mind that you’d strike a chord with a many, many people – you just need to persevere and carry on – because no one else is going to be sharing insights into the trolling of dog-shaggers and nonces on Twitter, are they?

    Big love from the West Country x

  4. I give you shit all the time on that other website but I also truly admire you. If you’re crushed then I’m crushed and you sound pretty down. I’ll throw some quarters in the gumball machine, see if that cheers you up.

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