Due to popular request, we have no added a PayPal Payment Option for GSDtv. Initially we decided to keep the payment processors streamlined – by using just one payment gateway the administration and error testing should have been much simpler and allow us to do what we do best – make films. We have added Paypal to make life easier for those that prefer PayPal and a higher level of trust or have established accounts.
As long as people enjoy the films, we will continue to listen and add options as necessary.
So… This has been an eventful week. We started this site knowing that we didn’t have much time to shake out some bugs, so we bought a few off the shelf components ‘to make things easier’ and to speed the process along. Well, we have learned a lesson on how some poorly coded software can ‘make things easier’ – so easy that we have had quite a few sleepless nights hacking things into working order, only to find more issues that needed to be hacked into order. Enough was enough.
We had to take the site temporarily down so we could implement a new look and feel, a much cleaner and simpler concept (that will evolve over time.) The new look comes with a new player, we needed something robust and that worked on most devices as we have had a very small amount of issues with Apple devices – the new player promises to more compatible and less error prone.
If we were only planning on releasing a single documentary, we wouldn’t be starting a platform and having all these sleepless nights. But since we are at the beginning stages of a full online streaming service dedicated to German Shepherds and the stories that are inspired by them, all this has been a necessary learning curve. The new player completely replaces the old one, we also have a legacy player for some of the video assets that will be less played – these are mainly small snippet videos and some of the videos we have released through YouTube & Facebook.
The longer film content will be served by premium suppliers / partners that should take us into the future with more confidence and robust infrastructure. The old hacks are all gone, thankfully. I couldn’t spend another 24 hour period sleepless and figuring out workarounds for this system – I’m a filmmaker that does a little coding, not a developer that does a little filming.
As it stands, the lesson is to never take what seems to be an easier option. There are a gajillion marketing people out there selling near on useless ‘solutions’ that quickly turn into nightmares. Something the simplest solution is to cut your losses, lose some of the fancy features that never worked and focus on a simpler message.
We do apologise to anyone that was inconvenienced – but hopefully our store doesn’t produce errors and allows people to purchase the films instantly and hassle free, then play them back on their chosen device – which I am learning has to be within reason.
It was finally here, at last . . . our moment to release our first film to the world and to German Shepherd viewers everywhere. I had the champagne ready, we’d been waiting 12 months for this moment and it was finally upon us! And it would all be worth it and we could put it behind us and move onto our next project. How completely wrong and naive I was.
It had been consecutive days and weeks of little sleep, chained to the home office and adrenaline kicking into overtime and particularly with Jason who was on the codeine train nursing a fractured tooth that needed to come out. But we’d finished and hit the button to launch. Was it premature? Definitely. We’d done pretty much everything wrong and for one perfectionist and one semi perfectionists it was agonising.
Right up to the night before our launch we’d made cuts to get our video file size down, compromising some quality and left out stories we loved. We didn’t implement a countdown or marketing strategy the weeks before as we’d planned. Everything we knew in hindsight, just didn’t get done and we said to one another, ‘we’ll never do it this way again.’
It was something that seemed to be in theory pretty straightforward. We had the skill, we had the desire and we had a topic that we were sold on. It doesn’t always make for a smooth transition to the film world. We were babes in the woods finding our way and it was going to be an emotional rollercoaster.
It has been 2 and ½ weeks since our launch of both our film and GSDtv and the highs and lows were not expected to be as severe as they were. No one tells you that you don’t have down time and you’re forever improving things and that time ceases to exist the way it did prior to opening your doors. We had Christmas and it was quiet then New Years came around and still there wasn’t a lot of interaction but we were strong and continued to believe in what we’d created. It was just a matter of getting it out to the masses
The most difficult part about bringing in 2019 was that there was no puppy on the horizon and possibly no relocation back to the United States to work on the project we were envisioning. It’s difficult to remain positive in such circumstances, but we are still so new and the movie business is one of the toughest. The niggling part in my brain was that we should be having these struggles in our 20’s not our 40’s. This is definitely not hipster.
One of the biggest mental challenges when you’re not an instant success and potentially won’t ever be, is to keep the creative juices flowing and remain excited about the dream. This was, after all what got us here to this point, but we have to keep going. It’s no man’s land and it’s isolating, but it’s still the adventure we want to pursue.
So 2019, please bring us what we’ve worked so hard for and let it lead to four legged bliss with a bushy tail and a touch of Americana. I am still hoping against the odds and dreaming big.
We all love our dogs and we work, play and train with them giving us a beautiful and special relationship different with that of human friendships. But what about how they influence us in business? Do we ever consider the great ideas that have been birthed because of the influence and ownership of dogs in our lives?
Dog Influencers is a documentary focusing on the unique side of business and dogs. We’ve seen it from Instagrammers to food startups and we can see how dogs have led the way. Making Black & Gold Documentary was produced because of a relationship with a German Shepherd. How many dog owners have looked at life through a different lens and are now living their dream.
This documentary will follow four people who have influenced others in the marketplace because of or with their dogs at their side.
Our experience with IPO/Schutzhund during the filming in 2018 sparked off another idea. We wanted to create Dogs of Sport featuring the German Shepherd in the world famous IPO Championships. This, of course, included herding and other elements the Shepherds have to master, but we wanted a documentary that gave more attention and time to this subject.
Dogs of Sport will follow representatives such as WGSDCA IPO National Champion 2018 Sanne Pederson who represented Australia in Denmark to show what commitments, perseverance and challenges competitors face in this sport. The documentary will feature IPO on a world stage, it’s origins, it’s the current state of the sport in Europe and Australia and will follow this journey into the 2019 Championships in Italy.
Dogs of Sport will also cover the German Shepherd competing in Agility and Flyball showing its diversity and competitive edge as an all-round athletic dog.