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Monday, February 9, 2009

Who Really Killed "Maddison Atkins"?

From Anchor Cove: http://forum.anchorcove.net/viewtopic.php?p=13169#p13169

Re: TSIY ... not so fast!!! or LG15:The Misunderstandings
by jeromy on Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:36 pm

Back in the day, and now it's been almost 2 years, but back in the day, I actually spoke with the Cs on the phone about acquiring Madison Atkins. It was potentially my dream come true.

I've never spoken about it publicly because it wasn't relevant and at the time I kinda hoped that the guys would change their mind about their "offer." Just recently I found the The Show is Yours bit, and I was very discouraged how it all turned out. Discouraged, but not surprised.

It turned out that the C's were interested in acquiring Maddison Atkins. However, the terms they offered included no pay and creative control. Kinda lame. Even at the the time I expressed that my work could be available to them at a price. I thought Maddison was worth at least something. Ultimately, they passed on Maddison.....or I passed on the offer, and honestly, that's normal in the biz. It even made sense considering the context.

I'm writing this to reinforce the notion that the Cs have no intention to give anyone the "break they didn't have".... in my opinion. (BTW their "break" did involve generosity of their family and a very hefty investor). My advice to content creators.... keep making work, but don't trust the Cs. Eventually, some sort of viable business plan will be created for the web. Hang in there.

But all this is just my opinion. People do change. The C's may still become creative benefactors instead of self-declared father figures. To me it doesn't look like they have, but I'm wrong all the time. Someone else might describe it differently, but I don't think they have anyone's interest at heart but their own. Tread with extreme caution.

I really miss making content for this community. One day when I get the "non-break" the C's didn't have, I'll be back.


Maddision Atkins on LGPedia.

LGPedia: Maddison Avenue need your HELP!

Jeromy Barber said...
I agree with BK and Renegade. The headline is misleading.

My story (which cannot be verified... true), relates because it addresses the hope that some content creators have. The hope that the Cs will love them and financially support their shows.

I think Renegade is right that the situations are very different (contest versus business deal), but I also believe them to be linked because before there was the official contest of TSIY, there was an unspoken contest (displayed by the adoption of OpAphid), and for a couple of weeks in April 2007, I won the unspoken contest. And like Logan and Jenni, hoped to score a small reward to continue making content.

So, that's how I see it relating.

And Yes. The Glenn story is MUCH more interesting than mine. Maybe one day, he'll write a book.... or tell it in a mash-up.



  1. Interesting? Does the headline infer that the C's killed MA? Because Jeromy doesn't say that. He merely says the C's didn't want to pay for MA, and that's not their fault.

  2. I still remember when the community reached out to Bree for help. We knew Maddison was in big trouble. It is really too bad that Bree ignored us because I really think she could have helped and in turn poor Maddison could have helped Bree. In the end Maddison was brutally murdered and well, Bree.....we all know what happened to her.

    Two of my friends gone. Sigh. It all could have ended so much better.

  3. honestly, I wonder why this is all still a surprise to people.

    The c's care for the community doesn't go further than loving to be adored by them. Nothing more than a free ego boost.

    They run a hard business and then smile innocently at the crowd.

    Like J said, they're not some kind of charity looking to give anyone a break. Businesses are about money and so is EQAL.

    To add to that, they've always wanted full control over content. So if in some way you will get paid, be sure you'll lose creative control.

    In all honesty, that's how a lot of businesses are run.

  4. I am sort of not seeing the point of this...for one, even if these statements are true, we're unable to assess that situation without a similarly open comment from the Cs' side. Without that, it's just a one-sided comment based on unverifiable information.

    More confusingly, though, on one hand, he admits "that's normal in the biz. It even made sense considering the context.", but on the other hand continues "I'm writing this to reinforce the notion that the Cs have no intention to give anyone the 'break they didn't have'". Mixed messages, much? Either the Cs behaved exactly as normal and expected, then there's no reason to assume they're being dishonest, or they were dishonest and trying to scam him, then he's saying that's normal Hollywood behavior and that it even made sense back in the day.

    Ultimately, even if this story is true, what's striking to me is that it is irrelevant. First of all, this story clearly happened on a business level. The Cs were quietly trying to acquire Maddison Atkins. That's an entirely different situation than the Cs trying to give a fan-created, fan-run series exposure. More importantly, though, he may have had negotiations, but nothing came of them. There is nothing definite, so there is no basis for comments. Do we know he didn't ask for 50000000000 dollars for MA, and that's when the Cs pulled out? Of course they'll start with offering nothing. Why the hell would they start offering everything they could? It's standard practice in all negotiations everywhere to start bidding as low as possible. Why would the Cs be different?

    What would be a lot more interesting are the terms and negotiations of Glenn Rubenstein's OpAphid deal - 'cause, you know, he actually completed the deal, and would be in a position to comment on how the Creators treat fan-created series and what (or if) they are willing to pay in case of an acquisition.

    Really...honestly...someone enlighten me: How is this relevant to The Show is Yours?
    What does an ancient, incomplete, quiet business-deal have to do with a recent, doubly-completed public community-contest?
    And what does the headline have to do with all of that?

    *scratches his head*

  5. I agree with you, 'Gade. He says not to trust the C's but doesn't say why, and there's nothing in this article except maybe the inference that he was insulted by their offer. It's a shame J couldn't get the money to do MA right, because it really was quite good. But the fact that the C's didn't want to pay him to do it is not really their fault. Just like it's not their fault they didn't want to pay to have The Misfits made at the money it would take.

  6. I believe that Glenn never reached or signed any agreement with the c.......at least according to public statements he has made several times on his radio show.

  7. That is a great picture of Maddison.

  8. To me the comparison is quite clear.

    EQAL or the c's aren't looking to give someone else's creativity the funding or means to make it big.

    Whether that is through a business deal or through funding the creation of the TSIY show is irrelevant. In both cases they didn't offer enough money to satisfy potential partners.

    Although I think that the lack of creative control would be a bigger problem for J than the misfits.

    Either way, his warning is on the level. They are giving off the idea that they want to give people the break they didn't have. The warning to not expect sufficient financial support for that seems to fit both cases.

  9. Do I really have to explain the headline? It is a play on words. I think that is pretty obvious.

    In game Maddison was killed after she reached out to Bree for help and was ignored. It was a metaphor for the drama that was unfolding out of game apparently.

    Out of game "Maddision Atkins" chapter 1 ended because J did not find funding from any source including the c.

    Now, did I really have to explain that? I did not think so. We simply do not know who killed Maddison but I am sure it will be debated for a long long time .......both ig and oog.

  10. Other things I would like modelmotion to explain:

    Why is the sky blue?
    Where do babies come from?
    How many licks does it take to get to the center of a toosie-roll pop?


  11. Simple Mat: the singularity......beyond that you will have to consult with the maker.

  12. I agree with BK and Renegade. The headline is misleading.

    My story (which cannot be verified... true), relates because it addresses the hope that some content creators have. The hope that the Cs will love them and financially support their shows.

    I think Renegade is right that the situations are very different (contest versus business deal), but I also believe them to be linked because before there was the official contest of TSIY, there was an unspoken contest (displayed by the adoption of OpAphid), and for a couple of weeks in April 2007, I won the unspoken contest. And like Logan and Jenni, hoped to score a small reward to continue making content.

    So, that's how I see it relating.

    And Yes. The Glenn story is MUCH more interesting than mine. Maybe one day, he'll write a book.... or tell it in a mash-up.


  13. @Bright:
    But had the Cs acquired Maddison Atkins, it would have been produced as part of EQAL's line-up, with EQAL's resources, wouldn't it?
    Hence the significance of the difference between a business deal and a publicity contest.
    (As admitted above.)

    In addition, I do think "sufficient financial support" is up for debate, mainly because the basis is different. When the Cs started, they had nothing. Their medium practically didn't exist.
    Today, The Last has already gotten exposure beyond the community (on NewTeeVee, for example) before the first real episode is even up. The creators of The Last don't have to finance actors (they're doing that part for free, for all I know), they don't have to finance hosting (content is hosted on YouTube and lg15.com) and they don't have to finance publishing (they're working off of lg15's momentum).

    The only things they really need to finance are equipment. And if you don't try to buy some prosumer-quality HD-camera, $2500 should suffice for equipment for 16 episodes.
    (A camera, a mic, maybe some lighting, maybe gas. That's all you really need. Given the pilot exists, you can assume they have all that already, and the $2500 would go towards "bonus" equipment.)

    So, yeah. "Sufficient financial support" all depends on your expectations.

  14. I stand by the headline. You can argue that J is eqally responsible for killing Maddison Atkins. There are many in the community that feel that we, the community are responsible. If you choose to believe that Bree or the C are responsible you can eqally make the case for that.

  15. As far as producing monies go. Yes, $2500 is a lot! I can't say for sure, but I might have sold MA for that much . . Back then.

    However, it would only last you a month or two if you were making a show full time. Actors should be paid (as well as locations, music rights, and the producer too. pay yourself!)

    Hey MM, I'm not worried about the title. Stand by it.

  16. Well, given that a certain webseries doesn't have financing for season 2 *cough*theresistance*cough*, "no budget" seems to be EQAL level these days anyway >_>
    (It's sort of interesting that The Last has a better budget than The Resistance xD)

    So, as said...it's all a question of expectations and pre-existing resources what qualifies as "sufficient".

    (Would like to add that there's always Creative Commons music free for commercial use, though. You only have to pay for licensing if you can't find anything you like.)

  17. You have the spirit of a low budget indie producer Renegade! Where can I watch your show?

  18. About the title, it's an eye catcher. Meant to provoke interest in the article, basic journalism technique. A lot of news websites do the same thing, as long as the article explains what the real deal is, it's not a problem.

    @ Jeromy: MA is worth more than 2500 if you ask me. And in all honesty I don't think EQAL could provide the platform to create an ARG. They would want to be too involved and would probably not have given you the creative space needed for it.

    You'd be better served getting funding in another way. If only I could tell you where to look... heh. Still, I hope you get your break, MA was awesome and there needs to be more where that came from.

  19. I remember a lot of content creaors moved on after disputes over the TOS. Many disappeared into obscurity and a few went on to form the Coalition.
    I do believe the Coalition is trying to form a common umbrella for content creators with no strings attached, but it's a long rocky road when they work for free.
    As the Resistance website stands now, there really is no room or showcase for fan vids. They say they want them but they show they don't.
    I did have to laugh at the 'Break we never got' line. That was such a crock.

  20. The title is ridiculously misleading, and a low blow.

    As for Jeromy's claims, Maddison Atkins would have been nothing had it not been for the ready-made LG15 audience. Considering the C's needed to use their creativity to attract an audience, I'd say they gave something there that LG15 never had.

    Jeromy's post seems pretty bitter. Since he's stated that he'd have taken $2500 back in the day, it's pretty obvious that Jeromy couldn't get anyone else to invest in MA. The C's aren't indebted to anyone because they took the initiative to get their own investor. They don't owe anyone because they've been successful.

    It isn't EQAL's responsibility to fund anyone's projects but their own. They never, ever said they would fund TSIY, they said they WOULD NOT from the beginning. The fact that The Misfits CHOSE to not bother to read the TOS or ask EQAL a question using the given contact information is their own fault.

    This latest addition to the pile of BS is irrelevant hearsay and approaching slander.

  21. We can all laugh at the break we never got thing, but you can either set the standard or follow the standard. Unfortunately by them being the ones that kind of created the standard it gives Eqal two things. Grounds to use lines like "the break we never got" and the ability to use their successes and failures to try to exhibit control over content. Had that break been "handed" to them we wouldn't be here today, and none of these points would be pertinent. We would now criticize Glenn or Jeromy or whichever production company broke that barrier and got to set the standard first.

  22. Nobody said they have to fund something. Jeromy just pointed out that content creators shouldn't count on funding.

    And as for a ready made platform. LG15 used the popularity of youtube for that and mentioned other youtubers to get the attention from the public. They leeched of someone elses success as well in the beginning. That's the break they DID have. Jeromy kind of did the same using the LG15 audience.

  23. Those are some good points jazmyngrey, and thanks for the support brightsilence.

    There are a lot of things I'm grateful for.

    I'm glad LG15 exists, because it inspired me. I did mooch off their audience, and I may do it again someday. Maddison wouldn't have existed without the audience here.

    I am disappointed I don't get to be Miles and Greg sometimes....maybe even bitter. However, I am indebted to them as pioneers and creative stimulants.

    So.... even though I think they are kind of cheap, I also respect the opportunities I have because of the foundation they have made.

  24. The title is genius. It's a take off from many a mystery in bygone days and made me laugh and read this article. The title is genius.

    Who killed MA?
    Who killed the Misfits?
    Who killed JR?

    It's a hook. People either take it or they don't. Like all the youtube video titles. But to call it misleading... that's a bit of an overreaction. It's funny or aggravating because maybe there's a morsel of truth in it somewhere and maybe that's why some get mad.

    I really don't know what I'm talking about. It's a theory I'm working on. But I still think the title is genius.

  25. A hook like this would have sold a lot of newspapers back in the day...But even then there would be commentary on the sensationalistic nature of the titling. The medium may differ, but its all still the same song.

  26. Y'know what's misleading? That Beatle's song, Tomorrow Never Knows. That title has nothing to do with the song.

  27. :):):)

    Well, I still miss Maddison and Bree. Sigh.




  28. Don't you all realize what's important? Virginian9000 has a video instructing the community to start eating their pizzas CRUST FIRST!!!! It's MADNESS!!!!

    Who will stop the insanity?!?!?!

  29. The title IS misleading... that was not even close to what I garnered from his post at AC.

    That said, it appears as though anyone who has kept a close eye on these guys or tried to do business with them pretty much echoes the same sentiment:

    "Tread with extreme caution."

    I believe they are actually poisoning a developing industry with:
    a) incompetence
    b) less than forthcoming behavior
    c) both a and b

    They have a chance to redeem themselves, (especially after this latest fiasco) if they don't run out of cash first. I imagine most of their peers don't have much respect for them though.

  30. Been a long time....

  31. Perhaps some people actually expect a "Stimulus bill" to be a stimulus bill.

    Ahhhhh it must be nice to be idealistic.


  32. I agree that the title is misleading to be honest. A bit sensational/unjournalistic.

    Jeromy's thought's are interesting, but I think it's just a deal that fell through or that the Cs weren't sure about making the commitment to. Just because they considered obtaining MA doesn't mean they had any obligation to. I liked Madison, don't get me wrong, but I just kind of see this debate as moot and bringing this up as inducing irrelevant silly drama. Hasn't there been enough drama already?

  33. Clearly there is never enough, so we need to continue to generate...

  34. 33 comments? whats the drama now?

    its an amusing title and clearly stirred up debate (and BK took the bait quickly, otherwise would we have 33 comments already?)


    an anon said:

    "The fact that The Misfits CHOSE to not bother to read the TOS or ask EQAL a question using the given contact information is their own fault."

    just for clarification purposes, I will note that Jenni Powell did ask the question (is there compensation?), its on the insidelg15 comments where the contest was announced. it was not answered publicly in that thread, but amanda did answer them. the exact content of the communications were not shared with us. i don't know what jenni was told, but it clearly wasn't "hell no!"

  35. I think the "salacious" title is great, and as for being "poor journalism", where have you people been getting your journalism? The titles of articles are meant to get your attention, and wording them in a way that does so and still gives you an accurate idea of it's content is a time honored tradition.

    Well done MMbot!

  36. milowent said...

    "just for clarification purposes ... the exact content of the communications were not shared with us. i don't know what jenni was told, but it clearly wasn't "hell no!"

    ...and it clearly wasn't "we'll fully finance your production".

    From anchorcove.com:

    Re: insidelg15: The Show is Yours - Submit Your Pilot!
    Postby JenniPowell on Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:44 pm
    They are asking for job submissions for a job that isn't going to pay.

    Bottom line: if they aren't willing to compensate, the quality and amount of ideas submitted will be of lower standard and quality than what they would receive if they were willing to offer any compensation.

    But hey, they only need 1 in the end. Hopefully some really talented fan with lots of free time on their hands who just wants to produce an 8 week show for fun is out there. I'm dying to be proved wrong here.

    And then 2 weeks later......

    Re: insidelg15: The Show is Yours - Submit Your Pilot!
    Postby JenniPowell on Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:25 pm
    Okay, I'm giving you guys the inside scoop...me and a "production team" are doing this. Are we crazy? Just maybe. Will it be AWESOME? We're gonna fucking try.

    But hey, I'm out of work until at least March...so why the hell not

    Would she be asking if she was crazy if she thought it was a PAYING job???


  37. I have already made my statement concerning this entire matter and I would appreciate it greatly if people would respect my desire to not have my motivations and private e-mail correspondences brought out into the open, because I'm sorry, it's just not something I'm willing to do. What's done is done and it's time for us all to move on. I respect J and Glenn's desire to speak out on their experiences, as it is their right to do, but it is a right I am choosing not to pursue anymore at this present time. I hope you all understand.

  38. I have a degree in journalism. Please don't question where I'm getting my journalism. There is a difference between a tabloid headline & a normal headline.

    For a normal news headline this would not be acceptable for the content because it doesn't accurately reflect the story.

    This is not a newspaper, though I would prefer more newspaper like headlines at times.

  39. Nothing beings us together like drama. I feel all warm and fuzzy.

    Great Subject Model :)

  40. Note the "story" contained a very prominent link to a full discussion thread on Anchor Cove. The real question is...... who killed "Maddision Atkins"?. I think there is a lot of room to debate the answer to that question and that is just what this post tried to do. Ask a highly relevant question in the context of a post that was made on an other site by another author which is quoted in full for reference.

    If you are talking about the show Maddison Atkins it is technically still alive. If you look at Maddison Atkins in the context of an association with the LG15 Universe that appears to have been killed off. If you are talking about Maddison Atkins the character we still do not know who killed her but hopefully one day we will find out.

  41. I thought warpylol killed her? Then again I have no idea who warpylol is :P

  42. The real answer lies here:


    just saying...... watch it and learn!!!!!

  43. Well originally we thought it was Warpylol but it turned out more complex than that and the person thought to be the killer is now dead so that avenue of answers dried up.

  44. well, since jenni is saying she's done with it, i guess i will follow her lead. anon above can pm or email me ([email protected]) if need be.


    i think veela's point is worth discussing separately: "For a normal news headline this would not be acceptable for the content because it doesn't accurately reflect the story."

    i think newspapers break these 'rules' frequently. and since this article is more a 'style section' piece, its even more common to see a tongue in cheek headline.

  45. So let me get this straight.

    Jeromy created MA to make money. Was he actually depending on this money to come from the C's? Under 1000 YouTube subscribers (lonelygirl15 subscribers at that) and 30 people in a chat room isn't going to get him the brass ring. The fact that he's telling his little story now in this context is absurd. It is completely irrelevant and shows that he had no plan for MA to go on past the time it did.

    So modelmotion. The answer to your ridiculous title for this thread is Jeromy killed Maddison Atkins. He tried to make money, it didn't work, and he ended the story.

    Pissing and moaning about it now and bringing the C's into it is projecting his own failure to get sponsorship.

    Why the hell is everyone a "victim" around here.

  46. Short answer, its easier to be a victim than to take responsibility.

  47. I don't see victims. I see people in search of the truth. Because if it we got the truth, there would be no issue here. Nips and pieces and parts do not a full truth make.

    That's what I see.

    Not saying I'm right.

    It's just what I see.

  48. @cg: examples?
    Jeromy said that, and admitted his situation was entirely different.
    who are those "anyone"s in your post?

        "— Make certain that headlines, [...] do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context."

        "The foremost task of the journalist is to serve the people's right to true and authentic information through an honest dedication to objective reality whereby facts are reported conscientiously in their proper context, pointing out their essential connections and without causing distortions [...]"

    That is where I'm getting my journalism. And no - "Who Really Killed Maddison Atkins?" does not give an accurate idea that the content will be "Jeromy once had dealings with the Cs and doesn't think they have your best interests in mind". The headline may or may not be accurate for the original thread linked, but that is not what model chose to highlight about the thread.
    In other words: This headline may be accurate for a certain context of the thread, but we don't have that context. We have an entirely different one.

    @jenni: With all due respect - public posts are public. I have gone to Anchor Cove just now, without logging in or anything, and viewed the exact post quoted. So clearly it's not private at all.
    I respect your desire not to speak about what the hell happened, but you have to understand that, without any further comment from either you or the Creators, what's public, what's on record, is you, on December 16th, 2008, going "They are asking for job submissions for a job that isn't going to pay" - and then, again, publicly, on record, on February 4th, 2009, stating "we saw the prize as a paying job we would love to work on", whereas the Creators stayed consistent with their message of "read the TOS, there will be no money".

    I am not trying to say anything was your fault. You may have special insider info that explains that drastic change, and hell, for all we know you could be under an NDA. What I'm trying to say is, we respect your decision not to say anything, but, as long as you don't, that is the public info we have. That is what we see. That is what we have to comment off. It's not that we're having any ill will towards you, it's just that the only quotes we have of you are kind of sort of sending very confusing mixed messages.

    The topic that started this discussion was whether the Creators can be trusted in regards to UGC, whether their intentions are good, and connected to that, money. Given that the original quote came from a TSIY thread, and the most recent example of Creators + UGC + money is the Misfits debacle, there is really no way in hell we could ignore that topic. Sorry, but that's way it is.
    If you don't want to comment, that's fine. But then we'll be left to draw our conclusions from the public comments you made before.

    @jeromy: No show from me. My "low budget indie producer spirit" shall be used elsewhere.

  49. But isn't it possible to find truth without tearing down the people around you? Without stirring controversy for the sake of stirring it? At the core, whether we are truth seekers, or victims, or taking our own responsibility still human and allowed to err and be flawed, and not have those flaws thrown in "our" faces at every turn?

  50. what is the drama here again? jeromy's anchor cove post didn't say anything that earth shattering to me, he was just sharing some of his own opinions.

  51. @milowent:

    Who Really Killed "Maddison Atkins"?

  52. It's really all about virginian9000 and his sinister plot to indoctrinate the community into changing their pizza consuming habits. Perhaps I am the only one who can see the truth. Fools.

  53. @Renagrade
    “For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled.”

    -Hunter S. Thompson
    American Journalist and Author

  54. That sounds more like a nice description of Watergate than a justification for misleading headlines.

  55. Are you trying to say the c were involved in Wathergate?

    Hummmmmm......thats a new twist, but I guess the Order is everywhere.

  56. I'm thinking MaxterBexter is to blame for it all because they led Virginian9000 astray with the pizza debacle and were involved in the Misfits and LG15. The common thread! o_o

  57. Oh, so it was one of THOSE days today.

  58. Whatever happened to that girl Cassie?

    Couldn't resist there. :) Now where's the bundt cake?

  59. I will give Jeromy $1 (and promise not to tell anyone else) if he will just explain to me who Mr. Zipp was and what the heck Dr. Seuss had to do with Maddison's story. ;)

    The double entendre of the controversial title of this article does, however, lead to the interpretation that Mr. Zipp was, at least on one level of interpretation, Jeromy himself, the "parent" of the child, his show. Check out Mr. Zipp's letter to Maddison here:


    Though I intended the opposite, my efforts didn't help MA in it's later entry in the MySpace contest, and Jeromy was very gracious in accepting my apology at that time.

    There's still a nice blurb about Maddison Atkins on the 12th Street House website, so who knows, maybe the story will continue at some point?


    Now if just 2499 or so others will pitch in a buck or two, maybe we can get this production off of the back burner.

  60. http://www.chipin.com/

    just saying....

  61. Is there anything that isn't the creators fault? Where were they when Kennedy was shot?

  62. I'm guessing unborn

  63. Then it was their fault for not being born yet and stopping it.

    Damn those Creators!


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