I’ve spent the last couple of weeks bouncing between Perth, Singapore, the Philippines, and Sydney, so I need to get cracking on at least posting some links here to my pro work published elsewhere, and maybe even getting some original content up here again. I gotta go where the money is, you understand, but I still like to occasionally bang out a bit of exclusive stuff here for whoever’s paying attention. Mainly older stuff, going forward, I think. There’s no percentage in writing hot takes on Avengers Endgame if every other swinging dick on #filmtwitter is trotting out the same damn thing. I could tell you why you should watch Cutter’s way, though, and if I have time, I will.

But for now I want to point you at old mate Tomás Ford: master of what you might call anxiety cabaret, showman, raconteur, emcee, deejay, electronic musician, entrepreneur, and all points in between. He maintains a web presence here, but perhaps just jumping on this Google search here will give you a better idea. He’s a deeply strange man, and I mean that in the best possible way. Catch him live if you can – it’s never not a treat.

Anyway, Mr Ford has a new project on the boil called Normal Place, and it’s pretty killer. I’ll let the press release do the heavy lifting:

IT’S NETFLIX FOR WEIRDOS.
We’re the hottest startup of 2019. The Fyre Festival of video. The OneTel of cult comedy. The Compass Airlines of fringe fun. Stan and Amazon had better make sure their platforms are on fleek ‘cos we are here to disrupt the s**t out of ‘em.”
I mean, until they buy us out.”
– Tomás Ford, CEO/Founder/(Non-Rapping) Elon Musk
Frustrated by not being able to find the kooky content they love, and by not having a reliable platform for monetizing their own material, a group of Perth producers are collaborating on a new subscription video platform called Normal Place.
Featuring the best fringe festival comedians, underground performers and cult musical heroes, the new subscription video-on-demand platform is currently crowdfunding on Pozible.
We’re Netflix for Weirdos,” says weirdo, founder and Perth-based cult comic Tomás Ford. “We’ll be carefully curating a regularly updated selection of short content. Viewers can engage with a bespoke magazine format that will give context and background on the acts and styles, or they’ll also be able to deep dive into our catalogue.”
Quality control is central to the platforms’ design. The Normal Place team work hard to ensure the videos pass their high bar for production quality and showcase the diverse and eccentric range of acts bubbling under Australia’s mainstream. Viewers mmight not be familiar with the fringe acts they’re about to watch, but they can be sure it’s going to blow their mind wide open.
Tomás continues, “we’ll support artists in making short form web series and in monetizing the best of their existing work. Our revenue split is set very high, but when we did our maths we were surprised by how sustainable that will be for a niche platform like ours.”

The Pozible crowdfunding campaign features rewards ranging from early access to the platform, a country vacation, a minor recording career and an invitation to the campaign’s “Closing Soiree And Orgy”. They insist this is definitely not an orgy, just a party (that they happen to be also selling orgy robes for). Find out more and support their fundraising at
https://www.pozible.com/project/normal-place .

It almost goes without saying that I am a big fan of this idea. I like curation; I mistrust algorithms. I don’t want YouTube or Netflix to tell me what I might like, but I do enjoy a human of certain tastes putting together a playlist or a mixtape or a programming stream or a festival. We need our Des Mangans and our Bill Collinses, our Jack Sargeants and, god help us, our Tomás Fords.
Also, this is a much more interesting and hopefully utilitarian platform than YouTube and Vimeo for performers from the fringe of fringe to get their work in front of the right eyes. Its not just about reach or size of audience. A million people can see your madness and not give a shit, but the right 10,000 or so might turn it into a career. If I were in the business of booking weird live acts, this is the sort of thing I would be engaging with very directly. 
So, the link is above, check out the campaign, and throw in a few bucks if you can. It’ll be fun, I promise. And it’ll be weird. 
TRAVIS JOHNSON

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