Chapter 5: Breaking barriers
After the first edition of THU, I realized that the actual event needed to continue to be small and exclusive, to maintain that family feel, but at the same time, we needed to show the world what we were doing.
I wanted to expand the TRIBE, of course, but it wasn’t going to be an easy task, also bearing in mind that the location at our disposal only provided limited space. That’s when I thought the solution had to be online.
I didn’t want to make a regular Live-stream though, because THU is not a regular event. The online content had to be just as magical as the main event itself. That’s why we took almost 2 years to launch THU TV Vol.I.
We wanted to make something different and valuable for the community, and we started focusing on discovering what was missing in the field of digital arts, in the art community.
All we found were LiveDemos or interviews with artists, nothing with a soul. We realized that there was almost no real source of inspiration and knowledge for creatives across the world. We looked for what was missing and tries to understand how to fill in those gaps.
I never made anything like this, so I looked for help, and after a big research I found and hired Rui Lino as THU TV’s first producer. It was a big investment from my side, at that time we were already near bankrupcy and we thought that 2015 was going to be the year of the last THU, however, we wanted to take this last step forward before the end.
We weren’t sure how it was all going to go down at the time, but we knew that we were going to do whatever we could to make it happen. After months of chaos, some ideas began taking shape in our minds. I will never forget September 15, 2015: the day one of the most ambitious projects I ever worked on came to life — THU TV.
Now when I look back and people ask me what was the hardest part of all of this, it’s funny to say it was the same as the main event’s: trying to explain what THU TV was and why we it was necessary for the Tribe. You’d think I should’ve been worrying about the production, but that wasn’t at all a concern. Rui put up a top-notch team, which included THU TV’s current partners Nuno Neves ( OtherFeatures ) and Xavier Vasconcelos ( YouAreAlive ). Everything under that aspect went smooth, Nuno and Xavier did an incredible job! They were quick to adapt to what was going on around them.
You see, you can plan as much as you like, but THU is a roller-coaster ride and the Tribe never seizes to surprise me. This means you can only organize the main plan and be prepared for the unexpected magic that will happen.
So we tried to explain what we were doing, but people kept thinking it’s just a live-stream, like those hundreds of live-streams from other events. But then, Nuno began to release the On Demand content, one show at a time and finally the Tribe began to understand why we have been saying we are the Netflix for artists.
I gave Nuno complete creative freedom and told him he could take as much time as he needed to finish the videos. This allowed him to be able to produce top-notch professional content, with amazing graphics and excellent audio/video quality.
However, our issue wasn’t solved. Only people who bought THU TV subscriptions knew what it was, but we were still in a bubble. Students and professionals still today don’t understand the value of THU TV for them, and it’s a real shame.
Vol. I was just the beginning. We have learned a lot from our experience last year and this year we are upgrading all aspects of the tv:
- we are going to bring multi-cam recording to all the rooms, not just the main one;
- we are improving the platform and migrating the On Demand videos from Vimeo to the same platform we use for the lives — Cleeng;
- we are improving the formats of the SHOWS, adding some new ones and scrapping others;
- we are giving the attendees at home the opportunity to interact with the speakers during the live events, by reserving them a spot to ask questions towards the end of the talks.
We know we can do so much more.
We’re also thinking of launching our own platform in the future to make sure it meets our standards.
The problem is finding the funds to do this. I would like to have the conditions to create content all year round and to help creatives show their talent and their value to the world.
There are so many stories to tell, talented people and innovative projects that are making a difference to both local and global economies, and we want to find these stories and tell them.
We want THU TV to become a place where the Tribe can find inspiration, a place that can really help them improve their careers and also become better human beings.
At some point in time, the art industry became selfish and individualistic. We want to overcome these barriers and connect everyone through something bigger. With THU TV we want to give new perspectives on creativity and art. We try to do this every year at THU by reminding everyone that there are no egos at THU. THU is not about you, it’s about us, all of us. It’s about the Tribe
Even though THU TV Vol. II will be an improved version of Vol. I, it’s price is considerable lower. Why? Because we want to make it affordable to everyone, so more people can join our cause, and last year, we had a lot of support from the Tribe. If we continue to receive support, we will continue to give back, because that is our mission: protect and help the creatives of the world. We need them to help us find more stories, give us feedback, and help us to keep getting better at what we do, day after day, together.
THU main event changed my life, but THU TV showed me the way to work with people from all over the world , documenting their stories and, if possible, changing, helping, and improving artists, human beings, and communities in this process. I can only hope we can make the difference.
THU TV its just starting.