Joan Of Orca A week or so ago I was given the privilege to publish a press release, relating to a cow orientated comic book. And now, a week or so later, I have been given yet another privilege to interview the mastermind behind the aforementioned project. His name is Chad. He loves to create. And this is what he said to me whist he was creating a French version of Frankenstein that's allergic to onions. Bon-Apetit! 

Illinois 1) What are your own origins, Chad? Plus what path did you take in life prior to getting to where you are today?   No radioactive ooze, unfortunately, cause I grew up in Illinois. As a kid, I was really into comics and art and music. I wrote my first comic story before High School. I went to school for music business, and got really interested in the entertainment business as a whole.

After college, I did the corporate thing, but was bounced around due to the changing of the job market. I never really felt comfortable in the jobs, so when I got the chance to actually launch Follow Networks, I just dove in.

2) How did ‘Follow Networks’ come about? It’s ‘secret origin’ so to speak.   Follow Networks started as a podcast called MadChat, which still exists and comes out every Monday. As the Podcast grew we started to talk about what we wanted to do plus what we enjoyed doing. The common thread was that we wanted to make things. So we started laying the groundwork for that. As we worked more and more on things, we realized that our process was special because we wanted to include others, and we didn’t want to close the process off. That was the genesis of where we are now as we launch into our first fully collaborative project which will be a graphic novel about 'Time Travel'.

3) In your own words how would you describe this site?   We aren’t a website. We’re a community. Our goal is to create a place where people can come and be creative, and be a part of something that is more than just a forum or backing some Kickstarter project. 

We create projects from both internal ideas and ideas that come from the community. With each idea we go through several phases of development. At each phase, there is an opportunity for people to voice their opinions, contribute ideas, suggest story lines, develop characters, tell us how it should start, how it should end, etc.

Follow Networks then produces and distributes the projects. If your idea is used in the final project, you will be given a percentage of the profits of the project. 

We also want people to know that we are committed to showing off the things they do. To do that, we will be attending comic-cons and film festivals and events and introducing people to the things that we make as a community. We want to give our people the best opportunity to really show off their work.

4) What song would you say best represents this project and why?   What a strange question. But fun. B0VINE, as a project, has been a really unique experience. It developed really quickly, and it’s nature and style kind of mandated that it be done in a certain way. Therefore...

No Celebrity
5) If you could get a celebrity – either living or dead – to promote your wares, who would you choose, and why would you want to choose this particular person?   Not to cheat the question -- but -- as a company, we’re more interested in having a strong community that tells everyone about what we’re doing on their own. We want to give every comic lover and film lover the chance to make their mark on comics and film and be rewarded for it. So for us, no celebrity would be able to tell the world about it better or with more attachment than the person who got to be a part of it. Our celebrities are the ones who are contributing and helping us create the next wave of comics and films. 

6) What have you learnt about yourself through this endeavour? And were their any unforeseen obstacles you had to contend with along the way?   I’ve always been entrepreneurial and fiercely creative. The thing that gets me out of bed is the prospect of taking nothing and turning it into something. Writing is still exciting to me. Taking a blank sheet of paper and finishing with a script or a story or a concept is awesome. So I’ve learned that everything is an opportunity. I’ve learned to be humble. I make myself available to everyone. I’m not locked away in some office somewhere. People want to create. They want to be a part of the things that they love. So I want to give them that opportunity. 

There are always things that get in the way. Life is hard. Starting something based on a grand vision is hard. I tell everyone that the best thing you can do is just start. If you and your friends want to do something, there is nothing stopping you. Just go for it. 

Talking On The Phone
7) During your time in this field, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead?   Talking to people. Always pushing to make sure the next thing is better than the last. Finding ways to get more people involved. I just love the process. It’s exciting. Beyond that, writing. I keep a journal, which everyone should do. I try to write everyday, even if it’s just 500 words. 

8) Can you mention some of the projects you have in motion?   We are currently in the collaboration phase for our next one-shot graphic novel, which will be about Time Travel. People can submit their ideas through a link on our Facebook page. We will be finalizing that project and getting it out into the world this Fall. 

We are working on creating some webcomic properties that allow people a chance to write and control the story. 

We just finished the scripts for the first season of our first web-series. This has been a major project for us and we are super excited about it. Our goal is to film the project this summer and release it towards the end of fall. It’s called SIDESHOW ZERO. It’s a circus-based zombie show, but it’s a got a really interesting side that I haven’t seen in any zombie story before. 

Make Something
Finally, this Summer we’ll be launching a full slate of new projects, with the current plans to release a new collaboration every Thursday afternoon. This will include everything from comics, to web-comics, to film, everything. We are going to give everyone plenty of opportunities to be seen and heard. 

9) If ‘Follow Networks’ had a motto, what would it be?   We have an unofficial tag line that I use: 'Want to Make Something?' . Here is what it means to me. People want to make things. They want to create. They want to have fun and do cool stuff. But sometimes the world gets in the way. We’re giving that opportunity back to everyone.

So there you have it, my friends. My great mate Chad and his very creative community, 'Follow Networks'. When you have the time please feel free to click on over to his website and facebook page. Well, you never know. The next big thing could be you!

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