Nick DenBoer aka Smearballs on his creative journey

Nick DenBoer (youtube channel) is a film and music video director based in Toronto who has worked with a wide array of high profile clients – including ad agencies like Wieden+Kennedy, media personalities like Conan O’Brien and artists like deadmau5, The Neptunes and even Tommy Lee.

His creative style remixes aesthetic elements to craft new narratives and on this episode of the StartWell podcast, filmed at our Event Studio, we dig into his experiences discovering whats possible with a career and review some of his work together.

In a rush? Here are some highlights from this conversation

  • Creativity and media production. (0:00)
  • Art, creativity, and career development. (3:04)
  • Career transition from construction to advertising through YouTube. (6:42)
  • Artistic tools and creative frustration. (10:10)
  • NFTs and digital art. (17:02)
  • NFTs, mocap, and digital art. (19:54)
  • Digital art, remix culture, and TV appearances. (22:56)
  • Remixing TV shows and commercials. (31:29)
  • Remixing classic films with new content. (33:49)
  • Manipulating visual data and creating humorous ad content. (37:04)
  • Creating viral content for brands. (39:47)
  • Creativity, collaboration, and technology in the film industry. (46:25)
  • AI's impact on creativity in advertising. (49:44)
  • The impact of AI on creativity in the entertainment industry. (52:46)

Spend time with this conversation - here's the full transcript

Nick DenBoer 0:00
So the idea was we take an old classic film, shrink it down to 30 minutes you know, change the genre of it with like, replacing people's mouths, re editing it to change the context, inject new characters and all that kind of stuff. So it was just this you know, proof of concept that we made with the shining from Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. We pitch them this thing called the chickening chicken in the chicken

Nick DenBoer 0:36
even though this didn't work out, it got shown in film festivals and the people at widening Kennedy saw it in Portland probably at a film festival and they hired me to start working on KFC stuff because they saw the chickening so is this weird link from chicken to chicken? Yeah, so they have all these existing Old Spice so added hats and multiplied the birds and made deodorant come out of this whales blowhole. This is from like three different spots, and they're all mixed together and cut up and made insane. So I found applications for the same techniques in advertising and films and all kinds of other things, even if I couldn't acquire the IP myself.

Qasim Virjee 1:20
Founded in 2017 Start well is Toronto's independent hub for innovators to collaborate, our podcasts relate perspectives from the world's most diverse urban population to reflect unique insights into global business, media, and culture.

Qasim Virjee 1:42
Nick, thanks for joining me in studio.

Nick DenBoer 1:44
Thanks for having me.

Qasim Virjee 1:45
It's a pleasure, man. It's a pleasure. So it's very rare that we find time to actually use our studio space, which we're set in today. You know, the start will advance studio or cyclorama to actually talk to creators, but it's something that I love doing, because that's what this place is for. And we do creations and we're producing stuff in studio all the time. But yeah, flipping the script and actually talking to people about creating stuff. And the mindset that that requires. The lack of mindset that that requires the you know, and all that crap, the difficulty, but also the joy of kind of like pursuing a path and kind of like, creative media is really fascinating to me and some of our audience. So yeah, it's so awesome to have you here to be able to pull back or peel back the onion a little bit on it. Hopefully,

Nick DenBoer 2:38
it's good for me to get out of my work zombie mode to for me, like I guess the creative process is kind of mostly in isolation, because I'm like, these years, I'm doing a lot of post production work and computer stuff and less studio time. So it's kind of good to get out of my out of the house zone.

Qasim Virjee 3:00
Let's talk Okay, I'd love to start with the kind of like beginnings of your career. Yeah. When you were a kid, of whatever age you want to respond. Back here, yeah, like what I mean, I don't see a now I'm a father. I'm a father. My daughter is like five. And I don't I see a lot of parents that we know, kind of like doing this whole. Do you want to be a fireman? Do you want to be a policeman bullshit to the kids and like, it just limits I would take their sense of what options are in life. Yeah, well, having said that,

Nick DenBoer 3:33
I feel like I'm kind of like I have a lot of teenage or almost teenage nieces and nephews and stuff. Especially for my nephews. I feel like I'm kind of a bad example because I kind of made a career out of making you know, Daikon, but jokes and stupid animations that are like, kind of juvenile and ridiculous, but it worked out for me somehow. So it's probably like, leads kids the wrong way. Maybe but

Qasim Virjee 3:57
but is that worse? Or are you just like a joker when you're a kid? And

Nick DenBoer 4:02
yeah, like I was, I was taking my dad's photocopier and my dad was a butcher. So I was taking like butcher magazines and photocopying pictures of pigs and cutting their heads and putting it on people's bodies and stupid like ridiculous collages and stuff that was always just you know, for fun making jokes and images to make my buddies laugh in school. And I remember I took like, in high school I found this box of like discarded yearbook photos, like it was like everyone in my high school but like all five poses, you know, looking at the camera, and I was I stole it from my high school because I thought it was so funny to start cutting up the faces making these kind of caricatures out of people you know, take the the one face of them looking that way and the other one and put them together and I made all these like Frankenstein monsters, people like, I guess like seems like serial killer vibes or something. But it was, you know, God was a butcher. Yeah, exactly.

Qasim Virjee 4:57
So he was a butcher and he had butcher magazine? Yes. Weekly

Nick DenBoer 5:01
your industry right?

Qasim Virjee 5:03
The Tenderloin Tuesday discussion. But yeah, so I

Nick DenBoer 5:07
was always kind of messing with imagery and re mixing stuff like I would buy five of the same magazine so that I could get the same imagery. And then like cuts cut out the next to make someone have a super long neck and do these distorted people. So I started out in kind of photo collage, and then Photoshop, you know, it was coming around and turned into a more digital workflow. And I just kind of went full blast into that over the years, but it's awesome. Yeah. But it didn't, it wasn't like, right out of school, like I became an artist and started making money this way. Like I went to I went to OCAD here in Toronto, for like, a year and a bit. And then I was kind of like, failing to see the, you know, viability of a career out of, you know, fine art. So

Qasim Virjee 5:52
I use that a failure of the school, do

Nick DenBoer 5:54
you think it was a weird time because I was taking Integrated Media in like, 1999. And that was a time when computers were like, bear, like, on the scene in the real world, but in universities, like they're kind of lagging technology, and still are in a lot of ways sometimes, you know? Sure. So they were still teaching us VHS at the turn of the century, which cutting tapes, you had to cut tapes for the first two or three years before you're allowed on the media 100 suites, which are now long obsolete. But I already at that time, I had my dad's old computer, because you know, he was kind of keeping up with 386 Depending on the range, I was always getting his hand me down. So I was always messing around stuff. And at that time, even you could edit video, you know, 640 by 480, like you barely on a penny on whatever was slow, but you could do it. Yeah. So I was just like, why are we even learning this? And you know, it seems kind of dumb. And I needed to make money because you know, on my own living in Toronto, right? So I bailed in started at like house painting with my buddies. It turned into a construction company that turned into a 10 year long career of doing renovations and structural remediation on big factory buildings. And I'm in trouble. Yeah. And I became a property manager. I was doing all that. But I was on the side, I kept making my artwork and I kept making music videos for my buddy's bands. And I was managing my buddies, man. And we had this old school bus, we'd be touring around Canada on the weekends and stuff. So as you mean, not so much a collage artist. No, just with bands, music bands. So that was your magazines. Yeah, so that was kind of like, you know, I always had my foot in that door. And then YouTube came around, started making a bunch of like, video remixes with my buddies for for fun, you know, like green screening ourselves into infomercials and stupid like, you know, After Effects stuff. And then eventually people started seeing my work on YouTube and hiring me to do like little advertising jobs and stuff like that. And that's snowballed into agencies or Yeah, yeah, well, my first job ever actually, like paid gig was Ken Block who actually rest in peace. He recently deceased in a horrible accident, but he was the founder of DC shoes. And he's a crazy Stunt Car Driver, like rally car driver, like the guy was amazing. And he did these viral videos called Jim Connor where he'd race his car through buildings and like drive like skid sideways through warehouses and spin his car and stuff. So he approached me after he saw some YouTube work and was like, I want to pay you just to do like a low key remix of Jim Khanna with visual effects. But he wanted to like you know, give me a few grand and just pretend I did it on my own. Like, you know, like it was my own intention. And then so I was like, I went crazy with it. I teamed up with my pal Davey for some weed like added pterodactyls attacking his car and all this crazy stuff. And I look back now and I mean, it was kind of crude animation compared to what I do now. But at the it's funny and you know, YouTube would

Qasim Virjee 8:45
have been tools we're using at the time this is what year again

Nick DenBoer 8:50
2009 I was a little later. Yeah, I'm talking like after the 10 years of construction. So

Qasim Virjee 8:56
a while ago though, that Facebook kind of came on the scene.

Nick DenBoer 8:59
It's only a few years into YouTube even Yeah, that was Oh 506 Yeah. So yeah, so then I made this crazy video for him and he was like, oh my God showed it to the team at DC shoes and he's like, we want to make this an official spot for the DCDC shoes you too YouTube channel. So that was kind of my first advertising gig. Then he sent us a bunch of product I started shooting like shoes spinning on green screen and we incorporated the product into the video and turn it into a whole thing so that kind of launched a career into advertising so and the construction and never looked back.

Qasim Virjee 9:30
Wow. And it came to you I mean you were doing stuff but it came to you the business side of it came to you

Nick DenBoer 9:37
yeah yeah. But that's the thing is like I never sought out to make a career out of this you know, like it was I was just making stuff for fun. Yeah, on YouTube dicking around and and I still do that anytime I have time in between jobs. I learn new software, kind of, you know, grab new tools and do what I want to do and throw that out in the world and I found it always leads to more work and opens new doors. So I kind of that's my default go to when I'm sick of what I'm doing. Or if I'm like, pigeon holed into doing a certain kind of work, I just kind of break out take six months or three months to do the work. But I think the client, not the client so much. But like you, I find a lot of artists, like you learn your tools, and you're really good at after effects or a certain 3d thing. And people have very narrow styles a lot of the time and you just kind of make the same thing over and over again, and you don't know.

Qasim Virjee 10:25
So let's talk about tools, we'll come back to the business side of things, and agency world, because we were having that pre camera chat, which I think is interesting. Well, some of that stuff will come back. But the how, at what point do you get frustrated with a tool, versus sticking with something that might be more basic that you have always relied on but you feel free with? There's a

Nick DenBoer 10:49
bunch of different scenarios that can lead to that I think like tools like After Effects software in particular, that software is not moving as fast as the rest of the world and industry, sort of like a lot of artists complain about just like you've got now. Programs like TouchDesigner Resolume, compositing software still around. Yeah,

Qasim Virjee 11:11
I used to VGA with Vijay, yeah,

Nick DenBoer 11:14
it's still around is still great. But you can plug in, like, you know, EXR passes from your renders and into this software that can composite in real time now. And then you load it into After Effects. And it's like, you know, loading into the RAM. And it's just like, it's kind of crazy that that entire software is not on the GPU and like so. So things like that make me frustrated with certain tools and make me want to move into something else sometimes. But I think for me, the big big jump kind of still 10 years ago now that I made it but moving just from doing 2d animation video based stuff into 3d world and now I'm like full blast into cinema 4d Houdini octane render, you know, real illusion for character creation started dabbling and unreal. Like there's just such a vast world of stuff that's moving so fast that it's fascinating to me. So I kind of

Qasim Virjee 12:03
fascinating, but isn't it terrifying? Yeah, in terms of like,

Nick DenBoer 12:06
you can't learn it all. That's the hard part. It's just like, you want to try all these tools and do all these things. You see people doing amazing thing here, you want to run it, split yourself into 10 people and try and learn it all. But it's really not possible. You kind of I mean, you don't have to specialize to the point where like, you're just the guy who does mustaches in Hollywood, like you hear about these guys that are so specialized in like ridiculous, you know, just hand animation or something like that. But I think you can be a generalist and learn, like I do. I've learned all these different things, but I sometimes feel like I'm spreading myself a little thin, too. And I don't go in deep enough into the things that I'm learning so well,

Qasim Virjee 12:42
especially as like photo realism with this rendering engine. It's become something that is advancing like you mentioned unreal, didn't they? Just this week or last week? Release a whole new like, yeah,

Nick DenBoer 12:52
it's wild, like the meta human stuff. And though the facial mocap things like I have a mocap suit and and it's been a huge iPhone with a new thing, right? Yeah. Yeah. So even with reusable the software I use, I use the iPhone for a, you know, facial mocap. And it's pretty decent, like, I mean, it's not avatar level, but it's like you can do it at home now. And it looks really good. They have wrinkle maps, even that when they squint it like shows the reveals wrinkles, and like, yeah, it's really getting high fidelity.

Qasim Virjee 13:18
So as the as that kind of the means of articulating for visual artists become more in line with what your expectations of the creative output would be. That frustration, I've always felt that my mediums have always, for the most part, a little bit film, but always music, like I'm a DJ and music produced and stuff. And I was get frustrated where I could like I could hear something. But it took me like a month to produce it. Yeah. And then I'm like, it's not worth it. I'll just hear it for me. No one else needs to know this. Yeah,

Nick DenBoer 13:49
I always like I have a friend who is an amazing guitar player, and I suck at guitar. I just never put in the hours. But I always like to fiddle around and play and I then I can record myself and edit the hell out of it. So I sound all right. But I'm not, you know, just as far as playing, I'm no virtuoso. And I complained to him one time that like, I can't play my ideas, I'm not good enough to play my ideas. And his response was like, well, that's a lot better than knowing how to play everything in the world and not having any original ideas. Because sometimes when you know how to play every single genre of everything, you go to play something new, and you're just you're stepping on all the things you know, like it's hard to find a new creative path. So I think it's kind of awesome to have an ignorant like angle sometimes to not know what you're doing. And you come up with something brilliant sometimes because you're just coming at it from an honest place of no knowledge and, and having these tools where you can jump in and do something that you used to have to have like five years of Houdini knowledge to do a certain kind of simulation. And now it's like, there's software that can do it in one step. And like all these AI tools now are going to lower the bar even more. So it's I think it's going to come down more to your ideas and the

Qasim Virjee 14:58
sort of enabling people also like actually create without being tripped up by the infrastructure.

Nick DenBoer 15:04
But also, I think we're getting to a point where there's also going to be a massive amount of like, sort of half assed content, because a lot of these AI tools are shortcuts, but you still need all the skills to take it over the finish line to get Do you get it to 80%. But to get that last 20, is like I saw a tool the other day, that's like, their marketing is like, you just have to shoot a film of you. And then you can replace it with a 3d character, and it'll automatically erase the background and put the 3d character in and light it and all these things. And it's like, it's kind of seems like it's an app on your iOS device, you know what I mean? And it's like, it's gonna be okay, and it'll do those things. But as soon as you shoot it like a little bit where your hand goes out of the screen, it's gonna be wonky, or like, you know, there's going to be all these things where how do you fix that you still need the skills to fix that. And that's like, you kind of still need to know how to do the entire workflow. Grant using NIDA

Qasim Virjee 15:54
comes down to two things, isn't it, there's this personal satisfaction thing of like doing a good job, then there's also this idea of kind of professional content. So I think it comes down to what we were talking about before, which is like a little bit about audience who your audience is, as a creator. And if your audience is like a five second blip, while they're, you know, on the toilet, and they're just the the seasons gone. And the impression isn't really like, I mean, the impression on them isn't really impactful or designed to be impactful, then you're different. That's a different type of medium than if you're creating something that's like engaging on a cinema

Nick DenBoer 16:28
screen. Yeah. And most content is now viewed on this tiny little screen anyway. So it's kind of this you can get away with a lot of like, you know, not half assed work, but work that doesn't, you know, need that inspection level of like pixel perfect animation.

Qasim Virjee 16:47
And it's not necessarily even about the audience. It's also about kind of the monetizes middle monetize monetization. of it, like, Okay, we'll jump around a little bit, because I want to look at some of your work, I want to show it to our audience. But if you're cool with jumping into it, if you have a clip for me, you've done some NFT stuff, right?

Nick DenBoer 17:09
Yeah, I kind of dove it was kind of weird. Because in you know, when I dropped out of art school in like, 2000, I was kind of like, what like art was seemed like this ridiculous thing. I'm like, trying to sell my collages to my friends and family like to like break in or start something, it just seemed kind of ridiculous. Now, back then to is like, digital artists were trying to make DVDs and sell them for 1000 bucks. And it was laughable, like, you're gonna buy this plastic jewel case and, like, charge someone money to see a DVD when it's a copyable thing. You know, like, it seemed absurd. So but it was also kind of at that time, 20 whatever years ago, it seemed like digital art needs to be, you know, a mainstay of the fine art world. And it never did and never really took hold Yeah, galleries around the world. And only now it's feels like it's starting to gain a foothold, like right feels like it's 20 years too late. But it's, it's kind of happening. So I was kind of excited by it. But at the same time, it like the NFT crypto world and all the scams and all the cringe of all the crappy animal PFP projects and everything like that was just me that by the end of last year, really hard to kind of call yourself an NFT artists or for me anyway, I was just kind of like wondering,

Qasim Virjee 18:29
as like, because you could upload anything and assume that if someone connects with it for whatever, you know, authentic or other collector mentality, they'll buy it, they'll try and trade it. It has value, but it doesn't necessarily have value for its own merit. Yeah. And then there's a commodification of the art,

Nick DenBoer 18:50
which is, I think, a completely separate thing from actual fine art digital, a way to at least, create a digital, you know, one of one piece that people can buy or receipt for some real life item that someone can buy, like, I always went with all my art pieces that I ever sold, they came with a print. So I make prints on my own printer in my studio, and I send those to the first buyer it's up to them if they want to give it to the next one, which nobody does. But I printed you know, one of one print didn't even make one for myself like that's the only print in existence goes to the buyer and digital engraved key with a USB key with a higher resolution file than everyone else sees on the internet. Okay, so at least you get the highest resolution possible. You're the You and me are the only ones that have it and you get this print. So I thought at least that makes it more of a traditional purchase. And so I did that for myself anyway because if I was buying art, that's what I would want something like that, you know, rather than just a link to an image that everyone else has access to, I don't know it made it special. Yeah. But yeah, I can play some of the this kind of a mix. We can end it Anytime, but it's just as a mix of stuff I did in the last couple of years little animation loops.

Qasim Virjee 20:06
So some of these I saw cut as an fts. Yeah,

Nick DenBoer 20:09
this one was it was a office piece I did. And it was kind of in the middle of the, you know, pandemic, the the absurdity of the office known as going anymore every day. We work. Yeah, that's what this looks like. And this is what's called American exceptionalism. It's just a kind of Walmart, lady with the guns into toilet paper, again, another pandemic thing. Yeah, toilet paper I mentioned. So yeah, these are all kind of born out of the pandemic. And these are characters and mocap that I had done in my suit. And this was kind of where we rewind.

Qasim Virjee 20:45
So this is these are characters you did in a suit,

Nick DenBoer 20:50
though, yeah, the lady I think I did that walk cycle for her in my, in my mocap suit. And then I did, I did another layer of animation, like I locked the hands to the card and then lowered and raised the hips to make it more exaggerated. But yeah, yeah, I do a lot of the mocap. Myself, I have a large library of existing mocap as well. So I kind of use a combination of

Qasim Virjee 21:17
so you have movement captured from actual humans moving in, I'm

Nick DenBoer 21:22
doing facial motion capture as well, like we're saying with the iPhone. Wow. So that's why it's obviously not mocap. It's a Houdini simulation. Then when we would have been a hard one to motion capture. Oh,

Qasim Virjee 21:33
yeah. Hi, do you fly on your hand alone? phenomenal work, though. No, thanks. And of course, this is all the stuff you're showing me is all non commercial, like not just

Nick DenBoer 21:44
I kind of took some time off of the commercial work and just dove into this digital art market thing for a while. And again, these are all sold to people. I mean, the manga market has since somewhat collapsed, since the boom of the NFT explosion, but I like this one, that's fine.

Qasim Virjee 22:05
But coin is what is it?

Nick DenBoer 22:07
And this one I did with Eric Andre, the comedian. I've been doing a lot of collabs with different celebrities, comedians, musicians and stuff like that. So this was he approached me to do an NFT project. So I just made a subway full of him different versions of him. And is

Qasim Virjee 22:22
this an infinity loop? Yeah, if you watch it over and over again, it just keeps going

Nick DenBoer 22:26
back there. And that was kind of interesting. That was like the first kind of cracks I saw of like NFT backlash because his a lot of his audience was really not an NF Ts and not into you know, and also at that time, Aetherium was proof of work. And it was like a really, you know, huge environmental, you know, what is this do it why do we have millions and billions of GPUs running hot to, you know, solve this problem to make this coin where people can buy JPEGs like the absurdity of it. It was absurd. It was crazy. You know, like, I think had a theory of stayed that way. It was just like, I don't know, I don't think it would have stayed afloat. I don't know. It seems kind of insane.

Qasim Virjee 23:07
I can't put my head I can't wrap my head around. crypto. Yeah. Regardless, like I understand this, like digital currency need, but the whole ecosystem around it, and the like, hedging industry, just beyond my conception,

Nick DenBoer 23:24
it's, I can't pretend that I fully understand it either. But for me, it's just like, the fine art world. I feel like digital art needs some kind of way to have a bullet proof receipt that you're the owner of it. I think that concept is sound. I think it's a cool thing to own something like this, like just you can play it on a screen you can experience it in real life and to why not be able to own it. I think it's, you know, inevitably, in the year 2350 Like, it's not just gonna be watercolors and clay sculptures and galleries like digital art is kind of going to be on the cutting edge of all kinds of fronts, you know? And, yeah,

Qasim Virjee 24:08
and especially with this question of like, remix culture, like I I'm big on this idea coming from the music background that I have as a DJ, I've always been thinking about everything as you know, a sample

Nick DenBoer 24:21
Yeah, all these things are a combination of art, or like 3d models I've purchased and you know, put legs from one model onto the duck from another one this donut, I bought an inverter and it's like, everything is remixed, you know, the, these asteroids and everything is you know, those didn't come on, lady I put those squash on there as it came. So yeah, and I've always because I started in video remix, so I was pulling infomercials off of my like, video capture card that was like, you know, pulling the TV signal into my computer back in the early 2000s and re mixing commercials I got off the airwaves with assets and stock images and party or tracking a party hat on to some lady and just really crude, stupid remix animation, but I still I still treat my new productions like that everything is still grabbing from stock assets and sound effects libraries and putting a re organizing it into something new, you know,

Qasim Virjee 25:19
how do you think the audience for your work has changed or evolved? You know, as since I guess it's been How long since you've been putting stuff let's just say on YouTube

Nick DenBoer 25:28
below? Yeah, I guess almost 20 years like since oh five or something other

Qasim Virjee 25:33
people that the you know, that have been watching your stuff.

Nick DenBoer 25:35
It's funny because like, some people still like make comment references to my early videos. But now it's like, I'm in a completely different world of 3d stuff compared to the 2d kind of remix the stuff I was doing it earlier. So once in a while somebody will do a nod to one of my old videos, and I'm like, wow, this person has been checking it out for decades. Is

Qasim Virjee 25:54
that and how does that feel to you to have a body of work that's kind of publicly available, it was talking about this whole conventional art world where you know, things get dispersed, you create art, maybe you die, and then it gets dispersed and doesn't matter to you. But otherwise, you sell your pieces off, you move on to the next piece. You keep working with digital, it's kind of interesting, because you can have this lifestyle

Nick DenBoer 26:15
up there for everyone. Yeah. I can kind of dive back in time a little bit here. If so, I was also like a big creator on Conan for years. So that was also in the early years. My YouTube I got this call one day back

Qasim Virjee 26:28
when Conan was on television. Yeah, back when he had a television show.

Nick DenBoer 26:32
And so I just got this call out of the blue and it was one of those you know, wow, this really happens like you just get a call out of the blue get an offer to watch you from Team Coco Yeah, the executive producer, this guy named John Wooden at the time, he was just like, Hey, want to pitch us some stuff. So I right away, kind of like conjured up all these ideas to like, remix the show of Conan, but then I was also kind of like, you know, the stuff that's in his monologue of like, the popular culture, right? I mean, the show was in a Yeah, it was in my zone. So I started kind of just doing that stuff on the site thinking hey, this maybe this will be good for the website. Yeah. But I'm sorry, made this. You see, it's like

Qasim Virjee 27:10
they're not gonna put this on television, though. I

Nick DenBoer 27:12
strictly saw through just the website, but it's not a journey. Every journey ends but we go on so Brad Pitt did a Chanel ad. Okay. And it was pretty hoity toity, you know, like it's just ridiculous. I green screen my body very crudely. And again, I'm doing this. I'm doing this with a crappy video camera next to me on a green piece of paper in my studio. And I just sent it in and John showed it to Conan like literally took it to his desk. I was like, Yo, check this out. Make made and Conan's like, I'm gonna put it on the show tonight. So I got a call being like, this is gonna be an analogue to me. And so that started then I realized I kind of had this backdoor onto the show. I could just send stuff to Johnny bring it into Conan and Conan liked it made it on the show. So I took that you just met Conan No, I was living I was working in Toronto. I was just sending it over the internet. And I basically started pump trying to pump out like three, four videos a week, whatever. I was just watching TV watching the Oscars watching anything that was like the Super Bowl, he wouldn't want to work and it was bits. Yeah, exactly. And he and I even right, what the bid was, you know, by the end of it. I was like sending full like, here. Here's the job, man. Yeah. And yeah, so I ended up getting like 120 150 things into the monologue and in a couple of years, so it was pretty awesome. But it was also a bit of, I think I kind of rubbed kind of the writing team the wrong way a little bit because you're like, hey, we're desert so you've got a writers room with like, you know, 1517 writers all trying to pitch their ideas to the head writer in a boardroom environment. And if you're you have to first get your idea through this gauntlet and then you have to go shoot it with their shooting team, edit it with their editing team, all that stuff. And meanwhile I just make that by myself on my computer and have it to them before rehearsal even started so they're just like we can all work hard or just use next video so it became a kind of like, so what point do you feel that that was a bad production pipeline for something that you need to create content on the fly in a day old world

Qasim Virjee 29:21
production? Yes. It's the way they were doing it was it was however, has been doing television for a long time. Yeah. At what point did you get to the set?

Nick DenBoer 29:30
Probably. I think within the first year I went down I started doing little week long visits and I'd hang out there and so people were cool like once you got oh yeah, it was all cool. I wouldn't say like I had a bad time with the writers but eventually they made me I had to pitch my ideas to the head writer and I wasn't just allowed to have that backdoor pipeline. We're gonna put you back on a moose to Toronto. But it kind of it did stifle like all of a sudden I was getting a fraction of what I was once getting on the show. So I had because I had to go through the gauntlet. So but that just made me work harder. I didn't add more videos, I was just like, I'm gonna send even more now and just inundate. A lot. And

Qasim Virjee 30:07
then how did that end? Was that ending? Did that end when the show ended?

Nick DenBoer 30:10
A little bit before? Actually, it was kind of there was this whole kind of stupid like meltdown of, I think one there was an ex writer of the show, who was like me, he was making videos for the show. He wanted to be a writer. Yeah, I forget his name, even. But he became a writer on the show and didn't get any of his pieces on. And then he got fired. And then he started this lawsuit, and then all of a sudden, it was like, whoa, I'm hammered down. No one, no one who's not a writer is allowed to do anything creative for the show. So the entire, like, team at Team coca, like none of us were allowed. And there were tons of people who embraced that network thing, right? Network thing, it was a union thing, like, you know, for me to be able to direct a piece, shoot a piece, write a piece and

Qasim Virjee 30:53
add 25 People didn't get any money

Nick DenBoer 30:57
and send it in and do it, I would have had to been in six unions or something, you know what I mean? So it was just kind of like that pipeline wasn't set up for guys like us to do that. So at the time, it was I was like, I did I was asked if I wanted to join this lawsuit, and I'm like, I'm not biting the hand that feeds me this is I have a great setup here. I don't want to be part of this. And then it just it was a year long thing where everyone had to sit on their hands or something. So I just ended up. But I was able to keep making, like remixes for the show. Like every year I did this kind of thing. And I took like 120 hours or whatever the footage was of the year. Yeah. And I would make a remix of the whole season of Conan. Oh, wait, I think that's just a steal.

Nick DenBoer 31:58
123 But yeah, and I had these regular recurring bits to have like Alex Trebek from Jeopardy. The late Alex Trebek he I would record tons of Jeopardy episodes so I and then I in a premier project, I would have categories like anytime Alex said an animal right anytime he said a proper noun or a noun subject predicate. I was like, chopping it all up into these little sections, so I can make him say anything.

Speaker 3 32:24
I'm starting to think Alex Trebek has been hosting that show too long. I'm afraid he's getting up there and he's starting to lose it. Take a look.

Speaker 4 32:32
Onomatopoeia for six please. Puff Daddy puffy P Diddy shitty whatever. He was born with a lumpy body covered with warts. Peanut butter, peanut butter. Celebrities. 600 Oh, my Miley Cyrus blew 240,000 marsupial's by using a vacuum pump in a trailer park. Perhaps contributing to her violent hatred of muskrats and mankind. Barrack what a Scientology? Yes, that's it.

Qasim Virjee 33:09
So career wise, right. You're you're with Team Coco. You're doing sending this stuff and you're busy with the show? Yeah. And then it ends. And then what happened?

Nick DenBoer 33:18
Well, it's funny because I had the opportunity through Conan's production company to pitch TV show through Warner Bros to Warner Brothers. So my pal Davey and I who did the like DC shoes remix and said we're both remix artists, he was like, did this thing called the TV Sheriff where he was like re mixing commercials live on stage with a guitar that would like trigger MIDI amazing video behind him. So he was playing video and like he had this whole band and they would open for Devo and back and stuff. So he's like a big remix hero of mine. So we teamed up and pitched Warner Brothers this thing that was like, we take their old films because they got a million properties in their archives, really kind of classic films that could be turned into something else with some visual effects. So the idea was we take an old classic film, shrink it down to 30 minutes turn a horror into a comedy or comedy into horror or the you know, change the genre of it with like, replacing people's mouths re editing it to change the context in check new characters and all that kind of stuff. So it was just this you know, proof of concept that we made with the shining from Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. And that was the pitch to the that was a pitch to them that we pitched them this thing called the chickening.

Nick DenBoer 34:41
All this stuff is added in we turned the Overlook Hotel into this thing called turn based chicken world a big chicken themed resort and added chickens and new mouths, new characters to the whole thing. So we've kind of yeah, here's the resort all chickened out and The thing is that there's like, this kind of creepy vibe of the place where they have this secret barbecue sauce to trying to get but it eventually turns Jack Nicholson into a chicken monster, but

Qasim Virjee 35:15
oh my god, it's so freaky.

Nick DenBoer 35:18
But yeah, it's a kind of a fun project. And again, it's just like a proof of concept. It's all kind of eye candy nonsenses sure we could do with the tech and with with the concept.

Qasim Virjee 35:27
And how long did this take to produce?

Nick DenBoer 35:29
It's kind of hard to say I think it was a few months like my pal Dave and I kind of divided and conquered took little scenes and started adding them together, we ended up with like 10 or 15 minutes of content, but it didn't really make sense until it was a full half hour. So we I cut it into a trailer that was like five minutes. But the Kubrick estate didn't really want us ruining their film. So it never really went anywhere. But we also like I've been taking this concept around for years like we I had as a potential deal with Adult Swim using and Warner Brothers unit using the Dukes of Hazzard because that was a toxic entity because of the Confederate flag on it. So I said why don't we invert that turn this on its head but the rainbow flag on it and make a lesbian comedy we'll call the dikes a biohazard where they're fighting their environmental fighting environmental causes with this you know lesbian duo in a rainbow car and we can totally take this and make the Confederate flag thing flipping on its head and use the property and do something cool and we had to deal with them the money they wanted for the IP was like double the production cost of making you're

Qasim Virjee 36:35
never looking at it as a sales opportunity not as

Nick DenBoer 36:39
it was crazy but we development almost you know that but I've ran into that over and over again because how do you pay out all these actors that were in it in the first place? So you almost have to wait for stuff to become public domain to be able to

Qasim Virjee 36:50
grant to me like so do you see a potential business model in actually creating from other IP like commercializable content? Sure.

Nick DenBoer 37:05
I mean, I've kind of still made a career out of it regardless like so even though this didn't work out. It got shown and film festivals and the people at widening Kennedy saw it and Portland probably at a film festival and they hired me to start working on KFC stuff because they saw the chickening so is this weird link from chicken to chicken? Yeah, so they have all these existing Old Spice ads and we're like how do we how do we get this guy that turned I don't know how that worked in the backroom boardroom pitch for them but but they gave me these Old Spice Ed so added hats and multiplied the birds and made deodorant coming out of this whales blowhole. This is from like three different spots and they're all mixed together and cut up and made insane. So I found applications for the same techniques in advertising and films and all kinds of other things even if I couldn't acquire the IP myself and do it but I looked into buying old V movies from the 80s and where we could kind of take these funny looking characters with their shirts tucked in and they're you know, big muscle guys and you know, I thought that would be kind of interesting but

Qasim Virjee 38:12
well I mean looking at this the aesthetic of how you're manipulating this visual data and characters and bringing it together. I mean, it's a different mindset but if you pre plan it to shoot original content to then remix Sure,

Nick DenBoer 38:25
it's all about like having it together like like having an 80s movie that was a flop right but that was filmed beautifully that had a great DOP or something you know like like we're looking for films like that like like movies like samurai cop that are like a joke now but like something you could maybe acquire for not that much money and then and then alter them and you've got this awesome Canvas to play with you know, like it really is just like the base layer is the canvas and the story is like you know, manipulated from adding all these different elements so and

Qasim Virjee 38:55
then okay, so then this is brilliant work I mean, I could watch this all day and so then you start working in the agency world with W k yeah,

Nick DenBoer 39:06
that turned me they call it oh yeah, why not Kennedy Wk whatever but they Yeah, I did time like probably ended up doing about seven or eight big jobs for KFC and Old Spice and all these different like ridiculous you know, because Because Wyden Kennedy kind of got carte blanche with those two brands in particular, like Old Spice it was just kind of like no notes from the client it was all just the agency was allowed to kind of go hog wild with it and they were a pretty awesome team over there that took some crazy risks you know, like so it was really fun working with them where you know people get the sense of humor and let you Yeah, you know, run with it make funny stuff. So I ended up doing like a meditation system for chicken pot pies for KFC. It's a thing in the States. They don't have to get Popeyes but I guess octogenarians in the US buy these chicken Popeyes from KFC so they wanted to bring that to a younger market. So we made a like this psychedelic late night. The TV meditation system for chicken basics. ridiculous and we made this guy. We made Colonel Sanders into a virtual influencer. This dude here we actually won a Webby Award for best use of social media in 2020, I think or 2021. So we Yeah, this is all CG created this guy from scratch. That's not a real human. Not a real human. No. So we, you know, started with the base mesh and I worked with this guy, Dan, we're already in Vancouver. We're already digital. He does like Marvel characters and all kinds of crazy high realism. stuff. So yeah, we created this guy. And they gave us kind of a, an ask of what they wanted them to look like, like this certain age, certain hairstyle, very specific little references that we had to kind of manga like back to Brad Pitt there. Yeah, this was KFC board room. So it would complement to all these situations. So basically, we took over KFC, his Instagram, and every day was a different post for like a mining of the kernel. Yeah, he made a record of these guys hanging out with all kinds of people in Japan. Fascinating. He went on his private jet. We did a crossover post that Dr. Pepper. But yeah, it was ridiculous. Yeah, I met Tom Green. That's amazing. Yeah, it was a fun project. Oh, and we did a shoot a body double because the body to do all the outfits and CG in real time every day was a bit crazy. So that's

Qasim Virjee 41:27
amazing, man. So what's like, what are you working on now?

Nick DenBoer 41:30
Right now? Well, I kind of took january february off to do a short film. And I got sort of somewhat far a couple minutes of it, which is a lot in heavy animation world. I shot a lot of it's basically real life plates with CG characters in it. So I'm shooting and just empty subway cars and right things like that. And then adding my mocap characters in. Yeah. And the concept is kind of just people being assholes, like, it's just each person does something mean to the next and then they get what's coming to them. So it's like this karma chain. So everybody does a mean thing to the next person, and they get what's coming to him and it's going back to this first person. So it's modular, so I can make it as long as I want. I can end it just by taking one character and bringing at the end. So I don't know how it's gonna take me forever. Like it's cuz I'm doing all these Houdini simulations with like fat jiggling and cloth Sam's and hair. And so it's like, every little step is taking a day. So it's like, it's taking forever. So now I kind of like put it on ice for a minute because I'm doing some music video stuff with Oliver tree that artist I think I was showing you mentioned earlier, right? And he's kind of in the same vibe as me as far as comedy and weird videos goes. So it was a kind of an opportunity I couldn't pass up. So I took a little break from my film to do this for a month. So it's fascinating

Qasim Virjee 42:51
because it seems like you know, and again, there's probably a lot of our audience would probably enjoy this is that like, there are a few examples people come across in creative pursuits where characters like you emerge, you know, like people were like, I'm gonna do this cool thing and it's like I'm really interested in it and just like, you know, put it out there and then it connects with someone who can commercialize it, and you get gigs and it kind of like carries itself you know, socially this like noisy media landscape of today but again,

Nick DenBoer 43:23
it's not like like I said before I'm not I didn't set out to do this it was always just I was doing it for fun and throwing it on the internet to make my buddies laugh right. And that turned into this thing where people started hiring me to do it and still like my Instagram is just stuff I do for myself for fun and that for whatever reason people like I've been able to align with other brands that that dig it right so I mean like another one oh yeah Brett's other clips to like the music videos I did with dead mouse so I've done quite a few with him

Nick DenBoer 44:10
so dead mouse jaw is a good buddy of mine now because I've done so many projects and tour visuals and music videos and all kinds of stuff with him. But there's a music video I made during the pandemic as well. And it was just kind of reimagined his mouse head as all these other animals and characters and loving a big car race. So this was a tractive at the Neptunes. And yeah, so this was an insane turnaround. I had 50 something 56 days to do the whole thing from scratch. So it was like building assets like this is just you. I actually have friends work for the first week or two. So my pal David area have roughed out some environments for me and Davey helped with a car interior and a few other car assets but the rest I like Animated. Created rendered. This Was Your Life. Thank you so much. Yeah, like we're talking upwards. It's like 18 hour, 20 hour days, like almost every day.

Qasim Virjee 45:10
Like nightmares of your work.

Nick DenBoer 45:14
Really, though, I mean, this, it's kind of there's so much of it now I looked back at some stuff, and I forget even what it was like to make it and right. Did I even do this? This was one of those projects where I look back and I'm like, How did I even make this and 50 Something days, but it was just front loading building assets. I'm like making spaceships, making cars making all this stuff for weeks and weeks and weeks. And then are like, I guess two weeks, three weeks. And then I was like, I'm like, I have to start rendering stuff. And then I was like, I made a rough timeline, not a storyboard, but just things I wanted to happen throughout it. And then just in real time building a new shot, rendering it out building the next shot, rendering it until it was done on the last day. It was kind of a crazy.

Qasim Virjee 45:52
And what was the reception of this? It looks like exceptional work. Thanks, man. Yeah, it

Nick DenBoer 45:56
was great. We got nominated for Gina. We didn't win. But we got nominated for Janelle that year for music video of the year. And but yeah, it's it's kind of turned out beautiful. All the different environments are cool. And each one trans transitions into the next so. But yeah, this is kind of like and he Joel dead mouse gives me pretty much carte blanche on the

Qasim Virjee 46:18
chicken into that person who was just

Nick DenBoer 46:19
always my dad's a butcher, butcher shop and put chickens and everything. I love it. But yeah, it's just this, you know, super fun, fluid concept and turned out, one of the things that worked out, and luckily, there were no notes at the end. He's like, alright, we can chip it out. And then I'm like, thank God, because I have two days left. So yeah, he's become a good collaborator.

Qasim Virjee 46:43
And that's what it's all about, I think, you know, like, in the end, they it's kind of like creative pursuits is about collaborations.

Nick DenBoer 46:50
So how do you find, I'm not being a stickler, like, I've worked with some people to assist, you're just changing things for the sake of changing them over and over again. And I think Joe also gets that, you know, like, ever, like you're, he's also an artist, and people who, you know, I think a good artist who collaborates with other people kind of knows when you're doing it for ego reasons, like like changing things for the sake of changing it. Like in commercial world and advertising world, there's a lot of people who don't need to be there. Sometimes you've got teams of 12 people, and three people can easily do it, like, look at your crew here, we're here with three. But, you know, when you get to these points, where there's people that need to speak up and have some kind of input for the sake of justifying their position, it's just kills productivity when it's just like, and it robs the creative flow, right, yeah. And if everyone, everyone's good at what they do, and they all trust each other, you can have a really efficient workflow, you know, and get hold of amazing things done in a short period of time with very few people. It's funny, because we

Qasim Virjee 47:47
were talking before, when we jumped on before we jumped on camera about this whole, like, the shifts and agency world life, right. And that convention of like bloated teams, lots of levels of hierarchy and management client, also mirroring that on their side. And then output being in the traditional world, you know, you could spend a million bucks on some sort of like, asset that took like a month to turn around these days, maybe less so unless it's like going in front of the super.

Nick DenBoer 48:14
But now the technology like even you're set up with these cameras, that now allows you to do something wirelessly that you would have needed, like a way more money worth of gear to do back in the day. And not too long ago. Like same with software like

Qasim Virjee 48:27
in like pre pandemic, this technology didn't exist. Sure. preachment even

Nick DenBoer 48:31
like my mocap suit, you know, only like three or four years ago, it came out where it was affordable. It was like It's like 2500 us or something for this Rococo suit that I use, and it's like, has gloves and it's like, it captures everything. Wow. And yeah, just like 10 years ago, five years ago, like six figures or hundreds? Yes. Insane. And now that we're on the verge of that becoming obsolete, where you can just use AI and pull it out of a video clip right for you doing the CSF like I spoke someone at Electronic Arts, I think and they've basically shot every single sports athlete in every single, you know, video games. Yeah, with a mocap suit. And with video side by side. So you have those two data sets that you can basically reverse engineer video now to do

Qasim Virjee 49:15
like, I've been looking at eagle eyed our Lidar is a crazy technology. Yeah,

Nick DenBoer 49:19
it should be on every camera, like the fact that we're still match moving with software when you can just have a little device on your camera that captures its position. Yeah, you know, that's, that's an art form that's going to be obsolete, like, like match moving, hopefully will not be necessary. And I labor over it all the time. Yeah, it

Qasim Virjee 49:35
is interesting. And it is exciting. I mean, like, it's daunting that like the responsibility could fall on the shoulders of whoever's creating something to do even more epic work constantly.

Nick DenBoer 49:44
Yeah. But I think there's a lot of stress right now in the industry and across a lot of industries being like, I just spent 10 years learning, cinema 4d and Houdini and all these things and you're telling me now that like anyone's gonna be able to do this without putting those 10 years in. It's like It's like upsetting people.

Qasim Virjee 50:01
But is that is it primarily becoming upsetting because people are feeling that they're made redundant? Or that they have to keep up with what's like they're afraid of? I think people fundamentally, at least in North America with this kind of stuff are always afraid of becoming jobless. Yeah, sure. Losing gigs. Yeah. And at the same time, so we've got this kind of like the creative not sure of how to stay relevant, but perhaps because they're getting gigs from agencies that are changing in nature, and relevancy. You know, and fundamentally, more relationships are being formed, like we were talking about earlier with between brands and creators and audiences. Yeah. You know, as creators are even forming internal agencies at, at Brands, so it's pretty fluid.

Nick DenBoer 50:49
But the big thing is, like, where are the ideas are coming from now, you know, the gatekeepers of that are kind of is where the sort of like, you know, dissolving is happening, because it used to be. And for this reason, I kind of think, I'm not too concerned about AI, because like, I was getting decks for advertising jobs, all the time. That was like decks full of my own work, or Google image searches, like people just looking at Google image searches, putting them in a deck being like, make this but make a little bit more like this. And that's just copying and scraping data from Google anyway. So this is just a better version of that these the mid journeys and the dallies, and stuff like that. So it's kind of like a greed. If we're just doing that. If your creative process is just copying what you find on the internet anyway, then why not just use these plus, look

Qasim Virjee 51:38
at it as a lot of the industry that is going to be cannibalized by this, like rapid, let's call it rapid visual prototyping tools? is kind of crappy stuff. Anyway. Sure. If you're saying I like CPG let me show Frito Lay package and 50 different spirits, you know, who cares? Who cares? That's not what's gonna sell the chips, man. Yeah.

Nick DenBoer 52:00
I think a big new idea, with AI still gonna take a lot of work. Like I said, it's still gonna get you 75 80% of the way there, you still need to cross the finish line. And you still need to have a good idea that implements two or three of these different models together. Like I still think it's like my computer's every time I get a new computer. I'm like, Ah, and the render times gonna be nothing now and then I ended up just doing more because I have more capability. So then the render time has to always slow forever.

Qasim Virjee 52:23
That's like us when we keep adding cameras. Mattis? Yeah, I need five more angles.

Nick DenBoer 52:28
Yeah, it's always gonna you're gonna find a way to make it more difficult. Yeah, have more power.

Qasim Virjee 52:33
It's true. Tools are just tools fundamentally. And yeah, there will be this whole thing of like, kind of, you know, the robot robot writing the script, and then producing it automatically in one swoop. But that's not going to be compelling. Now amazing.

Nick DenBoer 52:47
Someone made a film already on YouTube, I saw and it was like, oh, yeah, we gotta check GPT to write the script and give suggestions on like storyboard cropping? You know? And I was just like, crap. I was just like, me, you. You think like with a film especially, it's like so many things can be the Achilles heel, like a bad acting a bad dop, a bad writing, everything. Like all the things need to be great for it to be

Qasim Virjee 53:13
handled in the film industry, right? There's the kind of entertainment industry, the Big Magic, there's a few companies that were supposed to have like the quants, and the math and data science behind how they would hack blockbusters. Okay, right. Historically, there's been a few studio movements and a few kind of unscrupulous chaps in in Hollywood that sold the story of, well, we've got this data science team that comes from whatever it is hedge funds, that comes from these people, those people and we're going to analyze kind of your interests, and based

Nick DenBoer 53:46
on blockbuster data from before internet times, yeah. And

Qasim Virjee 53:50
and they've sold the story to the studio students have invested in various kinds of ventures like this, and they've all failed. And then the biggest one, of course, the positive anyway, until they spent billions or poured billions down the tubes is Netflix. And you look at the data set Netflix has but yet you look at the recommendation engine and you look at how the like AI is supposed to be making it easier for customers to engage with content and be presented with things that they like. And you realize that like the auto tagging is just told the off yeah, or doesn't exist. There's really not much analysis

Nick DenBoer 54:27
so what's the end game if we're just being fed what we like like in music Yeah, music has the data now of what is the most played what certain people like to listen to and it's gotten to the chord progression and the BPM and everything and if they're like okay, that's what we need to make now and they make more of that it's not guaranteed as people are gonna like it fast food and what what does it mean if they do feed us that and pump that in onto the radio waves? Are we just gonna like more of that is it going to be like even narrower, more like the the garbage of Ultimate pop music like is it? Is it a good thing? I

Qasim Virjee 55:03
don't think it's a good thing I also don't believe that this is like a kind of decade's long sustainable track in commerce. Because there's the back end of the business to if you look at the macro and you look at the public markets supporting being able to subsidize the mass adoption of crap quality, anything Yeah.

Nick DenBoer 55:21
But also, it's not that anyone has to make that music that is calculated to be the ultimate song that you're gonna like, right? It'll be generally the robots. Yeah, so it's like at that point.

Qasim Virjee 55:34
KFC guy could be the next Dre. They already are watching Drake. KFC is coming for

Nick DenBoer 55:39
vr Virtual influence. Is that a crazy popular? Yeah, it's a thing. Yeah.

Qasim Virjee 55:45
So lots ahead, down the road, but I like I like your perspective, which is that no matter what, and you can still be relevant as a creator, and still be challenged to create awesome stuff, because there's new tools and there's evolution of the tools. And

Nick DenBoer 55:57
I think you just have to use them as that tool and not think that it's gonna come replace you like it's if it's gonna replace you, it means they're easy to use, and you can use them to, you know, for young

Qasim Virjee 56:07
creators and new creators, people doing stuff that were like you 2030 years ago, 20 years ago, let's say do you have any any recommendations any particular insights to offer them

Nick DenBoer 56:20
my like, like I said before my I can trace every single job I ever got every single opportunity ever got the Conan opportunity came back to a video I remixed of the ladies at the view the TV show I made them all just my usual tracking stupid hats on them and funny stuff. And I did some political satire videos for fun on YouTube. And people Conan saw that and hired me I did the chickening for fun as a pitch piece. And KFC hired me you know, like, everything, every job I've ever had goes back to a piece I did for fun for me to learn something new. So my advice to people starting out or whatever else is like, Yeah, have fun and create projects because you want to learn something not because you have an audience that you're trying to appease or anything like that. It has to come from a genuine place for people to, you know, want to hire you, I think or if

Qasim Virjee 57:13
I like it opportunities attracted when people apply themselves in a way that feels free. Because then also their work speaks for itself.

Nick DenBoer 57:24
My website is called smear balls. And it's if I went to the bank, and I'm like, Yeah, I'm gonna start this business with this name. And I'm going to make content that's relatively off putting and weird, right and yeah, we're gonna, you know, it's gonna make lots of money we're gonna do great. Would we invest in my project? Like, nobody is going to agree to that. And for some reason I've been successful, but on paper, it is a terrible idea. Awful, awful. No one do what I did. No one should do it the way I did it, because it doesn't make sense. But I made this artwork for fun. And it resonated and worked out. I can't really give anybody advice on the technical business side of how it happened. But conceptually, I think that's a smart move to keep doing. What works for you and what what gain and obviously I react to the audience's reaction when people like it when people follow me because I made something it's obviously doing something. Yeah, having an effect. So nice. Go with your gut.

Qasim Virjee 58:23
It was a pleasure spending some time man. Yeah, great being here, man. This

Nick DenBoer 58:27
is cool setup.

Qasim Virjee 58:28
Thanks again for coming in. Thank you. And that's wrapped awesome. No, that was really good.

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