Behind the scenes at The Next Internet Millionaire!

It seems like aeons ago that Joel Comm invited me up to Loveland, Colorado, to be the guest lecturer in episode ten of his successful Next Internet Millionaire Internet-based reality series, but I’ve had to wait until now to share my experiences with you, dear reader.
Filming was darn interesting, albeit tedious with hours and hours of waiting for our on-camera time, but it was exactly like all the other film work I’ve done: brief moments of cool surrounded by long stretches of tedium. 🙂
Your first step should unquestionably be to watch the episode itself, which you can easily do by clicking on this:

The Next Internet Millionaire: Episode Ten: Dave Taylor on blogging

click me!

Watched it? Great fun, and wonderfully edited to boot. Makes me look good! 🙂

More fun than the filming, though, was the behind the scenes view of how things were put together and how the situation was managed to create tension and competition, the drama that makes for good TV and video. Before you read on, though, you might want to read my earlier blog entry about the show: You could be the next Internet millionaire!
The challenge our four contestants had to face? Using Web 2.0 tools and applications, generate the most inbound traffic — and revenue — for a site we’d built for them promoting a worthy charity, Heart and Hands. Digg, Delicious, blogging, anything goes: just generate more inbound links and traffic (and, ideally, revenue) than your competitors.
You can learn more about the challenge and the tactics employed by the two teams on the video itself, so let’s see the pics with my commentary:


That’s the exterior of the building where we were shooting. Remember that while the episodes have been released over ten weeks (so far) they were all shot in a far more compressed schedule. I was involved in episode ten and as far as I know, it was day 13 or so of them filming in the facility. The furniture was temporary, but all in all, it was very well appointed for the task, as you’ll see in the following photographs.

In that shot you can see all four of the finalists prepping (left-to-right that’s Charles, Jamie, Thor and Jason), along with some of the production team coaching them on where to stand, what to be thinking about, and so on. Notice the simplicity and professionalism of the set. If you look closely you can also see my MacBook Pro on the podium. 🙂

In this particular picture, you can see one of the two teams hard at work, Thor and Jason, the team oddly called “Knuckle Sandwich”. If you’ve seen the video, you’ll know that they didn’t fare well because they were sidetracked during the afternoon trying to attain some unattainable inbound links through befriending people in MySpace chat rooms, masquerading as a 30yo woman. I wasn’t impressed with that tactic at all.
(side note: this is a pretty neat picture because you can also see the video camera in the foreground and even peek at what the camera is recording as I took this shot.)

Finally, here’s the winning team hard at work, Jamie and Charles, aka “All In”. I knew they’d win because they had the nicer furniture in their work space (just kidding). They were really on top of this task, however, and it was very interesting to chat with them as they thought through their strategies and figured out how to work with the blogging community in a surprisingly effective fashion.
Want to see all the pictures I took with my Apple iPhone at once? Check out my Flickr behind the scenes photo set.
Watch the entire episode rather than just read what I’ve written here: I think you’ll be surprised at how things play out at the end, and who volunteers to get “kicked off the island”…

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