February’s Tongaler of the Month is three-time 1st place award winning, FCR Creations. When Fred first started participating in April of last year, I don’t think anyone could have predicted his meteoric rise through the ranks to become the second most highly paid creator on our site. Nine months, eight wins and 199 Leaderboard spots later, Fred was kind enough to answer some questions about his experience and what it takes to win consistently on Tongal.
Caleb Light-Wills – How and when did you first find out about / start participating on Tongal?
F.C. Rabbath – My friend Carrie Hunter, who is a fellow Tongaler told me about how great this site was. Ever since then I was hooked! I’m very thankful for her referral to the Tongal site.
C.L.W. – Most people only know FCR Creations as thumbnail on a profile page. Can you tell us a little bit about your creative background?
F.C.R. – I’m self taught. Never took a single film class in my life. My real life job is either being a consultant for engineer projects/firms, or creating videos for companies or individuals. I also make iPhone apps, and have written several children’s books. Essentially, it started off as a hobby from age 8, and since then I’ve created hundreds of videos. My team consists of several individuals who act for me and sometimes hold camera equipment. They have been essential to the video making process. Key people to mention are Michael Varde, Elan Elias and Jacob Harrelson. We enjoy working with Tongal and hope to keep doing so for many years to come!
C.L.W. – What was the first Tongal project you participated in and what was the result?
F.C.R. – My first project was for Benjamin Moore, we didn’t win but it was a fun little project about Benjamin Moore’s new website and how much faster it would be than other ways to get paint. In the end we took some valuable lessons on how to approach the next few projects. We began the process of learning what it was exactly clients were really looking for on Tongal. Which in the end was “something different”. Outside the box of normal ads because if they really wanted something traditional they would’ve gone elsewhere. That’s what I keep telling myself whenever I start a new Tongal project.
C.L.W. – McDonald’s marks your 8th video win, bringing your total earnings dangerously close to $30,000. Has Tongal become like a second job for you?
FCR – Tongal is more than just a second job, it’s something my team looks forward to doing during our real boring jobs.
I think it also gives us an opportunity to compete with others in order to grow. The Tongal community learns from each other by watching what the other person came up with which in turn expands our own horizons. Trying something new is the motto we came up with after working here for about 2/3 of a year.
C.L.W. – What winning Tongal video are you most proud of?
F.C.R. – That’s tough. I think we’re all very proud of “The Smallist” and “Leinenkugal’s White Christmas”. However if I had to pick I’d say “The Smallist”. It’s a fun look into someone’s life that is unique.
C.L.W. – How did you come up with concept for “The Smallist?”
F.C.R. – We based it off Margaret’ Ho’s “Bite-Sized Mocumentary”- but essentially we had a hard time coming up with ways to show a short story that showed both small things positively, funny and useful. After all, comedy is not an easy task as everyone’s sense of humor is very different. However, I think we found the best direction after several takes and cuts.
C.L.W. – How long did it take you to shoot “The Smallist” and what was your process like?
F.C.R. – It took a couple of hours from three separate days. It was interesting to see how much stuff could go wrong in such a small amount of time. For example, we had to shoot a scene with a tiny mug, (I’ve owned this mug for 10 years and finally found use for it!) and as we were about to use it in the scene – it fell into the ground and shattered into a million pieces. So we had to find something that looked like tiny mug at the last minute. Unexpected and frustrating, but that’s how it works. How can you adapt? After all, anything creative is basically finding a unique way of adapting into something and still finding uses in something useless.
C.L.W. – Are you already familiar with the companies you create videos for or do you have to do research?
F.C.R. – Yes! However research is always key. Looking at prior works/ad work of theirs helps me guage what it is they need and attempt to replicate their message in a different format.
C.L.W. – What are some key factors you take into consideration when figuring out whether or not to participate in a project?
F.C.R. – Our goal is to participate in every possible one. Of course time is a factor, but making time is also part of making the video. Scheduling is half the battle to making a video.
C.L.W. – Has Tongal helped you professionally, like has it helped you build a usable portfolio, get gigs, jobs, etc?
F.C.R. – Of course! I’ve got a much bigger and dynamic portfolio that I could show potential clients my previous works!
C.L.W. – What have you spent your earnings on?
F.C.R. – More equipment and funding for other projects. That way we potentially increase our odd of winning with better equipment and opens doors to other projects. It’s an investment that I think will be worth it in the long run.
C.L.W. – What’s the best thing about Tongal?
F.C.R. – The best thing about Tongal is that you get to improve in a real world setting. Meaning that when it’s good, it’s good enough for BIG companies to buy it. You get paid for it. How much better can that get?
C.L.W. – What’s next for you on Tongal or otherwise?
F.C.R. – I will keep attempting to push my team into working on more creative ways to make videos both unique and compelling. The key here is to keep trying and to communicate to the team that this process is a growing one.
- No documents for download.