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Running Rampant Episode 3

Episode 03 of ‘Running Rampant’ – Packing, Products, Wires and Free Time.

Sean and Stefanie Mullen talk about packing up for yet another location shoot and road trip. They also talk about opening up several new stores and creating new products, doing wire and rig removals for a client and trying to find free time during all the chaos.

Running Rampant vlog Episode 3 – Packing, Products, Wires and Free Time from Rampant Design Tools on Vimeo.

In this weeks episode we talk about:

• Packing up for another location shoot and road trip.
• New stores & new products on the way.
• Sean is working on rig and wire removal for an amazing client.
• Finding a balance between work and life.

Questions answered:

• Ways to protect your work online and the best ways to sell your products?

Have a question about anything, ask us! Leave a comment or review and we will mention it on next week’s show!

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[toggle title=”Video Transcription”]Running Rampant Vlog Episode 03 Video Transcription

Sean Mullen: “Hey, hey, party people. I’m Sean.

Stefanie Mullen: “I’m Stef.

Sean Mullen: “We’re with Rampant Design. Welcome to episode three of Running Rampant. It’s a show that takes you behind the scenes of Rampant Design, talks a little bit about what it’s like to run a small business, and of course, then we open ourselves up to the inter-webs and you can ask anything and we answer it.

Stefanie Mullen: “Yeah, it’s good. Okay on today’s episode we’re going to be talking about packing, products, wires and free time.

Sean Mullen: “Boom. We have had a crazy, busy week.

Stefanie Mullen: “It’s been crazy.

Sean Mullen: “Always. Phone never stops ringing. I’m still sick. I know you’re sick.

Stefanie Mullen: “Still sick.

Sean Mullen: “It’s crazy. Living in a bubble.

Stefanie Mullen: “We’re getting better.

Sean Mullen: “We’re getting better, that’s true.

Stefanie Mullen: “Trying to get better. A little bit.

Sean Mullen: “We’ve got a big project coming up in New York City and in New Jersey. We’ll be on the road next week working with our favorite people on the planet C Light Entertainment.

Stefanie Mullen: “That’s right.

Sean Mullen: “Love Eric and Kelly. Can’t really talk about the project yet. A lot of eyeballs watching us trying to figure out what we’re doing next but you’ll find out about it soon enough. What else is going on?

Stefanie Mullen: “We have a lot of new stores coming up with new products, we’re really excited about it. We got new tools coming out specifically for final cut and for adobe.

Sean Mullen: “Separate.

Stefanie Mullen: “Separate stores, separate things that we’re doing. Really excited. Our products right now are out in the beta testers hands, we’re getting some great feedback so looking forward to getting those up and running on their sites, completely separate sites. One for adobe, one for final cut users. Really useful stuff. Stuff for after effects, stuff for premier.

Sean Mullen: “We’re talking templates and tools and project files for the adobe after effects and the adobe premier market and templates for the final cut market all hand created. The funny thing is the new stores, all the new stores coded by her and this is Stefanie’s first product line that she’s a hundred percent in charge of designing and implementation of the final cut store. I have nothing to do with it. I’m learning motion and final cut in the back round so I can help assist but I’ve been an adobe guy for so long that I’m still having to unlearn a few things in the ways of thinking. While she’s working at final cut and motion I’m working in after effects and premier and of course we’re never going to leave the mother ship. has a ton of new products coming out that’s quick-time so it’s for everybody so a little bit of something for everybody but so much going on and again it’s just the two of us so it’s never ending. Then right when you’re in the groove of either web code or painting or rotoring or working on an effect, the phone just boom, boom, boom. So much.

“Right now I’m working on visual effect shots for a very famous client. Can’t talk about it per usual until it’s done but I’m super honored to be a part of this project and it’s crazy wire and rig removal. Some of the worst … not worst, I shouldn’t say worst … some of the most difficult wire removal I’ve done in a long time. This is reminiscent of the wires on Charmed and [inaudible 00:03:05] and just crazy wires over faces and just out of control camera moves and it’s just a lot of fun and it’s always a challenge. Hopefully I’ll be able to talk about that more but right now I’m just paint, roto, track, repeat and I can’t say anything else about it.

Stefanie Mullen: “It’s cool though. I’ve seen it, it’s very neat.

Sean Mullen: “It’s fun. I love film making and first and foremost I’m a visual effects artist so Rampant is awesome and I love Rampant but when a film maker calls me up and says, hey do you want to work on my thing? The answer is yes. All right so what else do we got going on?

Stefanie Mullen: “Well we had people talk about on YouTube and stuff about trying to find a balance between working and life and we are so guilty of not finding any balance. It’s very difficult. I think that’s probably one of the hardest things that we have found with owning your own company and trying to run a small business. It’s so hard to find your own time because it seems like you always seem to go back. We did actually get out of the house this week which was really, really fun. We actually took the night off, we took the evening off and went to Disney, went to Magic Kingdom and they had a special event going on so we got to go to that but we did where you can’t always leave the office behind, we actually did find a secluded place in Magic Kingdom, which is also very difficult to do, we found a secluded place in Magic Kingdom and we actually had a business meeting. We didn’t actually leave all of the work at home but we tried.

Sean Mullen: “You can take us out of Rampant but you can’t take Rampant out of us. It’s just part of being an entrepreneur. There’s always something to discuss, there’s always things that are happening, there’s always ideas flowing. It’s great to be outside in the fresh air and just chilling at the Magic Kingdom, people watching, waiting for an event. When you do that, when you take your mind off things, things start to pop up so we just sat down and Stef busted out her iographer, started taking notes of things we were talking about and a lot of our new stores were born out of that meeting. It’s never enough, we’re already working a hundred hours a week and then we’re like, hey let’s do something else. Let’s add to this. Cool. We did go to the Magic Kingdom, we did ride rides, we did have fun. Although I’m guilty of answering emails and talking to clients while waiting in line. What else are you going to do while you’re waiting forty minutes in line.

Stefanie Mullen: “Right, it’s an hour. Do something.

Sean Mullen: “We did get out of the house. That was fun.

Stefanie Mullen: “That’s our week. Just busy with the new stuff, new products. Doing client work with Sean and then packing up and getting everything ready for New York which will happen this weekend. We’ll be gone.

Sean Mullen: “We’ll log live from the road. A lot of lives consists of being on the road. When we go to trade shows like [inaudible 00:05:44] or something like that, we drive our booth out so we sleep in our car. From here it’s what like forty hours of driving?

Stefanie Mullen: “It took us twenty and a half days.

Sean Mullen: “Two twenty-hour or something days. It was insane. We rolled into Vegas at midnight. That’s our life though. When we’re on the road it’s just constant. Last year we did so many trade shows. Drive the booth out, set it up, run it, be all happy, tear it down, go onto the next thing. Set it up, be all happy and repeat. This week we’re going for a shoot.

Stefanie Mullen: “Back on the road.

Sean Mullen: “Back on the road for a shoot and really excited to show you what we’re up to and hopefully we can convince some of our friends to help us promote it.

Stefanie Mullen: “That’s that.

Sean Mullen: “What’s our question for the week here?

Stefanie Mullen: “Thank you very much for all of your questions and comments. We absolutely love reading them. It’s amazing to know how many people are struggling just like we are and it’s great to hear from people and we are trying to show you a little bit behind our company and what we have and we love hearing what’s behind our company too. Thank you so much for that. Today’s question is from Avi Films and Avi Films asks, what tips would you give anybody who tries to make for example a stock footage pack or VFX pack? How can we protect our products so it won’t get stolen like unfortunately happened to you and what is the best way to sell it?

Sean Mullen: “Wow, that’s a lot.

Stefanie Mullen: “That’s a lot.

Sean Mullen: “Look, the harsh reality is whether you have a physical brick and mortar store or an online store, the second you start to sell something, somebody is going to steal it. That’s just how it is. If you’re not into that, if you just refuse to allow that to happen or just refuse to entertain that thought then running a business is not for you. I hate it because a lot of people think, oh I’m going to take this Rampant thing and they’re a big company, screw them. Okay you can screw us all you want and it’s just us and a handful of cats. When we do get stolen from it absolutely does hurt and there have been people who’ve stolen thousands of dollars from us. I’m not talking about piracy, I’m talking about physically stealing products. Piracy sucks. There’s times when we’ll find links to our products using our company logo and they’ve literally taken our products, uploaded it and stolen it. There’s nothing you can do other than ask them, hey take this down. It’s just going to happen. I guess you can take pride in the fact that people think it’s cool enough to steal. I guess.

Stefanie Mullen: “It doesn’t pay the bills.

Sean Mullen: “It doesn’t pay the bills. We have actual bills. We’ve got rent, we’ve got car payments, we’ve got gear. Our [inaudible 00:08:14] product line which doesn’t cost the user anything costs us a lot of money. Actually after the last film ride episode, we got hit with a ten thousand dollar bill.

Stefanie Mullen: “It was pretty high, it was pretty rough.

Sean Mullen: “Ten thousand dollars is a lot of money for us for those of you who think we make bank. Ten g’s is a lot of money. We’re not balling like diddy. Hopefully one day but we’re not there. How do you protect yourself? Well you can and you can’t. If I were you I would put your best work out there, document it, put it up on something that can be time-stamped like YouTube, blog about it but make sure that the style that you’re putting out is your unique style. Make sure that it’s useful to people but put your own spin on it. You can obviously tell when a Rampant product is being used because I have a very specific look and up until right this second, I’m the only one making Rampant products so I have a very distinct look and all my products look that way so nine times out of ten when someone says, hey is this Rampant, the answer’s yes. Build a fan base, be open and honest with what you’re doing, talk to people and hope for the best. You will get stolen from and it sucks and I’m talking about two different things. Piracy sucks. There’s nothing you can do about it. Someone’s going to find it, put it online. You just have to hope that you have enough people supporting you monetarily that it doesn’t harm you and then you’re going to have companies that steal from you.

“We’ve had very big companies steal from us and very small companies steal from us. It sucks no matter what. It’s the worst ever. The last time it happened to me I got super depressed and ended up in the hospital. I’m not as level headed as she is. I’m more old school gangster go buy a bat and settle things outside of court and she’s more level headed, let’s talk about it and move forward so we kind of balance each other out. Yeah, there’s really nothing you can do about it. Just know that you’ll probably get stolen from if it’s any good but just deal with it I guess. It sucks but other than making your own unique look and distinct look and talking about it and documenting it and putting it somewhere online where you can go, no, no I released this thing here at this date, that’s about it. In terms of selling, there’s lots of group sites that you can sell on.

Stefanie Mullen: “There’s tons of ways to sell.

Sean Mullen: “If you don’t want to run your own business or run your own website, you can absolutely sell with somebody else. They’re going to take a big chunk, anywhere from probably thirty to sixty percent of the royalties go to them because they’re taking care of storage, delivery, credit card fees, refunds, charge back. That’s my least favorite word in the English language. I hate charge backs. They’re going to deal with that. If you don’t want to deal with coming out, marketing, making your own brand, making your own website, trying to get people to believe in you and listen to you and trust me, we know it’s hard. It’s like sitting at the bottom of the Grand Canyon with a megaphone, listen to us, please, we make stuff. It doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter. It’s a lot of noise out there and there are companies who don’t want you to succeed so it’s up to you. I personally will always run my own business. I like being in charge of my destiny, that’s just who I am. Doesn’t mean it’s the smart move. We might have made a lot more money if we went onto one of the community sites and just put our stuff in there. I just wanted my own thing and I’ve had that singular vision since the day we started this. You have anything to add to that?

Stefanie Mullen: “No, just you have to find your own place to sell. It doesn’t matter like what Sean was saying if you want to do a group selling or try to do it yourself, it’s very difficult either way. Make it unique, make your product unique enough so when people see it, they know that that is your signature and then you can start building your fan base around that. That’s very important so other than that, you can’t protect it. It’s out in the world on the internet. The internet’s full of lots of not so nice people and you feel like there are more people out there that are good versus the good.

Sean Mullen: “Which isn’t true because we have a lot of supporters, we got a lot of friends and family.

Stefanie Mullen: “That’s how it feels when you start getting stolen from.

Sean Mullen: “It’s like someone kicked your door and robbed you. It’s exactly that feeling, you’ve been violated. It may not be physically in your home that they stole something from but they stole something from you. The way the legal system works, people are just like, sue me. You’re looking at two years, three years worth of legal battles, tons of lawyer fees and even when you win, you lose. The only people that win in a situation like that are the attorneys so that sucks. That just really sucks. It’s six in one hand, half a dozen in another. Do you want to be in a group site and give up a bunch of royalties and be in a site filled with thousands of other artists? How do you rise above all that? There’s a lot of noise just on that site alone. Or do you want to run your own website where nobody knows about, you got no following if you’re just starting out and you may or may not make any sales ever. It’s up to you. The journey starts one step at a time and just figure out what you want to do and go do it. You can also hedge your bets and do a little bit of both. I know a lot of people are doing that but that way I believe you lose even more royalties I think if it’s non exclusive, they take just an unbelievable amount like seventy percent or whatever.

“It’s up to you. Community sites are fine I Guess. It just really depends on what you want to do. If you want to develop your own brand and you want to do your own thing, I highly recommend doing it on your own. If you just want to make stuff on the side and sell it, communities are the way to do that. Don’t get me wrong, there are people on community sites making way, way more money than we make. The average is not there. It’s few and far between.

Stefanie Mullen: “Basically the whole thing is just do it. Any way you want, just get it started.

Sean Mullen: “Just put your content out there.

Stefanie Mullen: “You’ll figure it out, you’ll figure out what you’re supposed to be but just do it. Don’t be scared about it, don’t think that I can’t do this because someone’s going to steal or something else negative’s going to happen. There’s always going to be hurdle, you’re always going to be facing something weekly if not daily on trying to figure out, oh my gosh, this set me back here so now I have to go … just get started, do it, put it out there and then take one hurdle at a time.

Sean Mullen: “Just keep moving forward. Sometimes you get hit. As long as you get up, it’s not a failure. It’s only a failure if you let it knock you down and keep you down. You learn from things that have happened. I think we’re both guilty about being a little too trusting so now every time we’re thrust into a new situation where we could potentially partner with someone we’re both like, I don’t know about this. That sucks because we love people and we don’t want to be in a situation like that but the fact remains that we’ve been kicked, beaten and stolen from so many times it’s almost comical but we’re still here, we’re still moving forward and we’re in our sixth year and we’re better for it. Got a few war wounds but it’s all good. Also somebody else on YouTube earlier said that they feel like their success isn’t happening quick enough. Let me tell you, there’s one statement I have to say about that. It takes fifteen years to become an overnight success. That’s said everywhere, it’s said in one of my favorite books called the one hundred dollar startup. I highly recommend you get this book. It changed my life. It’s here on the set. This book changed my life. I got it from my friend Chris Gates.

“This book just changed my life and changed my mentality on how we run our business and how to run a business so just keep moving forward. As long as you’re doing one thing every single day towards your goal, you’ll be able to look back in a few months, a few weeks and you’ll go, wow I can’t believe how far I’ve come. Don’t worry about being successful. Worry about doing what you do, be passionate about what you’re doing and things will happen. It was just recently that we were able to just pay our bills and be completely off the grid so it will happen for you. Just focus on your craft, focus on what it is that you want to do and everything else will fall into place. Don’t worry about being successful, it will happen.

Stefanie Mullen: “That was good.

Sean Mullen: “Thanks. Well it’s this book.

Stefanie Mullen: “That’s all, that’s it.

Sean Mullen: “Were trying to keep things down, yes we know that audio sucked last week, sorry. Flu, flu.

Stefanie Mullen: “We’re so sorry. We were a little sick like fever and stuff.

Sean Mullen: “Literally shot the episode between puking and passing out so-

Stefanie Mullen: “It was pretty bad so we apologize for the audio. What can you do.

Sean Mullen: “Moving forward.

Stefanie Mullen: “Moving forward.

Sean Mullen: “Well I got wired and rigs to do and I know she’s got websites to design so that’s it.

Stefanie Mullen: “That’s it. Don’t forget to subscribe. You can subscribe here, you can go to, dot b-i-z. We have sound club, we have iTunes, stitcher, you can also see our blogs there as well.

Sean Mullen: “YouTube vimeo.

Stefanie Mullen: “YouTube vimeo. All that stuff, subscribe. You cannot miss us. Tell your friends.

Sean Mullen: “Thank you for all your comments and for all the love.

Stefanie Mullen: “Yeah, thank you so much. Thank you very much.

Sean Mullen: “You guys are amazing.

Stefanie Mullen: “Keep those comments, questions and all that stuff coming. We love to read them, it is amazing.

Sean Mullen: “We live in a bubble so it’s kind of like getting little messages form space. We love it. All right everybody, once again I’m Sean.

Stefanie Mullen: “I’m Stef.

Sean Mullen: “We’re Rampant Design. Thanks for watching everybody.

Stefanie Mullen: “Bye.

Sean Mullen: “Run Rampant ya’ll. Rampant design … I almost had it. Ready?


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