SEO research

From: Uncle Joe aka Shri Fugi Spilt <>
Subject: 11-07-17 project
Date: November 6, 2017 at 5:50:46 PM EST
To: James Schaberg <>
Cc: Uncle Joe aka Shri Fugi Spilt <>


I’ll send a letter of agreement next weekish. Here’s this week’s project. 6 hours x $14/hr
Be sure your browser history is clear and preferences – no history.
You’re looking for websites for projects that are either 1) getting ready to release or 2) have an ongoing presence after release – they’ve got an active community, recent updates, a merch store, or they just seem really well put together. Can be outside science fiction genre if the site looks really intriguing.

Start a spreadsheet, use Open Office or Neooffice. At the top of each column copy the exact search phrase. In the cells below copy the urls for all sites that showed up in the first 5-7 organic positions on the SERP for that phrase AND meet the above criteria. If no results then just mark none. Skip ads. You can use the cell to the left of each url to make notes about the site if you wish, like calling my attention to ones you liked especially for whatever reason. Skip over two columns and do the next search phrase.

The following are suggestions to get you started. If you find more appropriate keywords giving better results go ahead and use those. If you find yourself burrowing down a James Weston rabbit hole, something you’re intrigued by but not helpful to this mission, go off the clock. This is a lot of searching so break it up, don’t try and do this in one long stint.
Use “film, films, movie, movies, feature, features, indy, indie” combined with the following adjectives.

science fiction

thought provoking
about God
numerous apocalyptic boobies <- just kidding, Siri misheard
coming soon
about the future
love story


From: James Schaberg <>
Subject: Link
Date: November 7, 2017 at 1:11:16 PM EST
To: Dan Kelly <>



From: Uncle Joe aka Shri Fugi Spilt <>
Subject: Notes about today
Date: November 7, 2017 at 5:49:19 PM EST
To: James Schaberg <>
Cc: Uncle Joe aka Shri Fugi Spilt <>


I’m feeling some frustration and trepidation. I appreciate your feedback and will consider carefully. Asking for clarification is one thing, asking me about my goals is another. That’s a distraction and not how I saw my afternoon going. I had specific tasks to accomplish which I didn’t get to. I asked you to find active indy movie websites. I should have separated the goal from the method in the letter I sent. You called and I reiterated the goal.

You tried my idea and that didn’t pan out. Ideally, you should have taken the initiative to just find them some other way. A better approach before calling would have been, “Dan’s idea isn’t working, so let me find my own way, see if that works and then call him with my new approach.” If your approach works, you can call and tell me you’ve got a new approach. If your approach doesn’t work, then you can call and say, your first idea isn’t working, I tried x, y and z on my own, they didn’t work either, I need some new ideas.

You kind of gave me the impression you think you know better than I do what should happen next, and I find that discouraging. You mentioned several different tasks that I should be doing instead of what I have already identified – editing, making the website pretty… you told me that finding the audience wouldn’t be your approach… but a reevaluation of my approach is not what I need right now. I need someone to do the things I ask them to do. Especially at $14/hr, which is a lot for me.

The hesitation I feel is that if I bring you into DOG, you’re going to distract me with irrelevant topics and chafe at the work I need done. I don’t need counseling about my project, I am clear about what I am doing. Our long conversation slowed me down today, our first work day together. That would have been appropriate later in the day, not during peak performance hours. If you really need that kind of discussion to happen before you proceed, stop working, call to schedule a longer discussion and do something else. I love talking about strategy and even arguing, but not during the peak of day. We have to be clear what help means to me. When we’re working, I don’t want critique or advice. I want to you to autonomously solve problems that I have identified.

If we try this again next week, I’ll definitely make a clearer distinction between the goal and the suggested approach. The suggested approach can be challenged but not the goal, the goal can only be clarified. If you question the goal, you’re not being helpful.

You can do a redo of the website, but frankly I’d rather have several active indy movie websites. The peaceful warrior was a good start. Find me 10 more and I’ll feel awesome about paying you $84.

Sorry this is in email form, but I’ve got to hunker down tonight and catch up. Will be back in touch after this week’s episode is out.

From: James Schaberg <>
Subject: Re: Notes about today
Date: November 7, 2017 at 7:50:57 PM EST
To: Uncle Joe aka Shri Fugi Spilt <>, Dan Kelly <>

Hi Dan,

Sounds like you are having a very busy week.

I was happily on track finding more websites after finding Peaceful Warrior after checking in with you this morning. Then I got a text from you that said: “Call me pretty please.” So I called back we talked more about how the task was different than what you originally thought it would be.

I next tried to make clear that what I was about to launch into (critique, goals, etc) was totally separate from my work as an employee. I talk to you a lot about DOG every other week. That is not unusual. You are more than welcome to stop me at any time (like you often do) to say that you need to go back to your work. In the middle of our conversation, I heard you ask me what I thought you should be doing (regarding next steps). I also asked if you wanted my critique before I gave it to you this afternoon in the call. I heard you say yes, that you wanted it then.

I will spend three more hours Thursday morning search for more websites that fit your criteria unless you say otherwise.



From: DAN KELLY <>
Subject: we’re both a little right
Date: November 10, 2017 at 8:25:00 PM EST
To: James Schaberg <>

Attention, Filmmakers: Your Website Sucks!


From: James Schaberg <>
Subject: Movie websites
Date: November 12, 2017 at 3:51:28 PM EST
To: Dan Kelly <>

Hi Dan,

Most movies either a) do not have a dedicated website, or b) have a webpage within their distributing company’s site such as Upstream Color: OR Children of Men:

I find those sites above are quite boring, and they are not what you are looking for anyways, but I just wanted to show you what most movie sites look like.

Below are the sites I discovered that I think are worth you checking out.

I Am Not Your Negro
I like all their header tab options, especially their simple, clean “Share” tab.

Baby Driver
Check out the “Fan Pack” and “Scene Slam.”

Ex Machina
This is my favorite, most unique movie website I found.

Beyond the black rainbow (2010)
While this is not a movie specific URL, I liked the website features it offered.

This is one of the most modern movie-day looking websites I found for a sci-fi movie—one page with sections, wide hero image header, and multimedia. I can see you doing something similar with DOG.

Another modern site—this one trying to draw an audience with the help of social media; though I am not a fan of this kind of site with Instagram or Twitter posts scattered on the homepage—I don’t know where to look first.

Good Time
Here is a .movie URL! A very artistic website even with low res images. The top video might take a second to load, and you can scroll down. It wasn’t intuitive until the page loaded (took way too long to load).

Source Code
An example of a “fan site” that had potential, but failed to keep up with their newsletters social media. I wonder if the studio set up the “fan site” to bring more attention to it?

Blockers (2018)
A good example of a movie with a dedicated site who is trying to drum up a following before the release. I like the hashtag in the menu bar.

District 9
Not a remarkable site, other than the simple URL redirect: takes you to

The Lego Batman Movie
This site is ridiculous. But I thought it was interesting how it is a movie site nested in a product site (Lego). And the blog is worth glancing at (not amazing or anything, just interesting to see how they were trying to engage with the video blog, kind of like you).
the lego batman movie movie.

Wonder Woman
Check out the moving and still posts on the bottom of the page that they are hoping people share.

A clean and simple site. I liked their press page of reviews. They are using their “Screenings” page to help build an audience in various cities.

The Lost City of Z
The website is a great example of a one page site that delivers all the information in a clean format that is easy to absorb.

John Wick
Interesting visual homepage. Pushing #johnwick2 to build audience.

Another movie website pushing a hashtag.


From: Danny Kelly <>
Subject: Re: Movie websites
Date: November 13, 2017 at 8:07:17 AM EST
To: James Schaberg <>
Cc: Dan Kelly <>

That’s great, I have a few to share too. Maybe we can strategize for a bit and then decide how to move forward. Would you be able to move our work day this week to Thursday? My brother’s in town to talk about family assets, the plumber is showing up tomorrow AM for the furnace and plus the podcast!

I’d like to create a document that we share with lessons learned. Maybe a google doc or a page on one of the web sites. Will advise.



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