Monday, November 1, 2010

Commercial Break

I knew the DVD was out... but I didn't know that the production company had put a couple of short preview clips online... so here they are:


I have to mention that the DVD isn't in shops because every day I get at least one e-mail from someone asking why they can't find it. I don't think they believe me when I say that it's exclusively available online... at


Emma Spreadbury said...

Will there be other Dave Gorman products available in the Dave Gorman store? Because at the moment it has a very narrow product range. You might be missing out on some consumering.

Have you considered a DG USB?

Dave Gorman said...

Ha... everything that's available is on my website proper - - is a shopfront created by the people responsible for this DVD in particular. (And Are You Dave Gorman? on DVD too as it happens)

I've always been shy of doing merchandise that is, well, just merch... things like T-shirts etc.

I write and perform for a living. Selling DVDs, books, tickets etc... they're just ways of people getting a piece of work I've created. That makes sense to me in a way that other merch - the souvenir type - just doesn't.

Maybe one day I'll get my head round it. But I've turned down all such offers so far... partly for the reasons I've mentioned and partly because the merchandise companies who've offered have all wanted to do merch that sells a strange, cartoonish version of me to the world and I think it chips away at the honesty that underpins a lot of what I've done.

(And other answers that are way too long for the question)

Emma Spreadbury said...

I think some performers lend themselves to the merch. Folks like the Boosh, and even Eddie and Ross Noble, it sort of makes sense... sort of. But I wouldn't expect to find a Sean Lock t-shirt, say.

But it's an odd think to think "Yeah, people will want to wear my face on their t-shits".

Dave Gorman said...

Exactly. I would be uncomfortable if I walked into a room and people were wearing my face so it would be ridiculous to sell it to them.

I guess one day I might have an idea for a T-shirt that makes it okay because it's not a picture of me but something I thought of.

Paul said...

I found my "Dave whacked my Google" badge at the weekend. I think the fact I got it free from the show makes it better than anyone been able to buy it. Genius has some merchandising potential if it becomes longer running, books etc and maybe even tshirts of the "best" ideas..... 2nd series was FAR FAR FAR better than the first by the way (in no small part due to no ideas from the radio show been reused)

Dave Gorman said...

@Paul: yes, the badges - which I did for the live shows Reasons To Be Cheerful, Better World, Are You DG and Googlewhack Adventure - were only ever given away and not sold. They were never merchandise. Retrospectively, I'd consider selling them now I suppose because I know that some people want them, had them and lost them or whatever.

I agree that the 2nd series of Genius was far better. The 1st series had essentially the same format as the 1st (and we were under pressure from above and below to have some of the old ideas back in) but I think somewhere along the line it lost some of the spirit.

I think in the relatively formal environment of Radio 4, our mock-formality was obviously that whereas on BBC2 it looked - to some people - as though we were just being genuinely po-faced.

Also, you can introduce someone on radio and then hear their voice and nobody is troubled by where they are or how they got there. On TV the geography needs to be explained. Simply doing that meant the number of ideas in each episode was reduced - we were having to spend 6 or 7 minutes each episode with the cod "ceremonial" aspects and another 1 or 2 picking a winner.

I think the re-tooled show, while appearing to be very different to the old format has recaptured the spirit of the radio show.

And in reality, the difference isn't so great. We still do just as many ideas with focus, it's just less predictable when and where they're going to be and instead of spending time watching people revolve on and off a stage and choosing a winner we use all that time to put more actual content in the show with lots and lots of quick ideas... which we found lots of different ways of finding - and exploring.

Emma Spreadbury said...

And that tightening up of the show made much better use of the guests. Far more potential this series for the guests to free style with some of the ideas.

Would Alexei Sayle have had the opportunity to dance in the first series? I think not. And I don't want to live in a world where Alexei Sayle doesn't have the opportunity to dance.

Emma Spreadbury said...

Ooo, and on the things you could have sold front, the Astrology t-shirts could be on the list. I'm lucky enough to have one (ta! :) but I think a few people would have liked to own one of those. And in skinny fit, rather than super bloody mega huge.

And, oddly, that sort of had your face on it!

Dave Gorman said...

@Emma: yep... I suppose they did sort of have my face on them. But not in a way that, say, someone who didn't know the show would recognise as me.

But they were really part of the set on that show, it was just impossible to not end up giving them to people! We'd never have got them back if we'd asked.

Emma Spreadbury said...

So that's badges and t-shirts. It's sot of looking like you do do that sort of merchandise. You're just rubbish at making money out of it!

Paul said...

Agreed, pace and less formality are key. Feels like it's "more you" now, so I guess it does have its spirit back. Out of curiosity was a change part of the deal for getting another series?

Stick to what you feel like on the merchanising, bet it can easily get out of control. Though a series of t-shirts with different graphs on would be interesting.

Dave Gorman said...

@Emma: well it's not merchandise because it wasn't sold. Gifts I don't mind at all - so long as I'm comfortable with what they are - it's the hey-everyone-I-want-to-make-more-money-out-of-this aspect of merch that makes me uncomfortable.

A merch company got in touch offering to come along on a tour: they'd provide the goods, someone to hawk it and so on and I'd get a cut. But they wanted to have T-shirts saying, "stop me if you're a Dave Gorman?" and there's no point spending the last 10 years politely explaining that I've stopped looking for my namesakes and was never actually looking for them all and refusing to sell that cartoon version of myself if I then sell merch that does sell that version of me.

Dave Gorman said...

@Paul: it wasn't a part of the deal in that nobody made demands as such. But everyone involved in the deal wanted the same thing. It was more "we'd like to do it this way instead" "Oh thank God for that... we were going to ask if you would" than "you must now do it like this" if that makes sense.

Emma Spreadbury said...

I know you won't like this, but there was a little tiny part of me that was a little tiny bit disappointed with there not being badge gift for the stand up tour.

Especially as Edinburgh 2009 had a few badge treats:

... and a toothbrush mo'.

But I suppose it goes back to my first point. I guess if you're a performer you're either selling, through your performance, a character of yourself or your actual self. And unless you're the character you, it is a bit odd pushing the character merch.

Dave Gorman said...

I don't dislike it at all. There are several reasons I didn't do badges.

In some ways, it's more that the reasons I did them back then were absent.

It's hard to remember how things were back then, but when I first did Reasons to be Cheerful and Better World I really was ploughing a lonely furrow. People expected the shows to be stand-up because that's-what-you-do-isn't-it? and there was no culture of shows like mine existing back then.

A badge was intended to be a way of encouraging people to spread the word about the show, obviously, but I always thought that badges that just carried the title/venue/etc weren't actually very helpful. I went with badges that would (hopefully) be intriguing so that they'd (hopefully) prompt a conversation so that (hopefully) people would come to the show knowing that it wasn't stand-up.

I also figured people wouldn't really want a badge if it was just an advert.

The fact that the shows were going to Edinburgh helped too. If the show is in one venue for 4 weeks then last night's audience can help sell tickets for tomorrow far more effectively than they can if you're in Reading one night and Edinburgh the next.

I'm sure that if the shows weren't launched at Edinburgh I wouldn't have had badges for them on tour. The truth is that because the badges started to feel like a part of the show I ended up having more made and continued to give them away when they were no longer particularly useful as far as marketing goes.

Dave Gorman said...

Where I'd once used badges to try and make the distinction between my shows and straight-up stand-up on this last tour that was no longer the case.

In fact I was in the reverse position - lots of people were assuming it must be a narrative show about the bike ride. Any badge that alluded to the title would have underlined that idea and that was something I was trying to avoid.

That and the fact that the show wasn't about any one thing made it impossible to choose what should be on the badge. A picture of me is a no-no - that's back to the issues of t-shirts with my face on and stuff. No words sum it up because it's not a show about A, B or C.

So a combination of it not being a festival show, not being a narrative show and instead being a straight stand-up show made me want to avoid those things that I used to use to make the distinctions clear when I'd stopped doing stand up.

Oh... and let's not forget the fact that I was initially doing the tour by bike. I was often playing makeshift venues where my tour manager was acting as box-office/stage-technician/bar-tender/book-seller. We had enough to think about as it was!

Oh... and the fact that there was so much badge-action in Edinburgh this last few years is another reason. It was more fun to do it when there weren't that many.