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The first of many...

A reflection of Simplex Minds Season 1

by Troy Tintiangco

We have done it.

We have completed the first season of Simplex Minds.

That's actually really crazy to fully understand. I mean I haven't really fully appreciated the meaning of that and probably won't for a while.

Thank you for also being a part of this journey with us. We really appreciate it.

I have been saying this consistently to the team every week during our meetings, but we are really doing it.

Every week during our meetings I would say something along the lines of, "We are in the '10th' week of the season. We are halfway through the scheduled season. That's crazy." Just dismayed as to the work we are putting in and what we are accomplishing as a group. Then every week we kept creeping and creeping to the end of the season and now we are finally there.

We've posted consistent content on our instagram and blog for I think 23 weeks straight now. We have 72 posts on IG. We have 81 followers at the time of writing this. And we have 20 features on this blog.

May seem small to most, but it's a pretty big victory. We kept our momentum going. We decided we were going to do something, and we did it. And we did exactly how we said we were going to do it. We really kept the momentum and stuck with it.

So enough simping over what we have done and let's get to the actual point of this post. To see what my goals were for this season during the pre-season and see whether I reached them, I surpassed them, didn't get to it, or changed my mind on them.

First goal I stated was that I wanted to become a better storyteller. I wanted to go more in depth with different ways directors/writers tell their stories.

So on the first one, I would consider that the first L (0-1) so far.

So it's not like I just didn't want to do it. I tried with One Piece. But One Piece is huge and I didn't want to spoil things or knew how to condense it in a way where its palpable. I then tried on a film that I absolutely love by Hirokazu Koreeda called "Shoplifters". But, I didn't want to spoil the movie because the one thing I wanted to talk about was the use of releasing minimal information throughout the movie. And how your perspective changes of the different relationships throughout whole family through these small information drops. The things I wanted to talk about, I just couldn't. I don't like spoiling shit haha.

In the goals post, I then wrote that I wanted this to just be a safe space for people. I wanted Season 1 to feel like a collective journey between us and the y'all. I don't know if we accomplished that. We don't have names connected to the people who are reading our posts. We don't have a way for that to happen. I think over time we will see more of it with more active community members. But, I'm sure we'll get there.

Lastly, I wanted our writers to be as personal as they could and they did that. They did what they could in order to add in their perspective into the pieces they wrote.

So I'd say we were like (1-2) since my 2nd goal is more long term than it is just Season 1 goal.

What did I learn this season?

I've learned that there are dope people doing dope things everywhere. There are talented people in places you may not necessarily consider. I hope I was able to share a few of those through my pieces. It was fun introducing y'all to the geeky broadcast production side of me.

I wrote in many different ranges. I talked about broadcast production, concert photography, frame by frame motion graphics, the twitch music production community, and a streetwear brand.

But, I feel like that really encapsulates my interests and who I am.

I love the anonymity of broadcasts. Just like a director of a broadcast, I don't care for the glory. I just want to direct and build something greater than who I am.

I love the emotions and moments you can capture with concert photography. I was drawn to Greg Noire because of the authenticity of his pictures. I feel like authenticity is just timeless.

I love the sense of community w/in the twitch music production community. I love how it turned into a safe space for upcoming producers to interact w/ and want to improve in.

I have a deep respect and appreciation for good animation. First started animating my first year of high school. So I wanted to promote that, because you have to be so good to make it look so good.

Lastly, I just really respect the ethos and how the Hundreds was built that I had to write about them. Especially since they influenced me to start Simplex Minds.

What I learned through all of these pieces is that authenticity really prevails. At least in the long term. Which is a very beautiful thing. There's so much quick media, always trying to go viral and staying on top of the trends, that I'm glad that authenticity still prevails.

It was really cool to see the team's features and what they highlighted in their pieces. We really didn't go into technicalities that much. I didn't tell them that they couldn't go into that, but it was more about the overarching themes we could learn from those we look up to.

The main thing I saw was, being in the moment, being true to yourself, being true to your subject, and creating a safe space for your audience. Which is what I aim for with Simplex Minds.

Here's some other things I've learned through this first season:

  1. You have to stay consistent in order to get the job done.

  2. You have to really lead by example.

  3. Set deadlines and re-access once the deadline comes.

  4. Don't spread your team out too thin.

  5. We can do anything we put our minds to.

One thing I have been really bad at has been maintaining momentum throughout a project. So many ideas I know I'm capable of doing have never come to fruition simply because I don't maintain the consistency that is needed for that project. If you really want to do it, you have to block out the time to do it and maintain that timing. If you're doing a project with a group in your free time, establish a regular meeting time weekly at minimum. You and your team will be able to accomplish so much just by having those weekly meetings.

At the beginning of this project, when I brought on Ricky, Mia, and Carissa, I really was considering not doing the features with them. I was thinking I was going to focus on the behind the scenes work and they could do the features instead. It was just not the right route to even have my mind in. I can't ask my team to do something that I wasn't even willing to do. Like what? I was honestly just scared to put myself out there and try and do it, but like if they're in the same boat, who am I to tell them to do the things I can't get myself to do.

Every project needs an end date. We need to be able to see the finish line. We need to know that there is a goal to reach. We can't just put out a project, say do it, and hope that it just ends up being done without a deadline. Sure, you could maybe do that on smaller projects, but if you want to be proficient with your team you have to set deadlines. It gives everyone a clear time to hit. If we don't make the deadline, we can always adjust. Especially with Simplex Minds where it is only us. Fortunately, we have reached every deadline that we have set out and haven't had to adjust so far.

The one thing I really wanted to stress at the beginning of the season was that I didn't want to put too much on the team's plate. The team isn't getting paid. They are doing this on their free time. They are committing to this as a side project. I didn't want to put too much on them. The 4 person rotation helped a lot, and the weekly releases did their job. We have just finished our first season and the team is not burnt out. If anything we are hungry to do more. Which I'm grateful for.

We have such a talented team at Simplex Minds right that is only getting more and more talented. The ambitions of this team and of our newest team that we just onboarded are vast. After finishing this season up, we are really confident in our ability to do the projects we want to do.

Season 1, was everything that we needed it to be. It was a proof of concept. We went into this season with goals of improvement and being open to wherever the wind takes us. And we now that data with us. We just experimented. We saw what worked, what didn't work, and what else we need to do.

I am super proud of this Season 1 team. At the beginning of Season 1 I showed them this breakdown of how I see the first 4 seasons going.

Did I really think we were going to get to the 2nd season? Hell nah, wtf. I was like we'll focus on the first season and if we wanted to keep going we can work on the 2nd season. And we have been working on the 2nd season. Oh and this breakdown has changed since btw.

Super excited for the future of Simplex Minds and what the Season 2 team is going to bring to this platform. We have a lot of things in the works. Next season is all about expansion and growth. Thank you to everyone that has been supporting the team in whatever way. We appreciate you. To bigger and better things.


Troy Tintiangco

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