TouchDesigner Tutorials with Elburz & nVoid

Business Skills for TouchDesigner Pros

The ability to pitch and price projects, as well as understand and negotiate contracts, are fundamental skills to making it as a successful TouchDesigner pro.

Time and again, I watch as designers with genuinely great ideas put together boring, generic pitches that fail to get any interest – or business. When they do get a gig, they end up pricing it based on educated guesses, which often leaves them without any profit.

This is not to mention the problems so many people run into with contracts. From NDAs to SLAs, I’ve seen many artists get screwed over because they didn’t understand the paperwork they were signing, or how to negotiate better terms.

So why do so many people lack these skills?

There are 2 main reasons:

  1. There’s no standardized method for teaching immersive media and interactive tech pros how to pitch, scope, and price projects. Think about it: if you go to design school, you’re taught exactly how to create a pitch that stands out from the crowd. You’re also taught how to create the scope of the project and price it accordingly. This is not the case for us. This is made worse by the fact that most TouchDesigner developers are working with massive corporations in the media and entertainment industry. And believe me, these guys know exactly what they’re doing, and they have no interest in making sure you get a fair deal – usually, the opposite is true.
  2. We have no standardized contracts written specifically for us. Template contracts written for other industries like design or IT are missing sections that are critical to immersive and interactive media projects, and are of little use to us. When combined with the fact that most developers and designers don’t know how to interpret contracts they’re being asked to sign, many find themselves in deep trouble. I’ve seen folks end up in contracts that require them to maintain their installation for a year at no additional cost. Worse, I’ve watched people sign absurd non-compete clauses that practically prohibit them from providing TouchDesigner services to anyone again for years.

In my early days, I made a lot of mistakes when it came to business, and lost thousands of dollars as a result. But over time and with a lot of help, I learned how to price projects accurately, and pitch them to clients who would go on to pay me 80k for work I’d previously done for 10k. I also gained the ability to understand every line of a contract and how to negotiate them to my advantage.

I’ve distilled all of this knowledge into 2, 2-hour trainings: “Pitching and Pricing for TouchDesigner Pros” and “Understanding and Negotiating Contracts for TouchDesigner Pros”.

I’m releasing them both here for the first time as part of one bundle, “Business Skills for TouchDesigner Pros”.

And now you can get “Business Skills for TouchDesigner Pros” for $225 – that’s 10% off!

Here’s exactly what you get in “Business Skills for TouchDesigner Pros”:

Part 1: “Pitching and Pricing for TouchDesigner”

  • Creating a feature list BEFORE you start the project: Have you ever sold a project for 10k, only to realize halfway through that it costs WAY more? I show you how to create an in-depth feature list before you start the project – or even sign the contract. This not only keeps everyone’s expectations aligned – it ensures you know exactly what your budget is for the project and is the first step on setting proper pricing.
  • Setup your quote spreadsheet: I walk you through how to take everything from your feature list and translate it to a dollar value in a quote spreadsheet. We go over every expense you might incur, how much of your time will be required, and how much profit you can build into the equation. This is all done in a demo project that we put together throughout the course.
  • Building a beautiful pitch deck: Finally, you’re ready to build your pitch deck. You’ll learn what pictures and videos to include, and how to present different pieces of information. When done correctly, you’ll be able to charge considerably more for your work, and clients will be happy to pay for it.
  • How to sell YOU, not the project: Perhaps the most important aspect of pitching a project is to sell the prospect on YOU. This is what will make you stand out from the dozens of other pitches they hear on a weekly basis. Once they believe that you’re the right person for the job, they’ll be willing to pay a higher price – and give you more favorable contract terms. I show you exactly how to do this effectively and consistently.
  • Included documents and templates:This course includes a pitch deck, quote spreadsheet, and feature list templates.

Part 2: “Understanding and Negotiating Contracts for TouchDesigner Pros”

  • Line by line breakdown of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA): Most people sign an NDA like they click “I agree” for a terms of service agreement – without reading any of it. This is a mistake. In the worst case, it may contain a non-compete clause that prohibits you from working with other organizations on TouchDesigner projects. I teach you how to read and understand every line of these documents so you know what you’re getting yourself into legally. I also show you how to negotiate all aspects of them so that you can get the best deal possible.
  • Deep analysis of a work agreement: I take you through all elements of a work agreement and their potential ramifications for you. We cover intellectual property (IP), and how to ensure you’re not giving so much away that you can’t work again until the contract is over. We also look at billing expectations, indemnification, and what happens if there’s a contract fallout. As with the NDA, I help you translate the legalese of a work agreement into something you can understand and negotiate.
  • Understand your obligations before signing a Service Level Agreement (SLA): For every project you work on, your employer will want you to be responsible for fixing it, and that will require an SLA. If you sign a bad SLA, you can find yourself responsible for ensuring your installation works perfectly for a year, with no additional compensation to you. But if negotiated properly, you can collect a nice maintenance fee without having to do a lot of extra work. I show you how to construct and negotiate an SLA that leaves you in the latter situation.
  • How to negotiate for a win-win situation: Understanding how these contracts work is one thing. Knowing how to get a prospective client to give you the contract you want is another. I give you tools and techniques you can use to help you understand what your client will be looking for, and how to negotiate with them in a manner that will result in a win-win scenario.
  • Included documents and templates: This course includes NDA, SLA, general service and work agreements, and independent contractor agreement templates.

By the end of “Business Skills for TouchDesigner Pros”, you’ll have the business skills and savvy necessary to earn top-dollar using your TouchDesigner skills.

And right now, you can get “Business Skills for TouchDesigner Pros”, for $225 – that’s 10% off

"Elburz has been an essential guide for me in this exciting and growing industry. He demystified many of the inner workings of TouchDesigner in my early days and has come in clutch with solutions on a number of high-profile installations we've worked on together since."

-Landon Thomas

Landon Thomas

Biography

Elburz is the Immersive Technical Director of zero11zero, lead of nVoid division, and is one of the leading authorities on TouchDesigner.

He has worked on product launches, permanent installations, and worldwide tours with clients like Google, Kanye West, Giorgio Armani, Burj Khalifa, VISA, Nike, US Open, TIFF, American Express, Seattle Art Museum, Cannes Lions, Axwell & Ingrosso, Verizon, McDonalds, IBM, and many more. Elburz has lead teams across the world from Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Montreal, Toronto, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, Bangkok, Dubai, Scotland, and Paris.