Feature photographer on this post is acastellano check out his flickr site and see more of the beautiful photos he has taken. All the photos from this post are from him.
In this post, it’s Days of Our Rocketboomers, or how Amanda Congdon came to leave Rocketboom. Also some insights into the problems that looks have for some girls, no Big Brother and more!
There is an interesting show on ABC Family called Kyle XY. I was surprised how good it was. It’s the story of a boy without a navel who learns everything like he was a newborn child. Genetic experiment or alien, we aren’t sure, but Kyle is a kid with incredible intelligence and a strange naiveté, that endears him to a family whom he stays with. The show is on its second week.
A 16 year old newborn.
Amanda Congdon moves to L.A. and leaves Rocketboom. That is what is said on the Rocketboom homepage. But there is a lot more to this saga than meets the eye. At first, it was announced that she was on holiday for a week, surprising but nothing special. Just meant that the quality of the episodes would go down, because her trademark spunk was missing. To start off, here is the press release off Rocketboom, I’ve included it because it might go down at some point.
Actually, this is something different. She didn’t move to LA. Please continue reading further down for more information.
Amanda Congdon has decided to move to L.A. to pursue opportunities that have arisen for her in Hollywood.
We wanted to meet her request to move production out to L.A., however, we are a small company and have not been able to figure out a way to make it work, financially and in many other ways at this time. So sadly we bid Amanda adieu and wish her all the best.
Rocketboom goes on.
Andrew Baron, the founder and creator of Rocketboom, will stay with the company in New York and will continue to produce and direct the show. We are in the daunting process of recruiting a replacement for Amanda.
While Amanda will be sorely missed, we have big plans for Rocketboom and are determined to make the show better than ever.
After Field Week and a week on hiatus, we know that you are hungry for the news! Rocketboom will be back with a news episode and an interim host this MONDAY, JULY 10.
For the Record
I am disheartened by Andrew Baron’s decision to spread misinformation. He knows I cannot move to LA without a job…but insists on spinning things this way to shore up his assertion that I am “walking away” from Rocketboom. I did not walk away. I did not accept Andrew’s idea of “partnership”. I’ll explain more a little further down.
It’s not true. I’m presently living with my parents in Connecticut until I can get back on my feet.
Below you will find a letter written by Andrew on Sunday, June 25, two days after he pulled the plug on Rocketboom. My responses, which were sent to Andrew on the same day, are in red [Ed.note, it's in italics].
Andrew responded the next day by saying he would not respond to this letter. This then was followed by days of back and forth negotiations, ending yesterday, on Independence Day, with Andrew telling Chuck Olsen, our mediator, that he was taking control of the show and my option was to be the “face” of rocketboom with no involvement beyond that (I might in the future be allow to “produce shows”, but not for the time being). Very old media. Considering I have personally written, produced, and hosted Rocketboom and was already a producer on Jet Set, this was totally unacceptable. I don’t know any “partnership” that functions like that.
I had hoped to keep things civil, and thought my video message to the Rocketboom viewers was very neutral. I felt the need to communicate with the RB audience, without getting into the nitty-gritty of “he said, she said”. Dirty laundry is not attractive. That said, ALL the facts, at this point, based on Andrew’s actions, need to be presented.
Dear Amanda, this is my last attempt to reach out and let you know I really wish you would stay.
Andrew, you fired me.
After everything that has built up over the last several months (and longer apparently) and with everything I have learned about your disinterest in my various levels of critical input, I can understand why you would need to leave and I as I have always said, I will never hold you back.
I’m sorry you feel that way. I’ve repeatedly expressed my respect for your many gifts. Especially:
1. You are an exceptional executive producer. Your instincts for what will work or not, and your general vision for the creation of content and distribution for videoblogs is, I believe, unparalleled.
2. You are an exceptional speaker. Whether at conferences, in business meetings or during consulting, you excel at describing the power of Rocketboom and the medium.
3. You are an ingenious curator. Your extraction of outstanding content from all resources is, again, unparalleled.
4. You are a superb navigator of the blogosphere. Additionally, I have always entrusted you with the final decisions of the physical design of Rocketboom.
In fact, it saddens me that you have not had the time and/or willingness to significantly participate creatively in Rocketboom for some months now. We’ve sent you things during the production process, and what we’ve received back is criticism after the show has already been produced or after it is too late to make changes. Statements like “I’ll continue to check my blackberry but please dont wait on me if it starts to slow you down” and “I will have my phone so I can still chime in but dont feel ever wait on me for any answers if I cant respond in time” really don’t cut it.
As you know, when I gave you the 49% of Rocketboom I told you that I hoped it would work out and that the reason why I gave you that percentage was so that you would become involved enough to stay with the company.
I have always been and still am intensely involved in Rocketboom.
Since I told you so many times that I would never want to hold you back from moving on to L.A. to pursue your own thing – since you always said this was really your passion well before I met you -we agreed that you would not take the 49% if you were to move away to L.A. on your own.
That is completely incorrect. There was no agreement about forfeiture of the 49%. We together have had a detailed plan for some time in preparation for the move to LA. And please note I was moving to LA on Rocketboom business, not only to “do my own thing”. You did say you would never hold me back, and you also made it clear that doing Rocketboom would not be mutually exclusive of pursuing other passions. Our plan was as follows:
5/05 Amanda told Andrew she was serious about moving to LA by 10/05. Andrew agreed and said that was completely reasonable, since current technology allows Rocketboom to be produced from anywhere.
10/05 Amanda and Mario stored their possessions, gave up their apartment and took a sublet in preparation for the move. Andrew was fully aware.
10/05-4/06 Amanda and Mario continued to sublet. The move was repeatedly delayed, long beyond the original “completely reasonable” time frame. Finally, with Andrew’s consent, Rocketboom moved forward to actual transition.
4/06 A plan was implemented for Andrew and Mario to co-direct shoots, gradually transitioning Mario to be interim director. A new professional director was to be hired in LA. What actually happened was that Andrew attended shoots infrequently and by 5/06 had stopped attending altogether.
5/21/06 At this time, the term of Amanda and Mario’s sublet was up. Andrew had not attended shoots for nearly a month, and there would be no Rocketboom paycheck for June. Nevertheless, production continued by Amanda and Mario at Amanda’s parents’ home in Connecticut.
6/16/06 Andrew, Mario and Amanda agreed upon a departure date for LA within the next couple of weeks. Within the next few days, June 30th was chosen. Andrew’s assistant had a list of possible editors in LA (which was never delivered to Amanda despite numerous requests). Zadi and Steve were excited to have Amanda nearby to better co-produce Rocketboom’s project, The Jet Set Show.
6/23/06 Mario received a call from Andrew in essence saying that Mario and Amanda must either move back to New York or Rocketboom was over.
Since you have claimed that you are moving next week, and because you have never suggested a plan for how this move can integrate into Rocketboom, and because you have already said your goodbye, I get the message and will now move on myself the best I can.
Andrew, see our long term and extensive plan described above.
And, as it turns out, I cannot move to LA because our plan was for me to be engaged in, and compensated for, work on Rocketboom there. Since you will no longer allow that, I have no source of income and therefore cannot move.
With regards to tomorrow’s show and the future of Rocketboom, I am not sure what I will do, but you will be honored and respected and encouraged. My plan is to simply say that you are moving on to L.A. to take on the world, that this was always your dream and that you are a obviously a brilliant personality who will no doubt take it by storm.
Please do not speak for me. We’ve had a long standing agreement in good faith about me continuing Rocketboom from LA, which you have now reneged upon.
Should anyone react and consider the move to be a shame, I will always defend you for following your own dreams and aspirations and staying true to your own interests with acting and now producing.
Again, please do not speak for me. My dreams and aspirations included Rocketboom.
You have wanted to move to L.A. since before I met you, so I am sorry that we could not manage getting there sooner together with Rocketboom still working.
As we’ve both acknowledged, Rocketboom could not only work but grow stronger by having a presence on both coasts.
With all my love and support for you as a friend, I will never stop caring about you and will always look forward to seeing you bloom.
Andrew, I’ve said repeatedly that I think you are a genius. Still, there have been problems. Recently, you have treated me as an employee rather than a partner. That may explain your feelings about the 49%.
Business and production can and should be done from both coasts, as we have both acknowledged. To dictate where I live is unnecessary and outrageous and has resulted in the present situation.
And Andrew, our agreement stands. I do own 49% of Rocketboom.
With respect to our show, I suggest we delve into the archives and do a “best of” week. This will allow us some time to work things through.
We had an agreement, Andrew. You should honor it.
Please let me know your thoughts.
Some say like Scoble, both Rocketboom and Amanda Congdon will be diminished by this move. I am not sure that we will know the whole story, if the move to LA was exactly as they said it was or something different, perhaps a variation on a bizarre love triangle. I find that Congdon is quite talented and that she will easily find a new venture or vlog or even something in TV, we all know how it happened to Brookers from YouTube. I think that Rocketboom will be most affected by this move, since Amanda was hot and charismatic. And since Andrew Baron is neither. The new host will have a hard time to maintain the viewers, since I have a good intuition that most will follow what Congdon does. Why? She’s hot and he’s a nerd. What more do you want to know?
I think the biggest problem will be regarding the shares that Amanda owns. It looks like a legal battle is getting ready to start up, because 49% of the shares belong to Congdon, that means that 49% of 85000$ in ads per week is hers. That is quite a chunk of change. But the way that Congdon is presenting it, she is nowhere near being full of money, she is living with her parents for the time being. I find that strange, because either Rocketboom costs a lot more to produce than I thought or Baron is raking in the cash and not giving it out. It looks like there wasn’t a written agreement, only a verbal one. That’s bad for Amanda. You should always put everything in writing, especially for business ventures.
This kind of ties into the next section I wrote. I wasn’t sure I was going to include it, but it seems appropriate now, funny how it turns out. This is based on personal observations.
I’ve noticed this problem that some people have with hot girls. Hot girls are intimidating enough to some people, but when they are also quite intelligent, well that’s a conundrum. A conundrum to some people, because they have difficulty going past the surface layer, and we all know that even if we try to be different in our society, most of us still judge others in part this way.
Having known quite a few hot girls, I’ve noticed that there always is this resentment from girls that aren’t. This is why I theorized that most hot girls hang out with other hot girls. Then again, some hot girls like to hang out with less attractive girls to make them look better. The way that female relationships work is totally different that for us men. The dynamics are different and girls will slag each other off without any problems then continue being friends. This kind of cliquety behaviour seems almost infantile when you think about it. Most of us try to go beyond what we see, but we can not help to see what is in front of us. Instincts drive us and our reptilian brain drives us more than we know to reproduce and find suitable partners.
They give each other presents and then they talk behind each other’s backs. A hot girl will have problems her whole life with her looks. Female coworkers will rarely get along with them because they feel threatened. That is the same for friendships. And there always is this strain of bitchiness going around. And some hot girls don’t notice that they are getting hit on by other men, but they are all the time.
Since you’ve gone, I dream about you. I sleep to find you again in my arms. It is funny how the transition was made, from reality to dream.
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