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Vladimir Karamazov – Tour 2016 of Three Bears Entertainment [English SUBS] | StartUP Conference 2017


I feel a little bit strange being here with you, I accepted this invitation because I was extremely impressed that Bulgaria still has so many purposeful young people who know what they want. I admit, I did not think there are such people left, and when they contacted me I was very excited. I told myself I cannot refuse their invitation. Most probably I have nothing in common with the people that where here before me, because I do not see myself as a person in charge of a company, even though I am in a way. About our company, I just want to say a couple of words. we have been friends for 20 years, and we didn’t want to continue doing our jobs in the way they are done in Bulgaria. We were in the National Theater for 10 years. We wanted to do something that we liked, how we liked it, and be with our friends. This is how this company was born “Three Bears Entertainment”, we tried to do it with a sense of humor, and then the first project came, the second, the third We saw that this idea is successful and the three of us were extremely happy when we could achieve this success. What was our purpose with “Three Bears Entertainment?” Our purpose was to get people like you, the young people of Bulgaria, who would go and would be interested in theater by themselves, instead of lead by their mother’s or teacher’s hand and be forced to go to the theater. We succeeded! How did we do it? With everything we do for our projects, and now I will actually tell you about our last project. Our National Tour in 2016. This is not something that hasn’t been seen before in Bulgaria, everybody are going on a tour. But we believe that we managed to make a very valuable product, we were able to make a lot of noise around that project, which is something, that our industry started hating us for because we showed that three people can do something that the public institutions with huge administrations cannot do for many years Actually this tour is the absolute record in Bulgaria. The National Theater 10 years ago had a tour of 20 performances. We did 53. 53 performances which were very hard for us to organize. So what did we do? We decided to equip this tour with a very serious advertising campaign. This is something that a lot of people in our industry wouldn’t do. We are popular people and there is a public interest in us. We probably could avoid giving this money for the advertising campaign, but we believe that when this money are invested in such a project and we increase the popularity of something like this, it is good for everybody. It’s good for the Bulgarian culture, it’s good for us, it’s good for the people. When people see something done specially with such purpose, they are extremely happy. How do we try to catch the young people? Of course, we used the social networks, I don’t think there is any other way, or at least we couldn’t think of such. Typical for our little company is that we come up with everything the three of us: what the photo session will be, what our advertising campaign will be, what our strategy will be for the whole thing. For the tour we were out of ideas, because we had used all of them already for other projects we had. So, for a first time we decided to turn to an advertising agency. We turned to “The Smarts” for help with the conception of the advertisement. We did a lot of things, a lot of activity in the social networks, a lot of videos, we did Facebook live videos. We faced a lot of problems that we tried to solve. I don’t know if you are aware how unpleasant it is for me to be acting here on the stage some dramatic role and someone in front of me to be on their phone. It’s a tragedy, because in the dark hall a just see some light. It’s not enough that I see the face of that person, but I also see the faces of everyone around that person and my mind starts thinking what more interesting is on the phone that what is happening on the stage. Am I a total idiot for that person, most probably whatever I do I cannot grab his attention. And this is very depressing, and you spend the next five minutes thinking about that instead of what you are playing on the stage. So what did we do? All of these methods where a voice is saying “Please turn off your phones!” do not work. The people are completely resistant to that and don’t hear it at all. So we decided to make a brochure, and like complete idiots the three of us where going around the hall putting on each seat a brochure which said “Watch the play, not your phone.” I can just say it worked amazingly. In the cities where the people do not know how to behave in the theater, I am telling you, it worked out perfectly. Well, this was part of our activities. We were taking photos on the signboard in the beginning of every city. We saw that as a gesture to the cities. Believe me, there was such a huge interest that people were just waiting for us on the signboards. And, since there are a few signboards people were waiting to see where we are going to show up. After we did these photos, we did many more with the people waiting for us. We saw that this was working, people liked it very much, so we did a lot of non-sense photos, there were terrifying things in this garbage bin, but we like to make sacrifices. This was in Gotse Delchev. By the way do you know what was very interesting? In two cities – Pazardzhik and one more – the mayors were embarrassed that the signboard look this way and fixed them. Of course, we started to get stuck, because, for example Zahari complains a lot and we were doing these selfies with the public. We are wondering what to do, Zahari was already ashamed thinking it was an abuse over the people. But since we have started doing it already we have to continue and now on the most photos he is completely bored, you can see there, while Julian and I are still trying to give something. But, people really enjoyed it. A lot of them texted us on Facebook when are we going to release the photo, why we haven’t released it yet, but we needed some time. Dupnitsa, that was my idea. These bushes were with thorns and it took me a lot of time to make them go inside, but I convinced them that it will be only three heads. By the way, I think this was the most liked selfie, not selfie but the photos with the signboards. And actually when we posted these photos regarding the tour on the social media daily, people from all around the country became interested, we were recognized when entering somewhere, all the seats for the tour were taken. We put in a huge effort for five particular cities because we were told that in these cities the people are not used to going to the theater. Julian and I get on the motorcycles, we have motorcycles, and we go to the city to check out what the situation is. Believe we have worked very hard. These halls didn’t fill up by themselves, the way many people think it happens. Everything happened thanks to this major advertising campaign. Total nonsense! So, we understood a lot about our audience and our fans, especially for the social media. I really think that, even though we were very skeptic about the social media at the beginning, we saw that this is the shortest way to our fans, or for example your clients for the people who have their own business. And actually this is the future. And, the sooner you realize the power of the social networks, the greater power you can have. This is why we fell so strong right now, because we have loyal followers just waiting for our next project. And, here comes the strange thing that in Bulgaria, I am really happy there are people like you, it’s great that in Bulgaria people that want to do something for the country stay here. Here is a particular example. When we organized the performance in Blagoevgrad, we were told that the audience is very weak, and we couldn’t believe it, because Blagoevgrad is a city where we always have a very strong audience. It turned out that they do something there for an hour and so on… Julian and I were like “Really? OK!” we took the motorcycles, this is the brochure, we came in Blagoevgrad with the motorcycles, we were guests in a few radios, we shared some videos, and at the end the hall was so crowded that the mayor couldn’t find tickets, they were begging us for two tickets, I said we don’t have any tickets. After that they started asking for a second performance, we said we couldn’t do it and that’s it, and at the end we had probably around 100 people standing. But we really had to work on that. This here is our brochure saying “Please watch the performance, not your phone.” We are currently still spreading it around on our performances in Sofia and wherever we travel. We want this to be our new projects. We want to make something big out of it, which aims to educate the young people, because it really turned out that they – 10, 11,13,15 years old – don’t know how to behave in the theater. They think theater is the same as the cinema and whatever is happening here on the stage is like it is a movie, and can do whatever they want in the audience. We have come up with a really cool way, a very big initiative in form of educating video which will show the young people, in a very fun way, what happens while they are talking on their phone or are eating popcorns, while we are acting on the stage. Zahari Baharov – “I want to start with something…” This is part of one of the live videos. Zahari – “… Since this how tour has started, since our initiative “Watch the performance, not your phone” has started, not a single phone was turned on in Varna. I want to personally thank you! It was a huge pleasure to not see a singe phone turned on during the performance!” Vladimir Karamazov – “No, really it was amazing today, there was not a single…” Zahari – “The audience in Varna was amazing, but no one turned their phone on, which was very pleasant!” OK, we are talking nonsense here. The other thing we did as a breakthrough… This is our main vision of our tour. This was made by “The Smarts” and the photographer is Pavel Chervenkov. During the summer in the fields we are looking for a complex organization. What else? Where did the t-shirts go? I will show you some more initiatives. This is the trailer that we did. We are making everything ourselves. I can comment during the video. We do a lot of things ourselves. This are “Black Stamp”, a young company, which produces video projects. Zahari – “There are some evidence for a crime… and 1 lev. That is from the Margini brothers. Julian Vergov – “Hey, a viper is not going to get in here, is it?” We live on the road. The director – “What I am saying is that what you are doing is going to be the most impressive part.” Vladimir – Here Julian wants to say something. Julian is quit all the time. An amazing pose in the real life. Julian – “I have nothing to say.” As you see I am the chairman who is trying to make sure everything is ok. I am very happy for your reaction, because this was our goal. I got obsessed with finding skilled young people in every different field where we need them. In the last year we made it, and I think that now our team is amazing. We have a designer, a web designer, photographers, people who make our videos. It is great to find such people, I can only wish to all of you to find your dream team, and work hard here in Bulgaria. So, these are out T-shirts. It was very nerve breaking; my hair went white because of them. Making a t-shirt was not so easy. I thought it will be easier. The label was ordered from Turkey, from some factory, and then waiting, customs… As a whole there are big efforts in making the smallest details. The label could have been different, but when I saw it I said want it like this. And, that is when my hair went white. We could have use just a print instead of the label but… I don’t have a lot of T-shirts left from the tour. We were giving them away to our fans. We had a game, let’s see if the video will start. In the game the audience has to guess whose luggage is in the picture, “The Smarts” also thought of that, and in with this game we were able to make a very elegant product placement of the companies which we work with. OK, so guess, who do you think these objects belong to? If Julian and Zahari were here they would probably kill you. I admit they would have killed you. These are mine. They say that I am a little fussy. They wouldn’t put on a red jacket, but I would. Do you know what we are going to do now. Give me the next one. I will just give you whatever size it is, I hope they fit. Who do you think this belongs to? This is Zahari’s. Who said Zahari? You. I do not know what can be more boring than that. I am telling you, when he made it, when he gave his objects and “The Smarts” made it, I was like “Ok people, this is so boring!” What is this notepad in the middle, and sock, and muesli? You don’t even eat muesli. And, the product placement of Bankya. The next one. Let’s see it, of course it belongs to Julian. Oh no, no! Whose is it? Who said it’s mine? Which size are you? M? Wait, I will start giving them to you. Or I will give them at the end. Ok let’s see if there is more. I also have XL. Julian. Who said Julian? Ok, just remember I will give them to you at the end. Julian, he is a football person, sneakers of course. Whose is that one? No. Julian. Who said it? You are getting one too! It’s Julian’s, we have motorcycles, it is easy. Whose is that one? No, its Julian’s. By the way there were great guesses in Facebook and people enjoyed the game very much, because they see something personal. Is there any more pictures? Or we can go to the questions. Oh, I forgot to look at the time. I am really sorry. Did I take too long? Are we late? If you want we can skip the questions? Ok, cause they told me 20 minutes, and I was like, oh my God, 20 minutes… what am I going to do? Ok let’s see the questions. While you display them, I will give the t-shirts. This is, who guessed, this is XL. Which size are you? S. Give me the questions ‘cause we are really late. Let me check if I have size S. I have one. There you go. Who else guessed? What size are you? S. This is M. Did someone who needs XL guessed anything? Yeah the lottery is… What are you? There you go. Who? Bobi, what is your size? M? Let me just check if I have it. I am really sorry, we are wasting the time of the next speaker. I don’t know what is happening. There you go. And I have three XL sizes left. Girls, XL? I can’t even manage anymore. Who? There you go! Give me the questions. Well, at least you laughed a little. I will watch the other speakers afterwards. I am really sorry. I haven’t been on similar conferences and I don’t know… Oh, there no questions? There are? Question: Is there a place where we can order the cool T-shirts from? It is very hard with the online retail shop. We were thinking about it, but it is really hard. Unfortunately, no, but some day… We have the design of the t-shirts and some day we can really start mass selling them. Q2: How long was the whole tour? From February, 2016 and it ended in October. By the way I made a picture… I am telling you, honestly, it may sound stupid, but when the whole thing was over I just sat in one gas station and started crying as a little child because everything was over. And, it really took a very big part of our efforts. It’s really hard when a person faces something he has ever done, but afterwards it becomes very easy. On one hand, I was very happy that we were able to make it, on the other hand, I regretted my white hair, on the third – were all of these nerves worth it, but after a while I was sure it was worth it! Q3: Which is the most embarrassing situation you have had on the stage? Mariya Kaverdzhikova, our famous Bulgarian actress, during one of the performances, while we were playing, her dress fell on the stage and left her only in her underwear. We were so worried! I immediately took and lifted the dress, and when I started to button it up, I saw that all the buttons are broken and I have no idea what to do. I am holding it, I start, I am trying to tie it somehow, my finger started bleeding because of the broken buttons. I did something, I tied something, I don’t know what I did. The audience started applauding. It took very long to fix it. And I am like, Marche, it’s ready! Restart, because we stopped playing. We start playing, and the dress fall again. And I am like “No!” The audience enjoyed it so much. So now, I very leisurely “Give me safety pins,” I am going, tying it again. By the way, people really enjoy these slips. When you say a slip in the performance, everybody think it is something bad, but actually in the theater it is so good because the performance turn out amazing. Afterwards I heard from so many places how somebody watched, it and told the story, and it became a huge event. So, probably this is the most embarrassing situation. Thank God, you are not writing in English. I thought you will be writing in English. Q4: Is the life on the road hard? What are the most common hard moments? Yes, it is really hard. It’s hard because you don’t have anything to eat, what can you eat, a kebapche in the pub. I am so tired of them. In every city it takes forever to find a shop, you lose half of your day, we didn’t have a lot of time. We travel during the day, and we have a performance in the evening. Next day – next city. So, yes, this was a huge problem for me. You eat nasty things, or only bread… A question from the audience: First, take you for the interesting stories, it was really funny, and can you show us something you are best in for like 30 seconds or a minute? Eee, you killed me! I don’t know what to do for 30 seconds. For example, what I am doing right now is a little strange for me. You will come to the theater and you will watch. I really do not know, I am sorry. I have nothing to do. For 5 seconds. Q6: What do you think about people standing up to applaud at the end of the performance? Vlado Penev said that and it became a huge problem. Well, I don’t really care. In the west, people do not stand up, they do so only if they really love the performance. Here people think that they are a little smarter and just do something only for the sake of doing it. This probably is a little stupid, but only if that was our biggest problem. I said to Vlado “Why do you bother?” There so many problems in our industry that whether the people have stood up – I don’t care. If they want to stand up they can do it, if they don’t, they don’t! There are far more important problems! If this is the most important I would be happy to work on it! So, I think that’s it?

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