Hello one and all.
In lieu of our building shutdown, we have a ton of excess stuff that we don't need, and you probably would benefit from.
Instead of selling direct to individuals or trying to list everything on ebay, the one and true method is at hand: a really really big Yard Sale™.
Many, many things are up for sale at deeply-discounted values, and will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. Supplies are limited! Get em' while they last!
- Most if not all the components of a full-service scenic shop.
- 3D Printers (oooh!)
- Saw Stops (ahhh!)
- and much, much more!
- Most if not all the components of a live event production company.
- Behringer X32 Digital Mixing console and snakes (oooh!)
- CHAUVET DJ Intimidator Spot 360, along with mounting trusses (ahhh!)
- and much, much more!
- Seven years of aggregated props, wardrobe, and various event elements.
- Vintage, Out-of-print Party City musketeer tabardss (oooh!)
- Custom dressed prop weapons, and potted plants (ahhh!)
- and much, much more!
- Various furniture and scenic things
- 40 Rolling office chairs (oooh!)
- Official Robert Rodruigez's Alita Battle Angel: The Immersive Experience flats (ahhh!)
- and much, much more!
- Office Supplies
- Printers from every manufacturer you could imagine or desire (oooh!)
- A4 Paper reams (ahhh!)
- and much, much more!
- A host of other things...
- Big setpiece props that we don't want to just throw out (oooh!)
- Wireless Headsets (ahhhh!)
- and much, much more!
- FREE STUFF
- Scrap Wood
- 5v DC adaptors (free with every purchase!)
- and much, much more!
behold, (some of) the stuff
Wednesday, November 8th
Thursday, November 9th
Friday, November 10th
Saturday, November 11th
All days we'll be open from 12-noon to 8pm.
Price & Payment
All items will be priced at point of sale. We accept cash, check, paypal, and will try to get a square reader to work properly for debit/credit purchases.
We DO NOT accept Venmo, Cashapp, Bitcoin, or Patreon Subscriptions.
All sales are, naturally, final.
I want to call/email/text ahead and get stuff before somebody else because-
no. no you can not. Yard Sale or bust. If there is anything left at the end of Yard Sale, and you were unable to make it, check back on this site for details on remaining elements.
Unfortunately, we cannot provide any vehicles or labor to assist in getting things you buy to where you'd like to keep them. If you're planning on purchasing anything you can't carry on the subway, bringing a suitable transportation vehicle is advised. We have no problem setting things aside for a later pickup, as long as it is before November 13th.
We look forward to seeing you at the site of our untimely doom. Good hunting!
Wherein the author swears a bunch and does everything in their power to avoid shouting “Praxis.”
I would like to start by pointing out the pure irony of all of this in the face of us trying to open a show called BusinessRealm.
As Paulbert would say: Now onwards, to Business!
To best explain why, it makes sense to highlight some excerpts from our mission statement:
To create a unified, commercially stable transmedia experience centered around a unique hybrid live show (the UVX), and capitalizing on the strength of IP over a single format.
Future Proof has always been independently-funded by private investment. We’re one of the few FOR-profit companies blessed with that opportunity, and we take our investment deadly-serious.
We don’t take advantage of grants or other similar funding options set aside for NON-profits, as there are other fantastic productions and projects that deserve first crack at the depressingly small pool available to them in this crazy town.
We really want to make stuff, and we think it’s stuff people will pay money for. We always wanted to make enough money that we could continue to make stuff ad-infinitum.
I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a pretty airtight business philosophy right there.
Create a show that is self-sustaining and financially expandable.
Every year from December to February we budget out everything line-by-line and only commit to projects after this process has gone through multiple stages of approval.
I even built a very fancy spreadsheet for the task - lovingly nicknamed The Tabulatron - which breaks down every item to purchase, every paper towel as a cumulative expense, every hour of labor, every screw required- you name it, Almighty Tabulatron will tabulate it.
It also tracks and projects profit from various projects, ticket sales - you name it, Tabulatron tabulates it with some pretty damn good accuracy! We’re talking within a P&L margin-of-error around 2-4% EOY, which is pretty sick as far as business management is concerned.
With the Tabulatron and our combined business experience in various entertainment fields, we have managed every year to come in at or under overhead projections since 2017 (minus one outlier in 2018, and well… you know… 2023).
Once we’ve got the Tabulatron in order and have a roster of things we want to make that we think will work, we sign off on the budget and go into production.
Now, it’s important to remember that we also opened a 16,000 square-foot warehouse in the middle of the absolute horror that was the 2020 COVID lockdown. This is where we get into the ups and downs of running a Capital-B business….
Con: There’s no way in hell we can make enough money to justify renting any kind of space during a historic pandemic.
Pro: We called up our friends who have also been screwed over by their spaces shutting down (aka Doors of Divergence and The Art of Killin’ It), partner with them, and come up with a deal to share space in exchange for reasonable percentages of ticket sales and an alignment of creative styles. The Tabulatron is pleased.
Con: Our in-process lease agreement on a space falls through when the owner panic-demands a 2-million-dollar line of credit (in the middle of a financial panic where banks refuse to do anything remotely this insane) and ctrl-del’s the force majeure clause from the working lease because of something they read in Forbes. Fuck that noise. Now to find a new building in the middle of the apocalypse.
Pro: We managed to get a different building for a fair rate in late 2020. This is when every other landlord in the city was trying to bleed folks dry any way they could in a panic to make as much money as possible during a global disaster.
Con: The warehouse was built in 1918, hasn’t been given any respect since its’ previous owners used it to store weather stripping in 2013, and is falling apart. Our landlord was also in the middle of attempting to excavate a basement underneath the building before lockdown, so the floor is a moonscape.
This means we have to renovate the hell out of it.
We’re talking repair the roof. Install a lighting grid. Rewire the power. Put in bathrooms. Build out a tool shop. Grind down the concrete and pour epoxy sealant. Fire exits. Make sure things are ADA-friendly if not fully compliant. Rat-proof everywhere. Go to war with the rats when they chew through the rat-proofing. The list goes on, and on, and on.
Oh! and do it while everybody needs to avoid COVID exposure or becoming a super-spreader (back before testing was easy to get). There goes the rest of 2020 and half of 2021.
To say the people involved in this part of the process worked miracles is a disservice. They were sorcerers performing black magic the likes of which the world should be in awe of. Unsung heroes, the lot of them.
Semi-pro: I would also like to take this moment to point out that our Landlord was very helpful in the setup process: repairing the roof after a hurricane, building a very cool patio, updating the second floor, assisting in fire code compliance, and generally doing good Landlord things. I’m not legally obligated, but I’m going to say it anyway; by New York standards our landlord was very good to us during a very tough time.
Pro: We developed a custom (patent-pending) interlocking modular steel ‘frame’ system of 10’-high rectangles (as featured in multiple Doors of Divergence BTS episodes for better and worse), allowing us to erect fire-safe temporary structures that also counteract the nightmare floors, permitting issues, safety concerns, build times inherent in traditional flats, and allow for modular design for the future. All we need is some cheap 1” tube steel, and a bunch of OSB plywood cladding and we’re off to the races!
Con: The Evergreen crashes into a sandbar, blocking the Suez Canal for six days and holding up roughly $9 billion in various goods, teaching the world about how fragile globalized supply chains are, as well as triggering a once-in-a-lifetime garden gnome shortage.
This, coupled with the already-crippled shipping and logistics industry in the post-apocalyptic hellscape of COVID, causes capitalism to swoop in like a Miller-era Batman and start stomping on everything beautiful and sacred.
OSB is suddenly 500% more expensive overnight. Tube steel is no longer rolling off the assembly lines. We eventually had to get 19th-century on this crap and organize our own personal supply chain to save some costs. (any costs. sweet god please it’s so expensive) on perforated metal. You might as well just light money on fire and call it a win. There goes the rest of 2021.
Did you see that?
^^^That right here ^^^ is where we made our first and biggest mistake in hindsight.
As a new headquarters for a particular type of Immersive Theater, especially with long-form productions (1 year or more of occupancy planned in advance), you’re not operating on a 50%+ audience-turnout-every-day-model. You’re operating on an institution-style model. You’re a carny booth, restaurant, indie retail, or a paintball arena. You’re not going to have big numbers out the gate unless you’re a celebrity or delusional and hallucinating in a padded cell somewhere. For us, we’re not using words like ‘jackpot,’ or ‘money back in no time.’ We’re saying things like ‘growth’ and ‘start small.’
We knew that when things got better - some day(tm) - everybody would be starved for live entertainment. We stood a good chance of being one of the first out the gate with our act together if we put our heads down, masks on, and broke our backs to get the building up and running. We could supercharge our turnout from 8%-10% to 13-18%. I mean hell, we could get a jumpstart on growth. Maybe even break-even by 2023- after only a year of operation???? This is insane!
At the time, it made sense.
Now, with the benefit of hindsight and seeing how things went down in 2021 and 2022, We should have downsized, sat on the building for a year, and started in 2022 with a three-show grand-open in 2023.
The amount of time spent scheduling COVID-testing, delays due to near-miss outbreaks, cost of materials… the list goes on into the abyss.
We did manage to get Doors of Divergence and The Art of Killin’ it open in 2022… but in the process put our own LUX show (at the time Rock Bottom, which we eventually scrapped in favor of BusinessRealm) on the slow-track, meaning we only had two out of three shows up and running on initial building open, which hits ticket targets where it hurts.
While turnout in 2022 was not dream-come-true, it was on-track with projection and actually a bit better than expected! Nobody was breaking even, but for essentially a brand-new space with brand-new content in a field that audiences have a hard time understanding, we were doing Awesome.
Unfortunately, the money we burned in 2021 and the delayed releases in 2022 came back to haunt us. We are not the only company that is dealing with this, nor will we be the last to wake up in a cold sweat over the long-term damage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
In late 2022/early 2023, we pulled the trigger on BusinessRealm after half a year of development. We renewed our lease and held consul with the almighty Tabulatron. While margins were slim, we decided to roll a hard six and see if we could make it work. We rolled a five.
Every quarter we review sales numbers, expenses, and generally do business things that a business should do.
This year when we hit the end of Q2 (roughly June), things were not looking great. Both our hosted shows were doing ok. Not amazing, but they were on-track, not off-track.
We took a stab at a business loan out of an abundance of caution, but that fell through due to my abysmal line of credit. But it’s ok! We still had a shot at success, as long as BusinessRealm opened by the end of July...
It is at this point we go back to the mission statement:
Produce all content in-house.
Stretch our budgets to the maximum reach they can take - make a lot with a little.
Critically hammer at our content until it is more than "good enough."
Kill all darlings and make sure only the strongest of concepts survives the culling.
Everybody gets paid.
We could have crunched and rushed BusinessRealm to audiences as a shameless cash-grab, but while our shows may look and feel tacky by design, there is quite a bit of love and care that goes into them. Everybody here did not want to compromise creative principles for the sake of a budget, and we also did not want to work a solid two months of 15-hour days to try and make up the difference.
We take pride in allowing for infinite sick days, infinite PTO, paying people as fair a wage as we can manage, and generally making sure that everybody who works here takes care of themselves and is taken care of as best as they can be. People work better when they are not living dollar-to-dollar. However, this makes people (rightfully) a large budget expense. It also means we avoid crunch at all costs.
This, along with other frustrating complications in shipping, bids, and orders meant multiple minor delays at critical build points.
We kept pushing BusinessRealm back, and it was a death by a thousand cuts.
It is important to stress here that none of these delays were the killer, and nobody individually is at fault - quite the opposite, everybody at Future Proof worked incredibly hard to get BusinessRealm off the ground and did a damn fine job. Morale was high, we were deep into rehearsals, setpieces were in finishing stages, all props and assets were underway, costumes were sourced, and documentation was locked down with rivets.
However, starting in July our new lease terms kicked in. The new rent was high.
It was already high, but this was Very High.
We could make rent and payroll if we opened in July, but delays crept us into a September release date.
Due to expenses from 2020-2022, the treasury was dry. Over the year several additional partnerships, guest shows, and attempts at deals to supplement revenue fell through for fair reasons (space, time, good fit for the space - the usual). Inflation was crushing us from both ends; we couldn’t sell tickets at higher prices without cutting down our audience counts (all shows in our building benefit from “larger” audiences from an experiential standpoint), and staff/cast/crew needed to eat, requiring pay raises across the board.
Unlike many other enterprises in New York, we did not take out a PPP loan or ERC credit (hooray to the former, oops to the latter). We didn’t lay off any staff during the pandemic, get a $30 million grant from Uncle Sam, or any of that cool $1.2 billion tossed out to New York State since we were just getting started as a C-corp in late 2019, and had no meaningful revenue to show to the SBA (it’s worth noting the SBA were nice about it on the phone).
When we got to August, we had the option to say “let’s just do it and be legends. Again.”
Sales for Doors of Divergence and The Art of Killin’ it were up. Wayyyyy up. 3-5% more month-over-month than anticipated. Word-of-mouth and longform marketing was starting to pay off in a big way. Assuming BusinessRealm opened in September and made sales as projected (15%-20% capacity, which is reasonable for us with a new show), we were on track to breaking even and turning a PROFIT as a Company for the first time by December/January.
Sure in the macro-scale, we were crazy in the red to recoup, but for a new business with only two years on the books with this model, this was stellar for an entertainment venue.
Things were looking great!
Except for October and November. October and November were a big void.
Those two months would have had to be picture perfect as far as audience attendance goes in order for us to pay both rent and our staff. And while rent is necessary to continue operations, mission statement is clear: Everybody. Gets. Paid.
All it would take was an uptick in COVID numbers to reduce audience attendance, or a new horrifying international crisis to scare people away from going outside to dip sales by one or two percentage points, and all the sudden we would have to choose between paying rent, or paying people.
Everybody at Future Proof has worked a hell-show. I got together with like-minded friends and started this company fresh off the set of several particularly bad ones. I have seen what happens when productions make this kind of call the wrong way, and therein is nothing but pure, uncut madness. Nothing is more horrifying than showing up on payday at the end of a month you need to pay for your apartment and finding out your boss can’t pay you. Especially when you just worked your ass off to get a show off the ground and people are having a good time seeing it.
Going back to the very end of our internal mission statement:
in other words:
This is not a "passion project." All content is subject to overhaul, all scripts are subject to rewrite, all ideas are subject to deletion in the event something better comes along. The minute LUX becomes a passion project is the minute it needs to stop.
We will gamble with productions and ideas, but not people’s livelihood. Running a business is a trust-fall between you and the people you’ve hired to make the thing you want made. You only need to drop them once without a heads-up and the magic of it all is gone.
We had two choices:
- Take all our remaining capital and use it to provide severances to our staff and pay out remaining hours for cast and crew.
- Go for broke, gamble again, and pray. Passion project stuff.
I don’t blame our landlord. I really don’t. They’re a business, and this is their property. We’re just hanging out as a widget, and landlords are all about the widgets. Our building is smack in the middle of the IBZ, and while it may be across the street from a tile warehouse and a cement plant, according to the all-seeing and all-knowing real-estate nightmare-shamans who probably definitely exist in a subterranean pit at the bottom of the Gowanus canal, this neighborhood is ‘trendy’ due to the “East Williamsburg” label.
It’s gone from a block that you avoided after sundown to one that has a citibike stop around the corner from a K-Pop venue and an artisanal cocktail bar. This means our rent is ‘competitive.’ Like everywhere in NYC these days, it is unsustainably ‘competitive.’ It’s one thing to start a business, it’s another to do it with over half your income going to the rent-monster. Rent abatement was out of the question - why keep us as tenants when you could move us out and get somebody to come in and open up a microbrewery for six months? It doesn’t matter who’s here, just that they pay. Future Proof and our Landlord are just pawns in a greater game of market forces.
You - the business - could make more money by cutting wages, but then you have unhappy people who hate their job and can’t be effective because they have to skip a meal or not pay the power bill.
So in other words the choice wasn’t hard, It was very clear. It was time to stop before we ruined somebody else’s life, or tried to pull stupid stuff with the Landlord. We made the call, and pulled the plug.
The silver lining in all of this is also the final kicker that gave me the energy to make the ultimate call. It’s a story in two articles:
If you’re reading this and you too work in any field of entertainment, take solace in our story not being the only one. It’s happening everywhere right now, and the yarn is the same across the board - entertainment space got hurt by COVID and lockdowns, but the utter lack of real support from government institutions or any meaningful assistance/abatement was the kill-shot.
As long as our mayors spend time giving their police departments their own Big Hero 6 squad while kettling first-amendment protestors (who - unlike some people - did not commit treason) or putting homeless people in boxes instead of houses, the arts scene is beyond the point of ‘crisis.’ Entertainment is fucked.
All I’m saying is; This happened to us. It happened to everybody. It will continue ad infinitum under the current conditions in this city. It can and will happen to you eventually unless you are absurdly cautious or intensely lucky.
[sounds of foaming mouth and revolutionary fervor intensify]
Ok, I know, I know. Such an edgy hot take - nobody respects the arts. Banks get a bailout and the rents get hiked. The beat goes on. Gasp. Shocker. Still, it was nice to know we weren’t the only ones feeling the hurt.
We’d always had a “friendly” unspoken rivalry with “Immersive” Van Gogh; a sure-fire way to print money that throws everything good and true about the concept of immersive entertainment into a toilet and kicks that toilet into a gulch filled with fire in the service of printing more money.
“Immersive” Van Gogh and its kin are nothing but a last-gen multimedia installation with a killer PR person who figured out how to trick people into seeing a bastardized version of famous artwork from a dead guy for plunder and profit. I’m not angry! Who’s jealous!? Me? You’re talking nonsense! The gaslamps have always been off- I mean on - I mean- fuck!
Long story short, the fact that we outlived this branding-abomination on the immersive arts, even by a lousy two weeks, is a feather I will put proudly in my cap until I die of old age.
After seven years of ups and downs, pros and cons, we reached the precipice and decided not to jump again.
Thought I was joking earlier about breaking even in under a year? I wasn’t.
We were. So. Close.
Roughly $96,000-$112,000 short.
While that amount of money is more than most of you or I will see in a personal checking account or unmarked duffel bag in a lifetime, In the scheme of an operation of this scale that is a silly-small amount of money.
It is still enough to miss several paydays back-to-back.
While we have a big building and a bunch of stuff, we didn’t burn money on frivolous things; at the end of the day around 84% of our annual budget was set aside for two things: Rent and Wages, with both of them sharing roughly half of that breakdown.
We recycle everything. We scrounge for props. People are paid competitive rates - nothing fancy, but certainly not the bare minimum. Despite the expense, we were a lean company, and worked miracles with a very modest budget. I wish I could point to either a life-size predator statue or a big boat in a marina somewhere and say “There’s where the money went. Sorry folks!” Alas, the only crime we committed was trying to do right by the people we talked into working at the big, beautiful mess that was this company.
So that’s it. Future Proof HQ is done. The grand 32-Meadow/333 Stagg experiment had a good run, but we need to shut down this building.
Thank you for coming to this TEDtalk.
A Post-Mortem and Debrief (and teeny single-engine hype-train)
A big blob of text by Alex Chmaj, Co-Creator and Producer of Future Proof
Now that the dust has settled, and more unknowns are known, it’s high time I explained a bit about what happened, what’s going on, and where the Future of Future Proof is headed.
If I had all the time and resources in the world, I’d make this into a longform video for the sake of modern audience tastes. But alas, time is not on my side so buckle up folks, it’s time for more text than your phone can handle on one screen.
Is this a bit/marketing stunt/joke/fake?
No, this is very, very real.
Short answer: The Rent is Too Damn High.
Long answer: You really want to know? Well alrighty-then.
What’s the situation with your Staff/Cast/Crew?
Everybody has been laid-off as of August 4th. All severances and final payments have gone out, and for all intents and purposes I am the last Future Proof Employee. Everybody is doing alright, as far as things could be - we had an extremely skilled group of entertainment veterans working here from all across the landscape of modern media, so some are finding it easier to find work in their chosen field than others. We’re all as ok as can be in this crazy world, and we all hope to or are already planning to work together on other projects in the future.
When is BusinessRealm opening?
Short answer: Not anytime soon.
Longer answer: BusinessRealm represented six years of experience in this field put into practice. All the lessons we learned from other ways of doing live shows, and some new ideas to keep things fresh and exciting. To just throw it out would be a waste of some really neat ideas.
Some of the pieces of BusinessRealm, such as Banker Boxes and plastic crickets - can be easily acquired at any point in the future. Other parts - such as the sourced office furniture converted into alternate-timeline all-in-one computer stations - are not as easy to reproduce. Depending on the size and cost of storage, we’re planning on saving as much ‘unique’ stuff from BusinessRealm as we can. The scripts are all backed up, and our now-former cast would jump at the opportunity to do the show if given the chance.
One day, with time, money, space, and the powers-that-be willing, we will take another stab at launching BusinessRealm.
What about Doors of Diverence and The Art of Killin’ It? Those are two Future Proof shows right?
We get this a lot, and it’s understandable. To clarify, we do not own either of these shows. We did not make either of these shows. We hosted partner productions in our big building. We did help them with funding, provide resources for setup, and ran operational support for Front of House/building maintenance, but they are very much their own shows created, operated, and owned by lovely people.
Doors of Divergence is officially closed as of October 29th. The Art of Killin’ it closed last month, and is doing a final closing party on November 5th.
As of this writing, things are still very much in flux with both of them. If you’d like to know what they’re doing or where they’re headed, the best place to go is their respective Instagram accounts, as we all avoid Elon Musk Presents: X, the artist formerly known as Twitter like the plague.
What’s going on with……
Is the Company shutting down or what?
In the aftermath of August/September, I can proudly report that we have managed to avoid filing for Bankruptcy and have properly secured all of our Intellectual Property and documentation.
We were unable to find a new owner for the building, but managed to cut a deal with our Landlord to vacate the premises by November 15th, 2023. This has given us enough runway to properly shut down and pack everything up. There is no way in hell that we can afford another space to try and maintain an Immersive headquarters right now, let alone properly staff it.
The current gameplan is to get out of the building, put all the unique stuff in storage, cry for a few months, and then start things up again small and digital-only until we either make all the money necessary to try again, or there is a significant drop in rental rates in New York. We have no interest in relocating to another city, state, or country.
Future Proof HQ will be gone as of November 15th. I’ve been packing up our lovely traveling carnival since August, and we’re doing a full load-out in November. If you’re interested in the space, you can find it on Loopnet. You will note that pictures were taken basically the day after the shutdown announcement, as well as some random photos from another listing that have nothing to do with our space. Chances are these photos will update on November 16th.
All your stuff?
There are essentially three piles of things we have, each with their own futures:
Pile 1: Intellectual Property & Legacy items
This pile includes all of our custom builds, LUX-significant items, hard drives, puppets, mutant costumes, etc. Stuff we made that is either integral to LUX canon, or just plain cool and unique. This pile also includes a massive horde of esoteric technology that is now considered ‘vintage’ by the cool kids: CRT monitors, radio televisions, poly-synths, VCR players, and much much more unobtainable stuff. None of this is being thrown out.
We’re going to store all of it for as long as we can afford, and there are several projects that we can still pursue utilizing various parts.
Pile 2: Liquid assets
These are things that have significant monetary value, but can easily be acquired again at-cost. This includes various mixing consoles, power tools, stage equipment, G&E, you name it. Many people have voiced interest through various channels. I can’t run a bastardized radio shack right now, so instead there’s going to be a big Yard Sale event open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis in the very near future. Stay tuned for details.
All proceeds from the sale of these items keeps the storage unit open, and goes into a treasury for future projects, as well as paying for labor and logistics to help with the load-out.
Pile 3: Stuff that really is worthless.
Some things may look worthless, but are not. Take our cardboard cutouts of ocean waves - I have many uses for things like that. Other things, such as raw scrap wood, are really of little to no monetary value. We have many things like that that are useful at some point, but not valuable enough to sell (see, the over 100 2-5a DC adaptors we’ve amassed over the year). We HATE creating or contributing to waste, especially with things that have copper in them.
As much as can be given away during Operation: Yard Sale will be given away. Next wave will be donated to various organizations that take this kind of stuff. Then we stop by a few recycling/upcycling places in gowanus that will properly take care of it. Then we discreetly travel around various curbs in the greater NYC area. Then we ask one more time if anybody wants the stuff. THEN we throw things out.
Waste not, want not.
The LUX universe is one we’ve all basically lived in for the last six years. While it never quite got the following it deserves, I still think the universe is unique, funny, engaging, and ultimately has legs in some form or another. Future Proof will definitely release LUX content in the future, albeit in a smaller and more conservative form.
All your projects you were working on?
Hooboy, this one’s rough, but worth going down the line - we always have so many things in process....
This badboy’s getting some desperately needed content updates, including a proper index of LUX-universe narrative and characters. It is long-overdue, and high-time this got done. Stay tuned.
luxuryuniversalexperience.com and all subsidiaries
Site hosting is blessedly-cheap. All our internet stuff is going to stay up until otherwise noted.
Still a good game! It’s on steam, and a delight. We’ve sold quite a few copies, believe it or not. Way more than any of us ever thought it would. If it makes $10,000 in sales (aka ‘god tier indie game’), I will take that money and spend it on expansions to the game that we simply couldn’t afford the time to program. Trust me, the wishlist for PSweet is LONG. If people show interest, we’ll meet you halfway.
LUX is a company that makes the UVX, but due to the disastrous experience of the second UVX show - The Most Dangerous Man (a venue experience which was in itself the catalyst for finding our own space and never having to deal with venues again)- we spent 2019 on a project we haven’t talked a whole bunch about: UVX…OnLine. We developed, designed, shot and built a fully-voteable interactive version of our original Live Show, complete with The Most Dangerous Man(!?)
The footage is all edited and backed up, but we were mid-port over to OBS when this all went down. It’s too much good stuff to let go to waste. It’ll live again one day, but it’ll be a long time before you hear about it again.
LUX LIVE! The Confluence of Class And Cinema
It’s going to go to bed for a bit. It’ll be back with more programming once I have a better computer setup at home.
Our lovely BTS team created a whole series for Doors of Divergence, as well as Future Proof’s buildout of BusinessRealm. There is another season and a half of Doors of Divergence that has not been released but is finished, as well as the entire rehearsal process for BusinessRealm (essentially everything up to shutdown day).
These series are bizarre for sure (wouldn’t have it any other way to be honest), but ultimately excellent primary source chronicles of something that doesn’t get a lot of love - the production process for Theater with an unflinching, unblinking documentary eye.
The rest of these episodes will go up by the end of the year, for sure. Once again, I just need to get out of the building, and then can roll these out.
Our BTS team also made a limited-run editorial series called ‘Resolved,’ which breaks down their workflow and process - a series of weblog content that is indispensable for people making behind-the-scenes content on a budget. I’m going to look at a happy place and time to publish this stuff next year.
You know nothing. You saw nothing. Shhhhhhhhhhhh. TBD.
Social Media? You going to kill it already?
Nah. I know we’re not good at the social media game, but hear me out!
The landscape has morphed a ton since we started in 2017. All the major players are either dead or dying, and things are getting both hellish and - on an upbeat note - more decentralized, which we’re all big fans of.
- We will keep using Instagram, as that’s where you all like to hang out, and pictures are fun. At least until Zuckerberg finally kills it for good.
- Will will keep our Facebook page up. Google loves a company Facebook page. I have absolutely no interest in generating Facebook content.
- We made a FacebookTwitter (Threads?). I plan to keep it just to avoid brand nonsense.
- Tiktok is fun. There will be occasional Tiktoks.
- I miss Vine.
- The Pinterest will stay up, and the Tumblr as well. I simply don’t have enough hours in the day to maintain or have a presence on them, but Tumblr is always a riot.
- We have a discord. It needs to be cleaned up before being fully-public. In the future, this will be the best place to check in and follow-up outside of our website or mailing list.
- Bluesky, Mastodon, Linkedin, Dropbox, etc. (aka ANYTHING ELSE????) We’re going to wait until things cool down before deciding to throw Future Proof’s hat into that stuff.
- We will not be participating in Elon Musk Presents: X, the artist Formerly Known as Twitter under any circumstances.
So what do you have money or what?
We have spent just about every penny left in the treasury on severances, EOY benefits, and employment taxes. We’re fortunate in an odd way for having no loans (PPP or otherwise) to oblige; this, coupled with the exit deal we cut with our Landlord, has allowed us to avoid filing for bankruptcy - a very real situation that was a 50/50 shot until this month. This means that Future Proof can continue to exist and plot future moves, albeit nothing grand and extravagant.
The last remaining cost is our exit strategy, which with sale of equipment we no longer need should cover the costs of labor and a storage unit. We may be far past the point of saving as a building, but we can afford to go into stasis until the stars align for our reemergence in the future.
What is the Future of Future Proof
I’m glad you asked! As mentioned elsewhere, the rest of this year is all about getting things wound-down and taking stock. Once the dust has settled on this move-out, and all of our rare finds and gadgets are tucked away safe and sound, there are several projects and activities that will keep us alive in your hearts and minds. Below is a basic roadmap of what Future Proof will be up to in the - erm- future:
While Future Proof may not be 110% dead, our dreams of maintaining an immersive HQ are definitely on hold for quite a while, if not forever. It is only fitting that a digital monument to the tireless efforts of everybody in this building - be they Future Proof, The Art of Killin’ It, or Doors of Divergence - be recognized. Expect this to go up post-November 15th.
Future of Mailing List
As social media becomes more and more decentralized in the 2020’s, one of the tried-and-true methods of communication has been seeing a resurgence: the newsletter.
We set one up, and had big plans for it, and those plans will continue in a more limited format. Originally we had planned for a bi-weekly output, and for now as a one-person operation they will most likely be downgraded to monthly if not quarterly.
However, I would still like to keep this launch in the lineup, not just as a more formalized way for you to check in with us, but also for us to toot horns and fanfare for other productions, creators, and ideas in the sphere we have and will continue to operate in. If you’re not already signed up, please consider doing so!
Future of Social Media
As Previously mentioned, no plans exist to take these badboys down. I’ll still post updates to Instagram from time to time, as that’s where you all tend to congregate the most, but outside of that there’s going to be little if any activity on the “Big Name” platforms.
The one exception to this is Discord, which I would like to build up for three reasons:
- It’s more fun to chat and hang out with like-minded people there once you get the hang of it.
- It’s easier to moderate and manage than the all-seeing monoliths that seem to fester elsewhere.
- It’s the closest thing to modern BBS, and that makes me happy.
We already have a Future Proof Discord formed in the wake of COVID-19, but it was never really built to scale properly for a public setting. I need to get a more enjoyable one up before opening the door to public access. Announcements and timelines will be TBA for now, but once it’s up this will be the main place to contact/reach out/ otherwise engage with myself and other Future Proof alum.
While I do need to pay rent myself with a real job, there are many things I still want to do with Future Proof, and a few orders of business that need to be carried out in the wake of this shutdown. These include the following…
Publishing the Future Proof Company Notion
We used Notion for all of our work from 2018-2023, including a full overhaul in late 2019. Notion is an incredible tool for companies like ours, and also provides a robust set of publishing tools.
Given how heavily we used it in ways it was and was not designed to operate, the Future Proof Notion is a fascinating archeological adventure for anybody looking to get into Film, Theater, Immersive, or Multimedia production. It’s also a great well of information from behind the curtain on projects we finished, and many we never did.
I need to do a full sweep of all private information and the like before publishing it, as we did utilize portions for things like call sheets and emergency contact lists. It also needs a tiny bit of reorganization to be user-friendly to a non-daily-user. However, once that’s complete, expect publication to the internet with much fanfare and clapping of the hands.
It is the opinion of this author that not enough companies - especially in the immersive and transmedia fields - take the time to give open and honest insight into their process and policies. We’ve accumulated a slew of knowledge and experience on the dos’ and don’ts of immersive and transmedia entertainment over the years, and it’d be a shame for it all to just sit in our heads and not be on the internet for somebody else to stumble upon. Furthermore, the amount of nonsense and chicanery we got up to over the years deserves a proper chronicle. Project: Tombstone will be an effort to provide this chronicle for future cybernauts.
Simply put, I’ll be working on a deep dive post-mortem retrospective 1080p 4k free dvdrip article series next year, taking you - the reader - through our entire process from start to finish. It’ll be fun, I promise.
The Price of Failure
When we founded this company in 2017 as LUX LLC, we had this operating agreement. Like everything we’ve ever done, it was very serious and included passages like this:
"7.9 Obliteration In the event that all Members (both Voting and Non-Voting) decide to dissolve the company for reasons not defined in section 7.1, they may instead commit the act of Obliteration.
Obliteration may only commence when all members stand in a circle facing inwards and shout “EXODIA: OBLITERATE!” on the count of three (3). At such point they are granted free range to destroy, shred, or similarly remove all trace and record of the company, its assets, etc. with the aid of Sledgehammers (pursuant to local, state, and federal zoning laws). Any physical cash-assets (in any international currency) must be fired out of a cannon mounted on the roof of the Office while a recording of Tchaikovsky's “1812 Overture” is played on no less than ten(10) loudspeakers equating to a decibel level equal to the most recent Beastquake, or the maximum ISO 9000 standard for tolerable aural levels (whichever is lower and more legal). These physical cash-assets will be declared the property of whomsoever grabs them first. Any cash-value assets will belong to the first member to lay hands on them. At the conclusion of Obliteration, all members must dispose of their Sledgehammers at the nearest legal trash receptacles, mount their horses, and ride to the Caribbean where they shall live out the remainder of their days in exile and glorious shame."
While most of it was later amended when a certified Grownup looked at it, there has always been an unspoken pact of sorts in the event we ever actually shut the company down. It goes something like this:
“In the event of a complete Company shutdown, it will be the duty of Managing Members to acquire and photograph (in a well-lit studio setting, complete with cyclorama or similar “infinity background”) any and all creative assets of value as determined by Managing Members prior to liquidation and/or sale. These photographs must be stored in a secure location and reprinted opposite descriptive text outlining their title, value at time of purchase, and contextual purpose and/or use for The Company prior to shutdown (minimum word-count 500 per item) on individual pages (A3 or larger), bound into a tasteful coffee table book, and published for sale under the title ‘The Price of Failure.’ Subtitles, introductions, postscripts, and any other descriptives may be determined at the time of production.”
While the company may not be fully shut down, given the enormity of fiscal loss on our balance sheet, it feels like the appropriate time to generate and publish this photographic odyssey and make the running joke real. The Price of Failure will be a 2024 project. Stay tuned.
Once again, it’s too good a project to shelf. I’m going to shop it around and see what can be done.
LUX Universe Stuff
One of the biggest entry-point issues we always had was getting people involved in the rich lore and backstory we developed over half a decade. A comprehensive Wiki on the Future Proof site in tandem with the Notion release will be fourthcoming. Once that’s done, expect more LUX content in the future.
For now, that’s all the news that’s fit to print. Hopefully this peak behind the curtain has sated your curiosity for the time being. I invite you to sit tight, keep on keepin’ on, and be your best selves whenever and wherever you can. Future Proof is going to be a pile of ashes for a bit, but I have full confidence somethings going to emerge out of our smoldering puddle of goo in the future. We love you all, stay safe out there, and don’t forget to have fun every once and awhile - you’ve earned it!
Alex Chmaj Producer | Co-Owner Future Proof
This is what a newsletter looks like, but all the other content is only available if you...
Now for those of you reading this with an account....
Hello again, long time no see!
It's been a banner year for Future Proof, full of excitement, intrigue, loot boxes, and grand openings! As part of all our releases, we've been posting content on the social media platforms you know and love, and celebrating the wins of our partner productions as well as...
- Mark Zuckerberg, 2021
It turns out.
We actually have not been doing that.
We um. Our um. Our social media system kind of totally broke.
Without getting into too much detail (mostly to save your sanity), this was the result of many, many factors over the last year all piling up on top of each other in a glorious mound of oh noes. Highlights include:
- Facebook changing to Meta and detonating all of their customer support.
- Meta business suite overhauling the back end to become intensely user-unfriendly.
- Constant changes to feature sets we had integrations for getting quietly undermined.
- Every platform falling over themselves to become TikTok, making pre-scheduled content break.
Now, we could go on a massive tirade about Faceb-META, WHICH IS THE BEST AND ONLY NAME. But that's a story for another time. Most of these things are just a sign of changing times in the digital landscape, and in this age it's all evolve-or-die. To be honest, we got sloppy, and now we are paying the price...
... is what we WOULD SAY if these platforms had accessible customer support. Facebo-META and all subsidiaries no longer have that. Instead, it is a Kafkaesque nightmare from which there is no escape. Believe us when we tell you that we have tried everything to fix this mess.
We tried. We failed. We are throwing in the towel.
Our current social media landscape is so badly broken that we really only have one recourse available to us: In order to begin anew, we must destroy the old.
Social media content and advertising is not only important for any business, but a fundamental part of our ethos as a company. Making this call was not an easy one, but incredibly necessary.
Since we save and backup everything, fortunately nothing will be lost. However, for some platforms we will have to wipe all history, and rebuild our userbase from scratch. As not-cool as this is, we think everybody will enjoy hearing from Future Proof every once in awhile, and getting to be a part of the cool stuff we do!
Without further ado, here is the 2022 damage report for Future Proof social media:
Thankfully, still functional.
This is our main hub for updates, information, and cool stuff, constantly growing in new and exciting ways.
We resolved some issues with our site hosting earlier this year and finally got an ssl certificate to remove the barrier to entry that made our site look like malware. We still do not have a www. in our site address, and given the way most browsers work these days, we will be adding a redirect soon for quality-of-life.
We also had some serious issues with posting a series of lovely articles about our past history. We're rebuilding parts of the site to make these and future bits of content like them more accessible.
By popular demand, we're adding one in the next couple of weeks. Updates soon to come.
Must be merged with a new page. We have started the timer. If you'd like to follow us on Facebook, this is our home: Future Proof Facebook.
In light of many changes to the platform, audience response, and our opinions of the parent-company as a whole with regards to this social media...thing, we will be dialing back the amount of content on Facebook. We will still use it as a community billboard for major updates, and possibly for future online content, but this is no longer our primary channel.
Our old Instagram is completely inaccessible and will be taken down within the next month. Our new Instagram is here.
Opinions of Fac-META notwithstanding, Instagram is still (kinda) fun! We like Instagram, and a lot of you do too. We will be much more active as a company on this channel than we have in ages past.
We have access again. Twitter is here.
Twitter is an interesting beast as a company - Brand twitter is a real thing and very cringe, and we don't want to be that. What we do with twitter is still up in the air, and for now it's just a platform to link to site updates. We've got a couple fun ideas, check back in the future...
We learned some very hard lessons with how YouTube wants video files in the last year, and now have a much better workflow for making content that doesn't look like a potato. To be honest, we have no ambitions of being a channel or acquiring monetization in the YouTube sphere - we just use it to host video for other sites. That said, we're producing a lot of other bits as part of our BTS division, as well as upcoming releases. Stay tuned...
We launched LUX LIVE! this year- LUXos' official "streaming service!" More to come on this front, check it out if you haven't already!
All pre-2022 Character accounts still exist in various states for historical purposes, but as we dive into our true narrative content post-building-launch, look for new links and trailheads on our website!
32 Meadow Street
Ok, this is just shameless hype once again for the two fantastic productions sharing our space:
That's all the news that's fit to print for now! We're back online, fully-operational, and excited to properly engage with the internet!
TL;DR: Stuff broke. We fixed it. Everything's good.
At long last, after much time and deliberation, Future Proof HQ is officially up and running as of last Friday! We would like to extend a sincere congratulations to our two hosted productions on a fantastic opening weekend:
The Art of 'Killin It
A BIPOC-Produced Immersive Murder Mystery Comedy where guests must follow the clues and discover "who done it?" Brought to you by TheyGotTime Productions, with a myriad of unpredictable endings, an emphasis on BIPOC Joy, and an opportunity to give local BIPOC artists a place to flourish, The Art of Killin’ It breaks the mold!
The first chapter in Doors of Divergence's "Book of Three Keys" narrative arc, a branching-path immersive-based next-generation experience rooted in the Escape Room Tradition. Folks are doing Alchemy, summoning Demons, and winning Achievements by the day!
Words cannot express how incredible these shows are, and the incredible amounts of labor and love that went in to making these ideas real. Both productions have created truly unique works of immersive art that we are excited to share with the world.
Forgive the obligatory pat on the back, but further congratulations are in order to all the core staff at Future Proof proper; we have constructed a new immersive hub in Brooklyn, and it looks and feels amazing.
Suffice to say if you haven't come by already, what are you waiting for?! Get yourself and your friends together, grab some tickets, and come see the beginning of something new and truly special!
Come on Down! We. Are. Open. For. Business!
That's all for now, stay tuned for more in the near future...
The time is upon us! Tickets are up and live for both of our two hosted productions!
We are proud to host both of these fabulous productions, and hope you'll stop by and check them out at our NEW BUILDING THAT IS REAL AND WE ARE OPENING IN MERE WEEKS!
Happy Friday, friends! Another Loot Box has arrived, with a fresh batch of sweet, sweet content. This one looks to be a green-tier, which would normally be less potentially exciting than a purple-tier...
EXCEPT THIS IS ARBOR DAY!
Our Behind-The-Scenes team made this loving tribute to this most wonderful of holidays, now available for all to enjoy!
It turns out the random-reward gods favor BTS this week, as bio entries for both Jordan and Peter, our two-man BTS powerhouse team. Check out their wonderful origin stories over at the staff page!
While the Arbor Day special is a truly Future-Proof style and format, Jordan and Peter are currently building out a longform series of actual BTS content for our partners over at Doorways of Divergence. If you want to see how the magic happens from start to finish on a groundbreaking immersive escape room, nothing beats the unique inter-dimensional saga we have documented and are now unleashing into the wild.
Catch up now on their youtube channel, and keep an eye out on facebook and such. Things are about to get weird...
That's all for this box. Stay tuned for more, and pray to the lords of RNG!
Hello one and all, and happy Arbor Day!
Our Behind-The-Scenes team spends most days hard at work producing content for Doors of Divergence, but as a favorite holiday, we decided to cook up the first of our official Future Proof Behind The Scenes specials!
Ok, so technically this tape was pulled off one of our dustier shelves, so the quality is a bit rough, but after countless hours of restoration and remastering we have the tape ready to go!
Future Proof is a company made up of real human beings. Here they are in first-name alphabetical order:
It's been a while, and we promise we've been hard at work! Here at Future Proof, we believe in keeping up not just with the trends of the times, but further with the formats of the modern era. In that spirit, we are proud to announce our new LOOT BOX program!
Every week, we will release a new container of content, randomly selected from a curated spreadsheet of things we know the world will love. These items may include:
—> Updates and content to futureproof.site
—> Cosmetic upgrades for digital use (100% NFT-free!)
—> Exclusive BTS media from deep within our vaults
—> Additional features and gimmicks
—> And Much, Much More!
To demonstrate the marvels of this feature, let's take a look at what today's box (a medium-rare Purple!) has inside:
Loot Box 001
And, Most Importantly, some fantastic 2018 Most Dangerous Man BTS footage completely separated from context:
That's all for now, stay tuned to the stream for future boxes!
Producer | Co-Owner | Co-Founder
Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Future Proof (est. 2017). Current site Dev.
WA expat, somehow graduated CUNY Hunter with a Liberal Arts degree and a bunch of film study credits. Freelance multimedia 10 years (Film production, Editing, Live Event, Theater Tech, etc.). Possesses a deep repository of anecdotes, has worn a tie, read a book, been in a band, and one day that Kenneth Anger doc will be finished.
Attributable accolades mandatory for a bio include a three-year tour of duty as lead video tech, operations manager, and honorary carny at Rooftop Films; 2010 United Solo “Best Multimedia” award for Tenderpits; Preditor for two feature-length documentaries; and having Robert De Niro hit him with a chair leg in “Being Flynn.”
He promises to make his Mom proud before she dies, and is available for childrens' birthday parties.
Producer | Partner - Archangel Media
Digital Media Producer | CTO
A weaver of words at Future Proof. Comes from a background in film and animation, earning a Bachelor of Fine of Arts from the School of Visual Arts that now sits crushed in a musty plastic bin proudly forgotten in mom's closet. Has worked at studios making funny cartoons or at media companies producing Content™ commanded by the whims of dreaded algorithms. Concurrently makes art and reviews assorted things after discovering some people liked hearing her complain online.
Unlisted on her CV includes winning second place at a Catholic school spelling bee after having misspelled, "cholesterol", being an unwilling President for an Anime Club, and a codependency on hydrocortisone.
Cryptid status to be verified, but definitely a mall rat from New Jersey.
Executive Producer | Co-Owner
One of the two in-house videographers at Future Proof. A Japanese-American artist, writer and amateur music historian based in New York. The furthest thing from a technician. Co-hosts the podcast Mael Living Space, which provides a comprehensive critical overview of the discography of American rock band Sparks.
Holds a degree in Television Writing & Production from Columbia College Chicago. Co-presenter of the lecture "Teens: The Adults of Tomorrow." Written work has been published by various outlets, including Netflix Life, No Cinema and Hyperallergic.
A quiet fellow who largely keeps to himself, Jordan spends his spare time devising pilot scripts, formulating cocktail recipes and stanning the Spice Girls.
A New York based filmmaker and artist whose creative style is inspired by the realms of the weird, eerie, and all things fantastic; investigating the definition of reality and perceived truths.
With over fifteen years of experience specializing in editing and story producing, Peter's work has been featured on networks such as NBC, A&E, TLC, PBS, and the Criterion Channel.
When not at work, he enjoys life as an active plant-Dad, painting, and teaches Historical Medieval Fencing.
Operations Manager | Propmaster
Rose is an old-style New Yorker born with a pencil and wrench in her hand. Stone lithography, bronze casting, pencil drawing and anything mechanical is her template and engine for creative expression.
Rose has a degree of Fine Arts from The Cooper Union for The Advancement of Science and Art and a MS of Science in Occupational Safety and Health degree. Rose’s style is to be in the thick of things complete with a broad knowledge of all the nuts and bolts of production. Enjoys design, execution in making creative elements, matching concepts and cool visions of our company. Loves science by way of physics and research, technical whitepapers, adores animals, can purchase, likes junk movies, fine films, her own photography, trains, running a community garden, has eclectic tastes in music. and continues to make art whenever possible.
Currently working on an art project of a website for her and her late husband's Marshall's artwork. Oh, and is hard of hearing, deaf.
You look at the bio section. In it you see the tale of a compelling, charismatic, and intelligent writer. According to this bio, he attended Yale Law, is from a rich and noble family of old Burgundian stock, and is close personal friends with Ringo Starr. However, you sense that things may not be as they seem. Roll Insight.
… 17. Good enough.
You realize that this is all utter hogwash and base fabrication. He definitely dropped out of community college and has never met Ringo Starr. You don’t know about that Burgundian thing, but that’s probably bullshit too. In fact, you’ve quickly come to the opinion that he worked a bunch of starving-artist copywriting side gigs while selling pizza. You look at his photo; yes, there you see the telltale slouch of a man who has definitely sold nutritional supplements at some point in his life. You wonder, idly, how in the world he ever came to be head writer of anything? You suspect that he wonders this, as
word count 150 of 150 reached!
Formerly video designer, sound designer and stage manager, Shelby Reilly is the Associate Producer here at Futureproof.
Shelby has a BA in Theater and New Media from Marymount Manhattan College and many old embarrassing film projects to prove it.
When not swaying the vote for company movie night or digging through the arts and crafts bin Shelby is reading birth charts, obsessing over a certain terrible daytime TV host, and tinkering with projects that will hopefully evolve into Something™️.
A/V Head | Lead Editor