Taco Hat TV

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Who doesn’t love tacos? And hats? And while many of us don’t own a television, we still love those shows that are made for it. So Taco Hat TV is sure to be something great!

Wait, what?

What do you mean it’s got nothing to do with tacos or hats? And I can’t watch it on TV? Well what’s it all about then?

“Taco Hat TV will be a web show for curious people and makers,” explains co-creator Kim Werker. “Each episode will focus on a particular DIY skill or topic, like cooking, electronics or mending. We’ll have a guest on who will discuss and demonstrate things related to building skills and knowledge about that topic. So, say it’s a cooking episode. Rather than going step-by-step through how to make a particular recipe, we’ll discuss what kinds of seasonings taste good together. Our goal is for our viewers to finish an episode feeling more competent and confident to experiment on their own and to seek out more information.”

If you’re a long-time reader of Vancouver is Awesome you might recognize Werker’s name as she is the former editor of our DiYVR section. She’s also a freelance writer, editor and speaker in the world of crafts and creativity.

“I’ve written and/or edited a few crochet books, and I’ve been both a guest and a host on crafts television shows. I also run Mighty Ugly, which is a project about facing the negative crap that keeps us from pursuing creative projects.”

Her partner in Taco Hat TV is Ben Z Cooper, a local filmmaker who has worked on projects from music videos to reality TV, and, according to Werker, has a special excitement for panoramas.

“Ben and I met in the lead-up to the first Vancouver Mini Maker Faire in the spring of 2011. We were both involved in helping to put the event together, and after the second VMMF this past June we finally decided to grab a coffee and talk about all manner of things related to making stuff. He’s a filmmaker and I’m a writer, and we discovered a shared passion for spreading info about makers, making, and creative acts in general.

“I’ve had a web-show idea slow-cooking in the back of my mind for years, in part as a response to my experiences with craft-related television, and in part inspired by the vast potential of web-based media both as a learning/cultural tool and as a mode of distribution. When I realized my freelance schedule was, shall we say, light this fall, I knew this is as good a time as any to dive into this project. I emailed Ben and convinced him it would be a great idea to co-produce a web show about DIY skills and know-how, and that we should do it *now*.”

The pair have launched an Indigogo campaign to finance a bare-bones pilot season of eight, eight-minute episodes.

“Assuming we get funded (please support our show, VIA readers! We have great perks to thank you for your support!), we’ll shoot the whole pilot season the first week in January 2013, with the goal of a spring 2013 launch.”

With 7 days left in their campaign, they’re almost 1/3 of the way towards their goal of $9000. That amount might seem like a lot for 8 short episodes, but it includes paying people (like editors, designers, guest hosts, animators, but not themselves) plus renting equipment. Campaign perks include episode credit, bonus content, hand-stamped postcards, the full season on USB key, and hand-screen-printed T-shirts.

“Moving beyond the pilot season, we want to expand on the show’s content by working with our guests to prepare supplemental material that people can buy – this will help us to finance the show without relying entirely on sponsorship and advertising.”

But aren’t there already a gazillion “how to” videos already out there?

“There sure are,” replied Werker. “But most of those how-to videos are about a very specific project. Our show is about building skills and understanding that empowers people to apply those skills in any way they like. Rather than a paint-by-numbers format, we want our viewers to make anything they please because now they know they can.”

Most craft or DIY shows are geared either for kids or adults. Taco Hat TV is taking a different approach, Werker explains.

“The target audience is anyone interested in doing stuff themselves (or with others!). To a good degree, I want to make this show because I want to watch this show. I don’t want someone to be fake happy and tell me how great it will be to put a flower on a bag. I want someone to look me in the eye and teach me how to do something I can apply to whatever kind of project I choose. So we’re saying the show is for curious people and makers – people who are inclined to do stuff themselves and want to learn about how stuff works so they can do more themselves.”

Their guest for the first episode will be award-winning food blogger Jeannette Ordas.

And what craziness led to the name, and is it going to stay?

“Heh. At the end of a meeting about this web show we want to make, Ben and I were talking about what the format of an episode would be,” recounts Werker. “He was talking through an idea, and he said, ‘And then we show people how to make a taco hat,’ and he waved his hand in the air, and that was the end of it. We both crumpled into hysterics, and we couldn’t help but refer to the project as Taco Hat from that point forward. When it came time to set up social media accounts and a website before launching the Indiegogo campaign, I registered under Taco Hat TV for lack of a better name. We planned to ask our backers and fans to help us choose a new title, but our requests for help have resulted in no help at all. People love the taco! So I think it’s here to stay.”

Twitter: @TacoHatTV