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Not Another Dime! is dedicated to documenting the assorted, and sometimes wild, details of Mr. Ken Whitman's business dealings within the Role Playing Game (RPG) industry. This place is NOT intended to be a medium of discussion about Mr. Whitman, pro or con, but instead be a "jumping off" point to enable the reader to make their own informed decision about Mr. Whitman's history and business character.

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Monday, February 8, 2016

2016.02.08 Well, This Sucks

2016.02.08 Well, This Sucks
Unfortunate news from Jolly Blackburn via Facebook:
"Some of you have been asking about my open letter to Ken Whitman last month asking for the raw footage of KODTLAS to be handed over so it can be edited and put in the hands of backers.

Never got a response from Whitman directly on the subject.

Afraid I have some bad news however.
Three independent sources have reported that Ken is telling them the hard drive the raw footage is on is dead/damaged and that there are no backup(s).

Facebook Update
Now it's possible, if we can get the drive, that a recovery would be possible. At least a partial one. But that would require Ken's cooperation. So far there's been no indication of a willingness to do that.

So that's where we are. I will post further updates if anything comes along. But obviously beating this horse isn't going to get it back on its feet unless there's some movement on the other side.

* BTW I've already been asked if the Traveller movie raw footage is on the same drive. I have no information on that. Sorry."

Seriously?! Ken "Whit" Whitman couldn't afford a backup of footage? It isn't like hard-drives are super-expensive. Undoubtedly he's scammed the KODT community for well over 6 figures and he couldn't spend another $100 on a backup drive?

Wow...just wow.

I feel for those who trusted this man with their money, but even more for those that entrusted Ken "Whit" Whitman with their hopes & dreams....

15 comments :

  1. To be fair, a good hard drive doesn't even cost $100. I purchased a name brand 1TB SATA hard drive a few months ago for less than $50 shipped.

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  2. I would think this unbelieveable, but it's another example of Ken's standard operating procedure.

    Can someone who's a backer of the Spinward Traveller Kickstarter drop a pointer to this over there?

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  3. It may not even be true, but be an excuse from a habitual liar. "Oh, the footage for all my video projects was on this one-and-only drive and it broke, sorry. It's an Act of God, what could I have done? Money? What money?"

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  4. Most importantly, why on earth would we believe even THIS story. This story gets Ken off the hook of having to deal with this any more. I mean, it still makes him culpable, but from his perspective, who cares? We'll all know he's a thief and a liar anyway, but this way, he can walk away from it and no one can bug him.

    Backups or no backups. I'm willing to bet one of two things is true:
    1) The data's fine. He's just lying about it being lost.
    2) The data's gone, but it's because he deliberately deleted it and/or damaged the drive.

    Honestly, why would we suddenly believe THIS story, even if it paints him in a bad light, it gets him off the hook.

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  5. Most external drives are solid state (hard-wired w/ no moving parts). I would like to know how and why this drive "failed" after only two years usage (from, say, 2014 to today). Electronics don't just fail one day unless they were defective to start with. The reason that 1 TB drives are somewhat expensive is that they are made to be durable. Was he storing it in a gas station restroom? How long until the KoDT video equipment self-destructs after similar mistreatment?

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  6. yes I agree - most likely it's a lie. You never know with Ken. But the point is he's not giving up the raw footage and he's making no effort to edit it (if he has it) or finishing his project. If he acknowledges he has it he has to produce the DVDs (the DVDs he claimed he was burning back in September. One of the hardest things about working with Ken from day on was the fact he lied about things for no reason. Even the small things. So basically after trying to get him to turn over the raw footage as our contract dictates he was supposed to do at GenCon (almost six months ago) he's now putting out the word that the footage is inaccessible on a damaged drive. True or not, in his pea brain I guess he thinks it buys him more time. Traveller seems to be in the same boat. I don't know how many of you saw that bizarre mix of Firefly/Serenity and Traveller footage he put up for backers recently (apparently it was taken down by Kickstarter after a complaint was filed) but it makes you wonder if Ken really has lost the footage. We've seen zip as far as bloopers, out takes, new scenes etc in over 8 months on either film project. The only response I seem to be able to get from Ken are threats that he'll sue me if I don't stop talking about him or KODTLAS. He completely ignores any email regarding the footage.

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    Replies
    1. I don't think he's wanting to buy time at this point. I think he's just looking for a way out. I sincerely doubt he's done any amount of work on any of this since summer.

      Make no mistake. This is his way out. It doesn't get him off the hook, exactly, but it puts him in a situation where all he can do is apologize. Heck, if he does it right, it could even put him in a better situation, legally-speaking. No, not for everything, but standing before a judge with a busted hard drive saying "I was stupid and didn't do backups, and now there's nothing I can do..." is not a bad narrative.

      I mean, it's wretched, and vile, but it's hard to disprove.

      It doesn't get him off for everything. The pencils remain a ridiculous screw-up on his part. As we've said before... all he had to do was cut the check, and he couldn't even do that right. And, of course, all of the money he owes for services rendered, that's still a problem. But if he's physically incapable of fulfilling the Kickstarter rewards, then all he owes is money and he doesn't have to do any more work.

      Delete
  7. Richard, I'm afraid that's just not true. Anything over 150 GB is very likely to be a spinning disk. Not because larger SSDs don't exist (my boot drive is a 250 GB SSD), but because the use case for larger external drives just doesn't call for the extra expense. Also, like I said before, this is probably all a lie anyway. The data is either still good, or he intentionally destroyed it.

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    Replies
    1. I was referring to the commonUSB 2.0/3.0 or firewire external drives (i.e. 1TB, somewhere around $100). Either way, there is a fair chunk of mystery about this.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, those are the ones I'm talking about. Those are still spinning disks, not solid state. Just FYI. A 1 TB solid state drive is a lot more expensive. Although, in fact-checking myself, I was surprised to find out that Samsung makes one now that you can get for $352. I thought they were a couple of hundred more than that still. By comparison a 1 TB USB-attached spinning drive costs about $55.

      No big deal, this isn't a place to argue about it. I'm just a computer technician and like to see that people understand what it is that they're working with.

      Delete
  8. If I remember correctly, Whitman had tried to hit Jolly up for more money a little while ago, essentially holding the footage hostage. Something about he needed about $300 for a new hard drive because "The HD the footage is on is failing and the footage could be lost."

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  9. No, nothing about a failing drive, he just didn't want to give up the physical drive that the footage was currently on, so he asked Jolly to pay him for a new piece of hardware to host the data (and, he asked for WAY too much money for said drive).

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  10. Dear Folks -

    My daughter is studying a Film and Television course, and the VERY FIRST THING they are taught in film class is that if you do not have your footage stored in AT LEAST THREE places, you do not have your footage.

    (Long-time computer people may recognise traces of the grandfather-father-child scheme in this approach.)

    So I find this story incredibly unbelievable, and more likely to be an excuse for not doing anything. Very disappointing.

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