January 28, 2023

YouTube and Slow Growth

Not mutually exclusive: 1) I do not know how to use YouTube well, and 2) I do not produce the kind of content that “does well” on YouTube. Those could also be the same thing.

I’m not complaining. While it would be cool to be able to monetize, that’s unlikely anytime soon. I’m still under 400 subscribers and just over 1,000 hours of viewing. I need 1,000 and 4,000. And even then the bucks will be too small to matter.

I think I know a tiny bit about how to make content go viral — learned imperfectly with my students through an assignment I gave them called “go viral.” It was simply this: produce a video that earned 1 million views by the end of the semester on either YouTube or Twitter. Two teams (six per class) managed to achieve that in eight years. One team squeaked over the line on YouTube and another topped out over 8 million on Twitter.

What did we all learn over those years? Going viral on purpose is hard. The formula has much to do with the platform, what users expect on the platform, and one’s ability to tap into something special. Sound nebulous? Well, if I knew how to make it work I’d be typing these words from my yacht 🙂

If you discover a formula that works (meaning in part that you can do it more than once), you’re likely to “do well” — which could mean a number of things to media students.

To me it means gaining attention for my work such that more than just a few see it. Still working on it 🙂

Visit my channel here.

December 21, 2022

Rhetorica Update

I’m in the process of moving to Portugal.

That combined with teaching my last semester at Missouri State University has led to a hectic time in my life. So not much posting here of late.

Once I get settled, I’ll begin editing Trinity. And I’ll be back to something like regular posting here.

Until then, follow me on YouTube and Instagram. I’ve left Twitter for good. It wasn’t doing anything for me other than helping me waste time. Could be true for the other platforms, too 🙂

December 1, 2022

Posted My First Reel on YouTube

A reel is something like a video portfolio. I recently published my first one on my YouTube channel.

September 2, 2022

The Big (Short Documentary) Tease

Teasers and trailers are different things. Trailers — those things you see at the movies before the feature shows — are supposed to give a clue concerning what a film is about. A teaser can do one or more of a few different jobs, including: 1) indicating a film is in progress, 2) demonstrating “look and feel,” 3) creating interest in particular aspects of a coming film, 4) providing proof to a funder that, yes indeed, you are working on the damned thing, and 5) testing various filmmaking choices before committing.

I’ve produced two teasers for Trinity, my upcoming (because it’s in post-production) documentary short film about (and here’s where it gets sticky) coping with the Crisis of 2020.

For the perplexed, start by doing two things. search for #crisisof2020 and read this book.

If you’re familiar with Strauss & Howe you’ll “get” this teaser. If not, the look-and-feel thing is still in play 🙂 And the buddy-road-trip narrative arc should be apparent, too.

One of the things I’m wondering about is whether to go color or black & white. The latter is interesting to me because I like B&W and I think the baby boomer ethos lends itself to B&W. We’ll see.

Finally, a teaser has an important personal role to play for filmmakers: You’ve declared yourself, now it’s time to follow through.

Tech note: I filmed this with a Canon C100 Mark II using the Canon LOG shooting profile. I applied a “skin tone” LUT to the footage and corrected for exposure. For the B&W version, I simply desaturated and adjusted for exposure and contrast. Edited with DaVinci Resolve 18.

July 17, 2022

Eight Episodes In Plus An Update

I’ve posted the eighth episode of Our Expat Journey to Portugal on my YouTube channel. Just passed the 200 mark for subscribers. Growth has been slow since I posted the first episode on 21 May. I am actually trying to do things (some things, anyway) the “right” way regarding content and presentation. I may go into that a bit more soon.

First, I have to return home — later this week — from my current trip to the East Coast. And I’ll have more to say in my developing series on “what is a documentary”?

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