Convergence, whereby the internet can be used on televisions will mean huge changes for the broadcast industry. It means advertiser will finally have all the statistics on hand to see how well television advertising works.
Youtube is currently the biggest ‘television’ station in the the world. Google wants it to stay that way and for good or for bad are making steps towards longer programming. Longer programs look more like television and, more importantly, allow for more advertising.
At overlander.tv we are aware of the changes taking place and, as always, want to remain innovators in the online video arena. So we have decided to list a majority of our travel programs on youtube in their entirety. For now it feels like we are ‘giving them away’ but our motto has always been to adapt to changes in the media landscape early, and we feel this attitude has lead to our continued success as a small boutique production house.
So sit back, pour yourself a cold one, and enjoy taking a visual journey through the countries we have filmed in. And while your at it, have a look at youtube leanback to get an idea where things are heading in the future and how much google know about you from your browsing history.
I have now been traveling for a month and the realities of filming and editing on the road are starting to set in. I already have a huge back log of videos to edit from Bali and I realise I need to change my style, doing videos I can turn out very quickly such as my latest video below.
And I think this is the best way to build up to a full time income as a youtube partner, produce a large quantity of videos, quickly.
An example of a traveling youtuber who is achieving this is JCVdude. Ex- Construction workers Joe and Cindy have made 4,950 videos and have had a whopping 88,249,442 views.
Known as a content farm, they pump out as many as 4,000 videos a day and were making a killing by dominating youtube and google search results with sites like ehow and live strong.
To decide on what videos will get the best results with advertisers, they have devised an algorithm that looks at; the most popular search terms, the most sought after advertising keywords, and the level of competition for these words.
Google recently made changes to it’s search algorithm to try and cut the content farm domination of search. Demand media are said to have taken a 20% hit in their search engine referrals.
In this article I wish to look at five online travel video success stories and offer prospective filmmakers examples of how they too can get paid to travel the world with their video cameras.
Getting paid to travel the world
In 1760 Samuel Johnson said of travel writing,“Every writer of travels should consider that, like all other authors, he undertakes either to instruct or please, or to mingle pleasure with instruction. He that instructs must offer to the mind something to be imitated, or something to be avoided; he that pleases must offer new images to his reader, and enable him to form a tacit comparison of his own state with that of others.”
I believe this quote to also be relevant to travel filmmaking and a fine example of mixing pleasure with instruction are the videos Natalie Tran produced for the BBC owned, Lonely Planet Brand.
Natalie, Australia’s most successful youtuber, was sent around the world to produce short and sweet location videos that have proved to be very successful for Lonely Planet’s youtube presence, increasing their subscriber base from 15,000 to over 40,000, and leading to over 3 million more video views.
As one viewer commented,‘You make boring History Facts sound actually entertaining’
Getting the television series
Graham Hughes had a dream to not only travel the globe, but to also get in the Guiness Book of Records for visiting the most countries in one year without leaving the ground.
For anyone wanting to see the whole world, but afraid to step foot in certain countries like Iraqi, Afghanistan or Somalia, Graham’s blog makes interesting reading. He has so far visited 133 countries breaking all previous overland travel records.
Graham states, ‘There was always one element missing from my dream of travelling the planet: money. Working as a jobbing director and cameraman, I lived in a cold-water flat in the north of Liverpool and never earned enough money to pay tax, never mind pay off my student loan. But I would come to learn that this missing element was nothing more than an excuse to put ‘it’ off for another year. What I really needed to get started wasn’t money, it was a push.
That push came in the manner of a phone call from Lonely Planet Television. A few months earlier I had sold them the rights to a YouTube video of me jumping off the Nevis Highwire Bungy in New Zealand which, as far as I was concerned, gave me an ‘in’. Then I learnt that the BBC had recently bought a majority share in Lonely Planet. If there was a back entrance to get to The Beeb, this was it. So I made this pitch video (scattered with shots from my previous adventures) and sent it to their HQ in Melbourne.
The initial response was what I was expecting – a pat on the head, well done, let’s discuss this no more. But then… a few hours later I got a phone call asking me to come in for a meeting. Luckily for me, I was in Australia for a wedding so that wasn’t going to be problem – the friend who I was staying with lived five minutes walk from Lonely Planet HQ in Melbourne.
The head of Television Development had just one question: is it possible? I slapped my 30 page ‘how to travel to every country in the world without flying’ document on the table and said YES. I had put this dossier together by flicking trawling through the ‘Getting There And Away’ sections from dozens of Lonely Planet guidebooks – libraries are a wonderful thing.
I had done my research, I had proven I could film and present and I had travelled to many of these places before. Add to that the little white lie that I was going to do this anyway, for Lonely Planet it was a bit of a no-brainer.
But this wasn’t a millionaire’s jolly paid for by the license payer: I didn’t get a team following me around in a 4×4, I had no budget for five-star hotels or slap-up feasts – I was on my own, filming myself with the camera held at arm’s length, with a shoe-string budget and my friends and family supporting me along the way.
I already knew that backpacking was nowhere near as expensive as many people perceive, but with the advent of CouchSurfing, it just got even cheaper. Think about this for a moment: imagine you had to pay no rent or had no mortgage. At all. How much money would you save in a year? Enough to eat street food every day for a year? Of course. Enough to travel around an entire continent for a year? Unless it’s Europe or North America, I’d say so. So long as you don’t go nuts on activities or booze, a year of travel can turn out less expensive than staying at home.
So what are you waiting for? As things turned out, the TV series didn’t make me rich, nor did it even pay my expenses, but it DID give me the push I needed to get out there and DO IT. Honestly: that’s the hardest bit.
Winning the ultimate Youtube competition
Peter Bragiel’s pdrop youtube channel first caught my eye because of it’s production values. Peter was one of the first on youtube to raise the bar in regard to graphics, maps and soundtrack. His style really suits youtube, there is an immediacy about it, that makes you feel you are on the journey with him, and anything can happen in the next scene.
Peter recently won youtube’s nextup competition which is a training program that helps up and coming youtubers to make video production their main source of income. Part of the training also entails getting $35,000 to which Peter is going to use to help produce his next series, boating down the Mississippi River.
It sounds like the dream job, independently producing videos for youtube without anyone telling you how to do it.
BUT, as Peter discovered, even on youtube there are limits to what is allowed to be screened.
I would like to return to the wise words of Samuel Johnson, “He that would travel for the entertainment of others, should remember that the great object of remark is human life. Every nation has something peculiar in its manufactures, its works of genius, its medicines, its agriculture, its customs, and its policy. He only is a useful traveller, who brings home something by which his country might be benefitted; who procures some supply of want, or some mitigation of evil, which may enable his readers to compare their condition with that of others, to improve it whenever it is worse, and whenever it is better to enjoy it.”
Honest travel filmmaking informs the viewer of the good and the bad. And in the ideal of free speech, this should not be censored.
Peter made a fascinating video about cockfighting in Central America. Anyone with half a brain, after watching the video, would understand Peter was not sympathetic with the cruelty involved, but just wanted to give an overview of this aspect of local culture.
The video was removed from youtube and can only be viewed on another online video website.
Peter explains,‘As far as my “cockfighting” episode is concerned, YouTube took it down because it was too gory or something along those lines. They straight up removed it and gave me a red flag/strike on my account because it didn’t meet their guidelines.
I have a problem with travel content becoming too much of an advertising game where everything is amazing and beautiful, where in reality “travel” is an adventure which is unpredictable and needs to be broadcasted in the highest of quality. That’s our duty!!’
Producing a viral video hit
Ryan Grassley produces motorbike touring videos on his halfthrottle youtube channel. Ryan is the new breed of filmmaker who does it all himself, filming, editing, the whole shebang.
One of the great things about youtube is the camaraderie that can develop between producers. I’ve got to know Ryan quite well and we are both always discussing how we can do things better.
Ryan produced a video taking the piss out of Harley Davidson motorbikes. He had a feeling such a video could go viral and it has. But I think the main reason it has been so successful is because Ryan worked hard and getting it seen.
Ryan explains,‘Before I uploaded my Honest Harley Davidson Commercial I joined a lot motorcycle forums. Sport bike, Harley, Metric Crusier, Dual Sport, it didn’t matter everyone has an opinion on Harley. So any forum that looked like it had a lot of traffic I joined. Some of them as halfthrottle, others under a false name so the Harley forums wouldn’t know it was me trolling them. I made a few posts saying hello days in advance of the video going online, just to seem more real. When the video launched I had 15 tabs open in my browser all to different forums, and text ready to copy/paste soon as the embed code was ready to go.
Doing this helped me in the obvious way that it got my video in front of a lot motorcycle riders and generated controversy between Harley lovers and haters in the forums. Then something unexpected happened. Several large online motorcycle blogs came across my video in the forums and posted it to their site, and that was when it really took off. When that happened I googled for other motorcycle blogs and sent the link to them.
I spent more time putting that video in places where people would watch it than I did filming and editing it. And it paid off in the days after launch I received 100′s of new subscribers, and after being online a little over a year it has nearly 500,000 views. It’s also one of the first results when people search for, Harley Davidson.’
Doing video profiles for tourism business
I am going to include myself in this list, mainly because I too have the dream to see the whole world and believe I have found a way to get paid to do it.
I recently travelled to New Zealand and through producing business profiles and branded content, I managed to return to Australia with a lot more money than when I left.
Most travel programs on television are nothing but branded content, which can lead to some fairly dull one sided programs, as an Australian comedian recently pointed out.
But I don’t believe it has to be this way. I go about selecting business that are doing unique things so as there is no need to bullshit the viewer. Every business I approach are leaders in their field.
The video I wish to feature is unique in that it is an advertisement, but it is purely documentary in it’s style.
Te Puia asked me to produce a short video that not only explained the cultural significance of their carving school, but also captured the characters of the young men chosen to represent their tribes at the school.
The internet and youtube have offered filmmakers an avenue by which they can not only find a worldwide audience, and get viewership that television programs can only dream of, but also provide a substantial passive income stream via advertising revenue from the ads placed in and around their videos.
The ball is in your court, be proactive, go forth and film the world!
So how does a tourism region produce a video that rises above the 48 hours of video uploaded to youtube every minute, and harness some of the 3 billion eyeballs watching each day?
Australian travel video producer Mark Shea outlines how to run a successful online video campaign using Australian Tourism and Travel examples
There has recently been some negative press in Australia with regard to how Government Tourism bodies spend the $500 million allocated to them, to market the country.
As someone who has been involved in youtube and online video since their formation, and experienced some viral video success, I would like to inform tourism organisations and business, how best to use youtube as a marketing tool.
I closely follow video tourism campaigns from around the world and more often than not, see big budget productions sink to the bottomless pit of the youtube sea.
So how does a tourism region produce a video that rises above the 48 hours of video uploaded to youtube every minute, and harness some of the 3 billion eyeballs watching each day?
“And – dear lord – have you seen the ads? The ‘come to Australia’ ads. OH. MY. GOD. They give me visions of entering the Australian Tourist Board Marketing Department to find a room filled with baboons wistfully daubing the walls with their own faeces.”Graham David Hughes, Adventurer/Filmmaker who set a brand new Guinness World Record™ by visiting 133 countries in one year without ever leaving the ground.
Both the business owner and l watched the Port Douglas marketing video produced by the local official tourism organisation. About a minute in, we both lost interest, moving on to something else.
The video looks great, with every shot looking like it came out of a tourist brochure. BUT, if people want beautiful beaches, rainforest etc, they have 100′s of locations like Port Douglas to choose from. AND, with the current price of the Aussie dollar, places that are much cheaper!
Producing a tourism promo that is nothing more than a music video, fails to recognise the important historical formation of youtube as a cultural phenomenon.
Youtube started as a vlogging platform, with people using whatever camera they could get their hands on to upload video. Viewers accepted the degraded video images in this egalitarian new world.
The message became more important than a film school education. For the first time anyone could be a filmmaker and find an audience.
Vlogging changed the media landscape. Viewers now expect honest appraisals and opinions.
A traditional television ad simply does not work on youtube, and if you don’t capture the attention of your audience, by engaging them, they simply click on to the next piece of entertainment.
Jean-Paul Toonen of T36 Media informed me of a study by the University of Leuven (Belgium) that found many marketeers traditionally make the mistake of only using video as a medium of evidence. They believe that if they show the local qualities of a region, it’s superior scenery and sunny beaches, then the viewers will be convinced. But this footage only proves the existence of these hotspots. And not the effect of relaxation, happiness and entertainment. The audience is only convinced by honest testimonials and authentic interviews, in combination with action in the picturesque local environment.
The research lead to the production of a highly successful campaign based on testimonials about living in the Limburg province. Jean-Paul Toonen informs, “Each film focused on one inhabitant from this region and shows their life (work & private) in active shots and scenes. This person is interviewed and tells us about their quality of life.”
So try and work out what differentiates your region from every where else. And find people who can express these key points with intelligence, humor and conviction.
Local Celebrities are Nobodies on Youtube.
Youtube has it’s own star system, based on a channel’s subscriber base and number of video views.
Each channel caters for a particular demographic. Age, sex, country of origin, can all be monitored via youtube’s ‘insight’ statistics.
Unfortunately tourism bodies don’t seem to understand that a local celebrity, such as a retired local league footballer, has no credibility on youtube. The campaign below would have been better off finding an urban family representing their main demographic and feature them exploring the landscape.
Let me give you a recent example. ‘Visit NSW’ recently employed Matilda Brown to produce a number of music videos masquerading as tourism promos.
Who you may ask is Matilda Brown?
Well, Matilda is the daughter of actor Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward. And this fact was promoted as a big marketing plus for the campaign.
If you live in Australia, and are over a certain age, you have probably heard of Bryan and Rachel. But for the rest of the world and youtube community Matilda, despite having studied filmmaking, is a nobody.
This campaign is the antithesis of what youtube represents, a place where anyone can become a star, regardless of their background!
I think the message in the video below is, ‘Don’t eat the mushrooms!’
Lonely Planet, now owned by the BBC, had the foresight to understand their monolithic faceless persona, and went about seducing someone from within the youtube star system, to represent their demographic.
They sent Natalie Tran, Australia’s most successful youtuber, around the world to produce short and sweet location videos that increased their subscriber base from 15,000 to over 40,000, and led to over 3 million more video views. So much do Lonely Planet rely on Natalie to grow their channel, they even use her name in their title keywording!
So if Lonely Planet understands how youtube works, one may ask, why can’t Australian Tourism Bodies?
I think half the problem is there seems to be no accountability for failure. Tourism bodies also don’t seem to understand how cost effective online video can be, basing their budgets on more expensive television advertising models.
In some instances, as with Tourism Victoria, a job is not put out for tender, unless it’s budget is over $150,000.
So for their recent Villages of Victoria ‘music video’ campaign, the video producers were not chosen based on online video success or pricing, but on some more mysterious selection process.
After nearly a year online, most of these videos have only garnered a few hundred views. Each video cost a whopping $10,000, three times industry pricing for a 2 minute online video.
Youtube is owned by Google, so when videos underperform like with the ‘villages’ campaign, they don’t get found on Google.
The Falls Creek video, for example, has currently only had 255 views after 12 months online. Tourism Operators have every right to question Tourism Victoria, when amateurs with cheap handy cams, manage to produce videos that perform better in keyword search! The video below doesn’t even make the first page of search for the term ‘falls creek’.
Make it real
Youtube is a very different beast from the high budget world of television advertising. The audience decides what rises to the top and spending big on a large film crew, may not always be necessary.
Most of the successful channels on youtube are produced by multi-skilled individuals who perform all aspects of production themselves. Viewers smell hubris and advertising a mile away and have grown use to videos that look different from television and films!
The short online video format is a challenging artform and anyone hired to produce your online campaign should already have a strong track record in this arena and preferably bring their own audience.
My experience has found personable truthful appraisals using real people work! Story line is more important than bokeh! And if you do produce expensive films that look amazing but don’t outline the key points that differentiate your region from everywhere else, don’t be surprised when they sink down the plughole of online obscurity.
One of worst and most wasteful examples of tourism video marketing is the $7.3 million ‘Daylesford, Lead a double life’ campaign. For those who know nothing about Daylesford, the video paints a confusing picture, tripping between today and yesteryear, and not really telling the viewer anything about the area!
Oh yes, it’s all very artistic, but with a very average views to dollars spent ratio, it’s a rolled gold failure! So far it has cost the taxpayer roughly $600 per video view, which may well be a youtube record!
More than just a video
Youtube has become a very competitive arena, with both professionals and amateurs vying for global views. Uploading a video is only half the battle.
Keywords, social media promotion, community participation; all these marketing tools require time and patience. Ensure some of your budget is allocated to making sure your video gets found.
So to sum up;
*define the key points that differentiate your region from other regions,
*find someone locally, or from the youtube star system, to communicate these key points, and
*produce a short, entertaining, informative, story-based video that is keyword optimised, and syndicated across various social media channels.
The Australian leg of the ‘Meet a Local’ Series is now available online in downloadable format.
Learn about popular Australian tourist destinations by meeting a local person and discover why they like living where they do.
The series is broken up into half hour programs and is a fantastic gift for those wishing to visit Australia, or those wishing to show the folks back home exactly what Australia and Australians are all about.
The downloadable videos are in quicktime .mov format and are roughly around 300mb in size. The videos have been optimized so as they will look fantastic on your widescreen television. Despite being in a compressed format, the quality is spectacular.
I have decided to offer downloadable videos because they are the greenest way to watch media. There is no need to produce or post anything, and you can be watching a download within minutes, depending on your internet connection.
Love to hear your comments, what location most appealed to you, who was the most interesting character?
I’ve been asked to write some articles for travel portal, the traveler’s notebook. The first article, which was an interview, by a journalist friend, has been published and can be viewed here.
Sounds great doesn’t it, being paid to travel the world with your camera, filming exotic locales and meeting interesting people. But what is the reality of travel filmmaking. We talk to Mark Shea of overlander.tv about his own experience as a travel video producer.
Mark is one of the new breed of filmmakers, exploring the internet, as a medium for displaying his work.
Can you tell us about your own videos Mark, what you like making?
I’ve always enjoyed documentaries, real life, knowing how things work. I was sick of seeing celebrity driven travel programs that were nothing more than ads for the hotels etc featured in them. I wanted to get under the surface of a location, so I devised the ‘Meet a Local’ concept, whereby I interview a local person, asking them what they like about where they live.
I think the media portray certain regions of the world with unfortunate stereotypes. Poor, war torn Africa, the Middle East, full of terrorists. What I want to do with my ‘Meet a Local’ concept, is show viewers the wonderful diversity of the world’s cultures, but also how we are all still the same, and travelers can find hospitality anywhere.
You call your style ‘backpack filmmaking’, a one-man crew who does it all. How do you go about finding your stories?
I arrive in a location, and usually set myself a challenge of finding a story within 3-4 days. Sometimes I might have a theme I wish to follow related to the location I visit, but other times I have no idea what I am going to do a story about. I really love this aspect of my work, leaving it up to chance, just seeing what eventuates.
But your work is based so much on meeting locals, how do you go about meeting people in locations where you know no one.
I get out there, in the bars and on the streets. I talk to as many people as I can, trying to get a feel for what story would best represent the location I am in. I also use the internet, sites like couchsurfing.com and hospitalityclub.org, that encourage friendships between locals and visitors. This is particularly handy in countries where I don’t have a good grasp on the local language. Because people on these sites list the languages they speak, so I can seek out bi-lingual locals, to help me in my search for great stories.
Your concept is quite unique. Do you think there are opportunities for wannabe travel filmmakers, to do their own shows.
There is probably no better time to try your hand at travel video or any video endeavours for that matter. All you need is a laptop and a video camera, an internet connection, and you can upload your work to Youtube or other online video sites, and you have an instant worldwide audience.
Be creative, follow your passion, if fishing is your thing, try your hand at doing stories about fishing, if it’s food, do stories on local cuisine.
The hard question, how do people make money from their films.
Remember online video is all fairly new, a developing market. Youtube is the king of online video with the biggest audience. They like serial content providers, and are willing to support them by featuring their work. If you take a holiday and film hours of footage, and then edit it into short 3-5 minute films, uploading a video once a week. It won’t take long until people notice you.
Once you have a bit of a following, you can join the partner program where you share in advertising revenue from the ads featured on your video channel.
As an independent, it is then really up to you to take it further, sponsorship deals, free trips, providing your content to other websites or mediums (eg television)
And the best thing about Youtube, is that straight away you will know whether people like your work or not, by their comments, ratings etc.
So you use Youtube as a litmus test for your videos, to work out what people like?
Certainly, I usually know within 24 hours whether a video sinks or swims. And sometimes the comments people make about a video, will lead to me making subtle changes. As a filmmaker I have always been envious of musicians, who can perform live, and really interact with their audience. The Youtube community now provides this for filmmakers, feedback on your work.
I love watching creative user generated content on Youtube. At first the technology lead to people doing webcam vlog style content in their bedrooms. But thankfully people are leaving their bedrooms and doing stories on their neighbourhoods, and the natural progression of this, on their holidays.
What about video gear Mark, can you give us any advice?
Basically, you get what you pay for. For me, I try to get the smallest, lightest broadcast quality kit available. I don’t want to recommend any particular brands but my current kit includes a Canon XH- A1 High Definition camcorder, a MacBook Pro laptop using the Final Cut Pro editing suite software. I used a Sennheiser ME66 XLR professional shotgun microphone for sound, a lightweight Velbon CX-586 tripod and a small on camera light kit, the paglight C6. Work out what you want to do, and get a kit to suit your needs. My kit isn’t the be all and end all, but it currently suits what I am doing.
Biggest tip I can give up and comers is to not forget that filmmaking is an audio-visual medium. Don’t forget the sound, even if you have a small video camera, if you are doing interviews, it might be wise to invest in a hardwired lapel microphone.
I imagine filming around the world, you have found yourself in some hairy situations. How do you keep out of trouble.
I think it is important to be aware of local customs before pulling your camera out and filming. In some countries you can get in trouble for filming government buildings for example. Be discreet, if I’m filming street scenes, I want them to look at natural as possible, so generally I don’t want people knowing I am filming them. To do this I use the tripod and my camera’s long zoom lens, and if I see something interesting, I’m ready to put the camera to the shoulder quickly, and record, and sometimes, just as quickly move on.
Has there been any times you have had difficulties filming a story?
On numerous occasions, I remember when I did my Nimbin Story, Australia’s Alternative Capital, a current affair program had just done a story on the town, looking at it’s drug problems. There was one part of the street where dealers sold drugs. I was informed in no uncertain way, that if I filmed anything, my camera would be smashed. So I approached the biggest, meanest looking guy, who had his shirt off, and was covered in tattoos, and told him what I was doing, that I wasn’t interested in filming any drug deals. He appreciated my honesty, and agreed to act as my body guard while I filmed, stipulating I don’t film the laneway where the drug dealers congregated. So I got my shots, but I couldn’t use the audio, there were a few choice words being thrown my way, by the dealers in the laneway!
Are there any legal requirements filmmakers should consider when doing travel videos?
If you interview someone, get them to sign a release form. A release form states that an interviewee has given you permission to use their interview how you see fit. There are some standard release forms floating around the internet, so just do a search and make any changes depending on what you need.
Also, if you use any music in your videos, you should have permission from the artist to do this. It is also handy to get a release form if you are filming in a special location, like a museum, or at least ask whether they have restrictions on you using your footage.
Programs like Garageband, allow one to make their own music. It is great fun to use, and sometimes a video segment may only need 30 seconds of music, so worth playing around with.
Any final words Mark, advice for budding travel filmmakers.
Like anything, the more time you put into your films, the better they will become. But if you are going on a holiday, be aware, your travel videos may become all encompassing, taking up all your time and energy. This is not always the best formula for a happy holiday, if you are traveling with your partner or spouse!
So don’t let the video work get in the way of having a good time, and enjoying the location you are visiting. And remember, nothing will go as planned, this is part of the fun, just go with the ride, and make a story around what happens.
Travel filmmaking sounds quite glamorous, but it is a bit like those who work in hospitality, you are working, when everyone else is having fun. When I’m traveling, I don’t really get much time to just relax, I am constantly working. But for me, I really enjoy the challenge, and the best part is returning home and having a video reminder of my trips, the people I meet, and the places I see. And the reward is because of my work, I really have to set out to know and understand the culture of the country I am filming in, so it pushes me to meet locals, which is really what the true essence of travel should be, to understand the other, the tribe over the hill.
As a filmmaker, I have always been disappointed that I haven’t had an instant appraisal of my work, as musicians have during a live performance. I think youtube has changed all this.
I can upload a video to youtube, and be aware, within a couple of days, or even minutes, whether my video sucks or kicks ass, by the number of views, comments, favorites and ratings.
This is both fantastic, and annoying. Fantastic, in that, I can get some idea of what works and what doesn’t. Annoying in that commercial work, or even docos for broadcasters, just don’t cut it anymore. To do a project, that you put so much of your time into, and to get no response, no comments, nada, is just plain frustrating!
I want a reaction! Whether you hate it or love it, I want to know. There is nothing worst that producing something that doesn’t even receive a response!
And this is why I love youtube, because the audience encourages video producers, which has lead to a situation, I believe, where the content produced, is more eclectic and unique.
People are not afraid, to be themselves, and experiment with groundbreaking media content. Youtube is one big social experiment, with new creative voices rising to the top via the ratings system.
Originally people first made use of technology by broadcasting from their bedrooms via webcam. Thankfully ‘bedroom philosophers’ are taking their cams into the world, and producing original engaging content.
I think if I was to name my favorite album of all time, I would have to say it is Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon‘. It’s an album I just keep coming back to. It’s got a timeless quality about it.
The Album features in the Guinness Book of Records for being in the charts longer than any other album in history (741 consecutive weeks (14 years) in Billboard Top 200). It was also voted ‘Best Album to have sex to‘ by Australian Radio listeners in 1990, and in 2006 it was voted “My Favourite Album” by viewers and listeners to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
A few years ago I found out about ‘Dark Side of the Rainbow‘. That you can synch up the album to the ‘The Wizard of Oz’ Film. The effect is created when you un-pause the CD when the black-and-white MGM lion roars for the third time in the movie.
The Wizard of Oz film was made in 1939, Dark Side of the Moon was produced in 1973, and despite this, there are over 100 moments of synchronicity. Pink Floyd claim that this is just a coincidence and was not their intention.
It amazes me that the music and lyrics for the album were written in only seven weeks, while the band were preparing for a tour.
The video below features the ‘Great Gig in the Sky’ song, one of my favorite ‘..Rainbow’ moments. Incidentally, the singer, Clare Torry, was only paid a double standard session wage for her singing (£30), given she recorded it on a Sunday.
Some good news recently for Australian Video Artists….there is now such a thing as Video Art!
Recently a slo-mo five minute film of a guy skating at Bondi Beach, with a stormy sea as a backdrop, became the first video artwork to be auctioned in Australia. It was sold at Sotheby’s for $84,000. more info here and here
This is fantastic, video being recognised as an art form! I can assure you I will be trying my hand at this video art game, although, unlike the above artist, Shaun Gladwell, I haven’t spent years at University to become an Artist so may not be able to bluff my way into the art world!
I find the explanation of what the video represents by Peter Fay, who commissioned the piece, rather amusing:
‘it becomes almost a pointillist, almost an impressionist painting, as the blurring, still with this figure eternally circling almost like an angel or some celestial body ready to return to another void; to another planet; to another world.
And taking its leave in this last gyration, which just goes on, and on, and on. It’s quite mesmeric, quite simple in its dynamic, and yet the poetry and the intensity, and the sense of drama that is captured.’
I think I have found my own undiscovered artist, a homeless man living in Los Angeles.
Below is a video he made which I believe is true art, here is my attempt to ‘artspeak’ about the piece:
Marquis de Jolie, the poet laureate of the disenfranchised. His video piece ‘The Mad Turk’ encapsulates the artist’s struggle. The beat voiceover, recorded in the depths of the city’s underbelly, has a niggling alter ego, whispering sweet evils, ‘Give up, Give up!’.
The Giant Rat, a dream, the willowing footage, glimmering like a mirage. The improbable, moving further and further out of frame, juxtapositioning with the dragstrip analogies.
Desire and Chance….spinning out of reach.
The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.
Carl Jung (1875 – 1961)
When I first set up this site I was going to keep it very professional, just the videos, no personal comments, no shots of me, ranting to the camera in my bedroom, as a lot of online MEdia has been about.
I like this parody video on bedroom vlogging.
But I have found, my comments and observations about internet video and backpack filmmaking techniques rate really well, people are interested in knowing where this whole user generated media phenomena is heading and how to make their own stuff.
So I have decided to start adding posts about internet video, as a resource for people wishing to vlog.
For a start, I don’t think you can go past wordpress as a platform from which to setup your website. Web 2.0 has changed everything; Need an e-commerce solution? A contact form? A mapping solution? All you gotta do is download a free plugin!
Next step is getting your videos out there! Now this can be quite a time consuming process, so it is good to see one website tubemogul allows you to upload your videos to all the major sites, in one go.
Then you probably want to join some online vlogging community like this yahoo group which I find a handy resource.
There are also early adopters I like to watch, to see what works and what doesn’t. I like this one, featuring African wildlife, Kim Wolhuter’s wildcast, it uses all the latest Web 2.0 gadgets, and has a good grasp of what narrowcasting is all about.
I particularly like Will Video For Food. Nalt’s makes humorous videos, has a day job in marketing, and is really pushing the boundaries in regard to trying to make a living from his video making. So much so that he has attracted the attention of a group on youtube called the ‘underground’, who have frowned upon his blatant attempts to monetise his video content. They wish to see Youtube stay unique from mainstream media and it’s reliance on advertising.
This is all a new arena and I think Nalt’s is just an early adapter, experimenting with different ways to try and make his hobby pay for itself, some of these methods may work, some may not.
The Real News could be showing the way forward, as are the guys at showinabox.tv whereby viewers make a pledge to give $$ support to have unique programming made.
The growth in user generated content will lead to the situation whereby groups and individuals outside main stream media, can make a living from their work, by filling niche programming needs.
At the moment, the online community are deciding how they want this new outlet to evolve.
Ever had a dream to just travel the world?
On July 24th 2011 Aussie Filmmaker Mark Shea set off on a new journey with the goal to travel to each continent and make a living on the road.
Mark's motivation is to show that wherever he goes, He will find good people, passionate enough about where they live to show him round. To inform, entertain and inspire, learning about culture, customs and beliefs.
Exploring the new international world of Digital Nomadism Mark will produce videos while on the road, using lightweight High Definition equipment, and aims to survive solely on passive income made from his online ventures.
Countries visited so far:
*Indonesia *Singapore *Malaysia *Brunei *Philippines *Hong Kong *Japan *South Korea *North Korea *China *Laos *Cambodia *Thailand Mark has been travelling for 665 days 19 hours 16 minutes 9 seconds