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Monday, June 30, 2008

How To Change Your Oil

I've been doing some different tests with the French Maid TV episode How To Change Your Oil. On Revver we shot up to number one pretty quickly but on YouTube we named it Oil Change and only got a couple thousand views in a few days. So we renamed it and reposted it on YouTube and we'll see what happens.

I have another version of it on the French Maid TV site with additional ads on it and it seems to be tracking well.

I'll let you know how the experiment goes when it's over.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

What's Your Favorite Mystery Box?

Thanks to Liz Shannon Miller's post on NewTeeVee.com I discovered this clip from Ted Talks with Writer, director and producer J.J. Abrams the guy known for making addictive dramas like TV's Lost and Alias and the film Cloverfield.

J.J. Abrams traces his love for the unseen mystery and his passion that’s evident in his films and TV shows, including Cloverfield, Lost and Alias back to the Super 8 camera his Grandfather gave him and the trips that they used to take to a Mid-Town Magic Store.

I had the pleasure of working once with J.J.. At the time I didn't realize the depth of his creativity as I was interviewing him and his cast about a show he was doing for The WB called Felicity that was about a young woman in a big city and it really wasn't my cup of tea the way Cloverfield was.

Anyway, I hope you find this video as inspirational as I did. It reminds me of the Super 8 I got from my Grandfather and the trips I would take to the magic store.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Advanced Story-Telling Techniques for Video Creators

The New Media Expo is the world's most popular convention for podcasters, bloggers and online content creators. If you are serious about online video it's an event that you shouldn't miss.

This is part of a weekly blog series that highlights a session or event happening at New Media Expo - hopefully enticing you to come join us online video content creators in Las Vegas August 14-16, 2008.

The guys from Big Fantastic have had the opportunity to work on funded story based Internet fiction video. There are very few people who can say that and what they have to say will be very interesting.

Full disclosure I have played paintball with these guys and their pretty good.
Advanced Story-Telling Techniques for Video Creators
Track 4: Audio and Video Creation: "How To" Techniques for Making Compelling Content
Instructors: Big Fantastic
Description: In this session, members of the Big FANTASTIC team will show you how they craft a story in video and keep the audience engaged and coming back for more. Using real-life examples from their productions of online video hits "Prom Queen" and "Sam Has 7 Friends", you'll learn how to create compelling video content through creative editing, developing interesting characters and other post-producton techniques. You'll also learn how the Big FANTASTIC team has promoted their work and grown an audience that has attracted national attention. Fiction and non-fiction creators alike will find something they can apply to their own shows in this exclusive session.
Oh, you might also want to Book your hotel now and get your free Expo Hall Pass before they are gone.

New Media Expo

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Are You Monetizing Your Online Video with Live Events?

The Monetization of Online Video is slowly starting to happen. Ad Networks are signing "Video Publishers" to their networks and serving them video ads that still don't pay enough to live on but the it's a work in progress. Sites like Revver and YouTube have partnership programs that pay high viewed video creators enough money to make car payments and sponsorships for high viewed videos pay the best but are hard to find, negotiate and close on a regular basis.

One other online video monetization model is the Live Event model. Simply put, you throw a party and have sponsors pay to provide drinks, gift bags, signage and what ever else you can get them to pay for at your party and you videotape content at the party.

Corporate sponsors have been doing this kind of thing for a long time so it's nothing new to them and some video creators like Dusty Wright and Richard Burns of Culture Catch have been using this model for a couple of years with celebrities like Kevin Bacon and David Lynch.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

How Are Your Pitching Skills?

For some reason creative people hate the word "SALES." We will do everything we can to avoid picking up the phone and calling a stranger but we do like the word, "PITCH."

Pitching and selling are the same thing but creative people don't think so. The big differences between pitching and selling in the mind of the creative person is the misunderstanding that if you are going to pitch an idea your agent has already set up the meeting and the people you are meeting with want to hear your pitch and that if you are going to sell something you have to talk to strangers who don't like salesmen.

Well, it's all a mind set and the more you practice and the more you play the game the better off you will get at sales... I mean "PITCHING."

Keep in mind that people have problems. They may have a problem of having a product they need to get the word out about or they may have a problem of needing content for their new online video portal. What ever the case you as an online video creator have the opportunity to help them solve their problem with your creative idea and to do so there are a few things you need to do.

1. Find the people who have the problems and need your help.
Making contact is the first step in getting to pitch. You need to go to events and meet people with problems. It's the same as dating. You go to a bar or party to meet other people who are in need of finding someone else to help them with their problem. You might want to try industry events like the The New Media Expo in Las Vegas (I'll be speaking there.) or a more general event like L.A.'s Largest Mixer which is "the largest and most heralded business mixer/expo of the year. Over 2800 business people attended last year." The event is part expo and part business social event so there are bound to be lots of people with problems there.

When anLA Mixerd Where?
Thursday, July 24, 2008
5:00 to 9 p.m.,
Shrine Auditorium Expo Center
700 W. 32nd St.
Los Angeles CA

"A $20 admission fee gives attendees the opportunity to view more than 250 exhibitors and network with thousands of local "influentials" on the cutting edge of Los Angeles' business elite."

2. Make Them Want You
Just like the blonde who walks into the bar with the tight red dress on you need to do something that fits your style and let's them know exactly what you have to offer them so that it will make them want you. If you don't yet know what it is that makes you special I suggest you take a moment and write an elevator pitch.

An elevator pitch is a short summery of what it is you have to offer other people. It's what you would say to people if you only had their attention for a ride in an elevator. For French Maid TV I have printed my elevator pitch on my business cards:

French Maid TV is a series of funny, yet informative "PG-13" viral videos where sponsored products and services, appealing to 21-34 year old males are explained in step-by-step "How To's" hosted by sexy French Maids. Epsiodes vary from "How To Register a Domain" to "How To Share Music." Other "Non-Sponsored" videos are available for licensing and the French Maids can be booked to explain your product of service at live events. To sponsor an episode, book an event or audition contact: tim [at] French Maid TV dot com.

3. Make Them Want You More Than Anyone Else.
Sure there are other hot blondes with red dresses but you have to find people with problems that you can solve better than anyone else. It's always good to ask questions about what they are looking for and if you are not a good fit recommend someone else who might solve their problems better than you. Who knows, they might do the same for you someday.

4. Ask for the Pitch and Give It
If you have identified that they need a project like the one you want to pitch ask if they would like to hear about it. You've already established they have a problem that they need someone to solve and they are still talking to you about so why not get permission to pitch them and do it.

5 Close the Deal
There are many different techniques to closing a deal but the one that I've found that works the best is "Closing on a Minor Point."

You know that the person you've pitched is interested and if they've told you they liked your pitch you are just down to price and the details of the deal. You control the price so if the price is too low you can walk away. That just leaves the details of the deal or the "minor points" One minor point might be when the project is due and that's the best minor point to close on. Ask the person you're dealing with when the project is due. This is a minor point of the deal but it creates a sense of urgency and reminds them that they need to solve their problem at some point in time and if that time is sooner rather than later they are speaking wit someone who can do it now.

6. Keep the deal Closed
Under promising and over delivering is a great way of keeping the deal closed and keeping em coming back for more. You want to make sure that what you create hits the ball out of the park and makes your sponsor, advertiser or production partner happy enough to ask you for another pitch. Just like dating when it comes to pitching you would much rather be the one in the position to say NO than the one asking for a YES.

Would You Like to See the World Come Together?

If you would like to think that the world can come together this is one video that will give you a glimmer of hope. It's called Where the Hell is Matt, and it has nothing to do with the NBC Today Show Host Matt Lauer.

Thanks to Stride Gum Matt was able to spend 14 months in 42 countries, and with a cast of thousands that danced with him and you can read more about it on his site.

This video has over 300,000 views today and with it's spectacle locations and emotional sound track it looks like it will be a huge viral video hit.


When's the Last Time You Saw a Dead American Soldier

In an Interview by The Daily Show's Jon Stewart CBS News chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan told Stewart she'd "blow her brains out" if forced to watch what passes for TV news coverage in America. She goes on to tell him that she was once asked by a reporter, "Do you feel responsible for the American public having a bad view, a negative view of the War in Iraq?"
She asked the reporter, " Tell me the last time you saw the body of a dead American Soldier? What does the look like? Who in America knows what that looks like? I know what that looks like and I feel responsible for the fact that no one else does....and the soldiers do feel forgotten."

This video has only a 100,000 views this morning but it moves a range of emotions and is funny, sexy, sad and disturbing.

I'm not sure if it will go past a million views but it does provoke a thought process about how desensitize Americans are to the War.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Are You Using the YouTube Screening Room?

I had the pleasure of attending the YouTube Screening Room party this week and I had a great time.

As for the YouTube Screening Room product I have the highest of hopes for what it can do for online video monetization and I plan on testing it and it's selling of DVD's and Digital downloads out with some new projects in the near future.

I would like to know if any of you are using the YouTube Screening Room and what you think of it?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Behind the Scenes at MacBreak and PixelCorps: Creating Compelling Content with Organized Video Shoots

The New Media Expo is the world's most popular convention for podcasters, bloggers and online content creators. If you are serious about online video it's an event that you shouldn't miss.

This is part of a weekly blog series that highlights a session or event happening at New Media Expo - hopefully enticing you to come join us online video content creators in Las Vegas August 14-16, 2008.

Alex Lindsay of PixelCorps is a modern day renaissance man and no where is that more apparent but in the online content he produces and stars in. If you are looking for tips and tricks in making compelling online content that reaches a tech savvy crowd this is one session you won't want to miss.

Behind the Scenes at MacBreak and PixelCorps: Creating Compelling Content with Organized Video Shoots
Track 4: Audio and Video Creation: "How To" Techniques for Making Compelling Content
Instructor: Alex Lindsay of PixelCorps
Description: The MacBreak Video Podcast's production value is as good as anything on "regular" TV today. Alex Lindsay, well known for his experience in creating outstanding video, will show you how he creates exciting intros, organizes shoots to save time and money, and leaves the audience wanting more and waiting impatiently for the next episode! This session will also cover tips for various camera shoot situations, whether you are filming in an office or out on a busy street, so that you can work efficiently and capture the content correctly. Finally, Alex will talk about multiple-camera shoots and how they can add to the professionalism of your show. If you're ready to take your video to the next level, Alex will guide you in creating the best content you are capable of, regardless of your current experience level.

AND you might also want to Book your hotel now and get your free Expo Hall Pass before the price increase.

New Media Expo

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Casting Online Videos

Over the years I've used Craigslist, Now Casting and Breakdown Services, Ltd. to cast TV Shows, Promos , Online video and even French Maid TV.

As I've started casting the next episode of French Maid TV we have been using Breakdown Express from Breakdown Services, Ltd. which is a companion site to Actors Access. Breakdown Express let's you post a casting notice for a particular roll. Then actors, talent agents and managers can then submit talent to audition for that part.

Once an actor is submitted you can then look at their head shots, photos and resumes and send them a message if you are interested in calling them in for an audition.

There are a few little pet peeves I have about the interface of the site and it's only available to large cities but I do like it better than the other options. Over all Breakdown Express is an extremely valuable tool and best of all it's FREE.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

World's Biggest Beer Belly Ever Goes Viral

Circus and Freak Shows use to have people wait in line to see the fat lady we have YouTube and the Biggest Beer Belly.

Watch out for the rolls.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Building Brand in the Web 2.0 World

The New Media Expo is the world's most popular convention for podcasters, bloggers and online content creators. If you are serious about online video it's an event that you shouldn't miss.

This is part of a weekly blog series that highlights a session or event happening at New Media Expo - hopefully enticing you to come join us online video content creators in Las Vegas August 14-16, 2008.

Gary Vaynerchuk is a Rock Star of online video and online marketing. This is one session that will be packed.
Building Brand in the Web 2.0 World
Track 2: Attracting and Growing Your Audience
Instructor: Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library TV

Description: You have an online video show or audio podcast - or you're looking to start one. Deciding on the details of creating, editing and distributing that content is only a small part of the work. Getting attention for your show after it's finished is critical to having long-term success. Using Wine Library TV as an example, Gary Vaynerchuk will show you how he has marketed himself and his business with an extremely viral Web 2.0 approach. Inspired by social networking sites, Gary leveraged technology to reach an untapped audience for his brand and now attracts more than 60,000 viewers a day. Gary will show you how he has taken a completely unscripted and unrehearsed show and turned it into a forum for massive self promotion by carefully marketing and promoting it via Facebook, MySpace, Digg, Twitter, Pownce, and other networking channels. As a result of these Web 2.0 tactics, Gary has been featured by Conan O'Brien, Ellen, Time Magazine, Nightline, The Wall Street Journal, and other national media outlets. This workshop will detail the essentials of Gary's Web-oriented approach that has garnered national attention for his brand and his business.
And you might also want to Book your hotel now and get your free Expo Hall Pass before the price increase.

New Media Expo

Friday, June 13, 2008

Do You Have a Cell Phone and like Popcorn?

Sad Video From Andrea Mitchell About Tim Russert

Tim Russert changed the way Washington was covered by the press.

It's so sad that he will never get to see the outcome of this historic year in American politics.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Have You Heard Any Stories of Passion and Persistence That Paid Off?

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting YouTuber Hooman at the OnHollywood conference and later got to spend time with him at a party at The Standard Hotel on the Sunset Strip. This morning I checked out his YouTube page and discovered an emotionally compelling video interview he did that tells the story of passion, persistence and payoff.

In his interview Hooman tells us the story of how three months after their homeless father died in jail, twin brothers, Logan and Noah Miller, cornered 4-time Oscar nominee Ed Harris in an alley outside the Castro Theatre in San Francisco and pitched him on their autobiographical movie, Touching Home. www.touchinghomemovie.com

Thanks Hooman for creating your video and thanks Logan and Noah for sharing your story.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What's Fun at OnHollywood?

I'm at OnHollywood today checking out cool new companies to see if they can be of any use to me or if I can be of any use to them.

In case you aren't familiar with OnHollywood it is a conference where cutting-edge technology CEOs from the back streets of Silicon Valley meet the Hollywood digital entertainment and media elite. It's a two day executive event that features high-level debates on the forces that are disrupting user behavior and creating new opportunities, content strategies and monetization schemes in the video, music, gaming, search, and mobile industries.

Two of the companies that have caught my eye are:

meez a site that lets you build 3-D experience.


Kaltura an open source video platform site.

I'll have to do a little more digging and kicking of the tires to let you know if they are super cool or not but right now they are on my list of sites to "kick the tires."

Monday, June 9, 2008

IHollywood Forum at the Roosevelt

So I'm out of the office today at the iHollywood Forum at the Roosevelt in Hollywood and the morning is filled with research and stats. Not my favorite thing about online video but hey someone's gotta do it.

There's talk about triggers in change of behavior and how the digital TV switch of next year will be a mover in that and some rumblings about the choking or throttling of bandwidth.

Charlene Li Principle Analyst for Forester and co-author of Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies talked about Kevin Rose and the whole HD-DVD Processing Key Social Networking. She said once you put something on the internet you can't take it back, "It's like trying to get pee out of a swimming pool."

Charlene also talked about Comcast and how the Comcast brand has been damaged by online social networking and how fans of Jericho sent 20,000 tons of peanuts to CBS to bring the fans back. It was a real recent history refresher course.

It's not about marketing anymore. It's about conversational marketing. Marketing is one way - yelling. There is no conversation.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Will a Viral Video Cause the UN to Listen to a 12 Year Old Girl?

In 1992 12 year old Severn Suzuki silenced the UN For 5 Minutes. Why didn't they listen to her back then?

Maybe as this video goes viral this week the world will listen.

Let's just hope it's not to late.

From Obscurity to New Media Hit: Creating a Successful Video Series from Conception to Selling Out (The Midwest Teen Sex Show Way)

The New Media Expo is the world's most popular convention for podcasters, bloggers and online content creators. If you are serious about online video it's an event that you shouldn't miss.

This is part of a weekly blog series that highlights a session or event happening at New Media Expo - hopefully enticing you to come join us online video content creators in Las Vegas August 14-16, 2008.

I was really surprised that The Midwest Teen Sex Show didn't win any Webby Awards but after I found out they didn't enter it made a little more sense. If you have not seen The Midwest Teen Sex Show I think you should check it out. Not that you need to learn anything about sex but you might pick up a few ideas about creating new video formats that work on the web.

One of the keys to having a successful online video series is creating something that your niche audience can't get on TV. The rest of what you need to know about creating a hit Internet Show you can learn from Guy Clark and Nikol Hasler of Midwest Teen Sex Show.
From Obscurity to New Media Hit: Creating a Successful Video Series from Conception to Selling Out (The Midwest Teen Sex Show)
Track 2: Attracting and Growing Your Audience
Instructor: Guy Clark and Nikol Hasler of Midwest Teen Sex Show
Description: The session will detail how to create a popular video show with no money and yet still deliver high production value. Starting with identifying a concept traditional media refuses to cover properly, attendees will learn how to create a studio in their mom's basement for $25. They will find out how an audience can be built virally without using fancy social networks. Attendees will learn how to gain press without a publicist or press release. They will also leave the session knowing how to side-step traditional advertising platforms like Google and successfully host their own text ads and negotiate equipment/studio needs in exchange for ad space. Having audience demographics helps advertising, but how do you get your viewers to fill out a marketing survey? Simple Promise them a must-see bonus episode for completing the survey. Finally I'll cover the pitfalls of "selling out" when your show gains enough attention to attract outside interests.
And, you might also want to Book your hotel now and get your free Expo Hall Pass before the price increase.

New Media Expo

Thursday, June 5, 2008

What New Online Video Formats Are Emerging?

In the 1930's and 40's people experimented with creating shows and ad models that would work to make money with the new technology called Television. Radio was king and all the top paid talent like Bob Hope worked on radio shows while new and undiscovered talent tried to hammer out new formats and business models for television.

Sound familiar?

As Television started to take hold radio programs migrated over to TV in the same formats they had been presented in radio but they experience wasn't as good as it was on radio.

Still sound familiar?

Soon new formats developed that took advantage of what Television had to offer and as more smart people from radio learned what worked and what didn't work on TV programs like Twilight Zone were produced and Television got better and better and audiences developed in critical mass. Then people made money. Lots of money.

My Damn Channel's You Suck at Photoshop recently won two Webby Awards - A People's Voice Award for Comedy Long Form or Series and one for HOW-TO AND DIY. You Suck at Photoshop should have won for Best New Online Video Format but I don't think that was a category...yet.

You Suck At Photoshop is a new online video format that breaks new ground by using old theater of the mind tricks from radio and a well crafted comedy subtext story. If you haven't seen You Suck at Photoshop don't be scared that you are going to see a "How To" on Photoshop even though they do cover valuable information about the photo manipulation software but that is not what this online video is about.

You Suck at Photoshop is a breakthrough comedy is presented as a "How To" screencast video series but what it really is, is a trip through the life of a designer who has lost his wife of seven years and is trying to cope with it by teaching Photoshop to strangers online.

You Suck at Photoshop is pure genius. I hope to meet the real "Fat Brian" sometime in the near future. Maybe at the New Media Expo in Las Vegas?

Do Old Popular Independent Websites Have Game?

Everyone wants in on the online video game. Movie Studios and Television networks are all trying to get a piece of the viral video game but do the old independent websites like FARK and College Humor that have been around for a while have a chance?

Watch World of Wifecraft and tell me what you think. Don't pull a Leroy Jenkins.

And check out Board Game Murder Mystery

See more funny videos at CollegeHumor

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Have You Created Any Online Training Videos?

Online videos are a great way to get the word out and train your staff. Training videos are more popular than ever. Even Chad Vader Day Shift Manager has gotten in on the action.

"Learn how to be a better Empire Market employee with Chad Vader's new series of training videos. This time around Chad shows you how to deal with a suspicious looking person (spy) in the produce dept. From Blame Society "

Monday, June 2, 2008

Are You Ready for the Real Video Revolution?

The 1960's brought about radical social change and since then we haven't had too many people willing to stick their necks on the line to bring about change.

Well, here are two online video guys that are all about change.

"The Internets Celebrities make short video essays. This has made them sort-of-famous on the Internets and has given them a cult-like following. Dallas Penn of DallasPenn.com and Rafi Kam of OhWord.com -- both well respected bloggers in their own right -- seek to uncover truths, and celebrate the urban culture along with director Casimir Nozkowski."

"The comedy that the Internet Celebrities create is derived from their earnestness to oppose what they consider injustice. Employing a limitless cultural vocabulary, their own self-proclaimed celebrity status and some good ole-fashioned fearlessness and charisma, the Internets Celebrities are the Woodward and Bernstein for the YouTube generation."

I think we are going to see more videos like these that will unearth hidden truths and bring about change. Although if Rafi and Dallas what to get some sponsorships from the man they may have to tone down their language a bit. Advertisers are too hip to the "F" word yet.