Sprizzy. Does it work?

Yes.

Thanks for reading.

Just kidding … so backstory, I’m in no way paid by Sprizzy or really give two shits about them. I paid them 110 USD to drive a bit of traffic to one of my videos to see what the effects would be on my newly budding travel channel TravelClast (please go subscribe;) – this is my personal, honest interaction with Sprizzy. Spoilers ahead.

WHAT IS SPRIZZY?

I found Sprizzy through this thing called Google and did a bit of poking around on Reddit and other trustworthy news sources to see if it was worth my hard earned cash. Honestly it was 50/50 on it’s legitimacy, but decided to give it a try.

The interface is simple as pie, as it should be if you’re paying a company to watch your video. You can select a few different targets, like if you want more subscribers, more views, or more likes. Not sure how they target this, but it made me feel good, like drinking a green juice after a long night of boozing.

THE TEST.

I selected one video from my list, one that had a bit more natural appeal then the others, to see if Sprizzy could take it to the next level. Their whole deal is that they analytically test your video first to see where best to promote (advertize) it, which helps generate real views/likes/subs.

THE RESULTS.

The first day was promising, and not. I got hundreds more views and 7 lovely comments that were kinda in English. I didn’t have a lot of faith that this was legit, but by the second and third day the comments trailed off but the views kept increasing, as did a few new subs. Checking the retention time of the video it looked like these were actually people, since they would watch nearly the whole video and click away before the end.

SHOULD YOU USE IT?

In the end I got 5k new views, and 20 more likes and subs. If that is worth 100 bucks to you then that is what it is. On a personal note, I’m passionate about making fun media, and really do it just for the pleasure of making it. Would I love to have millions of views and subsist solely off of traveling and filming me eating things? Sure. Really though I’m always looking for ways to get my content in front of people who would enjoy it, which is something Sprizzy seemed to actually do, through some sort of “analysis”. In the end, yes, it works, and was relatively painless.

 

 

Kids see a drone for the first time.

This was taken a few years ago when drones just hit the market and I was working on a documentary in a small village named Anuk Lang. There is no electricity, no TV, no internet, and no real connection to the modern world there, so when I brought out this little drone the kids went absolutely bonkers. They never had seen a cell phone let alone a flying quad copter. The look on their faces are priceless, and reflect the pure beauty this extraordinary country offers.

This is by far my most popular drone film, the (longer) original version
Vimeo https://vimeo.com/82292117 – but we wanted to share this rare view of Cambodia’s lush back country with you today, which we find absolutely stunning. You can read more about it on this Huffington Post article

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/drone-documentary-cambodia_n_4957251

If you want some tips on best settings and color correcting drone footage check this out:

https://cineclast.com/2015/01/04/best-settings-for-perfect-drone-footage-me-thinks/

And if you dig this film please like and Subscribe … we’ll be bringing you NEW CONTENT EACH DAY so count on us;)

Much love,

TC

JOIN THE CLAST!
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/travelclast
Instagram: @TravelClast
Twitter: @ClastTravel
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TravelClast
Blog: http://www.cineclast.com

GEAR:
Drone: DJI Mavic https://goo.gl/jLa257
Camera: Sony A7rIII https://goo.gl/ijE1vZ
B Cam: Sony a6300 https://goo.gl/cs7AJm
Art Lens: 25mm CCTV f1.4 https://goo.gl/EgZShq
360 Camera: Samsung Gear 360 https://goo.gl/1jsfn8
Mic: Zoom H6 https://goo.gl/Gani8E
Lavs: Sony UWPD16 https://goo.gl/LXpHyg
Tripod: Manfrotto 390 https://goo.gl/6PzxBv

How to become YouTube Famous. (In 13 steps)

It’s time to become YouTube famous. I feel like I’m the last person on Earth who isn’t.

How do you become YouTube famous? Well, there are A LOT of ways people suggest to do it, so I went through the top 20 most popular articles and combined them ALL in one place, like a cheat sheet, mainly because there are A LOT of steps, and I’m lazy.

So here we go, the ultimate guide to becoming YouTube famous (in 13 steps).

  1. Keywords: Hop over to Google’s Keyword planner tool and Google Trends and KeywordTool.io and TubeBuddy to see what keywords are hot, and stay clear of long-tail keywords.
  2. Transcript: Uploading a transcript of your video will give Google more context to index your video, driving more search power to you.
  3. Share: share your video 3 times A WEEK on social media (and aggregators like Reddit and Scoop.it), and after 1 week, write a blog post about your video and then share that post.
  4. Call to action: add CTA buttons to the end of your videos that link to a playlist instead of a single video. Just add &list=”youtube playlist ID”  For example: your normal video URL looks like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkxeqomggF4 You need to modify it and add the playlist ID like so: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkxeqomggF4&list=PL3Ikn3SKdJHh3ydUUZpusjBVgt3PTPmeH
  5. Subscribe Watermark: Instead of uploading a watermark of your logo, upload a subscribe icon as your watermark so it’s on the screen, discreetly, all the time.  Located in Creator Studio > Channel > Branding
  6. Check your stats: Each week check your video stats to see where viewers are leaving your videos. Add a YouTube card at that time code inviting viewers to watch different content on your channel to help retain viewers.
  7. Branding: Brand your content and channel consistently. Use branded thumbnails. Here are some tools to help you.
  8. Add featured channels: parter with other YouTube Content creators. Click Modules > Other channels > Save changes – Then add a few like-minded channels and save.
  9. Keep “related channels” on: this will keep you in the YouTube recommended network of channels.
  10. Link your website: go to Creator Studio, then hit the channel settings link to add your blog or website URL, and hit link your associated website.
  11. Interact: Ask questions for your audience, like other videos, leave comments.
  12. Sub Confirmation: when linking to your YouTube Channel add “?sub_confirmation=1” to the end of your URL. This will prompt the viewer to subscribe immediately upon clicking the link.
  13. Consistency: Post once a week, Thursday, at 2pm, for a year, at a time when your demographic of viewers typically consume your type of video (check other similar channels to see when this is) – check your analytics monthly, and adjust your release time to 3 hours before your peak time.

I’m not going to mention you have to make good content, or how to make good content, or any of that business because that’s like telling someone in order to learn how to swim you have to get wet.

I hope this helps you guys… as I attempt to build an audience for my new Travel Channel venture The Travel Agency, it was interesting boiling down all these different articles into a concise list of “how to get YouTube famous”. Good luck and see you online!

 

 

How To Get a Vimeo Staff Pick.

 

So clickbait, amirite?

This essay isn’t really about how to get a Vimeo Staff Pick. I am fortunate to have a couple of my films to have been showcased on Vimeo’s Parthenon of special Staff Picks, but I couldn’t tell you a recipe on how secure your acceptance. Besides, other people have offered their advice on the subject, so why add to the noise.

What I do want to discuss is why some of my films become Staff Picks, and other’s perhaps not.

I have upward of 600 films on Vimeo. Each unique pieces of work, a mixture of client driven and personal projects. Somewhere along the way I left the ranks of an office worker and dedicated my full-time to being a filmmaker. I say filmmaker because I direct, shoot, and edit. It’s totally consuming, and even when I’m not “working” I’m still working. Like they say however, if you do what you love, you never work a day in your life. That is true.

Even though I have some compelling work with famous athletes or well-known actors or insane SFX, there are a few films that really resonated with the Vimeo staff. What I find interesting is that they are all projects I did on my own dime, with my own crew, and were totally self-produced. I think this is an important point for any filmmaker.

This last film, “Heretic” is a short documentary about Douglas Little. Douglas is an amazing guy; he’s one of the creative visual geniuses behind sleep no more, an award-winning designer, but what put him on my radar was actually my girlfriend. She forwarded me an article about this guy who makes personalized perfume in his baroque upper west side apartment. He sounded absolutely mad, and I really wanted to meet him.

So I wrote him an email.

I basically said I was a filmmaker, and make short docs about people I find interesting. I asked if he would be interested in shooting a short doc in his apartment. He said yes.

I’ll pause here for a second to explain why these short docs are so important to me. I love narrative work, both commercially and otherwise. Docs though hold a special place in my heart. Living in a city like New York you are literally surrounded by people whose stories are always as or more interesting than most narratives. These are real people, who are your neighbors, your office mates, your friends even. Their stories are already written and all you need to do is record them. For me the short doc is an easy day at the filmmaking gym; just bring your gear and work it out.

For Douglas, along for others I’ve done, I like to keep the crew real small. Just 3 or 4 people. Maybe two lights if any. Good sound. It makes it fast and easy to move around, and easy on the subject too. I’m sure Douglas was open to having 5 people in his living room instead of a crew of a dozen.

I also move fast and cover everything. I have a set list of questions, but really just want to have a conversation with my subject. I find out what’s interesting about them on the spot. What’s fantastic is there is no consequence; there is no client, no one paying you, so it really doesn’t matter if you get something or not, you’re there to experience someone and no more. It’s the going commando of filmmaking and it’s amazing.

Finally you must have fun with it. The crew I roll with is all other filmmakers and shooters. Since there is no client it become professional playtime, meaning we get to use all the toys we never do on paid sets because we’re not exactly sure what they will do. Russian anamorphic glass you bought on-line, a weird 360 camera you want to cut your teeth on, even an old 8mm film camera you found at your grandparents. We get weird, really weird with it, and it makes for some very interesting footage. Weird angles, strange lighting, you name it, the weirder the better. Leave it to the editor to figure out.

That’s me also. I love and hate editing like most editors do. When it’s tedious, it’s life sucking, but when its good, it’s mind-blowing. When I do a personal project like this because there is no consequence to anything we’re doing, it becomes extremely enjoyable. I make some editorial decisions that are frankly horrible and I love it.

In the end what happens is a few things. You get to meet someone who is very interesting. You get to learn and invent new techniques and gear, and you get to try something new in post that may or may not make sense. It’s basically the Jackson Pollock style of filmmaking; throw it against the canvas and see what sticks.

Now I’m sure some people will say that a planned line of attack is a much better use of a filmmakers time, and yes, there is a time and place for that. However if you consider that it takes half a day to shoot, and maybe a week to edit one of these films, it really isn’t that much of a risk.

The result has always been rewarding, not just from accolades, but from the experience of meeting new people and working with my core crew. One film we did together about master mechanic Peter Boggia went on to win a few great festivals and even brought Peter and I over to Italy for a month-long, once-in-a-lifetime motorcycle trip. This latest film about Douglas has spurred a bunch of new work from new clients, which I wouldn’t have even know how to approach otherwise. What I’m saying is that while paid work is great, it’s usually the personal projects that stand out, and often get the new work knocking at your door. What’s more it doesn’t really cost anything to produce, other than some lunch for your friends.

So how do you get a Vimeo Staff Pick? No idea, but if you know please tell me. In the meantime just email someone interesting, grab a camera and a friend, and go make a short doc, you won’t be disappointed.

Rs

Roberto Serrini is a professional Filmmaker who records his adventures in word, photography and film. He is a staff writer for Get Lost Magazine, a senior contributor to Trip Advisor, as well as a commercial film director and drone pilot. His work can be seen at www.robertoserrini.com where he can be contacted as well.