This week, I had the chance to experience B&H Photo Video BildExpo in New York. I was buzzing about the speakers they invited, especially those on the Creative Production Stage.
I’ve taken pages of notes, but I wanted to highlight some gems for my you, my LinkedIn connections, especially for those immersed in video production, YouTube, and IG Shorts.
Casey Neistat, a trailblazer in the realm of New Media filmmaking, shared insights into his motivations, and it’s clear it’s not about views, engagement, or money.
“Movies we appreciate for their artistic contributions, Academy Awards, never align with the movies most people pay to see. The film that changes anyone’s lives is not the one which makes the most money. I am not in it for the money either.”
“That’s why directors like Tarantino exist; do you think Tarantino is screening his film, looking for maximum engagement?”
Jenna Ezarik, a seasoned YouTuber, shared her wisdom on navigating the platform.
“My Biggest advice: Adapt, adjust, PIVOT.”
She emphasized the Four Pillars of being a Creator:
- Knowing your audience
She noted, “YouTube subscribers don’t matter; what matters is watch time.” Instead of the usual “please subscribe,” she suggests saying, “if you are interested.” And she ended with a stark reminder: “Burnout is real, and it is inevitable.”
Roberto Blake delved into monetization strategies for YouTube, emphasizing its significance as a search platform. “There are 5 billion searches a day on YouTube.” Some standout quotes:
“Successful YouTuber means 10K subscribers. 99% don’t get there.”
“When platforms compete, we win.”
“Macro transitions are gaining traction and a ‘small and dedicated’ audience can garner significant fan funding.”
During a Q&A, Blake’s advice for brands supporting creators was clear. “Encourage creators with regular communication, provide assets and campaign details, and highlight and amplify successful content.”
Adrian Per, one of the most talented story teller I came across Instagram Reels, @omgadrian, who was the main reason for my attendance to this event, unpacked the essence of his unique short story creation.
Regarding hooks, he emphasized, “Get to the premise immediately.” (For example) “today we are going to learn about sound design” “this is how you do sound design under $200”
For plot, “Point A to Point B isn’t a straight line.” And about pacing, “Don’t rush; if you run out of time, split it up.” About Hook “Get into the premise of video immediately. In his presentation he wrote “Do not waste any time. No CTA. No self promotion”
“Create moments within your story hat you can create tension, that is what keeps us entertained. That’s what makes us solve something.”
“Give the viewer an award. Lot of content creators make it about themselves. Think about it with viewer in mind. I guess you can plug a ‘follow me’ in that 90 seconds but if they like your story they gonna follow. That’s why, I don’t say “follow me””
He also gave us a fantastic tip: picking music before filming to guide the story’s delivery and tone.
Garrett Sammons shared invaluable insights about lighting, echoing a cinematography mantra: “Light spaces, not faces.” He emphasized tone and emotion as the guiding lights for camera decisions.
Brandon Washington, a videographer from Utah, remarked:
“The next generation of Hollywood is on YouTube today, honing their craft in ways prior DPs never could.”
A common thread? The importance of Thumbnails, Titles on YouTube and the care for Audio.
And of course, the sheer perseverance required to grow a community through video on social media.
Wrapping up this article with Casey Neistat’s wisdom:
“So the unsexy advice is that just put your head down and keep going. Don’t Quit your day job. Don’t YOLO this. Because it’s not going to work. You will fail. And if you are not prepared to fail instead then don’t start at all. You should prepare to put everything to it. If you are lucky, it might be a couple of years. If you’re not it might be a decade or so. If it takes you longer, you should be prepared for it.
There is an expectation, because the entry to barrier is so low, people expect it to happen overnight. Just because we can all jump in the swimming pool doesn’t mean we’re all going to swim. That’s the un-fun part… But fan part, fun part is finding your voice. Finding tenacity combined with your voice, it will combust. It explode. It just takes a little time.”