Step, step, trip.

After two productive and semi-harmonious weeks at work, today wasn’t a good day to get the week started.

I’m no expert with Microsoft’s IIS, I’m familiar, and at work I sometimes end up wearing other hats. So if I have issues with our server, I have to fix it.

The whole thing reminded me about being resilient.

It’s very important for artist to have resilience. Specially when it comes to internet trolls. When you start putting your work online for the public to see, you will start experiencing negative feedback.

Here is what you can do. Remember to focus on those who understand you vs those who don’t. Is not your job as an artist to reach out to those who are rejecting your ideas. Doing the opposite is going to distract you from your core audience.

Don’t go and turn off comments from your social media real estate. You have to continue engaging your audience. Tim Ferris uses the living room policy. Treat your comments as if they were not online, instead treat the commenting situation as a conversation in your living room. If someone was acting rude in your living room, you’d simply asked them to leave. And sometimes ignoring the ignorance will keep you focused and fade out the troller.

And most important, keep making content and stay focused. I allow myself a certain window of time for dealing with a conflict. My Monday might not be ruined, it just feels that way if I’m facing difficulty. But when I put a deadline, I’ll either accept the failure or reach a point when I’ll ignore the problem and move on to something else on my to-do list.

When a door closes, when you receive negative criticism, or simply when someone rejects your ideas, you will make a choice, that will turn the situation into a dead end or it will reroute you to something else. Trust your artistic sense and most importantly the universe.

What’s next?

So do you like the new design? I think this year, WordPress, got it right. This is the default template for 2014. In the past, the design wasn’t great, but this version really show the capabilities of modern browsers.
I’m gonna keep it for now. I’m focusing on what I’m going to be doing next with this blog. I’m gonna review more movies. Not new ones but old ones. This is something I have wanted to do for a very long time.
I also want to start taking more pictures and start driving my Flickr content to the blog.
More importantly I’m going to start blogging about my project, The Chauffeur.
That calls for a schedule, which means, I’m gonna post in different sections at different times and days.

But that’s what’s gonna happen. Abd hopefully more filming and more editing.

Facing Adversity

Working abroad has it’s own challenges. The most comment for me is language miscommunication. My english idioms don’t alway translate properly and viceversa. But in the end that’s simple. You ask for clarification, or you simplify your language to better illustrate your point.

But what about when you feel like you’re talking to a wall and the other party isn’t making the effort to understand. Take note of this one approach…

Investigate the Incentive
One time in the Czech Republic a buddy and I were left stranded in a small town. We hadn’t made it to Prague yet, but we had already run out of money. We needed to get some extra cash, but the term “ATM” didn’t translate. We stopped by a bar, and we make it clear we had no cash. We needed to get to an ATM. With our hand gestures and repetitive language, we illustrated the concept by taking out our card, sliding it next to a coaster holder, and pushing a small bill that we did have under. The bartender quickly figured out what we needed.. “Money Machine!” Yes!

The bartender had an incentive, for having paying customers. And we had plenty of time to kill until our next train. So it worked out.

When we are having creative discussions with other individuals, and things just don’t seem to click or there is a great deal of resistance. Don’t get mad at them. Start investigating their incentive. If they don’t see eye to eye with you, ask yourself why? Could it be there is no incentive for them to be part of the project?

Eventually you’ll find that most of the time it’s their ego. People don’t want to be embarrassed or up-staged and sometimes that is the cause of their resistance. Sometimes, their concept is completely different. Think, Catholics vs Evangelicals; Seth vs Jedi.

This kind of adversity you have to face on your own. It’s about not becoming discouraged with the fact that there is someone or a group of people who don’t see your vision. Use an exit strategy that is honest and dignifying. There never had to be bad blood between individuals because they didn’t see things your way. Allow yourself to step out of the situation in a graceful manner.

When I was in film school, there were a lot of personalities. And what I quickly realised what that the industry had a place for everybody. It was upto me to find the right place and choose where I wanted to fit in.

So then the next time you feel that it’s becoming an overwhelming task to get in sync with someone else. Be grateful for their perspective and remind yourself of YOUR vision.

Because if you became swayed by others, we can’t truly say, we’re are our own creative driving force.

If derailed, get back on track, refocus and stay determined.

Keep Making Content

This has been the longest since I posted on the blog. I keep wondering who is my audience. It should never be too hard to figure out. It’s you the creative ones. There is something important that I want to mention in this post. That is to keep making content. Self-esteem is undeniably one of the greater forces of life, we are either going to become empowered by it, or dragged down. Artist will face all sorts of obstacles in life. Negative reviews of your music, film or art work will always be there.

Living in Los Angeles, I think, is much easier to find a core group of people who will support you. We’re also more critical because we are all content creators. But recently being out here in Germany I think about those people who aren’t fortunate enough live in an artistic circle, like LA, NY, Berlin, etc.

It doesn’t matter. We all would be foolish to think that our scene is our limitation. With the power of the internet, we can choose where to live and where to do our business. I’m starting to find more like-minded people. Sometimes it takes a few weeks, sometimes a few months. The process can last even for years. But time is a wasting, if we don’t make the effort and aren’t open to hear what others people opinions are, we will stay stagnant and unable to make any progress.

The simple act of making the continuous effort is evidence that we have that determination. Keep focused. Stay on course. And most importantly, keep making content. New songs, new tracks, new films, everything.

Possessing determination

It’s interesting to me, when I learn something that is totally not expected. I think most of us try to seek the unknown. If you’re in your safe and comfort zone, you’re probably gonna  there. But for those who trek outside of that confort zone, the opportunity to discover awaits us.
This blog should be helping out artist. I definitely don’t want to waste your time. But most important, I want to be resourceful in what I present.

I’m thinking about switching the conversation from YouTube to SoundCloud. Simply because cause most of the new Twitter followers that I’vee been getting are musicans. So my question is, what do you need to figure out?

This blog isn’t about how to produce your music. I’m assuming you have already mastered that part. Now you need to get some spotlight in the digital realm.

Your collateral is your product. So it doesn’t help that you’re still working in your master piece, you have to posses the determination required to dedicate your time and focus for small amounts of time throughout the month or even weekly.

My First Formula
Here is what I do each Monday.

  • Utilize Buffer App to schedule posts on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Ensure IFTTT is still working.

Some of my social media is automated. Every time I like a picture on Instagram it automatically re-posts on my Tumblr.
What are you doing on a regular basis? Let’s figure out some new formulas that we can share with others.

Don’t forget to follow on Twitter @cowglow

Cheers

Mastering the Stress

Hello Creative Souls,

It’s been awhile since my last post. And I have no one else to blame but myself. It’s been busy at work of course, but I’ve been too tired to dedicate time to my blog. What’s the quick solution? TAKING ACTION! The solution should always be simple.

Today I want to talk about coping with stress. This topic will either connect with you or not. It’s a phenomenon to me, but sometimes we can all get into this tunnel vision mode and it inhibits us from learning. I think it’s natural, and most people turn around.

What is the challenge? Ask yourself if it’s out of your hands. Like the weather. No one can help it, so why let it ruin your day. When I first started working on a movie set, I would always see people freaking out. It ranged from zealous ADs that were just assholes to menstruating female PAs. Once in a while the crew would be made up of other veterans and we would always comment on the situation, but we kept it to ourselves.

“If there aren’t any bullets flying why are we freaking out?”

If it is in your scope, what can you do to right now to change it? Its been my experience that most of the time we know already what it is that we can do. We just don’t want to do it. We worry that the efforts won’t be noticed. But what’s is important is that it gets done. Remember that this day like any other will be over and the next one will start whether you like it or not. And when you really have a roadblock, take it as the Universe telling you to take a break. In that case most definitely enjoy it.

Chaos exists and its part of our world, so be in the moment and don’t get swept up in it. I’m from California, and one of the traits of surfers is that they go with the flow. I don’t surf but I can relate. I try to practice awareness, specially in a stressful situation. The more often you do it, the easier it will be to catch the trigger. Internally a red flag will pop up and you’ll be able remind yourself of the fact that no matter what we become and how much success we get, we are still all human beings who are emotional. So when someone is angry realize that they are just projecting. Flip the image and ask yourself why you would be acting this way if you were the angry one and the other person was you. Maybe this will help you get some perspective.

I leave you with this final thought, whatever the circumstances, focus your thoughts and energy like a laser, point it directly at your goal. Visualize yourself being successful and you will overcome any obstacle. Invest your energy in your creative endeavor and have fun, let a strong radiant vibration of positivity come out from within you every time you are faced with adversity.
Be strong, be creative and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter.

What are you doing with that YouTube Channel?

I’m not sure how I became obsessed with minimal function. But I can remember wanting to program less and do more. Thats why playforms like YouTube are great; it takes the task of building the infrastructure you need and it allows you more freedom to create content.
I will always suggest to get away from the bells and whistles because they don’t make your content better. In the case that your video sucks or your song isn’t a hit, having a pretty channel or website won’t fix it. Furthermore, instead of trying to tinker with the cosmetical elements, which takes away your focus from working at your craft, the content will be what your audience remembers. And that’s key to build your network.
It can be a dreadful time killer and quite unproductive.
With the One Channel Design on YouTube you can organize and get multiple ideas out there, so what are you doing with your channel. Come on, it’s time to get recognized!

Let the content evolve. Things get better with time. For insurance, this site, I’m new at this blogging thing and I’m not sure who is reading. But I’m focusing on the YouTube Channel owner. I want help musicians, bands and filmmakers who are still in their infant stage, because that’s where I’m at too. I’ve only produced a few items and I tinker in Ableton. But I know so much about web development and social media. So what I know I want to share with you. Send me a tweet!

Going Beyond Intellectual Property.

Movie magic is entertaining when you engage in it. I’ve heard some people express how they can’t enjoy magic because they know how the trick is done. Half of the times they don’t realized they aren’t engaging, and are simply disillusioned about the whole thing.

I think you have to be pretty miserable to have that kind of attitude. Even Penn & Teller who have the show, “Fool Us” enjoy the craft. And on the show, they are trying to solve the illusion.

This week I want to discuss intellectual property(IP). I have signed my fair share of Non-disclosures agreements (NDA). But I started thinking, what about film? Haven’t we  heard the phrase “Movie Magic” ? The IP in film could be the story it self. Hitchcock is someone we can learn this from. See, for him and many other filmmakers, books held a great deal of value. This is how Harry Potter, Twilight and Lord of the Rings have become big hits and valuable assets for their studios. When I was younger Dick Tracey and Batman where big blockbuster films, and now the same is happening as we witness the evolution of Marvel Studios. So we have books, comic books, but what happened to the screenplays and scripts?

Die Hard comes from the spec script side of the house. So there is value to scripts, but the big business has changed how we make movies. I shouldn’t say make, I should say develop film projects.

When you have nothing, you need to strive to have something, Intellectual Property! Have a story or have a script. Protect it; you can tweet me to find out how, and then develop it.

Start sharing a piece of the pie. If you can’t pay someone, be willing to share the property. This way you can leverage the deal. How foreign does this sound? Beware of the 51%, they want to hold control. But 35% is usually a decent amount for a willing partner. If you go any lower you might not get the effort you are looking for.

In the end, you will always do what you feel comfortable with, but realize these strategies that exist and can leverage your execution. And remember you should be collaborating, not working for other people. Even tho it can be very rewarding to volunteer without expecting any thing in return.

DO ART, DO YOU!

goodfellas

Goodfellas

Goodfellas
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Based on the book “Wise Guy” by Nicholas Pileggi
Screenplay Nicholas Pileggi & Martin Scorsese

 

Production & Post Production Audio

Motivating Sound
It’s interesting to me, to find that the opening credits of the movie are the names scrolling by. There is a whoosh that is implied the text creates as they speed of the screen. Seems to Film’s symbolic relation to sound. The layers of audio are mixed to create tension. The narration cues scene changes; they are both a device to tell the story and the cues for scene changes. This film also contains a great deal of creative Foley, various stabbing sounds, piercing the flesh, bullets exploding,

The introductory theme song that sets the mood is the incredible Tony Bennett, “Rags To Riches.” This song tells the story of an individual who goes from having nothing to being someone with money, power and status. This is the story of our main character, which initially is the narrator for the story, until the character of his wife is introduced. Her narration function in transition to the detour the film takes, as we move away from his point of view towards hers.

Sound Design
The music is utilized to create a sense of mood. Our character goes thru waves in status throughout this movie. From his excitement as a young boy getting the job as their runner. The empowering score sets the character building from the scene when our main younger version of our main character is setting off the Molotov bombs on the cars inside the parking lot; To the stressing times of our main couple’s marriage, cheating and deceitful lives. The end the story comes full cycle and then you have a great cult classic.

Non-Diegetic Narration
The story is initialized by the narration of Ray Liotta’s character, we hear him talk about the enabling circumstances of his child hood, the inciting incident of his job across the street, where we would later follow his interpretation of these mob characters which become part of his new family. There is something almost in-between a non-diegetic narration and the reflections that you know the character is making, as he is being exposed to these truths about the people that surround him. His wife in the other case, the character played by Lorraine Bracco, is a bit different, it’s not as interpersonal as you would think, her narration is more of her justification for the madness that she has been involved in. They loyalty speech when Liotta’s character beats the guy who tried to kiss Bracco’s character, and give her the gun to hide. This is the function of her narration thru out the movie, the blinded truth that she perceives that allows here to continue to think that this life style productive.

Kitchen Scene
Of course the most well known scene is the Steady-Cam scene thru the rear entrance of the restaurant. I would assume all key character were given lavalieres, it would have been the practical thing to do. When he takes his Bracco’s character and basically showing her the ropes of this life style is they are going into. Its symbolic too, they are going to dinner, which everyone does, but the way they do it, is private, it’s selected, it’s for members only.

There is an earlier scene that is worthy to bring up to attention. In thed scene where Joe Pesci’s character is telling the gang jokes, the Foley on that scene is filled with clanky sounds from dishes, silverware and water being poured. All thought to me it sounds more like that what you would hear from the busboy’s corner rather than from the restaurant Walla. This Foley track gets mixed down when Liotta’s character gets put on a spot for telling Pesci’s character that’s he’s a funny guy. “Funny how”, catches the attention of everyone and the clanky sounds seem to slow down. When Liotta’s character realized that it’s not as serious as it seems, an everyone laughs, the sound comes back in, and it’s business as usual.

Jail Scene
The other interesting scene is in the jail cell all the gangers share. There it is back to usual business. There is Foley for the cooking sounds, the items that are being taken out of a bag by Liotta’s character. This is also the same kind of Sound Design that we hear throughout the movie. Here is the normal mixing that seems to go along with the world they have created for them selves. There is also a scene there Lorraine Bracco’s character freaks out at Liotta for having his mistress come to meet him in jail. There is a great deal of Walla from the crowed room of inmates and their visitors. At one point Bracco’s character is screaming and there seems to be no interruption in sound. Symbolizing that this is the harsh reality. In this situation the music could not drown out the facts from life as it is, instead of life as they have made it.

Conclusion
There is this constant theme in this movie; of this world they have created, their lives in which they live in. Within this world they have their own version of justice, success and loyalty. These men have isolated them selves and are apart from the rest of the rules of society. This is similar to the Sound Design of the movie. Their background sound often feels non-diegetic, as if they were so out of tune from the real world that they have no genuine sounds. Their background are fabricated just like their lives, and most importantly the perspective which has been molded by their way of thinking. I think the song from Tony Bennett is the perfect tone for this amazing story of an non-Italian boy who went from Rags to Riches.

Batman

Batman Returns

Batman Returns
Director: Tim Burton
Cinematographers: Stefan Czapsky (D.P.) George D. Dodge (co-D.P.)

There are a ton of things that I love about this movie. In my opinion it has one of the coolest Art Direction of all the Batman Franchises. It could have been the fact the story is set at the dawn of a terrorizing Christmas, or the snow covered Gotham City, but this movie creates three layers of creativity. The first is in the re-imagination of the city in the holiday season, second is the underworld of the Penguin and third the high-rise world of Catwoman.

The movie is full of surprises. In this scene the audience first encounters Batman of in public. His first close range engagement with the enemy. While our damsel in distress Selina is being held by a terrorist clown, Batman comes to the rescue. This scene is about tactical superiority. Thus far in this motion picture we have seen Batman out-do all the members of the Red Triangle Gang. It has been evident that their lack of plan is what will be their failure. So when Batman fires his spear to the wall, the clown thinks he’s gotten lucky. When Batman pulls his zip cord and brings with him a slab of concrete to strike the back of the clown’s head, he is disabled.

Here we have an example from Tim Burton on how he likes to utilize the whole physical space. We can see the parallel in philosophy here with the aesthetics towards Cinematography and Art Direction. Tim Burton loves to create new worlds. We have that power thru motion pictures. And I enjoy films that take advantage of the suspension of disbelief. Because I can remember as a child how incredible it was to see a different perspective on life. Some might say that people do this to escape their current reality. But with this film I felt more as an exploration and discovery of something incredibly new. That is what the power of motion pictures.

Why I like this the most? It was the personification of Batman, a man who I chooses to be something greater than him self and contributes to the city. Since it seems Gotham is always plagued with terrorist adversaries. But the most important thing about his frame is that you get to see Batman in foreground, focused on his own primary objective while the madness of Gotham plays as a great backdrop to this moment of truth. Where the dramatic question is asked, “Will Batman be able to save the day?”, there is a bit drop of hope when the audience doubts as enforced by the Clown’s “You Missed”, but the dramatic question is answered when we see Batman come through in the end.

My intent is to work on highly stylized projects from the extravagant to the mundane, all film project require a good eye for detail and some attention to symbolism. With movies we can influence the world to dream and not just escape their current realities. Movies create the modern myths we learn to interpret life through. I want to make movies that are enjoyed by the masses.

Resources

IMDBPro: Batman Returns

http://pro.imdb.com/title/tt0103776/maindetails

IGN: Batman Returns’ Terrifying Clown #1

http://stars.ign.com/articles/958/958694p1.html

It’s time for a creative partition.

Lets talk about making an impact. Last month I switched the tires of my girlfriend’s car. Here in Germany we have two sets of tires; Winter and Summer.

Now, I can say, “I have experience changing tires”. In the Army I changed all kinds of tires for their vehicles. Switching the small tires from an Aygo was going to be a piece of cake.

I worked along side my girlfriend’s father, who is the one that usually does the switch. Since my German isn’t fully developed we tried our best to communicate while being mindful of safety. We also didn’t use hand tools, which I had assumed we would. Instead he pulled out an electric torque gun, which was entertaining to watch wind up to work. It made sense ans I didn’t mind using the foreign tool and learning something new.

The point I’m trying to make is that we need to distinguish the task and the process. I had already commited to swapping the tires. I had not expected to use this gadget. But sometimes our ego and pride can get in the way of learning and specially completing a task.

Think of your time with Social Media as a new productive tool. It shouldn’t suck you in, but it should get the job done. The most amateur mistake is to worry about design to the point that it becomes a distraction. Get your content out there and worry about presentation once you have time. I’m definitely not advocating mediocrity. You should have standards and definitely no distractions.

I recently saw this issue at work. Where we sacrificed functionality for content, which means we have to redo work. If you can’t scale from what you have, you will always be reinventing the wheel. Nobody likes that.

Best of luck people. Please share and comment. Tell me what you think, I’m not sure who is my audience.

How Bad Do You Want It?

Are you making the commitment?

Why do I even want to make a blog on how to improve your web presence, when mine isn’t that popular to begin with? I don’t have many followers, I’m not a big public figure and I’m getting into Blogging way late in the game. What I can offer is my experience. Around the start of 2000, I worked on a project that pre-dated the iPad concept. Later on, I worked on other networks that were ahead of what has now become Social Media. All that I have learned pertains to functionality. To be creative you have to know how the tools work.

I love @davidlynch, but you can’t teach someone how to come up with the same ideas as he does. That’s where the true artist exists. But there is a technical aspect to his films that CAN be taught, lighting, exposure, composition. That you can learn and you apply. This is one of the reason why I want to be able to give you basic guidelines of the technical, so you can experiment and simply create.

Artist, you must create.

I’m happy to know a mixture of amateur filmmakers and professionals. The output is different and you can tell in quality, but the underlining quality of these individuals is their passion for what they do. Like while I know various skilled musicians. I, myself, can play the guitar, but I don’t have the same passion as some of those who I know that do. In different times I’ve been inside studios with professionals who have their own taste and their own rhythm, this an almost magical aspect about the industry. While they are creating and expressing an emotion, I’m thinking about the business side of things. I think about the promotion; the audience to promote, the method of promotion and the budget. I focus on the planning and execution. But you, Artist, you must create.

One of the reasons why I focus on producing for Film is because of an interview of Jon Landau where he explains his relationship to James Cameron. I am interested in preserving the artistic quality and executing the business venture. And as far as I can tell this is more about collaboration. It takes chemistry, gut and a little bit of luck.

Discover. Connect. Deliver.

“No one can make it on their own.” You might have heard about that one. It’s true, Tim Ferris acknowledges how for many people having a library of self-help books or manuals is simply the representation of advice not taken. When I read the “The Rebel Rules” it initially sparked the interest of doing my own thing. But where I find myself troubled is when people aren’t willing to think outside the box. That’s only natural. We’re afraid of change, so to be truly creative you have to start harboring a culture of adventure. Discover a new world of possibilities! I’ve talked about fixing your YouTube channel, because I’m assuming that you got started on a channel, but got discouraged or distracted along the way. Hopefully the advice the I give you on this blog can guide you to connect with your audience or your goal. Because I believe we’ve passed this idea of the “Age of Information”, that concept simply lead us into the infrastructure that we have today. Cloud computing has really open new opportunities to how we live our lives. I believe that we’re at the gates of the “Age of Creativity”. And we need to ascend to a new level of humanity.

I think the biggest misconception individuals have is that they are not creative, that they can not do something. I’m in Germany, and the challenge of learning the language sometimes can be discouraging, but I try to visualize the possibility of not denying myself the opportunity to adapt to the language. It must be done, like climbing a hill. In the things that I’m passionate about, I take action and so should you. Determination is key too,  if you’re a musician, play your instrument, compose, write, do what ever it takes. If you’re a filmmaker, watch, write, film, but simply push forward. Make that calls you’re afraid to make and perform in front of strangers.

 

I would like to hear your thoughts on my Blog post, leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter!

YT_Channel-Template

It’s time for change!

My last blog entry might have been a bit too little, too late. Fact is, you have a few days until your YouTube Channel gets automatically switch to the One Channel Design. I’ve been reading up on the public’s take on this new change and of course like everything else, it’s mixed up. I’m not one to spend time debating what is good and what isn’t. Sometimes you have to take the initiative and sometimes you have to follow. The decision is completely  up to you. What I will suggest is that you don’t spend your time inside the debate. Actively listen, but take no part if there is work to be done. Your creative output is much more important than subscribing to a camp of opinion.

The lost of our nice custom background is nothing to cry over. There is a new template that you need to download and use if you are ready to migrate. I haven’t found any other accurate template, but if you know of know, leave a comment, I’m trying to build a community. The other thing I would suggest is to become part of the Creator Academy if you really want to take the next step at creating content for YouTube.

YT_Channel-Template

New Branding

There are a few features you should take notice immediately. The Dashboard is a great place to start.YT_Dashboard

  •  Video Manager – This portion of the YouTube Platform you’re already familiar with. One of the goals of the One Channel Design is to curate content to your audience. If you haven’t already done so, re-evaluate your channel videos and categorize them using playlists. The examp
    le of the Husband & Wife channel is still a basic example that you can refer to.
  • Channel Settings - Make sure all your settings are lit green, this is ensure that your account is in good standing. This is where you can set up  Monetization for your account. There are countless ways you can make money on YouTube, so definitely tap into the Ad Revenue that is offered.
  • Analytics – Probably the most detail section of all, which should be it’s own blog post. Leave a comment if you’d like to find out more.
  • Inbox – Still keep the same routine that I guesses on my last post. You should already start getting the hang of your new routine. This past week I received a video of a Cucumber Mint Juice Recipe . The production on my opinion was amateurish, but the effort was not. The best way to interact with your audience is by sending them suggestion of videos they might enjoy.

Channel Settings > InVideo Programming

YT_FeaturedChannel

The InVideo programming allow you to brand your channel’s video with your avatar. I choose the Top Left, but depending on your content you might want to select a different position. You can also set a video to be Featured. *Note this will only allow you to display one specific video.

If you have a web series that has multiple episodes, it’s better to program the sequential order in a Playlist.

Follow direction to upload your own channel avatar. *HINT: The suggested size is 800 x 800 pixels.

Be Prepared for Smooth Releases

In my last post, I suggested you pre-upload all your content as Unlisted. This will let you have the videos processed and optimized before your audience starts consuming it. In Husband & Wife, we had all episodes ready before we released them. Go to your Channel Settings and select Defaults, you can preset the Privacy  and Category. This way, when you start uploading your videos, you won’t have to set for each one. Remember it’s important to optimize your process, have a system and immediately get back to your craft. You’re a Musician, you’re a Filmmaker, not a YouTube Admin.

YT_Settings-Privacy

Make sure you spend some time to make the switch, and continue to be creative in your endeavor . I started a new job today, but I’m going to hold to my promise to provide my insights to your digital real-estate. I’ll keep it simple and to the point. Feel free to leave a comment, and ask questions. I’m more than happy to share what I might know.

YT_FeaturedEdit

Fix your YouTube Channel

Are you thinking about hosting a website to showcase your content? Do you have an audience or need to build one? Did you make a YouTube Channel that you’ve abandoned? And are you one of the lucky few who has not changed your YouTube Channel Design.

Then Don’t Click on These Button!

YT_NewDesign YT_NewDesignBanner

 

 

 

 

 

Well Maybe just not yet. Here is why…

Last Summer I launched a Web Series with Actor/Writer Andreas Wigand, but most recently YouTube changed their channel design. I personally still enjoy the old style because it has the simple components that you would need if you wanted to create a website. Husband & Wife was created by our own initiative. We had no source of funding that would help us with a Marketing Plan, for example, Build a Website. It was all from our pockets. I know that some artist have day jobs, and you have, if you want to be able to make ends meet. Maybe you’re lucky enough to set aside 10% and pool some money that can help you pay for web hosting, pay for ads, print material, and anything else that you might be able to use to promote your content. But consider what I want to share on this post.

Safe the hundred bucks that you would be paying for hosting and try to build a crowd from a social media platform. Since Facebook has gotten so sophisticated, I’ve even discouraged clients from starting a website. Specifically if they don’t have an audience. Let’s say you have a strong following of 1,000 people then you might be in the market for hosting, but I’d advice you start with a Newsletter if you don’t already have one.

YT_TabsIn the mean time, fix your YouTube Channel and utilize it well. HWSeries, has less than 40 subscribers. And that number has slowed down because Season 1 has ended. But we rely on our Facebook Fan Page to continue to build an audience.

The most common mistake that I see channels do, specially if they have content, is they leave the Always take subscribed user to the feed checked. This redirects your users to your feed, the comments you leave on other videos, the recent likes and uploads, but you want focus your audience to your content.

  • Click on your Channel Settings button (located below the search text field on YouTube)
  • Select the Tabs tab of the field and set your Default Tab to Featured.

For Husband & Wife, like I mentioned, we have one season, and we want you to watch all 5 episodes. So we choose the Blogger display so that we can show specifically all episodes from the show. Most recently I’ve been working with genetic.krew making music videos. Currently I’m working on the animation for the third video that I’ve made for him. I’m committed to doing one music video a month for him, and this one has presented itself as most challenging. But being an electronic producer his content is different than HWSeries. We use the Everything display to show his content in three different playlist or categories.

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So what I want you to get out of this post is that your focus should be to display your content to build an audience. You have to decide which display option you’re going to go with. Here you have two examples a Web Series or a Musician’s Content.

How Much Time Should You Spend On YouTube?

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Start by asking yourself how much content do you currently have, and how often are you putting out new content. Are you taking large breaks in between productions? or are you putting out content as fast as 5 Second Films or Epic Meal Time? Those are successful YouTube Channels that have already moved on to the new phase of YouTube.

But your abandoned channel that you set up years ago, but haven’t dedicated anytime, needs to be updated!! It’s a social media platform that you can continue to build on. Some individuals I know are all about starting fresh. But the new YouTube Channel Design is really for those who are pumping out content on the regular. You need to play “Catch-Up”

Social Media is about being engaged, it’s about being active. But you’re probably focusing your time on something else that’s more important to your creative output. If you’re a filmmaker, you’re out filming, if you’re a musician, you’re in the studio recording. What ever it is, your YouTube Channel should only take about 1 hour a week of your time.

Constancy  is most important for creators. So you need to continue doing what you’re doing and stop neglecting the tools that are at your disposal. Keep your mind occupied with your craft and spend some time on your Social Media Platform. Here is a basic check list of how your routine should go.

  • Start with your Inbox. You want to spend time reading the comments and messages you are getting from your audience.
  • Upload videos with Privacy. Utilize this feature to pre-upload content, then release it in a timely fashion, for example, HWSeries uploaded all of our videos first and sequentially released a new episode every week.
  • Spend sometime reviewing your subscriptions. Don’t just output content, engage with other channels. Like videos and Comment on them. Remember I already showed you how not to take your audience to your feed. Commenting and Liking content is how you spend time on the YouTube Platform. Your goal should still remain to showcase your content. So when people click on your name from a comment, they will see what you’re about, not what you’ve been up to.
  • Update Your Audience. Bring everything back full circle! Make sure you are letting everyone else know what you’re doing. Do you have an email list? This is the time to remind everyone what you’re doing. Or simply add the update to your newsletter and then send it on it’s regular schedule.

These should be basic building blocks to get you to build a routine for your channel.

Let’s Organize Your Content!

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YT_FeaturedPlaylistLet’s start looking at how you can categorize your content. In the old and new YouTube Channel Design you have the option to display Featured Playlists. This is a great opportunity to organize your content. The Featured Video should be the center piece of your channel. You can manually change the video every week when you sit down during your block of time or you can simply set the Most Recent Video In Featured Set. If you’re always uploading new content, this might just be right for you. But if you’ve made a piece that you want remain on top, like HWSeries’s Sizzle Reel, then be specific.

The Featured Playlists show case 5 categories we have on the HWSeries Channel. Sometimes you have BTS (Behind The Scenes) footage that doesn’t need to be categorized with your main episodes. Maybe you have multiple shows and your Channel acts as an umbrella for your orignal Content. HWSeries has Cast Interviews and Director’s Interviews. The Dubworxx Channel has Music Videos, Released Tunes and Music Clips for unreleased tracks. My Personal Channel has the new Channel Design, and this concept of Categorizing is more effective with mass content. I try to keep things simple, Popular UploadsPlaylists. Since I’ve been collecting content over the years, the only two featured playlists that I have is one that I made for Husband & Wife and the other of my Army Iraq Tour. 

It’s simple to Organize your playlist once you have Categorized your content. The two functions you need to be aware of are the Drag Box and Circle X. In the new YouTube Channel Design it’s two arrows Up Down and the edit button depicted by a Pencil.

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You can now start getting creative with your Playlist and realize you can make playlist from other people’s content. Maybe you’re a performer and an active YouTube Channel has some footage of you or your band; make  that video a part of your playlist. Select the Add To tab when viewing a video and designate the proper location. *Make sure you’re on the correct Channel, incase you’re managing multiple Channels like me.

Conclusion

So I’ve already told you that you need to display your content to build an audience. I’ve suggested you spend about an 1 hour a week initially to run your channel. You should be focusing on creating content. And remember to spend some time on other people’s channels. Make your YouTube Channel pretty and let it be a platform for content. Same that money on hosting. And put it towards an expense that is directly from your craft. If you’re a guitar player, buy new strings. If you’re a filmmaker, spend it on production. Don’t think that hosting a website is going to propel you to the next step, your content as an artist will. Best of luck, and keep creating!

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Hello New World!

One thing that I love are music videos. When I finished my time in the U.S. Army I took my GI Bill money and headed for Hollywood to learn about filmmaking. I had already started working on a YouTube channel where I posted some videos from my deployment. It lend it self to be a nice creative outlet during those trying times. And since then I’ve continued to add more videos.

AND I love Film, but to be honest what I was doing back then was just videos. As I learned, Cinema has a craft which isn’t 100% the same for music videos. For starters music videos can be a much smaller effort. Even the Michael Jackson videos or the most recent 30 seconds to mars music videos aren’t executed the same way as a DePalma or Scorsese Film.

Back in Los Angeles I know a whole lot of musicians. Friends whom I wanted to make music videos for. The challenge was funding for these projects. I quickly realized that if these musicians could monetize their music via CDBaby or iTunes, they could have the money necessary for their video production.

The solution was in my past. The internet has changed and so have I. All if the sudden platforms like WordPress and Facebook allowed the non programmers to achieve what once was only capable by knowledgeable people. My Web development experience was on large scale projects, multimillion dollar projects!

I have to figure out a way to educate my musician friends, but not in programming, now in this New World we use Social Media platforms. Even that can be costly! But now more than ever musicians have the ability to gain leverage over the old institutions of Major Record Labels.

So here is my proposition, I will dedicate some of my time to try and illustrate concepts that can be useful for musicians and young filmmakers who are striving to shift the pendulum and get to the next step. Hopefully we can develop a program that can be the foundation to a successful career in the arts.

Follow on twitter and feel free to ask anything you would like.

Enjoy

Creative Consulting since 2000.