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One of our current producing projects is FullTimeDEVILS, Fremantle Media Interactive’s YouTube channel for Manchester United fans. Football vlogging is fairly new on YouTube (as indeed is football on YouTube as a whole), but the success of channels such as The Redmen TV and ArsenalFan TV demonstrates that there is a market for fan-centric content, certainly for clubs with large fanbases. The challenge for channels such as this is how to create engaging content without any official assets; if you’re doing things by the book, match footage, Premier League images and even club badges are all off limits. Another hurdle to overcome is the fact that unlike most channels on YouTube, it doesn’t always pay to collaborate with channels in the same area; we’ve worked with both The Redmen TV and Arsenal Fan TV and although it’s interesting to have an opposition fan’s perspective on matters, the simple fact is that a Liverpool fan isn’t going to subscribe to a Manchester United channel. This said, after only 6 months we’re now firmly established within the YouTube/football community, and can claim to be the largest Manchester United fan channel on the platform.
We’ll be writing in more depth about YouTube as the site finds its feet again, but in the meantime don’t hesitate to leave a comment or drop us a line if you have any YouTube-related enquiries.
In 2012 we were proud to help launch Copa90, one of the first European funded ‘Original’ channels on YouTube. Produced out of Bigballs Films, Copa is a youth-oriented football channel aiming to celebrate the beautiful game from a fresh angle, featuring entertainment formats, short-form documentaries, gaming strands and more. Working with Bigballs for the first few months of the project, Resolution Square helped run the production team and was central in the development of several early formats. A year on and Copa has established itself as one of the major players within the digital football community and is certainly a channel to watch for the future.
Due to my commitments on GoalMouth and also to the fact that he’s got more staff now, I haven’t done much for Sheephead at FATV recently. In fact those who knew Channelbee will be happy to hear that Joe’s not only got Jon Dyson but also Tony ‘the Hammer’ Watson on board now which is great news as he’s a top bloke who knows his football even if you can’t understand what he’s saying most of the time. So naturally I was happy to get the call to do a day with the team up at Wembley covering for Dyson who was on U21 duty.
FATV seem to be growing as an operation and now have tv giants Endemol behind them so I fully expect them to go from strength to strength; think of the assets they have at their disposal (England players/footage, FA Cup) and the huge fanbase (pretty much anyone who’s interested in football) and you can see I’m hardly going out on a limb there. Joe and his team have the access, they have the creative experience and vitally they have the trust of the hierarchy at the FA and the end result is a great example of what branded content should be; it engages the audience whilst promoting the product. They’re not taking it easy either; on Saturday at various times I think I counted 8 pieces in production. That’s a lesson to any brands seeking to get into video; one glossily produced corporate or brand promo does not a digital audience make, unless you get lucky with one of those elusive ‘virals’. In my humble opinion little and often is the key to building brand awareness and eventually loyalty through video.
8 pieces on the go in one day also meant I was in for a pretty full-on day’s graft. First up was a 3 camera acoustic set and interview featuring Brother, hosted by ESPN’s Richard Lenton. Lighting conditions weren’t ideal and it was a fast turnaround in edit so it’s pretty rough and ready but we prioritised getting the piece out before kickoff rather than making it look and sound prettier:
Channelbee trivia point about Richard Lenton: he appeared as a guest in the original pilot show for the project. Back then he worked at Sky but not on camera, and came to us with a brilliant clip he had of him when he blagged his way onto an African channel as a presenter during the World Cup. During one game his co-presenter was caught short whilst he was on air…cue a lot of jiggling in his seat and an eventual panic dash off camera whilst Richard tried to hold the fort. Wish I could find the clip on YouTube…
Back to Wembley, and Brother duly edited and uploaded, next job was pitchside to pick up whatever I could for a low angle perspective on the game. I may have been 10 feet away from the Swiss keeper but I can tell you, crouched behind the goal isn’t the way to watch football. Stuck without a stool, hunched over a tripod just high enough to peek over the hoarding but low enough not to attract the wrath of the fans in Row A, sweltering under the mid-afternoon sun wrestling with temperamental kit…so I couldn’t tell you how we played but it was certainly a buzz. Then a mad dash into the tunnel for half-time, a desperate swap of cameras and off out onto the pitch with the England Women’s team for their official send off to the World Cup. Back into the tunnel for interviews with some of the Women’s team, back pitchside for midway through the second half, another mad dash upstairs after full time and another hurried edit to get the pitchside cut up on the site for 10pm. Again, priority for the edit was to get it up as soon as possible rather than creating a masterpiece, but I think it’s always interesting to view action from a different angle and here it is:
Today I edited the interviews with the Women’s team so that’s up now:
A pretty full-on day but as I say, I really believe in what FATV are doing and it’s a pleasure to put the hours in with them. Looks like I could be heading out to Germany to be the videographer for the Women’s team at the World Cup which if it happens would be a real honour.
Sorry to break the silence with news of someone else’s work, but this has just been tweeted by Mike Butcher of TechCrunch Europe, and it’s the best thing I’ve seen in blummin’ ages.
According to The Daily What, Newsweek recently declared Grand Rapids, Michigan, one of USA’s ‘Dying Cities’. Understandably the good people of Grand Rapids weren’t overly happy with that so they decided to do something about it. Something positive. What resulted was this astonishing video. Now I’m no fan of lip synching videos; I think they’re one rung below cats playing the piano, but they clearly do it for some people. But this is a lip synch with a difference. Watch this, marvel at the preparation involved and then imagine trying to get your town to do the same. Then imagine the pressure of filming it, and the discipline involved.
Go on, watch it to the end of the song; you’ll thank me for it.
PS I’ve been taking another break from the site because of my involvement with GoalMouth but I’m back on it now so more to follow shortly…
As I intend to devote more of my time to the site this year I’ll hopefully be posting up more video content. Admittedly at the moment I’m only making content for other people so some of it may not be to everyone’s taste but I’m building up my Vimeo and YouTube channels where I’ll be hosting a lot of the vids I’m making (apart from the tv show; you’ll have to watch that on the old skool box in the first instance).
If you’re not familiar with Vimeo, I’d describe it as a more discerning YouTube. You won’t get as many cats playing the piano or fat blokes miming to Europop but it’s the film-makers’ choice mainly because it treats its source video with more respect; basically your videos look better after uploading. There’s also an option which lets subscribers offer their videos for download if they choose to which is handy for various reasons. As for YouTube…well it’s YouTube. I’m putting videos there because there’s always a chance that something will fly completely at random and any publicity is good publicity; my ‘No Trousers’ video from last week has already been viewed over 6000 times which is a bonus:
On my YouTube channel as well as uploading new videos I’m trying to locate some of my old work (especially from Channelbee) which has been uploaded to other people’s channels and these are in the Portfolio section in the right hand sidebar. If it’s there I’ve either shot, edited, directed or appeared in it; if you need to know which just drop me a line. There’s a varying quality because the videos span a few years and therefore (hopefully) a steady improvement, but if you’re a prospective client I’d suggest checking out my Vimeo channel instead which is more relevant to you.
I’m not obsessed by subscriber numbers, likes or comments but do get involved if you feel the need; I’d be grateful (assuming your feedback is positive).
Channelbee viewers…I did save quite a few things before we left the building so I may upload some of them in the coming weeks. For obvious reasons I’m still debating as to whether to upload the never before seen shoot where I took salvia on camera as an experiment!
I’m not overly set on the YouTube design at the moment but again it’s something I’m sure I’ll tinker with in due course. Hopefully if I start picking up enough hits I’ll unlock more flexibility in the design options.
So take a look around and drop me a line if you have any questions!
One of the ironies of Twitter has been that the more successful it has become, the more users have turned to third party applications (Tweetdeck, Ubertwitter etc) to run their Twitterverse, the general feeling being that although we love the micro-blogging concept, the host platform itself hasn’t offered us much to keep us there.
As they now look to make their millions (and deservedly so) from their efforts, Twitter Towers have clearly decided that one of the ways they’re going to do that is by encouraging us to spend more time on their site and not on others. So the new Twitter started rolling out last night. No idea how long it’s going to take to reach us all but when it arrives, it promises us a far more integrated experience. We’ll be able to embed videos and images with ease (they’ve signed partnerships with many of the multimedia hosters such as Flickr, TwitPic, YouTube etc) and there’s the addition of a second ‘details’ pane which will offer either a user profile or additional info relating to a tweet (@ replies, geo-tagging, other tweets by the user etc).
It’s definitely a step forward but I’m unlikely to abandon TweetDeck because I find their column set-up perfect for following certain users and tags. I want to know less about a particular tweet and more about tweets in a wider context. But as my new mantra is ‘change is good’ I’ll give it a go when it finally reaches Carshalton.
Here’s Twitter’s official explanation of it all which seems pretty clear, and their explanatory video which doesn’t really explain much, least of all why they’ve edited it like this:
I may or may not make a habit of blogging great vids I’ve seen or have been sent but this is so good it had to go up. Thanks to Sheephead for sending this through; I’m sure we all know someone like this (no names) or perhaps even recognise it in ourselves?
Have you seen this superb new interactive Tipp-Ex online ad? I won’t spoil the fun, I’ll leave you to discover what you can do with it so have fun finding all the different combinations of things you can do with the bear…
Just goes to show that with a bit of thought, a decent coder and presumably the help of YouTube, you can produce something a lot more engaging than a linear video. Will it persuade me to buy Tipp-Ex? No, I’ve got a backspace key now. But it’s gone a long way to putting the brand name back out there in the blogosphere and beyond…