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Seeing You Tube for the first time... Again!

Greetings, gentle reader, I trust that all is well with you and yours.  Today's post is going to be a little bit different.  Instead of continuing to catch you up on the events that transpired during my absence from the Matthew 13 Blog, I thought I would share some recent thoughts I've had on DIY distribution.  Last week as I was roaming the Inter Web I came across a blog post by independent writer, director, Mike Vogel.  If you would like to read his post please feel free to do so, you can find it HERE.  But to sum up, Mike is exploring the idea of using You Tube as the primary platform to distribute his independent film.  Now, placing films on You Tube is certainly not a new idea for me, it was something that I had always planned on doing, but only as a last resort.  My thinking about You Tube was more along the lines of, "well, if all else fails, I can always put the movie up on You Tube... to die".

As I read Mike's post it changed my perspective quite a bit.  I've actually become excited about the idea of using You Tube as a platform to release a film.  I was so excited in fact that I did something I have never done before, I started a thread on a discussion board!  Okay, so maybe that isn't a life changing event, but baby steps, gentle reader, baby steps.  Having taken those baby steps, I thought I would share that ground breaking post here with you as well.  So without further a do, I would like to introduce you to the first ever discussion board thread started by yours truly.  Tah-Dah!!

As I stated briefly on the Frugal Filmmaker wall, when I first read this post by Mike Vogel I was very excited.  Mike makes some great points about You Tube that I had either forgotten, or taken for granted.  I agree with Mike that You Tube is an amazing way, if not the best way, for a small filmmaker to get their films before the eyeballs of an audience.  Some of the big pros are:

     No more time restrictions (uploading a feature as one clip is now possible for all)

     Transportability of the media (You Tube makes videos not only available to their audience, but you can post here on Facebook, My Space, a blog, in the comments of other blogs, send via email, almost any electronic forum can be used with a You Tube video)

     You Tube is also the most versatile video medium in terms of smart phones, tablets, game consoles, and internet enabled Blu-ray players and tvs.  If they do video, they do You Tube.

  Oh, and You Tube is free.

Put those things together and you have a pretty strong distribution platform that should be taken seriously and is very real for anyone looking to self distribute.

But, there are still some challenges to overcome.  My desire in discussing these challenges is to come up with some solutions to better inform those looking to use You Tube as a distribution platform, and help them be successful.

I don't have the answers, but I'm hoping that some good discussion might benefit all involved.

One big problem I've had on You Tube is getting discovered.  You Tube makes your content available to world, but there is also a world of content available.  There are plenty of videos on how to get "views", but those paradigms don't necessarily translate to longer content.  Which brings me to...

Most successful videos on You Tube are short, like three minutes or less.  As a matter of fact when trying to learn how to get views on You Tube, one of the most common pieces of advise is "keep your videos short".  Is there a way to market longer content?  

Do people watch movies on You Tube?  This is an important question.  I think people would be willing to, but I don't think that many do at this point.  As of this writing, the major motion picture "Ghost Rider" is available for free viewing on You Tube.  It has just over 15,000 views.  Don't get me wrong, I would love to get 15,000 views for my soon to be released no budget film, but 15,000 views is pretty small compared to successful artists who get hundreds of thousands of views daily just talking into their flip cam.  Regardless of how people might have received "Ghost Rider" it is a big budget movie with recognizable stars available to watch for free, and it has, relatively speaking, low traffic.  How does the indie filmmaker try and fix this?

Anyway, I've gone on long enough, I just wanted to express some ideas to get the ball rolling.  I hope there are some like minded people who are also interested in this idea, I look forward to the discussion.

So there you have it, my ideas and concerns about using You Tube to release an independent film.  I'm pretty excited about these ideas, but so far, it seems, I'm the only one.  So feel free to share and comment, gentle reader.  Let those ideas flow, and let's see if we can overcome some of the obstacles to becoming a real live, honest to goodness filmmaker, together.  And don't worry, when next we meet I will continue the tale of what happened as I pursued my "Big Break", until then may the path to your dreams be a straight one.


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