Taking a YouTube Show into the Real World

youtube Nov 22, 2010

This post is about 2 months late, but the launch of Season 2 of Hilah Cooking has completely overwhelmed my world. Things are going really well with the show and as we approach our one-year anniversary we have managed to hit all the milestones I put into the original crazy “business plan.” From the very beginning, I wanted to do some kind of “live” event.

 

There were a few reasons for this:

  • We wanted to thank our viewers. We have a seriously awesome audience and we thought a cool party with free food and drink would be a great way to say thanks for supporting what we’re doing. But even more than that, we wanted to meet some of the people we’ve been corresponding with via email and blog comments.
  • Real world event = added legitimacy. When everything is on a computer screen, it’s easy to forget that a web project is something real. We saw the event as a way of publicly telling everybody that we are serious about what...
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How To Build an Audience

youtube Jul 07, 2010

Since launching Hilah Cooking a little over 6 months ago, we’ve built up what I consider to be a pretty impressive audience. The numbers aren’t astronomical, but we definitely have a group of avid viewers who are very engaged in the show. They really do make the recipes at home and send the videos to their friends. The numbers are growing at a slow but steady pace. For our first few episodes we were happy if we just hit 100 views, but now 3,500 is our baseline for a successful episode and we are always inching that benchmark forward.

As our Facebook following and YouTube subscriber counts have started to grow, I’ve had a lot of people ask me about how to build an audience for their web series. Keep in mind, I’ve only been doing this for 6 months and definitely don’t consider myself an expert. In this post, I’ll be talking about web series and not one-off videos. Everybody still holds on to the dream of producing a video that’s so...

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How To Make a Web Series: The Gear

youtube May 27, 2010

The #1 question people ask me about Hilah Cooking is what kind of gear we use. Since I am a behind-the-scenes guy, I get all the tech questions from camera and filmmaker geeks. (Hilah gets the fun questions about food and cocktails and girl stuff.)

Usually, I hesitate to go into too much detail about our gear because our setup is so low-budget, but also because I am a huge believer in using what you can get your hands on. Filmmakers and photographers are notoriously geeky when it comes to gear. It’s easy to waste incredible amounts of time reading camera forums instead of actually producing anything. I have been personally guilty of this. But, if I’m going to do a series on how to make a web show, I should probably start with the gear.

When we conceived the idea for Hilah Cooking, I was unemployed and almost homeless and neither of us had any cash to invest in the show. We decided to scrape together whatever we could and start producing episodes...

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2009 Wrap Up

life Jan 02, 2010

I guess it’s kind of customary for people to write a year-end wrap-up. I’ll do my best, but 2009 was an incredibly strange year for me. I feel like I accumulated at least 5 years worth of life experience in the past 12 months.


Last day of the Austin shoot. (Photo by Liz McCormick)

The first few months of the year were spent on pre-production for The Spider Babies. Script polishes, storyboards, schedules, costume design, casting, production design, location scouting, etc. Regardless of how things eventually turned out, I remain incredibly proud of the team we were able to put together for this project. The cast, crew and creative team were all top-notch. It was truly my dream team.


Shooting at the Scoot Inn in Austin, TX. (Photo by Kyle Terry)

However, early in the year we began suffering a series of setbacks that started with our leading man getting hit by a car and culminated in losing the warehouse where we were going to build all the sets a few...

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Making THE SPIDER BABIES (Part One)

making movies Jul 31, 2009

This is Part 1 of a series and it is going to be longer than I had intended. You’ve been warned. I get asked about The Spider Babies every day and I get tired of hearing myself tell the story. Now, I’ll be able to just forward a link.


Michael Lange and me on the Lonely Road. Eric G. looks on. Photo by Taylor Rea.

I always have the best intentions to keep a regular blog going during the production of each movie. It never happens. Working on a movie is all-consuming – even if you’re not the director. So this recap will have to do. This was a really hard shoot. Some of our problems were just the normal obstacles that the universe throws in your path when you are trying to create something… other problems were internal, and I will gladly take my share of the blame.

 

A little bit of back story…

 


First Spider Babies sketch - Notebook 2005

The idea for The Spider Babies has been with me for a long...

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