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VidCon 2017 Notes

 

I’m a little behind on my VidCon recaps (it’s almost been a month already!), but I wanted to bring you something a little different on the blog today: my VidCon notes!

I have a little notebook that I bring with me every year and fill up with notes while attending panels, but one of the worst things I tend to do is that when I get back home from VidCon, I never look at that notebook again until the next VidCon!  In order to help me process what I learned a little better this year, I thought I’d share with you the notes I took this year. Be warned, some of them don’t make much sense to me now (What did I mean by just “backlays?” We may never know.) But hopefully you can decipher some of my gibberish to gather some information if you attended different panels or weren’t at VidCon.

Enjoy!

EduTAINMENT

Moderator: Blake de Pastino (Editor in Chief – SciShow/Crash Course)
Panelists: Dianna Cowern (Physics Girl), Michael Stevens (Vsauce), Sally Le Page, Henry Reich (MinutePhysics & MinuteEarth), Brady Haran, Kim Diaz (Creative Producer – Sesame Studios)
  • What comes first? Fun or able to understand content?
    • Learning is fun by default but you can mess it up
    • Start from excitement
    • Learning yourself and sharing your experience
  • How much do you think about your audience?
    • Who you make for and who watches your content can be different
    • Science edu with 80-90% male
    • Girls under 13 excited about science but it drops off as they get older → Why? How to change this?
    • Makes for his wife (who will never watch) → Brady Haran
    • Be a good interviewer and ask the right questions
  • How do you reach people who aren’t seeking to be educated?
    • Title/thumbnail (clickbait-ish?) → Vsauce suggestion
    • We learn things all the time
    • Hard to break into the media bubble
    • People who don’t think of themselves as lifelong learners are more apprehensive
    • Teaching humanities = teaching critical thinking
  • Three Blue One Brown → a good example
  • Mental Health Content = public service + don’t be ashamed to tell people when they’re wrong

 

Transitioning Your Channel into a Full-Fledged Business

Moderator: Phil Ranta (COO – Studio 71)
Panelists: Thomas Ridgewell, Mindy McKnight, Megan Batoon, Joe Penna, Benji Travis
  • Megan Batoon (amalgam of talents, but what’s her business?)
  • Thomas Ridgewell (office + 2 employees)
  • Other Sources of Revenue
    • Patreon
    • Affiliates (recommending products/services; see Video Influencers)
    • T-shirts
    • Sponsorships
    • Speaker fees (issue-based YouTubers)
    • Selling your own brand/business
  • “Amateur needs inspiration, a professional needs discipline”
  • Common mistake for new YouTubers: getting stuck and thinking it doesn’t change; “adapt or die”
  • Clear voice and idea of who you are
  • Business vs Personal income → create a business bank account
  • Get attorney sooner rather than later
  • Find friends to help you out
  • “Am I doing what I love to do?”
  • A team sooner rather than later
  • 50/50 rule in job → pays bills/what you’re passionate about

 

Workshop: Video Production Shortcuts: How to Make Better Videos in Less Time

Presenter: Thomas Frank
  • Channel to teach college students how to learn better and get better grades
  • Thomas Frank → collegeinfogeek.com/VidCon
  • Softboxes light to wall; small LED light for face
  • Gorillapod → tripod head for all different tripods/places (makes it easier to switch out cameras/tripods/setups)
  • Remote + power strip (for quick on/off)
  • Need a “pre-flight checklist” before you shoot
  • Overhead set-up → I NEED THIS!
  • Make a b-roll list before shooting
  • Create animation templates in AE
  • “Preset Properties” → use for description
  • Ripple edit → cuts out bad and moves forward
  • Compression & EQ on audio
  • Presets in AE → select animation keyframes > animation > save as preset
  • Tools:
    • Universe – Red Giant
    • Animation Creator – Video Hive
    • FX Console – Video Copilot
    • Flow – AE Script
  • Alias → set to shorthand
  • Charisma on Command
    • What is your art? And what is your ego?
  • Frame IO → upload rough cut → make comments at time stamps
  • Build standard operating procedures list
  • Google: “Sources for Creative Commons”
  • ICG slack channel → what do you offer? Advertise and collaborate
  • MMO mouse
  • Read through Premiere shortcut keys → so many options that aren’t even assigned yet!
  • Backlays

 

Workshop: Branding Your Brand’s Brand

Presenter: Charli Marie
  • Not just how it looks but how it feels
  • Overall impression when on channel
  • What’s unique about you?
  • Who are you?
    • What is your channel mission?
    • Who is your audience?
    • What impression do you want to give through your brand?
    • What impression are people getting now from your brand?
  • ME:
    • Inspire young women to believe in themselves & follow their passion
    • 16-24 young women/students/like being creative
    • Creative/fun/inquisitive
  • Visual Identity
    • Canva/Gimp → online photo editing
    • Keep it cohesive
    • Keep it simple
    • Keep it you
    • Dribbble.com → designers
    • Write on effect in AE

 

How to Engage With Community

Moderator: Heather Wilder (Head of Creator Care – Patreon)
Panelists: Olga Kay, Trevor Moran, Ash Hardell, SuperSamStuff, Julia Nunes
  • Olga Kay → older sister/mom
  • Videos for Self / | \ Videos for subscribers (try to stay in middle ground; not too far on either side)
  • Self-moderating community
  • +1 system
  • Choose moderators from most engaged fans
  • Look up Sam (on panel) → what does he create? Smaller channel.
  • Build a family type of community
  • Consistent
  • Protect against burnout; stop just short of burning out for some?
  • Julia Nunes recommends Tessa for vlogs → “she’s the friend of vlogs”
  • What one word would describe your community?

 

YouTube in the Classroom

Moderator: Angela Lin (Head of Family & Learning Partnerships – YouTube)
Panelists: Caitlin Hofmeister (Senior Producer/Host – SciShow), Henry Reich (MinutePhysics & MinuteEarth), Destin Sandlin (Smarter Every Day), Viviane Lalande (Scilabus), Teresa Mobley

#YTClassroom

  • “Wow factor” to make them care
  • Teresa Mobley → teaching teachers how to use YT in the classroom
  • Google Classroom (?)
  • Harder to work into curriculum → balancing lifelong learner and the classroom learner
  • Show process of discovery and trick them into learning
  • “Nerd is the new awesome”
  • YouTube kids app → finding edu content on their own
  • Can’t make changes to video without re-uploading → this is a problem! Why hasn’t YT fixed this yet?
  • Watch – Know – Learn → teacher approved content (website to connect YT creators + teachers)
  • Ed Puzzle → add questions with video
  • One video = one objective
  • WeCreateEdu.com
  • Keywords that link to standards

 

Art & Online Video

Moderator: Sarah Urist Green (The Art Assignment)
Panelists: Didda, Beth Radloff (SNARLED), John Le, Jamie Wells (Visual Jamie)
  • Didda → imagination
  • INFJ → “counselor” → inspire & motivate people; “older sister”
  • Visual Jamie (Twitch)
  • Beth Radloff (Snarled)
  • Hate comments hurt most when it’s actually about your work.
  • Joshua Tree → camping
  • When work takes creativity, you will burnout/run out of creative flow

 

Hank Green & Phil DeFranco Fireside Chat

  • Not hitting the levers (for money) that they could → out of fear
  • It’s hard to launch a business, easier to launch from something
  • What’s a step between having audience and monetizing → need your own thing to make money
  • Never be beholden to one website (aka revenue source)
  • Can be fruitful to blaze your own path (when other platforms are supersaturated)
  • Patreon = safe base (because you can’t base a business on virality)
  • Still trying to innovate after all this time and to influence/motivate people
  • Less about motivation and more about discipline (Long Term Success)
  • It’s a marathon not a sprint
  • Snacked (?) → video responses

 

Search & Discovery on YouTube: Tips for Success

***Article in creator academy with this information****

**** bit.ly/YTdiscover ****

  • Audience not algorithm
  • Long term engagement and satisfaction
  • Deliver on promise of your title + thumbnail
  • Avoid over sensational/outrageous catches
  • Over 200 million videos on the home feed every day.
  1. Search → title, description, what’s in the video itself? (tags apparently aren’t super important anymore)
    1. Show best video for that query (is it relevant to keyword)
    2. Write robust descriptions
    3. Use trends in the keywords
    4. Develop a search based show (e.g. Scishow)
    5. Put misspellings in tags
  2. Suggested Videos
    1. Stronger call to action
    2. Consider sitewide popular formats
  3. Home
    1. Spend time as a viewer
    2. Put yourself in the shoes of the viewer
    3. Look at Home + Subscriptions feeds
  4. Subscribers (all areas)
    1. Ask for subs @ the emotional climax
    2. Upload when you think they’re awake (at school? work?)
    3. Educate viewers on how they’ll get videos once subbed
  5. Trending
    1. Broad mass appeal content
    2. Getting views outside of this list
    3. Try to show videos in “Trending” section before they’re trending
    4. Viral video strategy
    5. Has video in the past trended?
  6. Notifications
    1. Mobile push + email notifications (highlights)
    2. Over sending notifications can make them unsubscribe
    3. Educate subscribers
    4. Treat them as superfans (bell ringers)

 

How to Get the Most Out of Snapchat

Presenter: Shaun McBride (Shonduras)
  • Creating stories with payoffs rather than updates about your day
  • People loves series
  • Getting people involved → building something with “family”
  • Don’t overuse “shout outs” because it’s a detriment to your voice
  • Can’t go viral → you must have a plan to reach a larger audience
  • How to stand out?
    • You don’t get views from sending out your snapcode on other social media accounts
    • Get featured on internet as “person to follow on snapchat”
    • “Emails from mom” (insert silly face)
    • Snapchat wars
  • About perception rather than # of subscribers
  • Work smarter not harder
  • Create a unique strategy
  • Move to next platform (consider it like the next level)
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The Case for Jess In Gilmore Girls

Sometimes I don’t understand how there are people who still haven’t watched Gilmore Girls (but then, there are also people who haven’t read Harry Potter, including my boyfriend *gasp*). One of my favorite creators, Tessa Violet, is one of them, and I noticed that she’s been tweeting about her experience watching the series recently and made this declaration:

Which prompted her to post this poll because the proverbial question of Gilmore Girls (despite the show’s actual intentions) was always “Who does Rory belong with?”

While the general consensus of the poll was that they were all terrible boyfriends (which, YES), Tessa was more concerned that Logan even got a few votes.

I’m like Tessa and have never quite understood so many people’s fascination with Logan Huntzberger. While the revival made it pretty clear that Logan was Rory’s Christopher, how can anyone think that’s actually a good thing when we’ve seen all the chaos Christopher has wrought in the lives of Gilmore women?

But I’m not really here to talk about Logan because there are plenty of defenders and naysayers. Instead, I wanted to address why I voted for Jess, because while I know “Team Jess” has a strong following, and again, the revival made clear the parallels of Jess and Rory to Luke and Lorelei, there are just as many (if not more) Jess haters.

First though, let me give you a little bit of background. I was in high school when Gilmore Girls was still on the air, and I found myself living the “Rory Gilmore Love Life” as my first boyfriend was rather Dean-esque in his saccharine exterior (he’s the perfect boyfriend!) with an underbelly of possessive and controlling behavior. I eventually broke up with him and ended up dating a Jess-like unstable and selfish guy. When that relationship ultimately ended in tears because he just STOPPED ACKNOWLEDGING ME, I fled back to the Dean-esque “First Love” which ultimately ended in him being rather emotionally abusive. My boyfriends during college and later weren’t quite so Gilmore Girls inspired fortunately, and as far as I can tell, I don’t think I’ve dated a Logan. (And I like to think that this is due in part to being a smart and self-respecting young woman. But boys like that can sneak up on you, no matter how Rory-Gilmore-Smart you are).

Now far removed from all this high school relationship drama, I sometimes look back and see the uncanny parallels and wonder WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME? Because I was watching the show and I knew that the way Rory was being treated was wrong, but I went back to my daily life where I was basically living the IRL version. (Fortunately, there was no cheating with the high school sweetheart which I consider Rory’s first real low point).

But I always held a soft spot for Jess, even if high school Jess and my own IRL Jess were pretty dumpy boyfriends in hindsight. So I have to say that standard arguments from Jess hates are actually pretty sound.  He was selfish, unstable, and abandoned Rory several times during the course of their relationship. And it’s pretty easy (even for a Jess lover like me) to come to the conclusion that he’s absolutely NOT high school boyfriend material for Rory.

But the thing is, Jess didn’t grow up to be a selfish and unstable person. And while he wasn’t the boyfriend Rory deserved when she was 16, he was at least a driving force for good in her adult life. (e.g. Telling her to go back to Yale and stop living in her grandparents’ pool house because that’s not the Rory we know and love!)

And this idea of Jess being the “responsible and down-to-earth” guy continued in the 2016 Netflix revival despite his minimal screen time because again, he was the one to give Rory the idea to write a book about her life story. Essentially, adult Jess has his life together and functions as an encourager for Rory. While I’m not entirely sure that the self-involved and snobbish Rory we saw in the revival (or even really the later seasons of the original Gilmore Girls run) deserves to be with Jess, I think he’s plenty worthy of being considered “boyfriend material.”

But also, yeah, Logan sucks.  😜

Are you Team Jess, Dean, Logan, or All of Them Suck? Tell me why in the comments!

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I Cried in Wonder Woman (But Not For Why You Might Think)

So I’m a little late on the Wonder Woman train. I had been excited to see it because it looked epic (!), but I’d also been apprehensive that it would continue the train wreck that is D.C. superhero movies right now. Like I wanted to like Batman vs Superman and Suicide Squad (and generally, I found them enjoyable), but they just haven’t had the addictive quality that Marvel films over the last few years have been achieving in my opinion.  

But then early reviews started coming out, and they were super positive! And once it premiered, many of my friends were able to go see it opening weekend, and they thought it was amazing! And so while I’ve spent the last few weeks uber busy with traveling and work and YouTube, I’ve felt like I was missing out on a special shared cultural moment.

Fast forward to the July 4th holiday when I finally had a bit of a break, I made it out to a movie theater and got to witness Wonder Woman in all its glory! And yes, it was glorious!

I could be really picky and talk about how I felt the special effects in the final battle got a bit too CGI-heavy or some of the suspension-of-disbelief issues I had with Diana’s wardrobe changes (and choices). But I think if THAT’S what you focus on after seeing this movie, then you’re being just that–picky. It blows Batman vs Superman and Suicide Squad out of the water in terms of an interesting (and easy to follow) story and compelling characters. And I think runs in a similar vein to Marvel’s Thor (also one of my favorite Marvel films and also dealing with gods in the human world). It was funny when it needed to be funny. It was action-packed when it needed to action-packed. It was gritty when it needed to be gritty. (This is a story about war after all).

I also came away with two film moments that will forever be seared into my mind as things I aspire to create: the scene where Diana first watches the Amazons training and later the big and beautiful beach battle scene between the Amazons and German soldiers. Those two moments legitimately made me tear up watching them because they were the kinds of scenes of epic female badassery that I had always imagined creating myself because I’d never seen them before.

But I’ve also had the niggling fear of embracing the idea of epic women fighting because I’ve been consistently bombarded with the message that “women can’t fight realistically” or “women are too weak to fight.” Et cetera, et cetera. These messages came from commenters on YouTube videos (like when I made the ill-advised decision to talk about female action heroes once) and even my own boyfriend, who may be a big supporter of badass heroines, but is, in my opinion, a bit extra critical when it comes to how easily the suspension of disbelief can be broken for him. I mean, yes, I know that Wonder Woman taking her hair DOWN to fight is impractical, but it’s also 1.) an iconic part of the character and 2.) kind of irrelevant since I think a demigoddess should have the magical ability to fight AND have magically flowing perfect locks. I mean, if I was a demigoddess/superhero, that’s definitely what I would want!

And then there’s also the fact that there are plenty of examples of movies and TV shows that use action sequences with female characters poorly. One scene that always comes to mind is from Pretty Little Liars where Aria had learned kickboxing (or some defensive sport from her temporary-boyfriend-who-was-not-Ezra) and “takes down” Red Coat. It was laughable, poorly choreographed, and poorly executed. Aria is literally the smallest of all the Liars and they chose her to be the fighter? At least Emily was somewhat convincing when she had more physical scenes since they’d established her as the “sporty one.”

But there are times when women steal the show and can hold their own in a male dominated action world. Furiosa from Mad Max is one of my all-time favorites. And now the Amazons from Wonder Woman have entered my personal hall of fame as well. These are beautiful moments in cinema as well as for the women who dreamed as little girls not of being just princesses, but of being badass, dragon-riding warrior-princesses.  You don’t see that too much on the screen so when something like Wonder Woman comes along, it’s a moment to be celebrated, emulated, and encouraged.

(The kind of princess I imagined myself to be as a kid.)

Storm Rider by IronShod