Friday, December 3, 2010

The truth is, I want my short film REDD to go Viral.

Photo taken from
What does that mean? It means I want to post the full short on Youtube and get a million views.

But Why? Because a high view count is precious to an emerging filmmaker. It'll be easier to raise the money I need if I can point to one of my video's and showcase it's popularity. Also because if I were to turn Redd into a feature, we'd have a head start on building buzz and building a following.

So how does that work? How does one make a video go viral. I've been seriously studying this for the past 3 years. I've tested the waters here and there with a few videos ever since I joined YouTube 5 years ago, but I've never made a full attempt til now.

There are several resources I can point to that pinpoint the best ways to make a viral video go, well, viral. There are very many points to consider, and no matter who you read or talk to, no matter the varying opinions on how it's done, the one caveat that I cross is this:


Yes there are some videos out there with a million views that may not qualify as a good video. Those videos have a niche of some sort, and are, at the very least, entertaining. (Was that a total mis-use of commas? Hmmm.)

REDD is a short film, so I can't very well put my project in the same category as David After Dentist or Bed Intruder (Much love Antoine Dodson and the Gregory Brothers!)

I always look to videos like BATMAND: DEAD END, 405, The Hunt For Gollum, The Raven, and Street Fighter: Legacy.

The majority of those videos already have a niche. Fans of Street Fighter, Batman, or LOTR form a built in audience for any tributes or parodies. All they had to do was make a good video, and they are very good. Great execution.

With The Raven and 405 it's the impressive filmmaking and great payoff. I put mine more akin with those two movies. I don't know if the Red Riding Hood tale has the same fanbase as Batman, if it does, I'll be sure to put in all the necessary keywords and marketing for that niche, but realistically, this is an original story, where, once again it's about making a good video. Or as I just stated, it's about impressive filmmaking. However there is the new Red Riding Hood movie to consider, which I could use to build some steam for my own video.

However, I don't want to deceive anyone (too much), not like I did with my REAL WEREWOLF VIDEO. It's currently at over 180,000 views and although I do fess up to it being a fake in the description, and I have gotten some great positive comments, it's still working off the steam of the deception.

Besides my Real Werewolf vid, I've only had one other video I would consider a semi Viral success. That was my Paper Rose video. It was a tutorial on how to make a paper rose from a napkin. I posted it on Metacafe back in the days of their Producer Rewards Program (Rest In Peace). They paid for every 5,000 views. And since my video reached past 250,000, I did get a nice monthly check there for a while, and I got my first taste of how it feels to have a video go somewhat viral.

I'll follow the majority of rules and techniques I've learned. I'll be sure to market as usual on Twitter and Facebook. Tell all my friends and family. Email everyone on my contact list. Use proper tagging and keywords, of course. In the end it does come back to the filmmaking.

Is this going to be impressive enough to attract attention (views!)?

To be honest, right now, we don't quite have it, yet. YET.

April's performance as our title character has been impressive, I do love the footage we've got, but until I get the rest of the shots in, and most importantly, get the Werewolf footage knocked out, I really can't say for sure. If I can get it close to the way I see it in my head, then we'll be fine. I mean, so far so good, but is it a homerun? Not yet. But I am going to try.

As much as I would love a million views, realistically it may take a whole year, maybe even a few, but I'll settle for 100,000 views in a few months. If we get 10,000 views in a week, I'll be ok with that too.

Aside from working on views and our presence on the internet, I am going to submit to specific festivals and screenings. It is going to be very short, around 6 to 8 minutes, but there are venues for it. Perhaps that will help with the general buzz.

So what's the full plan?

Get as many views as possible on YouTube.
Submit to fests.
Really get it out there for everyone to see.
Put together the script, package, and budget for a feature length version.
Start up some crowd funding (Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, not sure which yet).
Pursue sponsors and investors.
Push to get the feature length REDD made early 2011.
Market and Distribute late 2011.
Make enough money to sustain and make another movie (Possibly Bobby's Closet).

Will it work? We shall see. But we're gonna make a run for it, that's for sure.

Check out the official site/blog for REDD



  1. Good luck with your film! I am rooting for you.
    Lorraine Grula

  2. Thank you so much Lorraine. I truly appreciate that.