Sunday, 28 June 2020

I hate unboxings. GORDON LAING: GREAT BRITISH YOUTUBERS with Neil Mossey 001

Gordon Laing has 160k subscribers and incredibly, uploading to YouTube since 2006.
I'm a Development Producer helping as many people as possible get ideas out of their heads and into action, to make more people happy.
I created GREAT BRITISH YOUTUBERS to help you get started and keep going with your YouTube channel.

I hate unboxings. GORDON LAING: GREAT BRITISH YOUTUBERS with Neil Mossey 001

0:00 Great British YouTubers podcast with Neil Mossey and Gordon Laing from CameraLabs
1:25 What is Gordon Laing's all time favourite video on his channel?
5:35 Why Long Exposure Photography tutorial is Gordon Laing's most successful video.
7:25 Why a good title and thumbnail is essential on YouTube.
8:30 How the YouTube algorithm encourages Creators.
9:14 Coming up on the next episode of Great British YouTubers.


Are there things Gordon Laing, that other YouTubers do that you don't think that you would ever, or you tend not to do?
First of all as a word, I hate that word.
Unboxing. How can you-- that's like... I, now tell you what this goes back to that song "Unbreak My Heart" which at the time, I thought that's not even a word.
How do you mean unbreak my heart, how about... "make me feel better"... "cheer me up please"?
Unbreak my heart?
Unbox my camera!


I've got a little reassuring... yep... one two one... that's probably how every episode will start: someone's chest shot and us going "hello testing?"
I've got this idea for this series called Great British YouTubers.
The best I've got for a logo at the moment is kind of a frankenstein bolting together of the YouTube logo and the Union Jack, so I both infringe copyright and enrage a nation.
Job done.

But the first person that I wanted to talk to was you...
...wasn't available, so you came to me!
Never! I feel that we have explained each other on another video that I've made, one of my favourite videos on my channel.
I'll run a clip now and there's a link in the description to it but before we get into the chat can I just ask you what is your all-time favourite video that you've made on your channel Gordon Laing?
My all-time favorite, and this is this is the problem that all creators have is that everyone wants you to be pigeonholed, and then... and we'll talk about this I'm sure later on, but in the same way that Jamie Oliver probably wouldn't be that successful if he suddenly did a video reviewing a car or doing, uh, gardening or something like that...

People know you for one thing, and if you deviate from that woe betide, woe betide, the algorithm will punish you and your video will underperform horrifically and you'll be put off... you will be beaten into submission to continue doing what you were put on this earth to do, which is what you initially uh defined yourself as, which for me was a camera reviewer.
And it's amazing how specific people can get because even though we're talking about hybrid cameras now, if I go off and review a microphone?

"Nope, too far off..."
So I'm going to choose as one of my favourite, uh videos, my first attempt at actually doing a vlog, which was eight years ago in to... no, no, nine years ago, 2011, 2012 time frame.

I went on a holiday from where I lived at the time in New Zealand for three weeks, a three week family holiday that ended up taking a year and a half!
And we were location independent for a year and a half, which is just a fancy way of saying you're homeless, and you're spending the money that you would have spent on rent or a mortgage on hotels - and surprisingly it's actually similar when you're not paying utility bills, insurance on the car that you don't have...

All of these things really add up and you could spend that in a different way and I tried to make a series of vlogs about it that... of course I thought were revolutionary and interesting because I was doing something quite different, and people saying "hey!"

In fact I think you Neil, I think you actually said to me you should make a video about that!
So I started making videos about them...

They're really rough because I was talking about the cameras I was using on this trip but I only had one main camera, and I wanted to show that camera.
So if I want to show my proper camera, on camera, what am I filming with?
And I scrabbled around and my second best camera was an ipad.

An ipad 2! Generation 2, circa 2011, and if you've ever tried to film video with that, it crops so massively that you have to position it so far away, that I was literally filming with an ipad balanced against walls in various cities around the world, about four metres away from me right?

Somebody tried to pick it up and walk off with it,
With the ipad or the camera?
Yeah yeah yeah because it was--
It's just a free ipad!

I'm being a crazy guy on the street going "hey everyone the reason that I'm doing this..." and everyone's like you know "whatever" and then, then they'll walk past then because of course you're drawing attention to yourself, so they're looking, looking at what you're doing, and then they notice this ipad just sat metres away from anyone, and they would as anybody in their right mind would think...

"Well, someone's obviously left it and doesn't want it anymore"
Even though it's kind of, flashing tally light on it, and of course it was so far away the audio would have been rubbish so I was using a zoom portable, uh sound recorder, which was quite close.

The sound quality on these are quite good, but anyway I thought these were quite fun videos and it was my attempt at vlogging which eight years ago was, you know, not that common a thing uh but of course no one watched them because it wasn't a pure camera review.

So those were probably my favourite videos that I did - we'll put the link to those in the description and we will run some footage while you're speaking there.
Oh make sure you use the footage of me in Morocco with camels going by behind me - that's that's quite fun.

Yeah because we we visited Morocco and uh camped out in the Sahara Desert as you do, which i highly recommend doing.
Oh there you are! You're wearing, you're wearing a thing!

Yeah thing, a thing. That's that's the technical term of the privileged white man.
"He's wearing a foreign thing! But it's okay because he's one of us!"
Oh brilliant.
Yeah those were fun.

One of the other favorite videos of mine which is actually one of my most successful videos which automatically makes it one of my favorites, was a tutorial that I filmed.

Photography tutorial of course. Try and do a tutorial on anything else, you're finished - and this was about long exposure photography and a lot of people when they go on YouTube or other social networks, they want the secrets.

They want to know the top tips.

How are you going to succeed at something, and it's actually pretty obvious what you need to do, it's just that very few of us do it, and I rarely do it, but I did it in this one which is... you do everything right.

And that sounds glib but here's what you do.

You plan it.

You plan very carefully what you want to say and where you want to say it.

You don't skimp on things like locations.

I've done tutorials that I thought were great, but it was just me sat on this sofa - didn't really engage with people.
This one, because if you're doing a tutorial on "how to run" you don't do it from your sofa, you go out and you run.

If you want to do a tutorial about cooking - again you don't do it for yourself, you do it from your kitchen.
And when you set up that shot in your kitchen, you realise that your kitchen's a mess, and that you have to tidy up and frame it carefully.

And if I'm doing a tutorial about long exposure landscape photography, I've got to be out there doing it.
So even though it was awkward and difficult, I did it, and guess what?

It, it came across really well and I cut away to me on the sofa when I wanted to add additional details that I'd forgotten in the, uh, on the location, and of course that made it more interesting switching between two locations.

I also filmed it very carefully.
I filmed in the best quality that I could.

I edited it in the best quality that i could, and then, and perhaps more important than anything else, it has a decent thumbnail.
And that is what more than anything else causes people to open and play a video on YouTube, is decent thumbnails.
And as someone who likes to think that their content is okay and that you're above these things, you're not. It doesn't work.

You could, you could produce the best video of all and if it's got a rubbish thumbnail and a terrible title no one is ever gonna play it.
However, conversely, and this is what frustrates me about YouTube - the best thumbnail and best title will guarantee opening even if the content is rubbish.


And of course we call that clickbait don't we, but it works, and a good thumbnail game is, is critical - and I haven't mastered it, but I was very lucky to have a picture that I took that worked really well with the text I wanted to use, and it's very easy to see in a very small scale because a lot of people are looking on mobile devices.

So I lucked out on the thumbnail, and that really helped, but basically it was a good video.
That's the thing, it's a good video that I was proud of and guess what, it did- it did all right.
That's so frustrating isn't it?

I suppose it's the, the story of art since the dawn of time, is that once you've, you've created - so that is your Bohemian Rhapsody, that is your November Rain, and now you've got to make another one! And it's crushing!
Well the algorithm does some naughty things as well.
Well we don't know what the algorithm does.

We can be paranoid about it and suspicious and we can guess at the things that it does, but one of the things I think it does do is encourage you from time to time.
Especially new creators who, maybe you haven't had a lot of luck yet.
At some point, for everyone, one of your videos will do really well.
Really well.

Way better than the others.

In a way, it has "gone viral".

Not so viral that you can retire on it or anything like that, but it does comfortably better.
Maybe not ten times, but a hundred times better than one of your normal videos.
You're like "what on earth did I do there?"

But wow, the potential - the potential!
And there's more of my chats with Gordon Laing from CameraLabs.
If you wanted to post a video it was going to cost you tens of thousands of pounds or dollars.

And if you-- who's gonna pay that?!
Not even a corporation's gonna pay that.
And then in 2006 YouTube comes along and says oh we'll we'll host your videos free of charge.

It was completely revolutionary.
Completely revolutionary as a content creator to suddenly have a platform which let you publish videos, and embed them on your own web pages if you wanted free of charge.

And please hit the subscribe button if you want to see more Great British YouTubers, There's a playlist and a podcast: all the details and links are in the description.
I'm Neil Mossey, and I'll see you on the very next episode of Great British YouTubers.

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