The Super Bowl is one of America's greatest family spectacle. Every year an average 112 million viewers gather in their living room to watch a mega-popstar sing & gyrate during half time. In 2004 it was Janet Jackson's turn. Her offering was a raunchy rendition of past and current hits. Toward the end of a razor sharp performance, hot-to-trot Justin TrouserSnake Timberlake joined Janet for a steamy duet. After a few risqué moves (I think we call them grinding) Justin reached for Janet's bustier and with one fell swoop; ripped-off its right panel, exposing Ms Jackson's bosom. And, faster than you can say: "Put-a-Pasties-on-it". Both pop-stars were wheeled off stage, leaving millions agog in front of their TV sets. Over night Janet's cleavage was famous in its own right and became a dinner party staple. For a brief moment the world was a simpler place: You either saw it, or you didn't.
This was the perfect storm in a 32C-Cup.
Meanwhile above a pizzeria/Japanese restaurant in San Mateo, California, three Paypal employees: Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim were desperately trying to find the next big internet idea.
INT. SMALL OFFICE- NIGHT
- "What shall we do?
- What about a site mapping malaria worldwide?
- An Internet Dating site, then?
- NO, too late... HotOrNot does that already...
- WAIT - I"VE GOT IT!.... We are going to stream Janet's breast 24/7?"
And just like that Youtube was born.
On the 23rd April 2005 at 8.27pm. A simple video called Me At The Zoo featuring one of the three founders in front of an Elephant was the first video ever upload to YouTube. Eighteen months later our three amigos sold it to Google for 1.65 Billion. Eleven years later to the day. More than 300 hours of footage is uploaded onto YouTube every minute. 95% of the global internet population uses the streaming site. YouTube is now the Go-To-Destination for tutorials, sex tapes and anything in between. The numbers are staggering: 4 billion daily views. The average viewer spends 40 minutes in each session. It's biggest star earned $12 Million in 2015, more than Jeremy Clarkson at Amazon. Not bad for 26 year old Swede playing video games in his bedroom. In other words: popular entertainment such as cinema and television are no longer the sole outlets for budding film & program makers. In just over a decade, the BBC's wayward cousin that was YouTube makes the Beeb look somewhat parochial.
Television is a tedious and expensive business. It takes a long time before an idea is turned from paper to screen. It then needs to be exported from one territory to the next to become profitable. What if YouTube was television's own global incubator? What if the YouTubers were delivering the future of TV today. Here is an other good example: Casey Neistat. Last month alone his channel recieved 149 million views, whilst Strictly's average figures plateaued at 10 million. Faire enough the two shows are totally different, yet, think about the speed and costs of production and ultimately the return on investments. Suddenly YouTube doesn't sound like such a silly proposition. "If only I had an grumpy cat and a video camera, I could retire tomorrow'". I can hear some of you say. Not quite.
Epic Adventure Shot On An iPhone
Smartphone Filmmaking - Mobile Journalism in Action
What is considered acceptable is changing at breakneck speed. The skills required to make something worth watching remains the same: It's all about crafting a story with sound & vision. Take an other look at the Epic Adventure, Smartphone Filmmaking and Casey's films. Those are carefully made productions. Filming a drunk relative falling-over will only give you your fifteen minutes. Work ethic and story telling are key as demonstrated by the handful of successful YouTubers.
It ain't over till the fat lady sings, Janet is back! It was announced this week that she is pregnant. Congratulation Ms Jackson! One last thought: It is said that history repeats itself, I hope that Ms jackson kept her old Super Bowl bustier it could become handy once more.
For years I've looked at stabilisers and steady-cams to be able to take equipment outside of the studio and into the world, could the OSMO mobile (£289) be the answer? Watch the video above to find out. Pay attention, There are two cameras, wireless mic, studio lighting. This short piece looks simple - That's the idea.