When, 43 weeks ago, I spontaneously decided to make a one-minute video every week while I’m in Berlin, I wrote on this blog that “I need another non-paying project like I need a hole in my knee”. At that time, however, I was thinking this wouldn’t consume much time and I’d just make quick little shot-from-the-hip visual postcards for my friends and family (and as a record for myself). In A Berlin Minute was born (actually under the name “German New Yorker in Berlin” at that time).
I uploaded all the videos to blip.tv, from where they automatically get distributed to Vimeo, YouTube, iTunes, Facebook… you name it. At that time I didn’t pay any mind to the video social networks. But that has changed drastically over time. Talking about time – I spend way too much of that online promoting my videos – and commenting on others. This makes me often ponder if all of it is worth it.
Then again, today as I was framing up the face and wings of a beautiful angel statue on a freezing, but sunlit cemetery and hit the record button, I thought: this is where I’m happiest – while I’m filming, while I’m editing and then, of course, when I hear you liked watching it.
That’s the point of doing all this. It’s the inner need to be creative and to be communicating images, ideas, stories – and then for you to see and hear them.
There is another pleasure in experiencing the creations of others. To participate in communities like YouTube and Vimeo or my NY writers group (which I miss a lot!) or filmmaker networks like Shooting People and IFP or just be friends with other filmmakers, writers, musicians, photographers is essential to my creative and personal well-being.
But you know, I can’t deny that it would be nice to have this project also add to my financial well-being. Nice? Essential. Otherwise, I’m not sure how much longer I can afford to spend so much time on this.
So I finally applied for a YouTube partnership and now that my channel has over 2,500 subscribers I GOT IT. GNYBerlin aka “In A Berlin Minute” is now a YouTube partner! Thanks to everyone who has been watching, subscribing, commenting and ‘liking’.
This means I can make a bit of money off the videos via ad placements, have some other options for branding and, this was probably most important to me, the videos get featured more on the YouTube website and thus get seen a bit more.
Will I get rich off this or even make any kind of a living? No. I’d have to have more like half a million viewers – and that seems to be more the domain of vloggers, which I’m not. But it’ll help if you keep watching my videos on blip or on YouTube and click on an ad every once in a while.
Yet there are still those moments when I have my doubts about all of this – those moments like tonight when I was so engrossed in filming one more statue that I accidentally got locked into the cemetery and had to wait until after dark before I reached someone to let me back out.
|The closed cemetery gates from the inside|
Who am I kidding? It was a thrill to live-tweet about getting locked in and trying to find a way out. I just love telling a story. And that one would only have been more exciting if the rescuer hadn’t been a kind security guard, but a hot vampire…
|Damon (Ian Somerhalder) in Vampire Diaries|