How DO you make a video go viral? Rarely is it just some crappy iphone vid of a dog eating a model airplane (or pizza). Sometimes it’s a really high-end video that’s taken a lot of time and creativity (and $$). More often it’s something FUNNY and edited by someone really clever; this requires knowing from funny, being creative, and being a good editor.
Funny. What is ‘funny’? Can you learn to be it? Once (when I was an actor) two of us in a musical comedy had a dialog that was supposed to be funny, but it wasn’t getting to the audience. We took the dialog apart, word-by-word, and ‘re-timed’ the delivery for each of us, and suddenly it got a great audience response. But there are those times when you can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip (that’s just an expression, thank God) and that’s when only your fifty friends will watch your video.
There is no real formula for a successful, wildly popular entry to You Tube. A panel of widely respected comedians on PBS one time debated about things that made people laugh and what made each of them funny. One guy went so far as to “parse” various jokes on paper, analyze the words, and, as far as I could tell, apply algebraic formulae to wring the truth of Funny from them. Whether or not he was successful I couldn’t tell but this guy already knew from Funny, he was a professional; this kind of analysis wouldn’t work for some guy off the street.
I’m not someone who makes great videos on You Tube and I’m not even sure I could. But I DO know from funny, it’s in my bones. But there are a lot of people whose great goal in life is to “go viral” (careful what you wish for, by the way). First, have a realistic view of yourself: do you have an offbeat view of the world? Have you always been able to make people laugh? That’s a good start. Now create an idea that combines those two things into a visual form and see if you can shoot a video that’s close to that. If you’re dismayed by the actual appearance of what you shot versus what you wanted don’t be surprised. It takes really, really a lot of work and fine tuning to get there.
So don’t give up. Keep going, if that’s your passion for now, because all through trying to be a YouTubeHero you’ll learn about Funny, you’ll learn about Interesting, and you’ll learn about yourself, everyone else, and the world. I sincerely hope for your success! Let me know how it comes out!
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