Annoying Orange on a Budget

Annoying Orange: The Low-Budget Version

I was searching recently for the cost of making a reality show. It seems per episode, the cost can range from $100,000 to a million dollars. Then I wondered if that model needs some desperate “belt tightening.”

Heck even Annoying Orange can be created for less than $100,000. In the satire I did with my kids, you’ll see it can be done for less than $1. Below is the script in case you’d like to read along…

AO: Hey. Hey. Hey Apple.
Apple: What?
AO: What’s wrong with your mouth?
Apple: It’s green screen, dude. We’re on a budget.
AO: Bean jeans? Is it casual Friday?
Apple: Green screen! We can’t afford Adobe Final Premier Cut, so your mouth is green screened.
AO: Oh green. Well Your mama’s so fat when she wears green she looks like a pool table.
Apple: Your mama’s so fat her scale says “to be continued.”
Pineapple: Yo mama’s so fat she wakes up in sections.
AO: Woah- check out your fake mouth Pain Apple. Or should I say poser-Apple?
Pineapple: PINEapple. And Your mama’s so stupid I caught her sticking food stamps in a Coke machine.
Avocado: Hahahaha. Fakest mouth in the kitchen. Fakest mouth in the kitchen. Hey Calvin Kleinapple. Spongebob called. He wants his house back.
AO: Ewww. Half-eaten avocado smells. Sniff. Stinky! What happened to our kitchen? Are we really poor?
Apple: Yes. Your mama’s so poor I saw a pigeon toss her a piece of bread.
AO: Your mama’s so poor people rob her house to practice.
Mini Marshmellow: Well your mama’s so fat she can’t fit in her pants.
AO: (Stares).
AO: Your mama’s so poor, the rainbows in her backyard are black and white.
Cabbage: Black? Why can’t you racists do a poor skit without a black reference? I’m going go back to the food shelter with my shawty and-commodities.
AO: Don’t be a sauerkraut, Cabbage. Hahahaha.
Cabbage: Sauer? Your mama’s so nasty her breast milk is sour.
Leftover Pizza (Laughs with chattered teeth)
Apple: Check it. leftover pizza and chicken wing liked that one.
Cabbage: Hey- You like that pizza and wing boy? I’m a talking cabbage. You’ve seen a red-cabbage. And a winter cabbage. But I bet you aint never seen a talking cabbage.
Apple: Dreamworks called. It wants its lines from Shrek back.
Jalapeno: Did you call me a wet back? Yo mama’s so old when she farted dust came out.
Apple: Oh, Senior Jalapeño. That’s gross and mean.
Jalapeño: Beaner? You call me beaner again and I’ll shiv you.
Mini Marshmellow: What’s a shiv?
Rotton Banana: Hahahaha. Senior Jalapeno’s getting hot.
Jalapeno: Hey Rotton Banana- don’t
Rotton Banana: How do you starve a Mexican? Put their food stamps in their work boots. Ha ha ha ha.
AO: Hey Rotten Banana. Knife!
Jalapeno: Pincho pinto pendadas. Ahhhh!
AO: You hurt his peelings, Jalapeno. Now he’s split.
Mini Marshmellow: What did the banana say to the elephent? Nothing. Elephants can’t talk!
Leftover Pizza (Laughs with chattered teeth)
AO: Look- smelly half eaten avocado’s seed fell out. Let’s plant it and grow a smelly half of an avacado plant!

 

More Tips on YouTube Marathon

What’s it take to sustain as a YouTube weblebrity? Going viral is a sprint, but staying vibrant is a marathon.

  1. In part one we heard from BrittaniLouiseTaylor about passion, RhettandLink about the power of two, and CharlesTrippy about community.
  2. In part two we heard from Michael Buckley, VenetianPrincess, MysteryGuitarman and Happyslip.
Hank Green, with his brother John, are the Vlogbrothers and more.

As VidCon2011 approaches, it’s time for some thoughts from Hank Green, one of the event’s founders… inspired by something beyond the fame and money, the Green brothers have sustained long beyond their 15 minutes.

Says Hank: “I actually just wrote an article on motivation and success. I think everyone is motivated by different things, but the trick is actually believing in it, either because you think a little more money, a little more fame, a little more recognition really will make you a happier / more satisfied / more important person.

I’ve had different motivations throughout the process, from getting views to getting subscribers, to being recognized by other youtubers, to being recognized by YouTube, to feeling obligated to our community, to feeling like we actually have an opportunity to do good things, to feeling like we have an opportunity to do big things, to actually believing in what we do as a force for cultural change.

All of those things motivate in different ways and they all overlap. I we didn’t have all of them, I don’t know if we could do it.

Only because we have all of those different bits of motivation, it doesn’t seem like a big deal to spend eight hours a day developing ideas for videos, interacting with our community, or whatever else we’re up to at the moment. I pour pretty much all of my creative juices into our videos now (or on projects that relate to our videos.) And that’s only OK because I actually believe in it. If I didn’t have all of those various sources of motivation, I’d go get a real job.”

Hank, my friend… you do have a real job.

Double Dream Hands Guy on Sprint Ads

Double Dream Hands Guys on Sprint Ad

Who’s that guy in the green shirt dancing in Sprint ads? Well you heard about “double dream hands” guy here first, right? (Heck I even own one of his yellow shirts).

Now he’s back with “double dream feet,” which appearance in a Sprint television ad (and, above, as repurposed on YouTube). He’s John Jacobson, and his new YouTube channel is here.

Double Dream Hands Guy is Back With Double Dream Feet (and Sprint Ad)

 

 

Biggest and Most Organized Online-Video & YouTube Community Event

There are loads of social media events, and many YouTube “community gatherings,” meetups and online video events. But the “South By Southwest” of online-video and YouTube is indisputably VidCon. Organized by Hank and John Green (vlogbrothers), the event in 2010 drew hundreds of community members, top “YouTube Stars,” and Nerdfighters (the active people who rally to reduce the world of “suck”). It also included lots of on-stage entertainment that was shared widely online. VidCon 2011 is planned for July 28-30 in San Francisco, California. Early bird discount if you book before Jan. 10, and the hotel is Hyatt Regency Central Plaza.

Here are some highlights of 2010’s VidCon to give you a flavor. It’s focused on viewers and creators, but does attract industry folks and marketers (and has a special industry track). Unlike some popular YouTube love-festivals where “big YouTubers” are VIP, this one is quite egalitarian.

Grassroots Charity Effort Goes LIVE on YouTube

YouTube broadcast live yesterday with the “Project for Awesome,” a grassroots charity event spawned by John and Hank Green (see website).

Several hundred videos and millions of comments supported a collection of charities, and reminded viewers that the YouTube community remains alive. Check out the YouTube channel and Nice Peter’s Spanglish love song (the top-rated of dozens of videos). As of yesterday the raffles alone raised more than $90,000! Kittens are awesome.

Here’s my video, which explains the initiative a bit… and auctions off my “Beyond Viral In My Pants” book.

John and Hank Green with YouTube stars and "Nerdfighters"

Illegal Drugs

No I’m not sure if this is promoting or vilifying illegal drug use. But I’m not sure it matters.

This weirdly repetitive music gets stuck in your ear like a maggot in a festering puss wound while you’re traveling in search of El Dorado in the Amazon in the 1910s without any medication.

Brought to you by: http://www.redandblueandgreen.com/

Biggest Online-Video Community Gathering Ever: July 9-11, LA

Some of the most-viewed YouTube “weblebrities” will gather with hundreds of people in the YouTube community, including video creators and viewers, professionals and stalkers.

phil defranco at vidcon 2010
Phil DeFranco Will Attend July's VidCon, a gathering of hundreds (maybe thousands) of YouTube community people.

The event — called VidCon 2010 and scheduled for July 9-11 — includes rapid-fire stage performances by some of YouTube’s biggest “stars,” including comedy duo Anthony Pedilla and Ian Hecox (“Smosh“), “What The Buck” host Michael Buckley, Phil DeFranco, “SxePhil” and “Like Totally Awesome” host, and Justine Ezarik, YouTube’s token popular hot girl who hails as iJustine (and author of Tasty Blog Snack). Those 5 people alone, mind you, have been seen collectively 1 billion times (if you count both videos on their individual channels, as well as on group channels like TheStation). For those of you not good at math, that’s “an assload” and more views than most television shows.

To put it in perspect, 106 million people watched the last episode of MASH and the 2010 Superbowl. Paranthetically, my stupid videos have been seen 130 million times, and my siblings still refer to it “as your little YouTube videos.” But if I’m on the local Fox news channel I’m suddenly hot.

Back to VidCon: What’s got me most excited are performanced by some of the most talented musicians on YouTube, including the advertainment song duo of Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal (Rhett and Link), the ukulele-playing singer Julia Nunes (know as j and seven a’s), and the cerebral guitarist Hank Green, who is the event’s mastermind. I’m also looking forward to seeing Joe Penna (TheMysteryGuitarMan aka MGM), who wrote the “Nalts, Nalts, It’s Not His Fault” theme song. He’s been on a magical high lately, and he’s eye and ear candy for the whole family (see his recent “Looping Around,” a song that’s almost passing 1 million views, and what my family calls “The Happy Song”).

Although I haven’t hit all of the major YouTube grassroots events, I have gathered with fellow YouTube fanatics in NYC (twice), London, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta. A nude female doll with my face has attended other events, and was no doubt far more interesting to meet. The only formal event YouTube has thrown, to my knowledge, was November 2008’s YouTube Live… a show the San Bruno company doesn’t appear to be reviving.

We’ll also see the omnipresent Charles Trippy and Alli Speed, who have documented their each day for a year. Trippy somehow doesn’t have a Wikipedia page, which I find highly suspicious. ZeFrank is also going, and will appear on a panel with other Internet has-beens like me.

10 Predictions for Online-Video in 2010

I’m a bit late on my online-video predictions for 2010 (unless you count this December post). The landscape continues to change, and it seems the world has been slow to catch up with my 2008 and 2009 predictions. Heck I even made a video in 2006 predicting 2007.

Here’s what I’m seeing in Online Video for Twenty Ten. Don’t forget to read the predictions from December from many WVFF guests who be smarter then my.

  1. Continued web-to-television bridges. While we’re still far from a merge of cable, television and online-video, we’ve seen some interesting changes already. Roku, Netflix, AppleTV, and a few brave television manufacturers pre-embedding software and wireless access or Ethernet plugs. I’m going o once again bet on the lazy man’s alternative to setting up their own PC media player. I see a $199 device that allows us to access the Internet right from our televisions. It’s a small PC, a remote-controlled keyboard and mouse, and it plugs into any television via HDMI or even less progressive connections.
  2. More stars dive into online video. Ashton Kutcher, Felicia Day, Tom Green. These guys have embraced new media, and there’s a wild rush to Twitter. 2010 is the year that more stars put themselves on YouTube. Don’t believe me? Wired reports Kutcher IS the future of video. They won’t always “go viral” but their strong fan bases offline will propel them to the most-subscribed pages of YouTube, eclipsing many of the web purists.
  3. AOL, Microsoft, and Yahoo Catch Up. Ironically, the laggards are web portals and search engines that had a media bent a decade ago. Google leapfrogged them with YouTube. They can’t stand on the sidelines forever. Watch for these players cutting deals with larger players (cable, telecommunications, etc.) to establish their dominance. Since it’s almost impossible to battle YouTube directly, they’ll focus on partnerships with tech companies and premium content providers. The result may not be as popular, but it will command the attention of advertisers that like pro content and “safe” plays.
  4. Programming Not Sporadic. When I was posting daily, I didn’t realize how important that was. It kept my audience active, and ensured my recent videos got 50-100,000 views. In past months, I’ve posted unpredictably and as little as 10 times a month. The result? I’ve plateaued. Meanwhile the regular posters (Sxephil, WhatTheBuckShow, CharlesTrippy and ShayCarl) are souring. The creator community is learning about the vital need to post predictably. ZeFrank used to post at 1:00 daily. TheOnion was always updated online on Wednesday. If you’re not predictable, you’re forgotten. Many amateurs are hosting live shows once a week, and the crowds flock to see their favorite “stars” unplugged. Audiences like routines.
  5. Division of Audience Focus in Conferences and Publishing. In the early days of the Internet, attendees included marketers, tech folks, and about every other business function that thought the web was going to be more than a fad. Online-video conferences and publications have taken the same approach. Watch in 2010 as conferences and publishing focus on more concrete audiences. AdTech for advertisers. StreamingMedia for technology people. And other conferences for marketers or web-studio playas. These conferences are too frequent and too broad to serve any audience well.
  6. Niftier Audience Participation. We’re still doing little more than putting VHS tapes online. The power of Web 2.0 (or 4.0 or whatever the hell you want to call it) is the interactivity and the engagement it facilitates in storytelling. Sure we saw 2009 videos that took advantage of “annotations” to create “choose your own adventure” series. But watch as advertisers and content creators merge to create more robust engagement experiences built on video, but with lots of tools that create a deeper, immersive experience. SevenEcho is one company to watch.
  7. White Dwarfs and Luminous SuperGiants. The lifecycle of the average weblebrity is compressing, despite a handful of amateurs that have maintained a vibrant presence. In 2010 we’ll see some new talent and more popular talent fading. There are not many people that have the persistence and creativity to sustain a continued audience. There are “Gary Larsons” that burn bright but short. There are Charles Shulz’s that don’t stop until they die (or their lines become jagged like someone drawing on a motor boat).
  8. Advertisers Forced In. Every year we predict advertisers will finally embrace online video (but the spend levels are not proportionate to the audience reach). That pretty much HAS to change dramatically in 2010. Not enough impact on television’s fragmenting and depleting audiences. So even the most traditional and laziest media buyer will be forced by marketers to spend more and spend more wisely. Watch for more obnoxious takeovers on YouTube and other sites, but also some clever alternatives that get brands “inside” the content.
  9. There is No 9th Preduction. That’s because I have to go wake up the kids, and don’t have time.
  10. News, News, News. We have watched as “consumer generated media” has made its way to many televised news stories. Now that cell phones with video cameras are fairly common, we’ll see more of this. And that prediction I made years ago… a live broadcast from some crisis directly from a person’s cell phone? That’s happening in 2010 or I’ll stop predicting it. I promise.

Today is “Project for Awesome,” so Watch for Nerfighters Reducing “World Suck”

Today, December 17, is the third-annual “Project for Awesome,” where thousands of Nerdfighters will be using online-video to “reduce world suck.”

Even if you understood nothing in the headline or lead, I encourage you to keep reading because you’ll learn a lot about online-video through this story.

Project for awesome 2009 logo

John and Hank Green were brothers who lost contact over the years, and decided to change that through daily vlogs to each other (which they posted for the rest of the world as Vlogbrothers). I find myself increasingly frustrated with people in online video that don’t know their name… and give them the look of disgust you get from a sports enthusiast when you say “I hope Tiger Ruth helps the New Orleans Rangers make it to the Superbowl.”

Unlike other popular online video creators, the vlogbrothers put their loyal viewers, ideals, intellect and charity above themselves. This has created a genuine fan base of people (we call ourselves Nerdfighters), who would pretty much do whatever the Green brothers asked unless it involved hurting small animals. We’re bonded on the pursuit of increasing awesome and decreasing suck. After all a good planet is equal to awesome less suck (put mathematically, that’s GP=A-S). In my opinion, increasing awesome is easier that decreasing suck. It’s easier to bond around a cause than a complaint.

Today, like the two prior years, hundreds of video creators will make “Project for Awesome” videos to promote good causes (here’s mine, which is to promote awareness of autism). “We want to make the world a better place, and so we’re thanking people who have dedicated their lives to do that, and promoting their cause with our time and our money,” the brothers write on their website.

So here’s what to watch for today:

  • Hundreds of videos will be posted to YouTube with a specific thumbnail (icon).
  • Via Twitter (using hashtag #p4a), hundreds or thousands of people will be giving these videos “5 star” ratings, and commenting aggressively on them (to push them to most-discussed and most-viewed pages, which are as important as the homepage itself.
  • The team will be using a ProjectforAwesome Livestream to communicate as well.
  • As a result of this, many newer YouTube users will be perplexed, but then find themselves amused and perhaps compelled to participate.

Now let’s say your heart is made of ice, and you really don’t care about community or charity. What can you learn from this as a marketer? Well to keep it real, you’d unlikely be able to replicate this, because people tend not to rally around a brand or commercial effort like this.

But it does show the influence that a few people can have on a larger group (the YouTube “community” that is still vibrant), and in turn to a much wider audience of YouTube grazers (the rest of the world). Give people something to care about that’s bigger than your brand or you, and do something selfless (to help reduce world suck). That’s a noble cause, right? And maybe we’ll see major charities or brands tossing their hats in the ring this year or next.

VidCon: Community & Online-Video Industry Morphs in July 2010 Event

This video shows Hank Green (with his lesser known 3rd Green brother) announcing VidCon, taking place July 9-11, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. Here’s the official VidCon website.

youtube gathering july 2010 la vidcon

For those of you familiar with the Vlogbrothers (John and Hank Green), I don’t need to tell you what an enormous connection they have with the vibrant and growing community of online-video. They’re funny, smart, and selfless; this week they’ll be orchestrating another “Project for Awesome,” where they encourage fellow video creators to make a video about a charity… to “reduce world suck.”

So it wasn’t surprising that they’ve attracted the “Who’s Who” of online video… literally the most-viewed and most-subscribed video creators of YouTube and beyond. Also- if you know Hank and John, you’ll know that the admission price is to cover costs, and proceeds are for charity. These guys aren’t interested in making money, but these events cost a lot to do well. So I’ve got little sympathy for those few dozen people who feel a price tag is “anti-community, man”- sing that tune to your waitress at IHOP, kids.

For you online-video industry people who are less familiar with the community side, I have one piece of advice. Attend. If I could only attend one conference this year, it would be this one.

There will be a series of professional tracks covering advertising, marketing and production. But of course you can see the “brains” of online video at any conference. This one you’ll see the brain and the heart. And you really don’t know online-video until you’ve seen the heart… watched the most-viewed amateurs interacting with the fans… seen the groundswell of enthusiasm about a medium that’s changing people’s lives… see the friendships among the talented people (and me).

The informal YouTube gatherings — like 7/7/7 — have brought hundreds and even thousands together in various cities, but this one’s actually organized and planned. So it’s likely to be a huge event. Book your hotel early, friends.

If you’re interested in speaking slots, panels or sponsorships (imagine how many videos your logo can show up on, and how many millions of times it will be seen), let Hank know or shoot me a note (I’m volunteering to help on the professional side). Much of that will be formalized by the end of January. In the mean time, follow VidCon on Twitter.