Darious Britt is a filmmaker, YouTuber, and educator known for his work in the film and online video industry. He is popular for his YouTube channel “D4Darious,” where he shares filmmaking tips, tutorials, and insights to help aspiring filmmakers improve their craft. On his channel, he covers various aspects of filmmaking, including screenwriting, cinematography, directing, and post-production.
Darious Britt’s approachable teaching style and informative content have earned him a significant following on YouTube, and he has become a source of inspiration and knowledge for many aspiring filmmakers and content creators. He has also collaborated with other creators and professionals in the industry to share their experiences and expertise with his audience.
Alex Ferrari 0:16
Enjoy today's episode with guest host, Jason Buff.
Jason Buff 0:45
Today we're talking with Darious Britt aka D4Darious. Now Darius is one of these guys who has just taken over on YouTube and has a filmmaking channels that is really, really amazing tons of information. And one of the things we're going to be talking about in this episode is the concept of personal brand and branding yourself on YouTube and Facebook and the concept you know, it's not a new concept. Any anybody who knows Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Stanley Kubrick, all of these names that are always coming up in filmmaking classes. And whenever you're talking about filmmaking, you're always like, Oh, well, Kubrick and Hitchcock, and these guys, those people have a brand. And I know that it's not a popular way to think about it in the same way that you would say, Okay, well, Starbucks is a brand and Nike is a brand. But there's a difference between branding and marketing. And branding is really when your name has all these things represented with it, okay? When you think about Steven Spielberg, you think about certain things. When you think about Eli Roth, when you think about Stanley Kubrick, when you think about Hitchcock, they all represent something and their names would be at the very top of the posters. And there's a reason for that. And there's a reason why Spielberg's name is at the top of transformers, posters, and back to the future, and all these other things. Because that name means something when you say Spielberg, it means something to people. So what we need to do as filmmakers, is to pay attention to the connection we have with our audience, and to start making a personal connection with our fans and the people who you want your film to be for. And there's tons of people that have never done, they don't understand this concept. But the people that are really out there, the people that you remember, are the ones who make sure that their name is always front and center. And they're, you know, their image is out there. And people know who they are. They do interviews they do behind the scenes, and they get in front of the camera. I remember one of the first things the first time I ever thought about who the filmmakers were, we're seeing like Raiders of the Lost Art documentaries on PBS. And you would see Steven Spielberg doing interview after interview after interview and talking about filmmaking and talking about that, you know, he was out there before most of these people I think one of the first people to do it was probably like Hitchcock used to do you know, all the kinds of behind the scenes stuff. And Disney was also out there and they branded themselves and they created a connection with their audience. And if you really want to kind of go to the next level with your filmmaking, instead of focusing completely on your film, try to focus on building your own personal connection with your audience. Alright, here's my interview with Darius sprit quickly like to find out is, you know, when filmmaking kind of inspired you when you were you know, what, what films inspired you What was the thing that kind of made you want to get into filmmaking?
Darious Britt 0:45
That's kind of a strange story for me, but maybe not so strange. And maybe there's other stories that are better. But originally, I wanted to be a comic book artist for the longest time, and it just wasn't in the cards for me to be a good illustrator. I found out the hard way that I think to be competent, you need to have a certain level of photographic memory. So and I didn't have that. So long story short, at the age of 23. I realized I would never be able to achieve what I wanted in that medium. But I still had the itch to tell stories. So then I started looking elsewhere and thought of filmmaking. I was considering doing novel writing, but I'm not a writer like that so
Jason Buff 5:16
Can you draw though?
Darious Britt 5:18
No well after.
Jason Buff 5:20
I mean, literally, it usually it usually helps to be able to, you know, just draw,
Darious Britt 5:24
I put the pencil down. I thought I would regret it for so long because it was such a huge part of me. But as soon as I found filmmaking, I never looked back. I don't even really miss drawing at all. So what what that tells me is I really just needed to find the right medium to express is what it was. And I thought it was drawing and it wasn't that but we've always been kind of artistic. Yeah, I always had stories in my head. I think I mainly was attracted to illustration because of the control you there weren't as many factors that could ruin an idea you just had mainly a writer and an illustrator was filmmaking. You have so many moving pieces and parts so that's what attracted me to that. But But yeah, I found filmmaking in a film called possession was Sam Neill was the one that really launched me off into it. It's it's a transgressive film, but I think showed me It showed me something I had not seen before at that time. And that's what kind of woke me up to the possibilities of the median, generally with transgressive films, you can find a lots of they push the boundaries on, I guess, violence, and I don't know the best way to describe it, I'd have to Google it and give you the definition. So I don't misrepresent transgressive film, they're kind of the touchy or films, you could say Gaspar no makes a lot of transgressive films, they really push the boundaries on what's considered acceptable or what you can show in a film.
Jason Buff 6:47
Um, so what is your background where tell us a little bit about where you're, you know, I want to get into your YouTube channel, but how did you end up you know, what, what's Yeah, well, what's your a little bit of your biography, so we just kind of know a little bit about you.
Darious Britt 6:57
I can give you the abridged version of that when I was in the Air Force for four years as a jet mechanic got out, went to the University of Arizona for film, and while I was going to the university, I was writing a feature length script. As soon as I got out of film school a month out, I shot that feature length film called on sound fast forward a year later, test screenings later, reshoots later, a year and a half on the festival circuit later, and I am where I am right now. But I think the departure point between what really kind of pushed me on to the online space was when I was doing the festival circuit for my senior thesis film, seafood tester. In order to graduate you had to make a senior thesis film, I was doing the festival circuit in tandem with producing unsound, so I was shooting on sound while I was submitting seafood tester. And I started realizing that maybe the festivals weren't what I thought they were in terms of getting yourself out there, you know, all the Cinderella stories we hear with you know, Kevin Smith, Tarantino, the usual list. So I started realizing based off the reception of the short film, seafood tester that maybe my expectations were a little too high with regard to the marketing power and you know, getting into top tier festivals in particular. And sure enough, when I started touring on sound, I was right, like, you know, you got rejected from Sundance, it's the usual like, oh, man, I thought I would get in. So I started looking elsewhere. Right after the tail end of my short film seafood test, I started looking online for other ways to build a sense of community around my work, connect with other filmmakers connect with an audience. And then that's when I found YouTube. I started looking up other YouTubers. And I was like, You mean to tell me there's more than just people doing cat videos and like, they're garnering these huge, massive audiences? What? Like, why didn't anybody tell me I the word YouTube must have popped out of somebody's mouth, maybe one time in my entirety of film school. And it was like, oh, yeah, you can just throw your film on YouTube. That was it. Like there was no talk about the the entire world, the brand ability, what people are doing online, there was no talk about that at all. So yeah, it was a huge, huge departure for me. And as soon as I saw that, I was hooked. What years were you in film school?
Jason Buff 9:16
I graduated in 2012. And I so yeah, they should have been probably, you know, talking about that. I'm always amazed at how little people understand about getting online and putting your film online connecting with an audience just kind of it's the way things have kind of moved you know,
Darious Britt 9:31
You if you're not online as a creative you don't exist pretty much in my opinion, you don't exist, because it's so tough to reach it levels. The playing field is what it does. If you understand how to leverage micro content to to get yourself found and to build community to reach audiences, then you're stuck doing the old method, which is print media or PR, you know, and that all costs money, like uh, yeah.
Alex Ferrari 9:56
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Darious Britt 10:05
So in my opinion, you really need to be online and not just be online, you need to understand how to use the tools to engage audiences and connect. So while I was on YouTube, I learned that a lot of it the hard way, the first six months, I was on YouTube, I was I was splashing around, I wasn't really I was treading water for the first six months, because I didn't understand how to create content that pulls audiences towards you, I was pushing myself on to people. So well, how do you mean pushing yourself on the beach? Well, for instance, certain things are going to get views and certain things are not. So if you make content tailored towards what people are looking for, you will be found, if you make content that no one is looking for, it's going to be a lot, it's going to be a lot tougher for you to get found. So in my case, I was making vlogs about my adventures on the film festival circuit and getting distribution. Now that seems like that would be a heavy hitting topic only you have to remember a large portion of the audience on YouTube is still fairly young, it's changing. Lots of older people are jumping into the pool now, but it's still fairly young. So I was making vlogs about things that most people aren't even on that level. Most people are on the how do I make a short film level? How do I like what is three point lighting, so I was not getting any kind of traction. So I needed to push myself. So for instance, I would go to I wouldn't recommend doing this anymore. But when I was starting, you know, I was very aggressive. So I'd go to a bigger YouTubers page, bigger filmmaking channels page, see one of their videos, and then I'll go down the comment section and personally message every person who commented on their video, hey, how you doing and I basically pitch myself started a new YouTube channel, I'm a filmmaker hitting the film festival circuit with the first feature length film, you can follow us to learn about the distribution process, what it's like to submit to film festivals, and I pitched the value of my channel to them. And that worked. It worked very well. I was getting like maybe 20 subscribers a day doing that. But at the same time, it was extremely time consuming, because I'm pushing myself onto people. So my, my amount of growth is limited to the number of people I directly contact. And I didn't just do that on YouTube, I did it on Facebook. So I joined like four or 500 filmmaking Facebook groups across the world that would look up every city and join find the Facebook group and join it. And then I would advertise my films or my vlogs. Whenever I had went out, I did it on Google Plus. And I was doing it so much that I started getting all kinds of problems on all the platforms like YouTube took my comments away for a year. Because I was like 300 messages spin like strict two hours, boom, just messaging, because I really wanted it, you know, so but then I began to realize, and I know, I'm kind of just going off here. So you can No, no, this is great. I began to realize that the the amount of time I was spending reaching people could be better spent generating more content. And I also realized that these bigger YouTubers, they're not doing what I'm doing in order to get where they got, they're growing organically. They're not having to personally message people. So then I reevaluated my content strategy and I started really studying their channels before I would see them and then okay making filmmaking stuff. Cool. I can do that. But I wasn't really seeing what they were doing. So then I started kind of reverse engineering their channels. Okay, well, what's what are the videos that are hitting the hardest on their channel? Oh, how to do this, how to do that how to do this. And then I'd start looking up search fields and see, okay, well, there's this one guy who only has 35 subscribers yet, he has a video on three point lighting that has 5000 views. So if this guy who has 35 subscribers, nobody knows who he is yet this one video has a ton of views that tells me that if you make a video on a topic like that you're guaranteed to give us anyway, just because people are looking for that. In the video, of course the guy made was not very good. So that tells me even more, it's like, okay, so instead of pushing myself on people, I need to I need to generate content that people are looking for. And sure enough, the first video I did using that strategy, the first video I did for you know, I think it was how to how to make a short film. That video in one day, got more views and did better than all my other videos did in a week without me even marketing it without me even pushing it just like boom, I was like, Oh, that was it, Darius prettier. So today we're covering five things that you can do to improve your filmmaking skills. So these aren't in any particular order. But number one will be taking acting classes. This is going to give you a sense of the acting process. And you're going to learn about the acting lingo. And these two tools are going to make you a much better communicator when it comes to talking with your actors and getting what you need out of them. Oftentimes, you're asking things for your actors, but you don't really know what it's like to be on the other side of the camera and what you're actually asking them so by being on the other side of the camera and performing yourself you'll thus know what it's like to be an actor and you'll this understand their predicament a little bit better, and it's gonna make you again, a much better communicator. This is a great way to meet new talent you'll meet and work with new actors that you might work with in the future and you guys will already have a working relationship and kind of understand how each other works. And number two watch Inside the Actors Studio The episodes aren't very long and it is a great resource to learn about acting, you can pretty much find all the episodes online for free and if you watched one video every day for a month, you would learn so much about acting I promise you if you're not comfortable directing actors now if you watch Inside the Actor's Studio every day one episode for a month by the end of that month, you feel like you can direct anybody and number three, watch your favorite films with the sound off by doing this this allows you to focus on just the visuals you'll be surprised at how much more you pick up with the sound off and you just watching the visuals everything feels different. Watch how they move the camera. How does it affect the narrative? How does it make you feel as an audience member? How does it affect the pacing of the story, watch five of your favorite films with the sound off at least twice and just really study the camera movements and I guarantee you you will learn a lot and number four shoot as often as possible. If you want to get better at directing actors. The best way to get better at directing actors is to direct actors grab a couple friends script out a scene and shoot it. Don't worry about lighting it don't worry about making it look pretty just focus on working with actors don't dump any resources into the scene studies just shoot them for free. You don't have to upload them anywhere. You just shoot it, work with the actors cut it up, learn your lessons, and then delete it if you want. You want to get better at working on your visual effects or foreign VFX test. Just practice, practice, practice. Stay prolific, stay busy, stay at it. And number five, watch a lot of movies. And I don't mean watch a lot of movies. I mean, watch a lot of movies, watch movies until you're sick of watching them and then watch some more on the face of it. It seems easy. But you'll be surprised at how quick because you get sick of watching movies after a certain point. The more you watch, the more familiar you'll be with storytelling. The more you'll see certain trends and cliches you'll see things done well things done not so well. But you'll have all of this experience to reflect on when you're making your own movies, thus making you a better filmmaker. And if you have any time after that actually break down the movies that you watch as in watch them repeatedly study the ones that you found were good, break them down and figure out why they're so good and study the ones that are bad, break them down and figure out why they're so bad. It's no coincidence that usually the best filmmakers tend to be cinephiles as in you know, Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, they've seen so many movies that they have such an archival knowledge of films that they can't help but make better movies. So the moral of the story watch a crap ton of movies until you vomit and then watch more. And so I still didn't learn my lesson, though. So I did both. I was like, Okay, well, if I can make videos that people are finding organically and I still push, I could get double the double whammy, you know, and I did that for a little while. But then it just became very counterproductive, because I was getting more growth organically than I was pushing myself. And I was still getting messages from Facebook saying you're misusing the platform and all Yatta. So I just stopped. I'm telling like, they were shutting down on me, man. They were shutting down. So then I stopped doing all that stuff all together and just relied on making good content that people are looking for. And then you know, it's just kind of been history ever since now, it's like not worth my time to even really push any of my stuff out there. I just, I just create it. And you know, there's something to be said about when you take the time to understand the mechanics of search ability, and what people are looking for it can really, really make all of the difference. And I feel like that parallels a lot of what Hollywood is doing too. So now I'm not so upset about everybody, you know, groans about genre pictures, and you know, them exploiting licenses that are already huge brands, I completely understand why they do what they do. Because even on the online space, you're still beholding to supply and demand or you're not supplying demand, you still be holding to what people are looking for. Because I can make the best film on the planet, I can make the best video on the planet on YouTube. But if it's not, if it's not in that stream of what people are looking for, it's not going to get found, and it's not going to get shared as much but there are strategies to straddle the fence but just in my journey online, I definitely understand the importance of creating content that's essentially marketable and sellable. So
Jason Buff 19:06
So yeah, is there is there a way to do like a mailing list and stuff like that? Or is it just purely like getting subscribers? I do have a mailing list.
Darious Britt 19:14
I haven't put as much emphasis on that mailing list. I'm gonna be putting more on it when I release on sound but right now it's mainly using all the fish nets to you know, I've got the YouTube and then Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, those are my main main ways to communication at the moment. Tell me about
Jason Buff 19:33
Snapchat. I keep hearing about that. I know nothing about Snapchat, how is that a way to connect with people?
Darious Britt 19:39
First off, I think before I jump into the platforms, I think what's worth mentioning is the strategy behind them first because then you better understand their use. The way that I've used social media is, I am I am after building a strong brand. I don't just want people to know my name.
Alex Ferrari 20:00
We'll right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Darious Britt 20:09
I want to pull them in close to me, I want to build a relational connection with them. I want them to connect to me as a creative for me as a creative, not just my body of work. That's what I'm after. Basically, I would like to call following you know, I don't just want people who are like, oh, yeah, saw one film by that guy. I want you to be Oh, Darius. Yeah, I know him. That's what I'm after. I want that relational connection. And I think platforms like YouTube, or particular, YouTube is like the best for that extremely powerful, because you can engage your audience, you know, not only can you release the film, but you can answer the comments. So you can you can build that connection with people. And I think when you view the other social media platforms in that light, where it's about connecting, it's not about hey, it's not about it's not so much about self publicizing as it is connecting. And I think one of the biggest mistakes people I see people doing is all they do is push what they're doing on these platforms, they're not giving any kind of value, they're just pushing, hey, look at my short film, look at my feature film, you can buy it here, you can buy it there look at look at look at look, and they're not sharing anything they're not, they're not thinking of what can I give to someone else to make what they're doing better to empower them. So it's basically the givers gain principle, you need to give value to them, give them a reason to want to follow you, it can't just be about you, you know, you've got to, you've got to kind of empower others and give to others. So what I do on the other social media platforms is it's a way for me to connect to them off of just YouTube, and give different types of content to you know, share quotes, inspirational, things, I found inspirational. You know, literally any, anything that I think they would find valuable. That's what I do on those other platforms. And I do it on a consistent basis, because it's just like marketing, it's about impressions. You can't build a relationship with someone off of seeing them one time, like how well can you get to know a girl off of one date? Not very well, like you need to see them repeatedly. You know, it's about the number of times that you make contact with them. That's how you build a relationship with your audience. So even though, you know, take Instagram, for instance, even though yes, you you take a picture, you have a little caption, you know, they scroll through, they see a little picture and they like it, right. And that may seem like a very small thing. But when you multiply that over, say three months, if somebody has been following you on Instagram that really builds a connection there, especially if the content that you're sharing on Instagram is something they can find valuable or entertaining. So it's those impressions, that repeated contact that builds that trust that builds that relational connection. So now you're not just hobo filmmaker, but now you're Jason buff, you know, oh, yeah, I know him. I follow him on Instagram. Well, I like his pictures. Oh, he told me this one quote that I you know, I remember, you know, like, it's it. That's, that's the whole game givers game, building a connection, working on fostering that sense of community. That's the whole that's the whole point of those social media networks. I mean, outside of that you're wasting your time, really, In my opinion.
Jason Buff 23:19
Yeah, I totally agree with you. I mean, that one of the biggest things that I see are biggest mistakes I see is so many people just putting pure stuff like all about me, you know, look at my stuff. Can you can you do me this favor? Can you like my this or like my that, you know, and it really is true, what you're saying, you know, that you the thing it shouldn't be about giving to people, and that's what's going to attract you, that's what's gonna make people like your page or, you know, subscribe to you is that you're giving them what they want to have
Darious Britt 23:46
Exactly. It's about I think, you know, it's not, it's not unlike the older forms of marketing, you know, where it's like, Hey, I've got this PDF, you know, I'll give you a free ebook or whatever. If you join my mailing list. It's the same thing, just different and it's a little more engaging, like, you're still giving people things for free. And in return, they know your name. So it's givers gain, like when you boil it all down in order to survive in this climate now where everybody can do anything. As an artist, you have to have a brand, you have to have a strong brand, you know, you have to have brand awareness. And the best way to get that now is either you're creating content that has a massive following, like Scott McMullen, put it with the classic marketing. It's like if you want to be a leader jump in front of a parade, you know, you're either connecting to something that is already huge. You know, you're connecting into the zeitgeist or you're connecting into Star Wars or a brand that already has a huge following that is ravenous for content. You're either connecting into that or you're giving people what they're looking for in terms of empowerment, you know, people trying to learn filmmaking well. If you're the guy who shows them guess what? They know you. Oh, I feel On this video, oh, he's got a whole series, you know, like, now they know you. And even though that takes a lot of work to do that, I think the rewards are numerous. Like, they're, it's amazing. It's like once you start rolling this snowball, it starts rolling itself after a while. But that's not to say every artist needs to make How to videos, I'm just saying, as an artist, as an artist, you need to find a way to give value to people on a consistent basis, you can't just crank out a movie and then disappear for a while you need to find a platform, and you need to find a constant content strategy where you can leverage micro content, whether it's blogging, whether whatever, but you need to have something else where you can build your brand, while you're making your masterpieces, you know, because if you just wait till you make a movie, and then you collect emails, and you disappear for a while, we'll keep that three years that you're away, you're not growing, you're not building your brand, you're gone, you're off the grid, whereas the person like me, who's still creating micro content, still hitting the search engines with the content strategy, still still planting the seeds, you know, all the time? Well, the next time I make a movie, you know, it's gonna be that much easier, you know, so and that, that's another big thing, I think is artists just want to make what they want to make. But they they need to realize you're not just an artist, you're an entrepreneur, now, you can't just make your art you need to find a way to market yourself, you need to find a way to brand yourself. So yeah.
Jason Buff 26:28
That's great. I like I like that you quoted Scott, because he's a good friend of mine. What most filmmakers don't really understand this aspect of the filmmaking world, you know, marketing and, and a lot of the stuff that you just said, What was your kind of what brought you into that world? Did you like read any books that influenced you? Or was there was there something that like, got you into the marketing side of filmmaking,
Darious Britt 26:51
To be completely honest with you, desperation is what plunged me, because I have this huge movie that I have literally charged up all my credit cards for pulled out loans for I went into debt to make this film. And now when I'm on the first circuit, you know, and my expectations, were not what I set out to do, because I was still going off the old model that I learned in film school, you know, make a film, get on the First Circuit, you'll meet producers, you'll meet all this stuff, they'll help you make your next film and made a distributor to sell it. And the reality is, that's not what's happening out there. That is not what's happening. So you know, I got this golden egg on my back that I spent a lot of money on. And I can't just say, Oh, well, that didn't work out. So let me just go get it, you know, flip burgers, like that's not an option. At this point. I'm not paying this debt off for the next 2030 years, like so what really got me into it wasn't a book because I kind of found out about Gary Vaynerchuk, after I had already kind of codified my way of doing things. But it was just studying other YouTubers to be honest with you studying what works for them. And usually what works is giving content that people are looking for in engagement, the two biggest things because if you give people content, but you're not engaging them, you're not building a community that will evangelize what you do, you know, like building that relational connection. That's the second step. But that's kind of where I saw most of the patterns. It's like, okay, these videos did well. And not only that, this is what they're doing on their social media platforms. Oh, I can see why that works. Because I liked it when you know, when I go, Oh, that's cool. This is a cool, cool oh, this is you know, so then once you start thinking of it in those terms, then the ideas, everything makes sense, when you think of it as givers gain, you know, the more I give, give, give, give, at the end of the day, it all comes back to you, you know, people know you now, you don't have to work as hard for people to take interest in what you're doing. So, um, I think once I got that concept, everything else just kind of fell into place. Right? It's like duping somebody into being curious. It's literally about making a connection, a personal connection as personal as you can get it. I used to accept a lot of friends on my personal fan, Facebook page for a while I had to stop doing that though. I was trying it was all about how to bring people closer to you as a as a creative, but as a person to you know, like, yeah, if you asked me a question, I'll answer it. If you tweet me, I'll try my best to tweet back all my Facebook messages I answer and it gets tough because I'm getting comments and questions from all these platforms, Instagram, people, pm and you DMing you so it is definitely tough to do. And if you go through most of my YouTube videos, you'll see I answer a ton of comments. And a lot of YouTubers, some of them when they get bigger, they don't answer comments, you know, and it's like you're missing a huge component to branding right there. That's an opportunity to make someone who could have been just a passive viewer to make them that much more engaged. Like how would you feel if you tweeted Tom Cruise right now and he tweeted you back.
Alex Ferrari 29:57
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Darious Britt 30:06
Or like, Who do you look up to? I'm sure there are a lot of people in the community that you will actually you probably get a hold of anybody that you are in the stratosphere, you know, like, yeah, Smith or something like that. Right? Yeah. Yeah.
Jason Buff 30:22
I mean, for me, like if I, if I ever talked to somebody like Spielberg, or you know, Scorsese, or those guys that would just like, you know, be the end for me.
Darious Britt 30:31
It's like, if you were to tweet Scorsese, and he tweeted you back, and then he even put the sign so that, you know, it was actually him and not his, you know, social media manager. Right? Like, what would that do to you be like, oh, man, well, he now you're not. It's like, that does something to people. That's like, wow, like he took the time to tweet me back. Now, obviously, somebody on his level that would, he couldn't do that all the time. But you get the idea, though, it's like, that kind of opens up another door, where you're not just this guy on this pillar off in the mountain somewhere and making masterpieces and poop and rainbows and unicorns. But now you're an actual person. Now, you know, like, I've actually contacted you, and you responded like that, in my that's what it's all about, in my opinion, you know, it's not just the word. It's the connection. So a flop, they still support what you because they support you as a creative like, oh, that last movie you did that wasn't the strongest. But I thought about, you know, like, feeling that last one. But if you've got a connection that goes beyond just your work, it's way easier to rebound from that, because they're looking at you as a person and not just oh, yeah, all you do is shell out products. You know, like
Jason Buff 31:43
Has, has YouTube changed, since you got involved with it, it always,
Darious Britt 31:46
It's always changing some ways for the better. I think, when I first got onto the platform, it was fairly turbulent for a lot of the older YouTubers who've been on the platform for a while not older, and age is older. And you know, that status, right? I'm used to the way YouTube has changed. I was around when they did the whole merger and the comments and everything got all wonky. And they tried to make everybody go through Google Plus to do anything on YouTube. So I was there right when they were doing all of that. So I think it has changed. But the mechanics of search ability and getting yourself found and generating an audience is the same. And I don't think that's going to change even though there are a lot of fish in this in the sea. Now, there are a lot of people doing some amazing things on YouTube. It's more than just cat videos, obviously, you've got short films that are rivaling the quality of Hollywood, you know, literally, but I think that there's still tons of room for people to get out there and cultivate an audience. Because to be honest, even though it seems like oh, man, there's so many people doing it. Now the once the secret's out, it's over. That's not necessarily the case. Because everybody when I joined, everybody was saying, oh, yeah, you know, YouTube, it's so saturated. Now, there's almost no point in jumping in because now you're competing against this person or that person, this person. But what I've found is yes, it is very saturated. But just like in the filmmaking community, where there are a, there's a glut of content, but not all of it is well thought out and executed. It's the same thing on YouTube, there is a glut of people starting up new channels, but there are so many people who are not really executing it, right, you know, they're not consistent. They're not they don't have a content, there's a lot of basics that are not being done that for someone who's really taking it seriously, and really studying the platform, they'll do fine. You know, even if you struggle for a little bit, but you're going to learn and you're going to figure it out and you'll do fine. You will get an audience your rate that you know, everybody is different. It depends on what you're doing. If you're doing basket weaving, then yeah, it's gonna be a very slow jog for you, you know, but but in small niche markets, you don't need to be a big fish as well. So that's the other caveat. I have a friend in the aquarium community on YouTube. I've learned a lot from him. He only had up to 10,000 subscribers, but he was a huge fish in the aquarium community. I mean, he sponsors, he was getting flown out places. Oh, yeah, he was killing it. He was killing it. So So for people who take the time to really learn how to present themselves online, and how to build a connection and understand branding, understand concepts like givers gain, there's plenty of room to jump in. The water's fine.
Jason Buff 34:26
You know, what I find interesting is that there have been a lot of videos that I really liked about topics, filmmaking topics that you know, I wanted to know more about, like something very few people go into is are things like budgets and funding and, and I actually found a couple of videos that I liked, and I was watching and I was like, oh, man, this is a great series, and then all of a sudden, they just stopped and it was like they quit putting up videos or I guess maybe they decided that it wasn't like working out the way they wanted it to. And it seems like so many people and it's the same thing with podcasting. A lot of people just give up like right before they kind of break acre they start getting followers, do you see that a lot?
Darious Britt 35:02
You know, the harsh reality of it is you do what you got to do until you can do what you want to do. And that applies to that very, very much applies to the online space. Because basically, I could have been the guy that you saw who made that budgeting video. And then he stopped had I not delved into the platform. Basically, if I just gave up, that would have been me too. Because when I first started, I was very aggressive. But I was also treading water to a large extent the growth was not organic. And that guy who you saw, I assume he probably made videos, but he wasn't doing what I was doing on other platforms. So his growth was probably twice as frustrating. It's like, Man, I'm in this great value, but it's like, man, it's like snails, you hear crickets, you know, I give maybe a view every other day, like what's going on, you know, the problem then becomes, you got two choices, you know, there's a fork in that road, you can either keep doing what you're doing and say, Okay, well, I'm gonna produce the content I want to make, and I just have to change my expectations. So I know that this isn't a heavy hitting topic as a Star Wars fan film, but I get gratification out of doing it. And if 200 people see it, I'm happy with that. Or you can say, well, if I change my content strategy, I can still do what I want to do, I just may have to take a roundabout way of doing it. So for that guy, I would say yes, if you're making film, you know videos about budgeting, you can still do that. But maybe what you should do is mix up your strategy so that you can incorporate videos that people are searching for first, and then do the budget videos once you've tapped into the stream, because now you've got a few billboard videos out there that gets you found. And then once they find you, then they find something else that they didn't even know that they want it. Because they wouldn't have been looking at up in the first place. If they don't even know what's out there one, and then there's a lot of people who aren't even necessarily at that level yet where they would be looking at up. But when they find your channel off of something they are looking for, then they can, you know, kind of be directed into other areas that they weren't looking for, you know, so for that guy, that's what I would say. And actually, for a lot of people, that's what I would say you have to sometimes you have to do the things you have to do in order to do the things you want to do. Like there's always there's always that every job is like that every job has that even filmmaking, I think, you know, there's what you want to do straight up. And then there's the things you need to do to make it sustainable. You know, and as as creatives we all want to grow, that's all part of our plan. We don't just want to make stuff we want to grow as well. We want people to see what we make. So when you realize and you be when you're honest with yourself, and you're like, yes, I want to do this, but I also want viewership, then you need to change your strategy to incorporate content that is going to bring you that viewership as well as the content that you just want to make.
Jason Buff 37:55
How about in terms just in terms of monetizing YouTube? Is there do you recommend that at all, it seems like you have to have like a billion views before you ever even like make anything from that.
Darious Britt 38:06
It's true. Like, generally speaking, if you get around a million views, that roughly translates to about $2,000. So for somebody who's making about two grand a month, they gotta be pulling in, you know, over a million views a month. But I have found that YouTube is a lot like filmmaking, and that in order to monetize what you do, it's much smarter to use your channel as a, an advertisement for something else that you sell directly, which is, you know, that's something I'm still working on. I've been in a brand building phase for so long, but I'm starting to branch off into monetizing more like all my videos are monetized and I do make some I can't really disclose what it is, but it's not nothing to write home about. Me, like I already do, the million views is roughly what that equates to. And right now I'm only getting I think 50,000 views not, you know, to look at my metrics here, let me pull it up about the views that I get per month. So you can probably do the math, I think, you know, again, you're falling into the creative entrepreneurship, if you just like filmmaking, if you look at if you look at YouTube, just like filmmaking, it there's a direct parallel filmmakers, you make the film, you do the creative side, and then you go and you look for somebody to hand the keys to, hey, I got the car, here's the keys, you know, take it, gas it up, get it polished, do everything, get it, make it nice, get it found, take it to a car show, that's exactly what the old model of filmmaking was. Whereas the new model now that's cropping up, which is Creative Entrepreneurship, you make the movie but you also handle how to monetize it, which goes beyond just selling the movie you get into exploiting the license, you know, like shirts or other additional merchandise or video downloads of things that orbit around your film but aren't exactly your film. I
Alex Ferrari 40:01
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Darious Britt 40:10
Or consulting or offering packages where you know, for $1,000, you can, you know, talk to the cast, and you know, those are things that you can monetize far easier. And it will take you way further than literally just selling your film, or worse yet, handing the keys over to a distributor who's probably, I mean, there's so many pitfalls with that I'm sure you've kind of talked about that one in depth. Well, YouTube is the same way. If you literally make videos and you try to just live off of AdSense. You need to really be pulling in serious volume to make that model work for you. And most people don't reach that level. But if you take a creative entrepreneurship approach where you do not rely on just being the creative and letting a company make change off what you're doing, but you say, how can I monetize what I'm doing on my own? What can I sell, you know, whether it be an e book or whatever, what can I generate, where I can sell directly to my audience that I've cultivated, that'll take you way further, and it like, it's a direct parallel, that I've seen anyway, it's like, wow, man, it's just like YouTube, a lot of the YouTube channels, I follow that talk about the game of YouTube and the craft of it and understanding the industry and how to monetize how to make a living off of it. On platform as well as off platform, it's the exact same thing. They're all talking about ways to generate passive income and revenue. By doing something to sell to your audience, at different price points, the exact same thing. Some of them, I mean, some of them are making a killing, like six figures, and they're not huge YouTube names at all. And then there are some YouTubers who are you know, they have crazy viewership. But you'd be surprised that what they're actually making, they're still living home with mom and dad, you know, what I mean? Like, so it's all the way you look at it. Like, if you take an entrepreneurial approach, you can make a lot of money. But if you just want to be a creative, and you want to hand the keys to somebody else, then you're always going to be stuck. Wondering why man, it's like, I can't seem to make anything. It's like everybody else makes money. But me, you know, it's the exact same thing. You know, you got to take control of that.
Jason Buff 42:23
Does Google Plus have any is that kind of died out? Or is that like, even a factor anymore?
Darious Britt 42:31
I think Google has backed off of pushing that on to everyone. So it's not as it's not as big of a thing as when they tried to force it down, everybody. It's still around. But I honestly, personally, I don't put a lot of juice into Google. In terms of, you know how I mark it, right? Let's put it this way. When I release a video, I put it everywhere. I don't think about Google Plus. You know, and I used to go to the groups and Google Plus and all of that. But I just noticed I wasn't getting very much bite there at all. And they have a lot of, you know, I'm not gonna say it's not worth anyone's time just saying to me, in my experience, I haven't gotten as much mileage out of it as I would have expected or liked. You know, and then you have these other platforms that are, you know, chillin, essentially. So I just didn't find it worth worth it to me to maybe later on when they you know, get the ducks in a row. You know, I'll go back to it. Yeah. But right now, it's, it's not there yet. To me. And even I consider doing Google Hangouts as a way to connect with fans more, but I think that's probably sooner do Periscope, to be honest with you. So
Jason Buff 43:52
It'd be done much with Periscope.
Darious Britt 43:54
I haven't yet. I've been looking into it. I just got I just got on to Snapchat game. Like, you know, I was like, getting a Snapchat. I mean, it's the biggest platform out there right now.
Jason Buff 44:05
I don't even I don't even I mean, this is sad, but I don't even know what it is. Thanks. What is it?
Darious Britt 44:10
And they were like, No, we're good. We're good on that. So it's a if you think of Snapchat as so basically, you you can take pictures and video, but it has a shelf life, it only lasts for like 24 hours. So it's kind of the anti Instagram, Facebook, Twitter in that everything is effervescent. So what ends up happening is you can make these things called stories where I say if you take 24 pictures throughout your day, right now, each one of those 24 pictures will kind of get put together and you can watch it like a story and you can put little texts over it. And the interface is such that it's a very ragtag, you know, it's not polished like Facebook or Instagram. It's very kind of messy. So the type of content that people put on there is is also messy, like I find, like, certain things you'd put on Instagram or like well composed pictures. What you'd put on Snapchat, are pretty much all the pictures that you wouldn't put on Instagram. Because it's just like, oh, literally, this is what I'm doing right now, boom, snap it out, do a little text, boom, it's out there. It's not, it's not gonna last longer than 24 hours. So it allows you to just generate content without the pressure of trying to make it anything because it's literally just about the moment. And I think that's why it's so powerful. And it's hard to understand until you're actually in it because for me, I didn't get it either. I was like, I don't understand. I just don't get it. Like, why would I want to put stock into something where it only lasts 24 hours. So you just have this naked profile up there unless you put something up. But outside of that, it's just it's nothing like, I don't get it. But once I got into I was like, Oh, wow, this is the greatest thing ever. It's like, I can literally just take pictures of anything. I'm in the moment. And it's, I don't have to be held to some kind of quality check, you know, filmmaker, what's up with that picture? It's not about that at all. It's literally just about connecting in the moment.
Jason Buff 46:12
And is it anything like Vine at all?
Darious Britt 46:15
Vine is vine is different. I put vine more in the YouTube category. Where you've got you know, you I don't have a Vine account. I think buying works way better with humor? Which Yeah,
Jason Buff 46:28
You don't see a lot of people doing like bummer vines.
Darious Britt 46:32
Or like, maybe some people do, infotainment. But I've seen everybody who's flourishing on Vine. It's all humor based. So I haven't had a particular reason to migrate to bind for that reason. Mine's more infotainment. So it's like, I'll pass on the vine.
Jason Buff 46:48
It's kind of hard to teach a class and whatever it is like, what five seconds?
Darious Britt 46:52
Oh, yeah. I think that the thing I would tell any, any filmmaker now, or any creative really, to be honest with you, any creative is to my platform is YouTube. But you know, it doesn't have to be YouTube, it can be blogging, but I would tell anyone, your biggest challenge right now isn't your movie, or your painting, your biggest challenge is marketing and branding. Like ever since I got out of film school, what I learned the most, the Hard Knocks school I learned was marketing. That was the mammoth that I feel like I spent all of my time doing. I mean, if I could equate the amount of time I spend with my film versus YouTube. Now, it's like the polar opposite, I spend way more time studying the platform of YouTube. So I would tell any filmmaker, your film was great. You know, maybe you're writing a script right now, that's awesome. But what you should really be doing while you're in film school, is starting up a YouTube account, or a blog, and studying more important than starting that account up studying other successful bloggers and YouTubers, and really breaking down why they are where they are looking at their my YouTube stories and their growth, studying the numbers. Learning the platform, because it takes time to learn the platform, like I can give you five tips on how to grow your channel, but that's not gonna get you anywhere, unless you invest the time to really figure out how it works for you and what you're trying to do on it. You see what I'm saying? So I would tell anybody, like get online and start building your audience now right now, so that by the time you need that audience, they're there. Like, I know, a 17 year old you he might be 18 right now. 80,080? Actually, I think he's at 88,000. He hasn't even been to film school yet. He when he started, he was 15. You know, but so and he, what he's doing is he's learning filmmaking as, as he learns it, because obviously, I mean, he's a young, he's a young chap, you know, so it doesn't get a feature. He hasn't he made a short Yeah, I think he you know, he pretty much made his, you know, childhood, you know, videos, but nothing put together yet, you know, so but what he's doing is he's just taking what he's learning. And he's just repackaging it and making compelling online videos, sharing what he's learning. And you're like, well, he's only 18. How much would you know? Okay, well, yes, he's 18. He doesn't know that much. But think of how many people are out there who are interested in filmmaking who don't know what he knows. They're all going to follow him. So, yeah, you can know 10 times what he does, but you're not online. You're not. You're not leveraging that content right now. He is, you know, and there's a couple of things I've seen where, you know, he may have tripped up on certain facts or whatever, but it's like, doesn't matter. Doesn't matter like he can later when he learns later. Right? But he'll be twice as big by the time he learned, you know, it's like it's all about being out there and doing it.
Alex Ferrari 50:01
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Darious Britt 50:10
And the difference with him is even though he doesn't know it all, but he started young enough where he was learning the platform, he was learning what makes a compelling video how to keep it short and sweet. He was learning seeing what other YouTubers were doing. So he just got better and better and better and better. And that's, I mean, you can't get better if you're not doing it, right. So that's what I would tell anybody right now you need to start now not only for your craftsmanship, but also just learning these platforms. So you know, so it'll be there, you know, the audience will be there. And not to mention, there is so much power in knowing the mechanics of branding and marketing and how to build a community, yourself. So you can build it into a part of a lifestyle, like what I'm doing is a lifestyle. This is not just okay, I got a I got a movie coming out. So I need to like build a channel, I need to do this to get some followers know, after this movie is done, I will still be doing it while I'm writing the next movie, I will still be doing it. When I'm shooting the next movie, I will still be it's a lifestyle. So in the sooner you indoctrinate yourself into that concept and realize the power of it. And you learn how to work economically in that space, hey, when I do this, I cut 30 minutes off my production time, hey, when I do this, I cut this much time and I streamline my process. And now I know how to use Twitter. And I know how to, you know kind of log my tweets and all ahead of time. So when I need to tweet something, I have a log of it. I'm not sitting there searching the web looking for tweetable stuff, you know. So when you learn how to economize your time and become effective. The sky is the limit. It's literally the limit. I mean, it's a well oiled machine. Because you're you're always marketing at that point, you're always marketing, you're always building your brand at that point. Right. So So I would tell them, you know, learn as soon as you can start doing it now, right now, because there's a 15 year old. You started 15,
Jason Buff 52:07
He's coming for you.
Darious Britt 52:09
For he's 21. He's going to be good. Like way good. They'll probably be 700,000 maybe close to a million subscribers, maybe more. By the time he's 21 he probably would not have even shot a feature yet. He doesn't really need to go to film school or anything. He people need festivals like, like, yeah, so it's like, there's no reason why you know, you don't have to be the guru, you don't have to be an authority in what you are, you can be somebody learning, all you need to know is just how to create good content, as you're learning it. And you can be honest with people, he's completely honest, I'm just learning as I'm gone, I'm sharing it and you don't have to, you don't have to put on a front, like, you know, everything people will see right through that, you know, they'll see right through that. But the idea is if you're the ones sharing the knowledge, even if you're just learning it, but if you're the one doing it, they'll follow you. Right. So
Jason Buff 53:08
Yeah, that's definitely I mean, you've talked about so many important topics just in that, you know, last thing. You know, it is important that, you know, people choose who they want to learn from. So they're going to come back to you over and over again, it's like, there might be a million different videos about what cameras to choose, but they want to learn from that person. They want to see what their perspective is because they kind of develop that relationship. And that's, that's a huge thing, you know, so it's not even about being the biggest expert. You know, it's about saying, Oh, well, I'm just like you and I can, you know, this is what I've found, you know, I've done some investigation or whatever. And these are the things that I like, and this is what I've learned, you know, Oh, yeah.
Darious Britt 53:49
And then building that, that second component, you know, working on that relational connection as well. Because all of those numbers, they're people. It's not some, you know, click by pool, you know, what I mean? It's like, if you want somebody to invest in you as a creative and, and you want them to care about what you're doing well, how about you care about them first? Yeah. You know, like, when they comment, how about you respond to the comp, you know, it's like, it seems so simple. It really seems so simple, but yet people don't get it. You know, even with Twitter, you know, you make your twitter you make your tweet, and then a whole bunch of people tweet you back, but then you don't tweet them back. You know, it's like, their people, man, you know, like, you can either be that God off in the pillars, you know, pooping rainbows. Or you can be a real person that they will seek out not only on a creative level, but on a personal level. They're like, Oh, man, oh, he's got a product. Okay. Oh, yeah. Already, before you even announced get it all out of your mouth. I was out I was already pulling my wallet out because it's like a tweet I've answered. You've answered tweets you answered. You've given me so much. Yeah. I mean, like, that's the least I could do. Yeah. Not to mention people tend to evangelize you when you make yourself available. I mean, I've had people follow me just because I commented back on YouTube, I can't tell you how many times you were like, Oh my God, you commented me. Subscribe. I can't with you actually commented back like, wow, I have a lot of people that go through my comments and see that I actually make an effort to comment back and then they're like, Wow, this is really cool. Like, you not only make good content, but like, you took the time to actually comment back like, simple things like that. But again, if you look at it as a givers gain model, that makes sense, right? Like, why wouldn't I comment back or at least make an honest effort as much as I could to do so? I'm sure if I get bigger, you know, that'll be harder and harder, but people will see the effort, though, you know, so Right.
Jason Buff 55:53
You know, what's really funny, though, is like we just finished our masterclass on film sales. And the thing that I see is that the newer generation has completely screwed up everything for all these, you know, film events, and film markets and stuff like that, because they're starting to shift and follow what you guys are doing, you know, and follow what the new generation is doing. And they look now for people to have YouTube channels and Facebook followers. I mean, I was talking to one guy the other day, who, you know, was telling me that they won't even look at a film unless it has a Facebook following of like, 20,000 people, you know, and it's become kind of backwards, engineered, so that, you know, all these people that were at one point in charge of doing, you know, putting DVDs into stores and putting stuff on video on demand, and all this other stuff, are now looking at this generation of YouTubers and people who are, you know, have their own audience that connects directly to them. And they're starting to follow them, you know?
Darious Britt 57:03
Yeah, the funny thing about that is, I still think they're behind the curve ball, because so like, for instance, they say, well, we'll look at a film lesson, got a Facebook, follow on with 20,000 or whatever, right? You you learn very quickly when you start making accounts for things, and I learned this real quick, like, okay, so I'm building my brand as a creative, but I also have unsound, which in itself is it's a film and it's, it's a brand, it's offering an experience, you know what I mean? Um, so I had a Facebook account for that, too. And then I got a Twitter account from myself. And then I got a Twitter account for unsound too. And if I do five other movies am I going to have Twitter accounts for five other movies and Facebook accounts for five other movies, like you already see where it's going. Like, in order to be effective in the social media space, you need to streamline your efforts. So if you build one moniker or one name, and you put everything underneath that name, for instance, Paul makes movies, Paul Osbourne, all of his social media is all under one name Facebook call makes movies. So whatever movie he's doing, you can go to one place and figure out what he's up to. Right, but if you've got five other accounts, like it's tough, you're juggling all the time and not to mention if you do a huge marketing effort behind one account, push a lot of people that ad account, say you get, you know, 5000 likes on that movie, right? But then when you do another movie, it's like you got to go to that account and like entice people to go to this other movies account now you see what I'm saying? It's just it's so messy. Whereas if you just like for me how I handle all my stuff, it's all under D for Darius the moniker D for Darius. You know just cut all the other stuff out my Facebook is Darius J brick, but I can't really change that if I could have changed that to D for Darius A while ago I would have but everything else is all D for Darius. So it's like if you want to know what movie I'm up to or what I'm doing on YouTube, you can go to one place on Facebook and find that out. I don't have to be pulling people from account to account to account to do that. So if a distributor is coming and looking at me and they're saying well how many people's following your movie account? Well, there is no movie account for that like this is all under a brand right now. You know like right now on sound on Facebook has I could tell you the the likes on it and I stopped pushing on sound on Facebook a long time ago once I started realizing just how how wasteful that kind of is. It has 570 likes on Facebook right now for the movie on sound. But D for Darius or Darius J Britt, which I do a lot of unfound updates on, you know, all my vlogs that I release on Darius Britt. I have 5343 Facebook likes, right? But that's under me as a brand. So that's not going to change. You see I'm saying like whatever movie I'm working on. I'm still doing that movie.
Alex Ferrari 59:59
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Darious Britt 1:00:08
So I don't have to play that game. Right? Well, I think and I think they'll eventually catch on to that too. The problem is a lot of filmmakers. There's a lot of people that make the film and and they get burned so bad, they don't get another shot. So it's not like you have a lot of people who get to learn that lesson, I guess you could say,
Jason Buff 1:00:27
Sounds very similar to, you know, it's kind of what John John Carpenter did, because of John Carpenter's films are called John Carpenters, you know, whether it's the thing or Halloween or whatever. And then Tyler Perry does that to you know, people who always put their name with the film, you know, so you, you just consider it kind of, like, it's another one of this guy's movies. So that I think that's kind of similar in a way to what you're saying now?
Darious Britt 1:00:53
Oh, it's, it's, I would say, and some people may not agree with me, and that's okay. But to me, what is way more important than any work that you do is your name, way more important? Because your, your movie make be great tomorrow, and then the movie after that may suck. And then the movie after that may be okay. And then movie after that may be great. But if you have a strong name, if you have a branded name, where people know you and they seek your workout, your shelf life is going to be twice as long as somebody who's making masterpieces, and then they fall off the map. But nobody really knows them. You'll go twice as far. Because at least people know you. You should I'm saying so. John, I would totally do that, you know, I put the name first, even if it's a social awareness film, but I'm an artist and I have to survive. I mean, at the end of the day, you got to take care of you. If you're not if you can't pay your bills, and you can't do any what good is it to make all these movies if you can't sustainably do it? You know, you still have to turn to a crowd and crowd fund at some point. You know, maybe, you know, I mean, that's not, I'm sure, eventually you can go beyond that. And most people can grow beyond that. But for a lot of us, that's the phase you have to go through, you know, capitalize your projects by turning to your crowd, but there's got to be a crowd there. So, you know,
Jason Buff 1:02:21
Well, can we talk about that for just a little bit? Can you give your perspective on the crowdfunding game as it is?
Darious Britt 1:02:30
Same thing, it's pretty much the same thing, you have to have a crowd to turn to and you need to be if you live the marketing lifestyle, and you learn to make cultivating an audience a part of your creative process. So whatever project you're doing, you're blogging about it, you're giving how to tips or you're creating, you know, maybe you don't want to do any how to stuff or any you know, here's a life of a person stuff, maybe you just want to make entertainment, but you also need to, to make that effective. Whatever you choose to do, it needs to be effective. But if you spend the time to make that a part of your lifestyle, so that you were always building an audience, then when you do need to crowdfund they're already there. So basically, all of these things, they all orbited around the same planet, the filmmaker needs to change their approach of what they do they need to embrace being a creative entrepreneur, not just a creative when you live the marketing lifestyle. That's entrepreneurial right there. That's not put it this way. Did we learn that in film school? No. Did it add social media accounts? I'd be lucky if my teacher said Twitter once. So when you embrace the fact that you know marketing is a large part of what you're doing, and if you make it a part of your lifestyle, guess what, it's a lot cheaper. If you make it a part of your lifestyle, because it's about that jog, it's about nipping away at it piece by piece by piece by piece by piece, but at an affordable way, because what I mean it doesn't cost me much to generate my content online. And that's what got me all my followers is that I mean, most of the videos are all free. It's just me doing my thing in a room talking with a camera that was free. And that's gotten me to pretty much 60,000 subscribers, but my film that I had dumped a ton of money into, man, it's like moving a rock uphill had had it not been for YouTube, honestly, I don't know. I wouldn't be in a very different situation right now had it not been for YouTube and just really taking the bull by the horns on just building a connection with people and putting that first. Again, putting your name first, not your creative work. So if I will, if I was all about my creative work first, guess what I wouldn't be doing I wouldn't be making how to tips on how to do lighting or how to do sound or how to talk to actors. I wouldn't be doing that. You because it's all about the work, that's not my movie, you see, I'm saying it would all be wrapped around my movie. But since I'm putting my name first, that opens me up to do a million other things. I can talk about stuff that has nothing to do with my movie, because it's about my name, you see, I'm saying like filmmaking, screenwriting, social media, I can get into all kinds of other avenues, because it's about building the name. And once you build your name up, anything you're associated with, gets brought up to, it's like, it's like a tent pole, you know, like, you need the tent. Before you can hold anything else up, you gotta be up there, too. So, um, so yeah, if you, if you live that lifestyle, and you take it bit by bit, you make it a part of your process, then when you need to self distribute, or when you need to do a crowdfunding campaign, or when you need to do a push for, you know, building up certain numbers, a certain stats on different accounts. It's all there for you, because you've been working at it the whole time. So whereas, you know, if you don't do that, then you're stuck doing the old way, which is throw a lot of money at it. No, let's do a run a whole bunch of Facebook ads, or YouTube ads, which are horribly ineffective, oh, never probably spend money. You're pretty much you're hurting yourself by doing YouTube bags actually. Same. Same with Facebook ads to a certain extent, depending on what you're trying to market, you could definitely hurt your numbers. Like I'm probably never run Facebook ads to increase likes on any of my film stuff, because you end up with a lot of basically, glorified click farm situations, which hurt the algorithm in that in the metrics. So they're like, Okay, well, the more likes you get, because pretty much paid for him. But then you're not getting engagement on any of your posts. So Facebook's Like, Oh, well, this guy's content is not doing so hot, so we're not going to put them out there. So that ends up hurting you. So. So yeah, I'm in the online space. Like, it's really about making that micro content work and getting yourself out there. And it's way cheaper. And as filmmakers, guess what we don't have a lot of, we don't have a lot of money. Right, or at least we don't have, we don't have that. So. So it behooves you to learn how to do it for free, and for cheap, which is basically building it slowly, but surely, but consistently, is the big thing. And also whatever medium you choose, you need to pick you need to do it sustainably. This is another big mistake I see a lot of people make. So Joe Blow wants to start a YouTube channel. And he wants it to be based on short films. So he wants to crank out a short film every month, or every couple of weeks, or every week, with skits or whatever. You know how tough it is to work other people's schedules out and get everybody in the same room or in the same location to shoot anything, not to mention how long it takes to do after effects stuff. If you're going to do that. It's it's such a resource intensive thing to make short films that it's an it's an it's not a good idea to base your channel on that. Because the second schedules fall through and now all man were well this shirt was supposed to be done. But like we're running three weeks behind, well, guess what, you're not consistent now. So when people check in on you stuffs not coming out. They're not following you. You know, you can't keep that constant contact going. Not to mention that's, that's resource intensive. So you're always spending money to do it. And you're always orchestrating schedules to do it. That's exhausting. That's not sustainable. You know, where's if you you need to build a model that is sustainable for you. So for me, there's a reason why when you go on my YouTube channel, most of the videos that I'm making, I'm talking Yeah, I could go out and shoot short films if I wanted to. But guess what, I got jobs. I gotta make money. I got other gigs. You know what I mean? That's like, that's not sustainable for me. Now, maybe later on down the road, once I'm able to parlay everything into a solid effort, and I'm making enough money to should do just this, then sure. Yeah, maybe I'll crank out more short films more often, in between features or whatever. But right now, real life, real life takes precedence. So yeah. So I built the model for my channel around reducing as much dependence on other factors as possible. So I don't need to go get actors. I just need me. I just write my script out. You know, me in a room and a camera. That's it. So if I'm running behind, well, I only only get three factors, right? I mean, unless my brain is cooked, and I can't write a script. I mean, more than likely, I can write a script, but there are less points of failure for me so I can stay consistent because it's sustainable. And I would say that for anybody who's trying to get a content strategy for leveraging micro content, you need to think about sustainability. Too many people try to do too much, and then they can't keep the effort.
Alex Ferrari 1:09:55
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Darious Britt 1:10:06
So yeah, and I still am looking for ways to make it even more streamlined all the time, like, what else? What other format can I use to make it even simpler for me, because, you know, I get little hiccup moments where I have a lot of other gigs going on. And it's hard to find time to get in the YouTube space and do it, you know, and I've been fortunate enough where I can stay on top of it, for the most part, I mean, I stay on top of it pretty, pretty thoroughly, but, but had I not been thinking of that ahead of time, I could have really, you know, mess myself up, because the thing you don't want to do is place an expectation in your audience's mind, have a certain level of video, and then go below that. saying, like, if I prime you for Hollywood, After Effects videos, or whatever, and then I can't do that. So then I start releasing these talk to talk to the camera videos, they're gonna be like, WTF man, like, get back to, you know, the shorts, like, this is not why I subscribe, you know, I was looking for this, you know. So that's, that's what you don't want to do. You'd rather it's way better to be in a situation where you prime them to expect something a little more streamline and sustainable for you. And then when you do do the bigger projects, then it's a bonus, then Oh, cool. We're getting to see this. And then you said it's a bonus. It only adds to you then. So yeah, that that that's a huge one. I was talking to someone the other day, they wanted to do a YouTube channel. And, you know, they started off trying to do this big production, raise all this money and shoot 14 episodes, it was like $300,000, or whatever. And I was like, Alright, look. First off, like, consistency should be number one, you need to find a way to do what you're doing consistently to, you need to cut all these other resources out and streamline it because you're going to be beholding to all of these other factors. And if you can't keep that up, guess what else goes down the toilet, your online presence, you don't want to set people up to expect something that you can't sustainably carry through on. So now that's gone. But if you set it up where all you all you need is you and a camera. You're good. So even if other things fall through, well, you can still just hop in front of that camera and crank out content. You know, I mean, I can do this till the cows come home. So So beauty like tip, like there is no shelf life for that for me. I can't age out of this. I can pivot, you know, but I'm not going to age out of this. So 20 years from now, I can still do this. I don't need to go to a producer, or I don't need to find money to do what I'm doing. And that's the beauty of it. Like, I don't know, I'm just really excited about I think, to be honest like that. That's the writing on the wall. And it's not even new. It's here. It's here right now YouTubers are doing it right now. It's just you're not hearing about all the successes they're having because they don't need to rely on print media to get the word out. They're selling movies right now. They're making money right now making feature films and selling them directly to their audience and making money and placing on iTunes right now. But when that can about that. Because we know what the people that
Jason Buff 1:13:24
Who are the people like when you say that? Who do you have in mind with like,
Darious Britt 1:13:29
Hannah Hart, Grace Helbig they did a collaboration shot a movie released. They're YouTubers monetizing short films, believe it or not. Video packages being monetized. There's a couple of movies, I can't remember the other. There's like two other movies that were a feature film that they made and just sold directly to their audience. And they're doing fine. And that and here's the other kicker about it. So the problem with the old model of marketing is it costs money, right? And you know what, outside of the money, if you don't have the money, you're done. But when you have a blog or a YouTube channel, you can point your audience in the direction of the products you make in perpetuity. When I release in sound, and I'm selling, you know, DVDs, blu rays, or whatever, I can continually point people to that movie, five years from now, as I get bigger, I can still point I can still mention it because I have the eyeballs. I don't have to go through anybody else to get the eyeballs. You see what I'm saying? So and more people are still going to find me. So even if I don't make that house, nut back or whatever, right off the top, eventually you're going to make it back because you're still generating eyeballs. So you know, 10 years from now I can still be selling that movie. You know what I'm saying? Like? Yeah, where's the old model? It's like, you know, once you're out of money, it's like oh, man, okay, well, I'm Then it's time to just move on to something else. And once you don't, and on top of that, you have no other way of reaching your fans or audience for that matter. So it's like you move on to another project. And that's it, you have no way of still selling your old project, because you have no micro content strategy to reach people. It's just your projects. And that's it and your new project. You can't sell your old project with your new project. Hopefully, you know, maybe you make a big splash and people Google you. And they're like, Oh, well, let me check his old movie out, let me try that. But most of the time, I mean, that's not I mean, that's not something you want to rely on, you want to have a way to push that, you know, you'll get 10 times further, if you can literally say, Hey, by the way, you can check this out, here's a t shirt, you know, you want to be able to tell them directly. And if you have a micro content strategy, where you can build your audience and your community, that power comes with it. You can point people anywhere, you know, or if you're doing consulting, same thing you can point out, right? Hey, by the way, if you're looking for certain, like you can sell, you can sell when you have a micro content strategy, when you have a branding strategy, so when you have followers. So yeah, that's another that's another huge thing. So, you know, when you build a body of work, I feel like if you have a branding strategy and a marketing strategy, and you have a micro content, clothing line to hang all of your projects on if you have a backbone of a you know, basically a brand with a strong solid content strategy that's sustainable. Man, it's like, just thinking about the possibilities. So it just boggled my mind. It's like, like, as a creative, that's so much power. That is a lot of power, man. I mean, it's like, you can pretty much become your own little studio. People are doing product placement deals, getting money for short films from companies. That's a studio right there. You know, go go down the street to a mom and pop show. Hey, if you give me this much money, I'll feature your chips. And this your film will take care of you. You know what I mean? I can I can guarantee you this many views. You can look at my numbers. I'm not selling you want to wish I got stats, baby. That's a studio right there. Yeah. People I mean, people like numbers. You know, they love numbers, they breed they find you when you have numbers believe they reach out because they're like, oh, man, it's some smelling good over here, man. Let's talk. We don't get to coach him through nothing. You know, it's like, we can see he's got it going on. Or she or she whoever, like we can see it. We don't have to guess nothing. You know, they don't mind throwing a little money your way when it seems like you know how to generate it without the money on top of that. So. Um, so yeah, like that. That's not a far off. Prospect either, you know, becoming your own little studio and working product placement, especially with a strong brand. You know, I mean, it everything is easier with a brand. Basically, everything. In my opinion, everything is easier with a brand. So artists need to really be focusing on. And I know some of them, they hate the term brand, you know, oh my god, as is my, okay. Build your name. You want to sell a painting? Make sure people know your name. If you want to look at it that way, you know, but everything is easier when you have a name.
Jason Buff 1:18:39
I think when you tell people about branding, their first thought is like kind of used car salesman. And then you you say, you know, Salvador Dali is a brand. Ernest Hemingway is a brand. It's like you, you think about them in that or Steven Spielberg or whoever, you know, those are all, you know, brands.
Darious Britt 1:18:59
Yeah, their personal brands created other brands. Exactly. And there's a I think people get marketing and branding. confused too. So there's, there's sort of a difference between marketing and branding. So branding is an umbrella, it includes a lot of stuff, branding you can do when you don't have something to sell, whereas marketing you have to have something to sell. I think the easiest way to look at it is when you market something, you're selling something, you know, whether it's discounts or whatever, whatever you need to do to get somebody to buy something that's marketing, but branding happens before you have something to sell. It happens while you're selling it. And branding is what's left over after you sold it. So if that used car salesman, you go and you buy a car, but the car is a lemon. Well guess what? His brand is going down the toilet, because I'm not gonna buy a car from him again. His marketing worked but his branding did not. He said I'm saying so what's left over after I bought it is a bad taste in my mouth and a lemon car. I don't want nothing to do with that guy. No.
Alex Ferrari 1:20:01
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Darious Britt 1:20:10
But if he but then he could salvage his brand, though, after he sold me that car. So if I were to contact him say, yeah, the car is a lemon, he screwed me over. But then he's like, Okay, well, you know what I'll do? I'll do this, I'll do that I'm sorry to hear that will take care of you. Well, guess what, Nautilus brands a lot stronger, he made a mistake, but he rectified it. So now now my rapport with him is good. He didn't make any additional money off me now. Right? He didn't sell me anything else beyond that. So that move he made after he already made his cash. That was a branding move. The way his relationship with me is, that's branding. So now I can go and evangelize his name. Because like, Man, I bought a car, I thought I was done. I told him and he fixed it, he took care of me. Now his brand is strong, you know. So with artists, I think they really need to embrace the fact that when you talk branding, that is a lifestyle, that should always be going on. Because you can be building your brand, even when you have nothing to sell. Like what I'm doing on YouTube, I'm building my brand, but I'm not selling anything. Well, if anything, I'm just selling myself, I guess and sharing information. But I'm not like pushing anything to an audience for a transaction. But that is branding. You see what I'm saying? That's not your marketing yourself yet. But that's branding. I'm giving them an experience, I'm giving them value. And it's not related to selling anything. But when I have the movie to push or whatever, and now we're getting into like pretty much straightforward marketing. So I think when people kind of realize there's a distinction there. And branding can be very personal. When you build your personal brand, that can be a very personal thing. It doesn't have to be like, Oh, I always have to like push my products on them. No, that's marketing. If you look at branding, it can be just sharing a tweet that has nothing to do with anything, you know, just hey, maybe this will pick your day. That's branding, when I scroll through my Twitter feed. And Paul makes movies talks about when he went to Italy with his son, and they did this. That's branding, even though he's being relational. And he's just talking about what he's doing in life. But that's branding, because now I get to know Paul a little bit better, right? He's not selling me anything. But that is a branding move there. He's giving me a certain expectation of a certain experience from him. I can expect movies, but I can also expect them to just be a human being, you know, a guy will get a bear with Right. So. Um, so yeah, I think I hope that makes sense. That wasn't confusing the way I explained it.
Jason Buff 1:22:42
I hope that well, it's I mean, it's a complete confusing topic, you know, so I think you're, you're only helping, you know, make it more clear. But I mean, when you think about the brands that, you know, you know, typically we think of, I think logos and you know, like Nike and Starbucks, and all these other brands that are all around us. But if you if you dig a little bit deeper, it's like, what do those things, you know, the Nike swoosh doesn't mean anything, but we associate it with a lot of things, you know, and that's the branding is like the connection we have with certain things. And it can be anything, you know,
Darious Britt 1:23:15
Yeah, it's almost like a theme in a movie, too. If you think about it, like a movie can be, you know, the plotting and everything that you see, but the theme is more about what the movie represents. And that's more universal. And when you talk about a brand, that's a lot to do with a brand is what is the universal thing that you represent, and me as a YouTuber, and as a filmmaker, I represent empowerment, I want to empower other filmmakers. And I also want to show them that you can do it too. And also, as an African American filmmaker, I want to show other minorities, hey, you can do it too. I want to be an inspiration for YouTube. Now, even though I'm not saying that directly in every one of my videos, but the value that I'm giving makes that obvious. So you can say that's a theme for my content strategy. Even though when you look at my content, I'm not saying any of it, but the theme is there I represent, you can do it too. We can all do it too fresh out of film school dropped a lot of money on a movie here I am. Like, let's do this together, you know, but, um, so, but it's clear what I represent, right now. You know? And that's the same for any other creative out there is I think that's also getting in terms of like, basically what value are you offering people? It's kind of that question, you know, when you're talking about your brand, it's or your branding strategy. It's not just reaching out to people, but it's like reaching out for what what are you giving them? Why should they follow you? What experience are you giving them? You know, are you just going to retweet a million other people's tweet To not generate any content of your own? Or are you going to generate your own content that they can't find anywhere else? And what is that content? What's the message behind it? There are some people out there that they have a, you know, they've got a brand, but it's a very negative brand. Like there's somebody, all they do is rant on YouTube. But guess what, they bring back a lot of negativity, too. So it's like, branding is not just building your name, but for what, for who? What's the value? What's the experience you're giving? What's your reputation? You know, Apple is Apple's kind of associated with quality. Whereas, you know, like a used car salesman, who is a schmuck while his reputation is going to be Hills sell you anything to get your money, he'll sell, you know, snow to an Eskimo, he's just after the after the money, you know, well, okay, well, that's his value. That's what he's offering me. I don't want anything to do with that, though. But
Jason Buff 1:25:51
You know, what's funny to me is like, all these different YouTube channels that have sprung up that are people, like, for example, it'll be a guy just watching a trailer. And that's the whole thing. And experiencing that, and how we've kind of changed as a culture that that's like, people are connecting to things by watching other people experience, something like that, you know, and now you've seen all these other people start having videos of people just watching like the Star Wars, you know, trailer and stuff like that.
Darious Britt 1:26:23
So there's a huge value in there, now you get kind of into the X Factor of YouTube, which I think is pretty much the X Factor of anything. And that's if somebody has a watch ability to them. When you talk about YouTube, you're talking about a platform that was literally founded on a guy who could turn his camera on when he goes to the grocery store, and just talks about whatever he's doing. It was founded on amateur vlogging, pretty much, hey, here's a platform where you could just make a video and upload it about what I don't know. I mean, but you can do it. So you have a whole sea of people who are just like, okay, cool, I'll just turn this camera on and just do whatever I feel like doing. So the relational connection that people make is very much, Hey, I like you. You're cool to watch. I just like listening to you talk about stuff. You know, it's just that X factor, are you watchable? Are you somebody who I could just spend five minutes, watch talk about nothing, you know, or what bothers you, or what annoyed you today on your way to this store, you know, like, so when you see examples like that with people watch trailers and all that for every one person, you see, who can pull that off, there are 1000s of people who could not pull that off. So
Jason Buff 1:27:39
I always feel bad when there's like, the guy who's got you know, who's doing the same thing is the guy in the video above them. And the one guy has like, a million views, and the other guy's got like three views. And I'm like, oh, you know, I'll do your video, you know,
Darious Britt 1:27:51
There's some other writing on the wall that you, you don't see too. And that's the guy who pulls all those views, who seems to be doing very easy things. But most of the time, these YouTubers who are raking in the big numbers and all that they are combing and studying the platform. So if you look at their channel, and you try to do what they're doing, you see the writing on the wall, like, oh, wow, like what they're doing his very smart, like they're not make, they're not just cranking videos, there's a strategy there. You know, some of these YouTubers, especially the fashion, you know, industry, ones in the movie, like they have a timetable, you know, they have to be the first person to put out a review or whatever on it before anybody else does. They gotta be able to crank it out. And it's got to be quality. And like, there's a lot of stress there. Whereas people who don't understand how the platform works, they might just be like, oh, this person just made a makeup review on this thing. So I could just do that. And they see the upload date. And it's just some arbitrary upload date. They don't know that, well, that makeup thing was released two days ago, or a day ago, and then their video came out the next day. That's what you don't see. So they raked in on all of those views, because they were the first person to be talking about it. The second people were looking for it. So there's things like that, that, you know, if you're not looking for how the platform works in studying it, you're not going to see that so do you it's like, oh, they can just talk about nothing. And look at all the views they got. Yeah, you're not seeing the strategy. You're not seeing the knowledge of you know, understanding how to make these things work for you it so you see what I'm saying? Like there's more to it than just cranking out things you know, right? It's the same thing for the filmmaking tips thing like I learned the hard way. You need to build a foundation of entry level videos for people to access you then you can branch off into the more complex complicated topics. Once you have the entry level foundation made and lead first so then they can find you and then you can lead them off into other places they did not even know they want Ready to go, but can't do that if they can't find you.
Alex Ferrari 1:30:04
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Darious Britt 1:30:14
So, you know, there's a lot of things like that that need to be understood and again harkens back to that conversation with the filmmaker, it's like, Hey, if you're in film school, what you need to be spending a lot of your time on is learning how to be an effective blogger, you know, or learn how to be an effective YouTuber, you need to spend a lot of time on that, because it's very empowering. And in terms of, you know, marketing and branding, like there's nothing more powerful than that right now, to be honest with you, this short of just having billions of dollars to just plaster your name everywhere. Maybe Maybe that's more powerful. I don't know. But
Jason Buff 1:30:53
That's the old school way.
Darious Britt 1:30:54
Yeah, in terms of not having any money, which is everybody's problem. You know what I mean? Like that, that needs to be first and foremost, because then all your little short films, you make all the little projects you do, you can be building your audience the whole time. Going asleep, I go to sleep, I wake up, I got 50 more subscribers. Like, once you get that machine working for you, it's like interest on money. You know, like, once you get that money put away and you've built it up, and you get that snowball rolling, then after a while it rolls itself almost, it just gets bigger and bigger and bigger. And it's the same thing for having an online presence, you got to build up a content catalog, you got to build up your name, you got to build up your strategy, you got to build up your own workflow, so that you can be efficient at it and make it easier on yourself. But that's something you got to work at, you know, and get better at, there is no press a button, I just got to make this one video and it goes viral. Don't even get me started on viral.
Jason Buff 1:31:56
Kind of want to get I want to get you a little started on viral. So just give me Tell me what you think
Darious Britt 1:32:00
Viral is not a strategy you can build, you can't build a model around viral. You know, now you can build a model around solid content and understanding how to get yourself found and then should a semi viral video come out of that great, but you can't plan on viral and there's way too many people who just think they have a viral web series concept or a viral video idea or whatever, and she's going to get them out there. That's erroneous as all hell. And another big thing about it is yeah, if you did have a viral video, awesome, but guess what people don't subscribe to viral, they subscribe to a catalogue of content. So if you had one viral video, and two other videos that got like 12 views, they're not going to subscribe to you. They're going to be like this one thing. You may it was great. But then all the other stuff in our past, there's nothing else to watch. There's no reason to subscribe. I already saw what he had to offer. That's it. But if you have a semi viral video or a viral video, if you just get, you know, out of this world lucky later on, but you have a catalogue of content to hook them where they saw that one video and then they go down the rabbit hole and you got like 40 other videos and they just get lost watching you for like two days. That that's a strategy. So viral viral is not a strategy. And I see way too many people trying to bank bank on viral like, I can't make a living off viral even if you're relying on AdSense or something like you can't, you can't make a living off of viral you know, nor can you reproduce it. That's like saying every film I make is gonna get into Sundance. I mean, how unpredictable like, you know, I can't bank on sun, oh, I'm gonna make this movie and it's going to get into Sundance and guess how many people's dreams have been crushed? operating on that model, right? Not to mention trying to reproduce that it's just unrealistic. completely unrealistic. Yeah. And that's a very direct that's a direct parallel. That's like trying to just want to move again to Sundance okay. Right, like you honestly have a better chance of winning the lottery than getting into Sundance if you have no names you pretty much have a better chance of winning the lottery. When you when you really look at the numbers I did a video just breaking down like the numbers and what you're actually competing with it's I don't know how I I honestly don't know how I even considered that yeah
Jason Buff 1:34:32
Yeah, I don't even look at that as like a possibility you know when I'm when I'm going through like the marketing plan for a film. It's just so completely remote especially now you know?
Darious Britt 1:34:45
Yeah, well, there's way more to it than there's way more to it than a Sundance is a marketplace those times your fest their marketplaces with brands to protect so everybody moans about oh, they cover Paris Hilton when she walked down the street. Bye Yeah, there's this little film plan there. They didn't get no press. Okay, but they need buzz, period. That's what it's about like, was launched his careers, not films. You need a good film to get the buzz. Yes. But there are a lot of great films that don't get buzz. So they're not they're not mutually you know, synonymous and there are bad films that get buzz and careers get launched. So it's the buzz that launches you Tarantino. What launched him was the buzz. Yes, he's very talented, but Reservoir Dogs and like that could have came out and not garnered the talk that it had. You see what I'm saying? Like, it's, it's the buzz and the people talking that gets you watched? You know? Yeah, I'm not discrediting a good movie, you have you guess make the best movie you can like, but it's not the movie that's gonna get you there. Like there are droves of great films out there right now, that did not get buzz. But you'd be like, Man, this is a really good film, like, how come like what happened? Like they played Sundance, but then they just fell off the map like nothing happened? Yeah, well, because they didn't get any bus. Like,
Jason Buff 1:36:17
You see that a lot. I've actually talked with some filmmakers. And they, you know, I watched their films, and I was like, wow, you know, this was really good. I don't know why. Why didn't I ever hear about it? You know, I just happen to click on it on Netflix or something. And I got in touch with them to do interviews, and I'm like, wow, you know, I'm surprised that this isn't on like everybody's top 10 list for last year, because this was an amazing movie. And they just like, the marketing just never kicked it. I guess what happens with a lot of these films is they, you know, they sell them to, in the first place, a lot of these films aren't made by the director, they're made by a producer and a production company, and they don't, you know, they don't really have anything to do with it. But, you know, it just amazes me how, you know, these movies just like disappear. And there's all these horrible movies that are like, well, you know, marketed and people know about them and everything. And just like, you know, hundreds of movies go under the map all you know, every single year.
Darious Britt 1:37:16
It's about that it's about that buzz, man. It's important. And that kind of goes back to that big question of what, nowadays in order to survive and to thrive as a creative, you can't just be a creative anymore. You have to be a creative entrepreneur to thrive. Yes, there will be those rare cases where some people punch through using the old model, yeah, that'll always be around. But guess what, you cannot rely on that. Or else you'll just end up in the sea of people who are not making it and not thriving. For every one person who makes it during using the old model three is like, hundreds of 1000s of people who didn't get anywhere trying to do that. So you can't bank on that. But what you can bank on, is taking the keys to the car and driving yourself around. You know, like, you can bank on building up your foundation of knowledge on how to market yourself, how to brand yourself how to use micro content, how to leverage micro content online to get yourself bound, you can bank on that. As much time as you spend learning that it will repay you back in spades. I mean, it's not that hard to it's really not that hard to figure out. I'm not gonna sit here and tell you like, oh, yeah, it took me so many years to do this. And oh, man, yeah, really cracked out when Good luck finding it. Because I found it. I'm not sharing it. No, I'll share everything. Because it's, it's not that hard to, to figure it out. The hard part is doing it and being consistent. You know, but once you see the rewards, that's even easy. You're like, oh, man, like, Man, I want to do this more. You know what I mean? Like, wow, like I'm reaching people who I've never met before, but, but you can bank on that, that's a skill set that you can bank on. You know, and once you have that skill set, it's only a matter of time before you punch through only a matter of time, even if it's a slow start. You know, like my first first year on YouTube, it took a year to get 5000 And then the next year, my second year mark, I was at 50. But like once you roll that snowman, you know, once you roll that snowball, and get it working for you, and you get better at it too. You're always learning, you know, that you can bank on. You can bet the farm on that because even if it takes you a while to find out what works for you specifically, you know, because not everybody's different. Everybody's gonna have their own model and things they like to do and not like to do and there's a lot of experimentation with it, too. You know, I'm always experimenting on my platforms you're gonna hate. I haven't tried this tweet out or I haven't tried this or maybe if I read these quotes at this, you know, you're always experimenting but you get Better edit, the more that you do it.
Alex Ferrari 1:40:03
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Darious Britt 1:40:12
But, you know, once you do it, it's so empowering because you don't have to rely on anybody else man. And time is on your side at that point, because as time goes on, you're only gonna get bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger. Whereas with the old model, time is against you. As soon as you're hot, you got to have something else going on, or else you fall off the mat. Or if you're away for too long, you fall off the mat. Time is working against you, they're because they're you're not prolific, you know, you come out for a little while this big project, and then you go away, so you got to come out real soon, or else you call down and people forget about you. But when you live the marketing lifestyle, and you understand how to leverage micro content, and you spend time doing that, and you build that foundation for yourself, and for your creative efforts. Time is on your side, then because as time goes, you're only going to be making more content, you're staying prolific, even if it's not these big projects back to back or whatever. But the micro projects are going to get you just as far if not further, because there's a strategy behind it, remember is like, Okay, if I make this here, and I know that I can get this traffic, I make this I can get this track, you're planting seeds all the time. So time is on your side, you know, you're only going to get bigger and bigger and bigger. So So yeah, that's way more bankable. And that's something is free. Yeah. That's the other part. It's free, you know. So yeah.
Jason Buff 1:41:46
Let me let me ask you, you know, we're coming up on an hour and 40. So I want to respect your time, even though I probably haven't. What is your current like, knowing what you know now? What is the current status of unsound? What are you doing with that now,
Darious Britt 1:42:06
I'm still figuring out the best way to release it right now. And it's been this way for a while. I, I am more inclined to release it for free on YouTube on my channel where it's under my control. And I can use it as a branding effort to build and foster more community for filmmaking. Because to be honest, if I were to throw up a paywall, yeah, I'd probably make some cash, you know, but I don't think I would recoup everything we spent on it. And I think it would be a horrible oversight in terms of branding, because remember, your name is way more important than your creative works. What I do now has got to foster and lay the groundwork for the next projects and the next projects. So if releasing something for free, it's gonna put me in a way better position later on down the line. I'm way more apt to do that, because it's doing free stuff that's got me where I am right now. So that's not to say, I'm not gonna monetize themselves. I am. But right now, the strategy is to release it on YouTube for free, do a huge campaign behind it. And I will probably do Facebook ads on that, because I'm not trying to ask people to like the page, I'm just trying to guide them to see the movie for free. And I'll probably get a hold of every mental health community, across America over other countries spend a lot of time pushing it literally because I can push it for free. I can't push it if there's a paywall in the way that I want to push it, you know, and try to get a huge grassroots movement behind it and collect that viewership. And we're still going to sell like blu rays and maybe other ancillary products, I'm still going to probably set other price points, you know, maybe you can talk to the filmmakers for this amount of money or whatever, you know, because you do need to cover those bases. But if I get A a huge viewership with no paywall, the conversion is still the same. I'm still getting the one to 3% conversion as far as transactions are concerned. So if I get 10 million people to see unsound over the course of three, three years, that 1.2% conversion is still there. Whereas if I got the paywall up, he said, I'm saying, and I'm only able to really reach so many people, because I've got that paywall up and I'm only getting I'd rather get one to 2% of you know, transactions off four or 5 million impressions of seeing a free movie and getting hooked up for one seeing a free free movie. That's good. You know what I mean? Right? I would rather bank on that than throwing up a paywall and only getting like, you know, like 700 transactions. Yeah, you know, and plus in terms of of branding and building your name and community and all of that I can go way further if it's free because I can engage my audience. You know, I can answer comments, I can do all of that. Build that personal connection with them that relational connection with them, I can do that if it's free. I can't do that with paywalls as well. And plus, if you were to see it you like it, guess what you could do? You could just email your brother link boom, Hey, I saw this movie. It's great. It's about what we go through our man you got to see this boom, now he can see it in Texas. Everybody can see it all at the same time. You know, so it's just there's way more way more flexibility way more power and in the conversion rate still say not to mention if I throw the paywall up, right and then you know, people get it, guess what's gonna happen anyway, torrents it's gonna happen anyway. It's a thing. Like, you can't fight it like it's going to happen. People will tell me now they're like, Oh, I saw the trailer, I'll be honest, I looked and tried to see if I can find a torrent. Like, there's no way. There's no way to you, I can't tell you how to people. So yeah, I'll be honest, I looked for a term couldn't find it when to come out, you know. So it's like, for free anyway, man, they're gonna kill it anyway. So I would rather make the play to build the connection with them so that if they buy into me as a creative, they'll want to give just to support me at that point. That's kind of like falling into the Louie CK model. Now, it's like, people want to support good work, and people that they are vested in. So if I spend more time working on that relationship with my audience, as opposed to the transactional benefit of them, then the transactional will come anyways. Because people will donate just because they want to support you at that point, you know what I mean? So, so to me, that's a much better play. And of course, I have the advantage that I kind of built what I've built so far, so it gives me that option. But even if I hadn't done that, looking long term, having it up there for free, is still going to be way, because it's still gonna garner more views and views beget more views, right? It's like, the more views it gets, the more views it's like, it will become, you know, it will get its own place where, where people will know about, I'll just put it that way. And it's very niche to with the mental health community. And I know that we hit that pretty hard. I mean, blood, sweat, and tears to make sure we crossed every T and dotted every i. So I made sure that it's good. You know, I know that it's good, right. So now it's just about getting it to where it needs to be getting it to the audience that it serves. And I want it to be a, I want it to become a bedrock of the mental health community. And if I release it for free, I can do that, where it's like, we can show it everywhere, they'll still want to buy a DVD or Blu Ray just to own it and have a quality version of it. Like the communities would still buy it when you're talking to organizations and stuff, they'd still want to buy it. You know, so I don't think I'm sacrificing. You know, my stake as as far as sustainability, if anything, I'm bolstering it because it's a long term play that we're making. It's not the short term. And also, we're selling other things at other price points, probably when we do it. So do you
Jason Buff 1:48:26
And stuff like that?
Darious Britt 1:48:27
Oh, yeah, probably behind the scenes, where are they now all that stuff. And then the other things that I'm going to be advertising within are myself as a brand, you know, like, by then I'm probably gonna have the consulting up. So that's something else kind of like what Scott was talking about, where we have to change the way we view our films. And this is not the first time I've heard about it from a number of other people, some in the music community to or they were saying, you know, the smart people, they make music to sell stuff. They don't make music to make music, they make music to generate business. Because with the business, they can afford to make more music. And it's the same with filmmaking, it's like, if you look at your films, as a way to generate business, then you can afford to make more films, you can be sustainable, but if you don't think of it in those terms, you don't think of it as an entrepreneurial venture, where you need to make income, then you're not gonna make any income on I mean, it's like that's it. I mean, it was a spin a good run, guys, you know, that fun, will be paying this debt back for the next year. I mean, like if you're not thinking of how to monetize what you're doing, or at least how to build a better position in terms of branding, where you can at least monetize your brand, because even after unsound is out and you know, we're still monetizing what we can for that because it will be monetized even though we're releasing it for free. It will be more on it ties though.
Alex Ferrari 1:50:02
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Darious Britt 1:50:11
Just not the initial free seeing of it, but I can monetize myself as a creative because if it does well, and I'm saying I am offering script consultation for feature film scripts, I've already vetted myself online as far as understanding that stuff, you know what I mean, but to have a body of work that supports that I know what I'm talking about, aside from the vlogs, with film festivals, people would pay for that. So because of that I can monetize other things that are not directly the movie to you said I'm saying. So I think as artists, we need to realize that I mean, Hollywood's doing it, it's no secret that they're selling all that it's not a secret, like, yeah, the movies at that level there. Yes, their movies make money, but they make 10 times more on everything else, and all the licenses and merchandise, that's where they really make the money. You know, so yeah, as creators, I think we've really got to start looking at it in those terms. selling ebooks, anything like but, like, seriously, like, you can make a lot of money. If you if you think outside the box in view your film as a way to open the door to the store. You know, like your film is not the store it it opens the door to the store, like you've got to have other stuff to sell, you know, or else it's just not sustainable. I mean, once you sell the film, and that's all you're selling well after that's done selling, I mean, that's it, you got no other transactional power, there's nothing else you're offering. But if you've got other things at other price points, and you have a brand and you're monetizing that brand, and you're you know, now that's sustainable. Now you've got some transactional power, you've got volume. Now, you know, there's other things that you're moving aside from just the film. So
Jason Buff 1:52:05
Yeah, that's one of the really amazing things I got out of Scott, we did an interview for the masterclass we did. And, you know, Scott and I were talking and he's, he's got a really good presentation on marketing and film marketing. And there was a point in the conversation where he just kind of blew my mind. And it was one of these TED Talk moments. And the basic idea was, you know, he was talking about how a cup of coffee costs like, you know, four bucks, and people have the expert, and you know, how much money went into creating a cup of coffee, you know, probably a couple cents, or like a shoe or something, you know, and then you look at a movie, and you'd have the same price point expectation of what a movie is supposed to cost. And now it's gotten to the point where Oh, movie costs about four bucks, maybe more or less, whatever, nine bucks, and how much money went into making that movie. And we're talking 1000s and 1000s, maybe millions of dollars, and he kind of talked about the concept of saying stop thinking about the movie as the end product and start thinking of it as a advertisement for a product that costs $100. Oh, yeah. So look into the film is like the film isn't the end product. The film is basically whether it's a what, there's something that the film, there's, there's something beyond the film that you're selling. I guess Star Wars is the best example of that. It's like, you've got 100 different products that are being sold based on the characters in the movies and everything you know, and Star Wars makes so much more, you know, billions of dollars off of the toys and everything. And there's just different levels of that.
Darious Britt 1:53:44
Yeah, that's very true. And also, also that cup of coffee, you know, that coffee shop, they can keep selling that cup of coffee for now until the cows come home. But a film has has a shelf life like that. Yes, there will always be a bottom line figure, you know, so like after the theatrical after everything's all done after the hype assault died away, and then maybe four or five years past that, yes, there's still if you're lucky, still going to be on an independent level anyway, there's still going to be some kind of like, base number of transactions that you can bank on, you know, if even though it'll be small, but with coffee at a coffee shop, they can still keep that volume of transactions going indefinitely because they, they're generating a product that doesn't have a shelf life. You know, there is no one cup of coffee that's popular now. And then, three years from now, no one ever wants that coffee again. You know what I mean? It's like, yeah, oh, I had that coffee. Already seen it, you know, that doesn't exist for coffee, like shelf life for that like coffee. I had that yesterday. Yeah. It was definitely a shelf life before. It's like okay, what's your next film? You know what I mean? Like, I've seen that one already. I don't need to see that same film 100 times. So so that's another aspect of it too. Which I think one the doors to the store are open. You need to have a lot of other stuff to sell them on. monetize as much as you can. So that way when that shelf life fades, you've gotten enough out of it to keep what you're doing sustainable and move on to the next project. Not to mention, if you're thinking about branding, which, as a creative, everybody should be thinking about, you can monetize your brand. It doesn't always have to be the film, you know what I mean? Like, there's a lot of people I know, they make money, just doing guest talks, doing tourism, guest talks, you know, writing eBooks about themselves consulting, and those are mainly craft related. But I think, you know, if you build a strong enough brand, you can monetize public appearances. I mean, just look at reality TV stars, man they're getting, they make money, just show up to clubs, and they will show up to the club. I mean, that's a different space, that's a different social space, but they're monetizing their brands in other ways. You know, it's like, once you in that, I think that's another reason why it's important to build your brand too, because that is something you can monetize as well. So when you're in between movies, and you're still, you know, getting what you can on the last movie, in terms of billing and sustainability, there's something else you can be monetizing on your way into the next one. So but you can't do that, if you're not thinking in those terms. And you're just thinking of, okay, I have this one product, gotta sell this product. You know, let me make 100 Facebook posts on this product, you know, all my friends and family, like everybody come out, and let me tell all your friends and it's like, okay, you know, but once that's done, man, you're back to square one.
Jason Buff 1:56:25
So what would you do? If you like looking back at unsound What? Are there any mistakes that you feel like you made? Or is there? I mean, aside from thinking about Sundance, and things like that, are there any big kind of lessons that came from that? What was your first feature? Right? Yeah. Were there any kind of lessons that you learned that you would maybe not do on the second film,
Darious Britt 1:56:45
in terms of like craft and storytelling? I think I learned so much making on sound that I wouldn't be where I am today, had it not been for that. So I don't think there are mistakes I wouldn't have made. But if you're talking like that, I mean, didn't you learn from Yeah, of the business side of it?
Jason Buff 1:57:02
Yeah. I mean, whatever.
Darious Britt 1:57:03
I think going into the next film, I'm more prone to look at the marketing side of it, and what I could sell in terms of ancillary first, before going into the film, and if I can do product placement or something, I'm going to look at the business of what I can generate with the film first, and I'm not going to I'm probably not going to do with drama, genre or drama. Next, I'm going to do something that is easier to sell even on the online space. I feel like genre films do better. But again, that's looking at the business first, you know, and once I kind of work that foundation out and that strategy out, then I let the creative guy out and say, Okay, here's your framework, let's make something out of that. So that way, when you do all the creative stuff, and that's over and you made the movie, and it's done well, now, the business side of it has already been worked out, you already had a strategy for that, you know, and hopefully you've been marketing and making micro content along the way. So you're still building your audience, I plan to keep doing that as well. But yeah, like, for instance, to give you an example, like I've had an idea where have a character, I'm not given the bare bones of the story or anything, just the marketing side of it. But I would pay attention to what the character is wearing, and see if there's a thing I can work out where I can get custom glasses made, or something that the character wears. So that way, if it hits, that's something I can monetize.
Jason Buff 1:58:26
That's, that's really interesting. I never thought about that.
Darious Britt 1:58:29
That's all they do with all the other movie. That's all they do, you know, like, get a jacket, something emblematic that when you see it, oh, I know what that's from so that you can monetize that I pay way more attention to what the characters are wearing locations, even if I can get a location that I can control, then, you know, I've had thoughts of like, Okay, what if I could set it up where I could, if it's a property or something, keep that property and set it up almost like a museum. So people can if you're in town, you can drop by the location, this movie was filmed in, you know, like, that's a little further down the road, because that takes some capital to secure. But, I mean, these are things that's like, the ideas don't come unless you're thinking of how can I say, What can I sell, I need to build my ideas around things I can sell, you know, I probably keep a lot of track of like the production and how it went. So I can make an e book about it day by day, make a diary eBook about it. Make a ton of behind the scenes content, so I can sell it in packages, probably do a tour and just rent the theaters outright. If I'm at that level, just do the tour and rent it outright. Don't even worry about going through anybody else's anything because we'd have enough of a poll on social media to probably want that and then do a touring model kind of like what bands do because they make all the money on T shirts and stuff anyway, just bring ton of merch you know in charge, like the ticket prices on the heads will have to be a lot more because we're buying it out right.
Alex Ferrari 1:59:58
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Darious Britt 2:00:07
But if you're, if you're doing a tour, and you are showing the film, and you have somewhat of a brand already, people would pay money to see you in person, you know what I mean? Like, you can make an event out of it, it's like, no, you're not just going to a theater, we're going because he's there. And the cast is there, you know, set up red carpet deals and pictures and have a whole Instagram session where you can take pictures with us. But again, I'm gonna, I'm in a little bit of a different boat, because I've gotten a little snowball already. And by the time I even get to that point, it's going to be a lot bigger. But I don't see why any, anybody else can do what I'm doing. I'm not doing anything special. But that's what I would be looking at how can I monetize everything else but the movie like, because literally, like you got it? What else can you sell, other than the movie, the movie is great, but I mean, you know, your, you'll never make everything back off that price point, you know. And on top of that, if you do hit, and you do get that little phenomenon, you know, the semi viral whatever, whatever, man, if you had your ducks in a row to monetize that look out, like, because then that is the hugely now you've got steam, you got marketing, because if you've been branding yourself and doing all that, so now you got numbers, because you know, the numbers go up, when you get something that hits and you got money in your pocket, you know, it's like you got you got options now. Whereas if all you're thinking about is a movie, and you know, I mean, I don't know, it's just very confining. On top of that, you're not even thinking about your personal branding, you know, and building your own name up and micro content. So it's like, without if you took the personal branding off the table, as far as your online presence and micro content, and you took the entrepreneurial, you know, you need to sell things at different price points other than the movie, and literally all you had was the movie, you're dead in the water, completely dead in the water. There is no sustainability in just a movie, just like the music industry. There's no sustainability and just making songs, the only difference with them is they can tour like they have a tour model. There's a whole community built around that where it's somewhat sustainable, where people can bring you to their city, because they've heard about you that that doesn't exist in film there. There is no culture built around the film circuit. It's literally you going out and doing everything. But with touring, you got promoters and all of that, who are like, Hey, can we make this much money, I'll split this with you. But they it's in their benefit to have their ear to the street to see who's doing well on circuit because then they can bring them into town that doesn't exist in film. So you know, so they have a little bit of a leg up there. Because they can just monetize their personal performance, which they do all the time, you know, especially when they get higher up there and they charge 10 grand for a show here five grand, whatever, you know, but you build your way up, but you can't bootleg of a live show. Like,
Jason Buff 2:02:45
Yeah, and you see that more lately because music has become so much cheaper and people aren't buying, you know, CDs like they used to. It's like people really they have to tour that's the main way they're making money now.
Darious Britt 2:02:56
Yeah, exactly. So yeah, that's what I would be, you know, going into the next projects, you know, what I would be mainly thinking about is thinking more of a store model, the film only opens the doors to the store, you got to have stuff on the shelf to sell, you got nothing else to sell, you're dead in the water, you know, and just thinking of it in terms of creating an experience for your audience to like, sometimes I think people there's this bad connotation that comes with artists making money, you know, which I really don't, I really don't appreciate it because it's like, oh, you're an artist, but you're thinking about making money first. Okay. Yes, I am. Yes, I am. Like, surgeons can afford not to think about that because they just make enough money inherently in what they do artists. Unless you're thinking about sustainability, you're not going to make a dime. And guess what if you can't pay your bills? You can't afford to be an artist. Everything costs money. I can't tell I can't tell the electric man Well, I didn't sell on today. So can we just hold off on that bill till next month? No. You know, you need you need a camera to go shoot to be a filmmaker. Well, canons getting paid. You got to submit the film festivals to get the film screen film festivals are getting paid you got it you need screenwriting software. So you go by final draft final draft is get everybody else is getting paid but you
Jason Buff 2:04:15
Yeah, you know it's strange that kind of like cuz I've been around that mentality. But filmmaking is so based on money. You know, there's so much out oh, you know, even talking about like box office, you don't have anything any other industry where you know exactly how much movies are making, you know, and there's so much emphasis on Oh, well, it costs this many million to make and it made this many million and, and yet indie filmmakers kind of consider it kind of uncool to like talk about, oh, well, I'm trying to make a profit off of my film or whatever. You know,
Darious Britt 2:04:48
The ones who think it's uncool are the ones who don't get to keep doing it. Because if you don't want to think about it, man, you're not going to make it. You know, worse yet, if you hand the car keys to somebody else, guess what they're thinking about their thinking about how to monetize. And that's why usually when you do it, you don't see a dime, it goes to them first. And now you get into all the ethical stuff to you know, but it's like, you know, if you're not thinking about how to make money with what you're doing, you're not going to make money. And this is not just true of films, this is true across the board is true with music is true with painting and fine art is true with YouTube, there's a sea of YouTubers. I mean, there are only so many people on YouTube who get the volume to live off of AdSense and live well. Off of AdSense. There aren't that. I mean, that's, that's not a very big pool. Now, if AdSense is only a small piece of the bigger engine, and yeah, it's a substantial amount if, if it's a part of another way of making income, sure. But most of the people who build a business model around their YouTube, they do well, they do just fine. Because they're, they're generating business with their videos. The videos are only opening the door to the store. So they do fine. It's all the people who are like, Oh, I'm not making enough views to make money on youtube sucks. This is I'm making Why should Google make well, they're making money, they're doing this to make money. You know, if you're in it just to be creative, and you're not thinking about how to monetize your own stuff, that's your fault. I mean, like, no, that's on you. I mean, there's a ton of ways to monetize what you're doing, you're just choosing not to look at them. So yeah, I think that's, that's a harsh lesson kind of, too, you know, like, you really got to think about how to, to do what you're doing. And you got to think long term like, because let's face it, man, like life happens. Emergencies happen, you know, cars break down, laptops die. If you don't have if you're not generating income man, like, that's where it stops. Yes, stops right there.
Jason Buff 2:07:09
Yeah, I think it's, you know, but the next generation, it's funny, because my, you know, I have a seven year old son, and he doesn't care about TV, and doesn't care about movies, what he cares about is YouTube. And he sits there all day, well, not all day, I'm not a terrible parent. But he watched his, like, Minecraft videos, and it's just these guys, you know, sitting there playing Minecraft all day. And, you know, they have like, three or 4 million views. And that's the new generation, you know, that's, that's what he's going to grow up with, he's going to tell his son, you know, that's what we used to do when we were kids is we would sit there and watch YouTube videos all the time. So, you know, a lot of us that are the older generation are just rushing to try and figure out kind of how things are working now, you know, because I think that happens with every generation is just, you know, something, you know, for the generation in front of mine, they didn't know what the internet was. And then people started using it and doing things with it. They never even thought of, you know,
Darious Britt 2:08:06
I think this is a this is a change that needed, like the whole landscape is changing. But I think it's for the better. There's a ton of growing pains, but I think the old system was broken anyway. Like, it wasn't. It wasn't the business wasn't structured in a way where it was democratized, like it was very much based on appeasing someone who had money and resources and connections. You know, like the classic Hollywood, it's like, in order to be a star, they had to just like you and pick you. You had no control over getting yourself out there anything and they molded you into what you wanted. You know, back in the old days, when Marilyn Monroe and all them, you were just a puppet. So if fame and fortune came to you, well, you literally were just lucky, literally, you know, and then, you know, when you migrate into just the 90s You know, like it was becoming democratized. But there was still a lot of aspects of it, that were locked away like communication, you in order to get publicity, you have to pay and use the PR machine. And if you don't have that money, you can't play that game. There was no way to efficiently spread word about anything economically on a level that we can all do. Because let's face it, most people don't have trust funds and we don't have money sitting in the bank. We don't have rich parents. We don't you know, we don't have that. So and not to mention the distribution avenues were locked away as well, you know, like, so basically, you had to go through gatekeepers for everything, even though you could if you had money, you could make a film, you know, but there was still so many gatekeepers, but now we're at a time where because of technology and prosumer tech, you can do anything. Literally, you can self distribute. You can self publicize, you can monetize
Alex Ferrari 2:09:59
We'll be right back. After a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Darious Britt 2:10:08
You can generate your own content. And it's all at a killer price point. I mean, you can get aerial shots they couldn't even dream of in the 60s. You know, like, the barrier to production is as low as it's ever been. And it's only getting lower. You see what I'm saying? So it's like, you can literally do everything you can become your own studio, for crying out loud. All that is, is connection based, you know, and if you build a rapport with companies, because YouTubers are essentially doing that now, with all the product placement and all the sponsorships that they're doing, that's essentially the same thing, you know, so. So we've entered into this age where you can do it, but I think the problem is, the mindset of the creative has not changed over yet. So all the tools are there, for someone to really do their own thing. And you don't have to be in LA or New York or any of those places to do it anymore. You could do it. I mean, I'm in. I'm in Tucson, man. Right? Yeah, you can be anywhere. And like, a huge part of my fan base is from India. I have a lot of Indian fans. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. A lot of the comments, and most of the comments are from India. So like, you know what I mean, like, but you can be everywhere in anywhere, like you can set like, Everything is there for you to do your own thing you can eat, the whole machine is there. You just have to pick up the tools and learn how to turn it on. But people don't see that they're still relying on finding somebody who's going to make it all happen for them. And they don't realize that. Yes, you have to wear a lot more hats. Yes, you'd have to learn more skill sets. But there is way more power in that you can become a powerhouse and not really need to rely on anybody. So but the mindset, the general mindset hasn't changed. And I think it's changing. There's a lot of thought leaders like Scott, I consider myself talking that but I'm not a thought leader on that. Because my channel is more geared towards giving tips on people for how to do this filmmaking thing. You know, I haven't touched the marketing side, like Sherry candor, and you know, some of those other heads, you know, like, where they're really frontline it, you know, but I think the more the thought leaders come up, and the more successes we see coming out of that, I think people will eventually realize, hey, I want to do it, this person is doing Hey, with their sound that what they're saying that that actually makes sense. Like, eventually, that's going to change over and when that happens, pretty much all of the old structures are all going to come crumbling, they're already falling, but I've done pretty much it'll be Rubble, because people are gonna be like, Why do we need you? Yeah, like we build our own audiences just to go to you and you monetize them, and you get first money? And then screw me. Yeah, I don't need you. I know how to build them on my own. I'm just gonna sell direct off my website before I go through you. You know, you're doing nothing but throwing 30 page documents at me and robbing me? Yep. You're playing middleman. You're not doing anything. Oh, in their editorials for not spending any of their own money for marketing. So it's like, I mean, literally, what are you doing? Nothing. You're literally doing nothing. So yeah, and I don't mean to take like a negative, you know, viewpoint away, I don't really want to be negative about it. You know what I mean? But I just think what comes with the democratization of communication, and of tech, because those are the two biggest things that have opened the doors for everything. I could not do what I'm doing right now and build a following had it not been for YouTube and Twitter and Facebook had not been for my ability to self publicize, I wouldn't be here. So I couldn't do this pretty much in the 90s this would not have been an option. Yep. And when I do self distribute, I wouldn't be able to do that in the 90s. Like all of the things that I'm about to do. We're not here Not that long ago. So I'm so the tools are there. We just need to change. We just need to change our outlook, our or our view and we need to embrace being creative entrepreneurs now. And not just creatives. I don't think it ever worked for anybody to be honest with you. There were just a lot of people who got lucky. But, you know, when I see when I see I've gotten into a couple of meeting rooms. Since all of this and you know what I what I honestly see is, you know, some of the people we look up to and we're like, wow, yeah, you made it. If you sit down and you talk with them, you realize the perception of success makes it seem like they made it but they are still begging and pleading for money for the next project all the time. Yeah. All the time Spike Lee does it all the time? It's like pleading and all that and, and they don't have direct connections with their audience. Yes, their name could command funds. Yes, that is true. They did a crowdfunding, whatever. But had they been building their brand on the new models now, they would be 10 times as big and 10 times as influential as they are. Because they would have had all of that time to build strong connections with their fans, not just the guy on a pillar pooping, rainbows and unicorns, you know, they would be 10 times stronger. And plus, they haven't embraced the models of self distribution to the extent that they have, they're still relying on the machine. They don't know how to do anything else outside of that. So I don't really want to be a part of that model anymore. I thought I did, until I saw it, you know, and gotten a couple of rooms. I'm like, Man, I don't want to be a part of that at all.
Jason Buff 2:16:10
Like, what what did you see in those rooms that, that you didn't like,
Darious Britt 2:16:14
It's just a lot of a lot of fear based decisions, there's a lot of bottlenecks, you got to go through, you know, if I come to you with, Okay, I gotta come to you with five ideas, I pitch five ideas, maybe you like one of them. But then you got to take that idea and go to a studio or many major, whatever, and you got to pitch to them. I mean, how many points of failure is at all just that alone? How many points of failure is that, so I'm sitting here spending all my time generating ideas for you, so that you can go to them, you know, because they can give the funds and you got everything else the distribution or whatever, you know, or you got deals with them. But like, by the time we get an idea that everybody likes, man that can be yours. It's no wonder you hear stories of people going to all these meeting rooms, and then it's like, well, nothing ever came out. So I just went and made my own film again, because like, there's too many cooks in that kitchen, man. You know, like, I would rather focus all my efforts on making one idea, think about all the marketing. I mean, I understand what people want to see just off YouTube half the time, you know what I mean? So I'd rather do that. invest my time, raise my own money, make it at a super cheap price point as far as investment is concerned. And then just do the whole bowl all the way down the line and build up my own brand, then to spend two years talking these ideas to the middleman of the middleman of the middleman in the studio gets it you know, say they like one idea. But how many films have fallen apart in the pre process of casting or if no name gets attached? It doesn't go anywhere. Or if a name gets attached, but then nobody. The funding doesn't go all the way through or if the executives get fired and new executives come in, and then they scrap all the old projects and new your project was one of the Oh, like there's so many points of failure is ridiculous. It is ridiculous. Or the green like it's it all the way greenlit. But then they pull the plug at the last minute because they just decided, Oh, wait, we found out another studio is making a movie just like this one. And they're further along, you know it, it's just just too much. Too many points of failure. Way too many points of failure. And I'm not going to spend all my creative juice and energy knocking on that door when I can spend half that energy just making YouTube videos and connecting with people building relationships, building virtual relationships, you know, building my brand, and do my own thing. And I don't need you sell direct. I don't need to have billboards all over the place. I got a direct connection to them. I put out a video, they see it. I tweet, they see it. Yeah, I may not be getting those super impressive million box office numbers now or whatever. Or maybe not for a while, but I don't need it as long as it's sustainable. Like it Yeah, that's the name of the game is sustainability, right? So I don't need to be the next frickin you know, Inception. But I may be small, I may be off the radar, but I got a well oiled machine that's only getting bigger and it's sustainable, and I can afford to do what I'm doing. So I'm only gonna get bigger and bigger and bigger. And if you ever do reach that status, I don't think an indie can ever reach like Hollywood Hollywood status because they you know, they got I mean, that's like big money they're messing with. But if you can reach an indie cult status where which I think is more than attainable, where your viewership your fan base is very loyal. And you're a well oiled machine, you know, selling all your own stuff. I mean, I I would take that over directing the next frickin blockbuster any day, any day. Because I do what the hell I want to do.
Jason Buff 2:19:48
The really important thing that you're saying, you know, is that people need to start right now making making a connection with an audience and, you know, empower themselves instead of just waiting for stuff to happen.
Alex Ferrari 2:20:01
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Darious Britt 2:20:10
Yeah, well, marketing is the biggest, the biggest thing, because you can do everything else. And the price points are low enough where it's manageable, right. But the only thing that everybody has a problem with is marketing. That's the biggest problem everyone has, literally. So if you place most of your effort in that, and start working that machine and getting it refined, well, once you tackle that animal, everything else is your oyster. Like, there is no other bigger problem than that. You can raise money easier, you can capitalize your products, with crowd funding, you can find investors easier. People who are willing to listen to you, you can do product placement deals, you can talk to companies, you can get sponsorships, you can get donations for clay, like all kinds of stuff. Everything else is easier once you get that brand down. Whereas before it was money, and it was connections, but now that's not the case. It's marketing. Because the money connections, that stuff comes when you get that name down, but you need to get that name down. Yeah, you know, so that's the biggest that and then you know, understanding that you need to take the entrepreneurial spirit. If you want to make money and make this sustainable, well, you need to think about it, you can't let somebody else think about that for you, because they're probably going to screw you. So you need to think about it and, and take the bull by the horns. And you should be should be alright. And I think you know, it's going to take a certain type of person to do all of that. So I think because it's more intensive now, and we have to do more, that kind of narrows down the character type. You know, the person who inherently has the qualities to be into all of that. Because let's face it, if you hate marketing, and you're a recluse, and you got your hair covering your face half the time and you know what I mean? It's gonna be real tough for you to get yourself out there, you know, so, whereas me I'm fortunate enough where I direct right and I but I enjoy acting too. And I enjoy just talking. I'm an extrovert. So that's helped me a lot in the online space. Because that comes easy for me. Right? So I can
Jason Buff 2:22:22
Yeah, that's that's my that's why I do a podcast because I hate being on camera. So you know, I struggle with that. I've done a couple of videos talking about screenwriting. You know, I was like, Oh, I'm gonna start a series. And it was like, I did one. I just felt so uncomfortable being on camera. That was okay, podcast.
Darious Britt 2:22:37
Yeah. And I've seen people pull it off without doing my approach. Like every frame of painting. He's a prime example. You never see his face. Nobody knows his name. Well, I know. Then I was named Tony, Tony Yang. Last name, but but he's, to me an example of somebody who's the anti D for Darius, as far as our models of doing it are completely different. You know, like, very, his voice is very calming.
Jason Buff 2:22:59
He just his videos are incredible, though, too. They're
Darious Britt 2:23:01
Yeah, right on point. So you don't have to, you don't have to be me to do it. You know what I mean? It's like, that type of person who you're like, Well, I don't really want to be, you know, on people's face. I don't want to do that. Yeah, there's a lot of ways to skin a cat. But the end of the day, you need to be skinning the cat. Sounds got to get skin, you know, like, whatever way you figure out to do it, just make it happen. But again, like it takes time for people to figure out what works for them. I think that's the big point. If you don't get in there and start swimming, nothing's gonna happen. The thing about YouTube is it evolves to as a platform. So yeah, it's just like film, sometimes things are in and then things kind of fade. It's the same on the online space. At first, when YouTube was a little younger, unboxings were popular. Like that was the thing to do is review everything on box. Now, that has faded. So there was a point when people built whole channels on that, and those channels are still around, because they built when it was fresh. So people still look to them for the newest, latest, greatest stuff. But for all the people who were late to that game, trying to do the unboxing. And then like they just weren't the killing numbers and like, man, you know, like, the people who are first to do it, and then the people just beneath them, they're fine. But all the people who saw and looked up to them and then they all tried to jump in there and do it too. They're the ones who just didn't get anywhere and end up washing out because it's like, what everybody's already getting their fix on all the big unboxers they're already getting the fix on them. You know, and not to mention, I think the platform as a whole just kind of moved away from that as it matured, you know, because that was still very much a vlogger type thing. Oh look, I just got this thing I'm when the camera is what it does isn't isn't it? But as people go on to YouTube for more and more things, and it's becoming more of a staple in our culture pretty much as a staple. But as that process happens The expectation of what to look for on there changes as well. Now everybody knows there's not just cat videos on YouTube. Now everybody knows, like, hey, my kid watches it all day. And they watch this guy and that guy and this guy and that guy. And yeah, I will list off like five celebrities, I know if they don't know them. And they tell me five celebrities, I've never heard of, like, we're in two different worlds almost like it's, it's a whole nother ecosystem. You know, before I got into YouTube, I couldn't tell you anybody's name. And then as soon as I got in, I was like, Holy crap, how did I not know about these people? Yeah, you know, so. But you know, and as the content value quality changes, like, like Freddie, Freddie Wong, and them, you know, they were doing just cheap, special effects videos, when they first started out, you know, and they got a ton of subscribers, because they were just having fun. And the platform was young, then. So the expectation of all this high quality stuff wasn't there. And then as the platform got older, they got better. And now they start being the front least for all this high quality stuff, but they've also raised the bar on the expectation as well. So I think it's the same for the unboxing stuff is like as the platform grew, and as the people who became known for doing unboxings, their channels grew and they became more put together and sponsors and all this stuff, while the expectation of what to see out of that change, too. So if you're going to try and compete with them, man, like, you got to really have some kind of other angle because there's no other craftsmanship aside from talking about what you like about it, that's gonna set you apart from them. And they're already killing that make his rifle off stuff you probably don't even know about, because they did talk to the manufacturers. So so that's a hard thing to stand out in. Whereas with mine, it's like, yeah, there's a lot of people giving filmmaking tips, but in the market is somewhat saturated, but there's a lot of room for, you know, story, there's, there's a lot of things that have not been talked about yet still are, and there are not so many people doing it that like there's still a ton of room in that space, the niche is not exploited fully yet. And it's the same for a lot of other niches too. So. So yeah, that the review the review video stuff, all that is to say, I'll probably never do that. Just for to I'm not into that, like maybe I would do it on a blog, you know, if I got it in a blog, and I talk about it, but just creatively and technically, I'm not into that, you know, I'm not really into all the tech stuff to be honest with you. I'm not into that. I don't want to talk about the RED camera, and I want to talk about you know, the specs of the new freakin Blackmagic What are like, if you look at my video, some of the like the truth about filmmaking, man, I shot that on GoPros and 60. D, like, I'm just into getting the content out there and the story out there, I could care less what camera it was shot on. Like that I don't that doesn't give me but story gives me you know, let's see breakdowns and stuff. Because I'm into that like learning how to take movies apart and understand why they were I'm into that. I'll talk about that all day long. But you know, if you set a RED camera in front of me and started Hey, tell me about the specs. I was just talking about specs. Like I'm not into that man. Unless I'm shooting with it, I ain't really into it. Then doesn't do nothing, you know,
Jason Buff 2:28:08
I mean, yeah, and there's a lot of camera or gear porn out there that people are already getting into. That's actually something you know, maybe we can do another podcast episode and talk about screenwriting, because that's kind of my main thing is talking about structure and story. And although, you know, one of the things that I really love about your channel is that you also talk about things like, and I don't want to go into this too much, because I want to kind of wrap it up. But I haven't really seen that many people talking about brainstorming and Creek coming up, how do you come up with creative ideas and how you do a lot of the things that most people don't really talk about that much. And, you know, that's kind of what I'm in, you know, I write a lot. And one of the main things that I do is I have to figure out how to kind of jumpstart my creative mind, you know, I have to put myself in situations and do things. And I had never seen anybody dedicated video to how to get your creative thoughts out there, how to, you know, what you do? And a lot of the things you mentioned are things that I do, I kind of thought I had invented. Because like, oh, you mentioned that on your video. But like that, you know, and I was talking to rob Edwards, who, you know, is that one of the screenwriters for Disney, and we were talking about that, and that that's actually my last episode was talking to him. And he was talking about all these things that he does to kind of jumpstart his creative mind, you know, in terms of he wrote The Princess and the Frog and Treasure Planet. And, you know, he said that like watching other movies and getting the when you were saying I watch a movie and I say, you know, you say to yourself, oh, well, if I was making this, I would have done it like that. And that's how you generate creative ideas. That's exactly one of the things we were kind of talking about, you know, and I think that's really important, especially for writer directors to understand is that whole creative aspect of things,
Darious Britt 2:29:55
Especially with creativity. It's like you have to you can't create some thing from nothing.
Alex Ferrari 2:30:02
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Darious Britt 2:30:11
Like you have to have the raw materials. That's the reason as one of the big reasons why I think people will reach these creative droughts in their careers, especially writers when they're stuck in the writers room for so long work, work, work, work, work, and you stop living and experiencing? Well, when they write all of their experiences into their work, and then they run out of those experiences, you got nothing else. I mean, you can't write about being a writer, you know what I mean? I mean, you can, but I mean, you know, it's like, you have to keep living. And you'd have to keep ingesting raw material and other creative works. That all falls under raw material, because it goes into your brain. And it does that little magic, where you just kind of ponder on things. And oh, I like this, and I don't like that. And I like this and you Frankenstein concepts together, and you just start piecemealing. And then you poop out, you know, a masterpiece. But you there is no masterpiece that is not Frankenstein, from pieces of life experience or other creative works, that you're inspired by are taking the meat from this other idea and leaving the bone that you thought didn't work. He's like, Oh, I can do that concept better. This is what I would do, you know, like, but you still have to ingest that work to do what your version would be. Either way, you're still consuming. Yeah, I think that's a large part of it. Even when I make YouTube videos, I do the same process. Same exact process, I see what other people talking about on the subject. I don't really agree with that. I agree with this. I like the way that we're in it that I want to be the word of this, read a couple of articles on it. Think about my experiences on it, sprinkle in that, you know, or wrap it in a nice engaging package, add a little humor, sprinkle humor in there, boom, you got a video, you know, but I'm not just like sitting here in a vacuum. Right? You know, when I come out with a video, I like put my feelers out, and I see what's out, you know, so when I talk about YouTube, same thing, when I make a video about YouTube, same thing, you know, it's like, I bounce what I feel about a topic and what other people feel about it, and it just gets the juices going, you know. And I find it's just easier to create when you allow that as a part of the process as opposed to fighting it. You know, if I'm starting to get antsy and I start wandering off into Facebook, well, I'll direct that into just looking up something related to what I'm doing. So that way I'm still ingesting, but yeah. All right, man. Well,
Jason Buff 2:32:16
I you know, I've taken up a lot of your time today. And I'm hoping that maybe we can go back and talk about the more you know, this has been primarily marketing maybe at some point we can talk about the more creative aspects of filmmaking, but I really appreciate you coming on the show, man.
Darious Britt 2:32:30
Thanks for Thanks for reaching out. You have to let me know when you set it on iTunes. Get the word out about it.
Jason Buff 2:32:35
All right, that's gonna do it for today. I want to thank my guests Darious Britt, aka D4Darious. You can find them on YouTube just put in D4Darious when you go to YouTube, and you should find them. Thanks for listening to us and we'll see you on the next show.
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