I am making video content now
When I (and Hollie) first started Mini Media Bites I only had a few intentions. It was to be a dumping ground for ideas for things that could never be academic essays, think pieces I’d wished I’d seen professional writers produce and, if I am being honest, a way to validate individual thoughts about certain media I had no other way of expressing. There was also a grain of practicality as it could function as a portfolio, although I always hoped to never use it that way.
However there was also always a part of me that wished the site could ‘make it’. I knew this was naive given that the internet isn’t always in favour of the written word these days. To that end, I always felt that video content of some sort would be inevitable.
Obviously, the title of this piece is a spoiler as to where I am going with this. So hold fast, and now try to get through my personal reasons for doing this followed by my YouTube influences. Then comes what I’ve done so far.
I have general low mood. I have anxiety. I’ve flirted with alcohol dependence far too often and for far too long. I’ve struggled to find employment or work for extended periods of time. There’s also more bad stuff about me I’d never disclose except to a few key people. And worse than all these things, my hairline has started to recede… (That’s a joke to make you feel better, it has started to recede, but I still have a tonne more hair than most people.)
For the last two weeks I’ve been treating my video production and website management as a full time job. I will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. I barely leave the flat anyway and there is the blind hope this will lead me somewhere. It will at least help me focus my mind that may help elsewhere if I fail here. Expecting to make a living off the internet is a little insane, but to be honest, to want to go onto YouTube to share your opinions is crazy anyway.
I’ve always had a great love of certain video content on the web. I had my period of loving Red Letter Media like a lot of people do, although I feel myself drifting from them these days as I find their review approach increasingly reductive. I enjoyed and still enjoy the work of Videogamer.com, in particular that work of Simon Miller, Steven Burns and Jim Trinca. They currently employ a dude called Colm Ahern who is very funny and very versatile. I understand that Matt Lees once also worked for the site, although I only know him through his work on Cool Ghosts, which I also adore for its discourse on play and how we experience things.
There are also my more divisive influences. People like Shaun and Jen (now ‘Shaun’), Hbomberguy and ContraPoints. Shaun’s videos influence me in form and I share commonalities with all their worldviews. They make political content of a certain leaning at a time when that leaning is not popular on YouTube. I have stated on this site that everything I write has a left-wing slant, but my videos will not really be *political*. I cannot do certain topics justice, nor am I a skilled researcher.
I am also reminded of something ContraPoints said in a livestream. People associate the left with being boring killjoys and it’s easy to dismiss leftwing YouTube because of these factors. And there is a truth to them. People often engage with media to escape from their problems, not be told their favourite stuff is sexist. Sure, it is worthwhile to apply this sort of criticism to all and any media, but sometimes your boss has been an arsehole that day and so you just wanna shoot some folk in the face on Call of Duty. So I’d like my videos on YouTube to be more positive generally and I am streaming Twitch playthroughs in the attempt to become ‘fun’. SO I CAN INDOCTRINATE YOUR CHILDREN WITH MY CULTURAL MARXISM.
Here is my Twitch channel. Shaun and Hbomb are also a big influence on my desire to do Twitch streaming. So much so I am trying to get a PUBG team together in time for its release on Xbox One.
As someone with a Film Studies degree who is into film theory, I obviously like Every Frame a Painting. That goes without saying. Even people who hate taking media ‘seriously’ like that video about Edgar Wright and visual comedy. For similar reasons I also follow kaptainkristian. Although, as a big action movie fan, I find watching Rossatron’s videos to be more fun. He takes what Every Frame a Painting and kaptainkristian essentially do, and then applies it to Jean-Claude Van Damme films. In fact, a lot of material I cover is what morons would call “low art” or whatever. I read a shit-tonne of superhero comics and watch a lot of TV and films about them too. I’ve already written something for Batman, because of course I have.
My biggest influence is of course PBS Idea Channel. Which has just recently come to a close and I am incredibly sad about it. Hosted by Mike Rugnetta it is essentially a series of short and fun video lectures about philosophy. Usually that philosophy is being applied to a piece of technology and/or media. It also has a liberal slant. So one can see all my influences both in Mini Media Bites’ past and future, in PBS Idea Channel. It’s great and I will miss it.
So what have I done so far? Mostly wrestling with teething problems. I am relatively new to video editing and thus everything is simplistic and a little dry, like my throat in a lot of the narration. I always felt anxious doing videos in the past because I breathe way too loud, but I’ve come to just accept it is a quirk of mine and I hope others will accept it too.
My first three videos all have very quiet audio too. My first video was about Justice League Action and I lost about fifteen seconds of audio mid-sentence somehow. I only noticed this after upload, which has already taught me some lessons… Either way, my accidental mumbling just about covers up the flaw and the remaining words almost make sense.
My second two videos were about the problems with adapting Watchmen and why 343 Industries need to make more games like Halo 3: ODST. This week I fixed my sound. The first video was about my love for Cassian Andor from Rogue One. The second video was a rambling dissection of my experience so far with Tolkien’s Legendarium and the bits of it that have stuck out to me, I am actually proud enough of what I produced to include it here:
These first five videos are something of a mission statement. I’ll be covering Film, TV, video games, comics and sometimes literature. I’ll be focusing on a particular opinion or idea within these topics. I will take requests if the ability to cover them is within my wheelhouse.
This is all alongside archived copies of my Twitch streams and funny or dramatic clips I’ve recorded from video games elsewhere. I am starting to learn to make more sophisticated videos which I hope will lead to more sophisticated handling of topics, which I can hopefully make provocative.
I honestly hope this all works out, because frankly I need it to. I have my silly dreams of that sweet, sweet Patreon money.
Here is my new schedule
Mondays and Wednesdays:
A written ‘Re-View’ or ‘Dreaded Backlog’ on minimediabites.com
A livestream on Twitch.tv followed by it being archived on YouTube
Tuesdays and Thursdays:
A video essay written, narrated, ‘animated’ and edited by me will be uploaded to YouTube.
An ‘original’ article will be uploaded to minimediabites.com
When the ‘Arrowverse’ (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Black Lightning) returns to TV, I shall produce a weekly round-up discussion of each show’s respective episode from that week, whilst I play Injustice 2.