Beating Hollywood in the movie game – using YouTube

Well, maybe you won’t beat Hollywood in revenue terms, but you can beat Tinsel Town to a good idea.  A group of film makers in Hong Kong have made a five minute movie drama about American whistleblower Edward Snowden.  They called it Verax, the codename used by Snowden meaning truth teller, if my schoolboy Latin serves me correctly.  Views on YouTube climbed rapidly from the release date on 25th June and checking today, it’s over quarter of a million.  It’s not the greatest film short I’ve ever watched but that’s not the point.

It confirms the growing trend for film and programme makers to release movies, sitcoms, dramas, etc on YouTube.  Maybe it’s a vanity project, a calling card, a pitch for funding or whatever.  The thing is that YouTube is a perfectly respectable outlet for well-made, scripted and filmed content. And it can get views in excess of movies (well, British movies) at the box office and some televised content. All you need is content that is compelling and the usual avenues of publicity – both social and mainstream media.

Cinema buffs can sniff at Verax – but expect more mini-movies being released through social media. An added incentive is that if you achieve reasonable views – YouTube have their own studios and production staff and may offer to help you make your next offering.


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