Well, now I've done it!
I'm committed. Basic Filmmaker University is now online, and delivering its first free course, 7 Step Process to a Great Commercial.
I was going to wait until the first course was ready, but since I mentioned I was working on a film school in a prior video, I got HAMMERED with emails about this, so I made the above Q&A video.
First, I should mention quite a few people who assisted me in this, one in particular who was particularly helpful and took over an hour on the phone giving me advice. Since I didn't really ask if it was okay to use his name (famous YouTube guy), I'll just say THANK YOU and leave it t that.
I think I understated how much time, research and effort was put into creating this online university, and I haven't even begun to finish the content for the first of many courses.
Many may misinterpret that I did this to make money, and that's okay, everyone is entitled to their opinion. That may be true, but the real purpose behind it is to offer anyone willing to part with a few of those Dollars, Yens, Euros, Rupals, etc., a place to get a full bore, hands-on course that attempts to fire-hose-fill their brain with as much information as I can impart.
That's just not possible with YouTube as I see it. I spend a lot of my own time and money making these YouTube videos and posting them for free. When it came to this university, I realized to accomplish what I really want it to be, I would have to give up something, and that would be more time and money, and I just couldn't afford it.
So after 6 months, maybe a year, I ended up biting the bullet and just diving in. The worst that could happen is it is a flop and no one cares, but it wouldn't be the first time I was associated with a project that flopped, nor will it be the last.
I didn't really mention it in the video, as I'm not sure anyone would believe me, but the most requested (and complained about) subject after reading through 15,000 emails and comments, came down to, "How do I make a YouTube channel that works and has a half chance in hell at making me some money?"
Well, that may not surprise you, but it sure as hell surprised me! I most certainly thought it would be something like, well, anything filmmaking, and not how to have a successful YouTube channel.
Okay and fine, I can certainly show someone how to do that, assuming by successful they don't mean, "I want to sit at home and do nothing a make some videos and make $100,000 a year." It takes knowledge, hard work, and patience.
This course is scripted and partially shot, and it is taking an incredible amount of work. It takes a LOT to show someone how to set up their YouTube channel correctly, step-by-step. It takes a lot to show someone how to set up all their social media outlets step-by-step. It takes a lot to explain to someone what branding is, how to do it properly, and why. And the list goes on and on, to over 100 course sections, and that's trying to keep it "small."
I am sure someone could go out and watch all those helpful YouTube creator videos, and a bunch of others, and maybe arrive at a YouTube channel that works. I know, as I watched them all, and was startled to find out if someone did that, it would not only take them years of trial and error, but that much of the information imparted is just plain bulls**t.
Really. What I found is that following all this advice, as noble and helpful as these people are trying to be, would actually end up with a person confused, disappointed, or they would just give up. The person has no idea the work involved, and doesn't have the years of experience to know whether or not what they are watching or reading is really important, not so important, a total waste of time, or just plain wrong.
That's when I really got interested, and decided to make this course in full earnest. I covered some of this in the Q&A video, but the first thing I needed was a bucket to contain this and other courses, and I came up with a laundry list of things I wanted for this university.
Here's the full list:
- Free, short mini-courses for an overview of a subject, to give a student a few workable basics of the subject, and how the university and courses work.
- Full courses containing the complete theory and hands-on experience, covering ALL aspects of a particular subject.
- These would be designed to transform the student from learning the thing being taught, to doing it and achieving a result.
- Content that is downloadable such as training aids, templates, checklists, quizzes, and the videos themselves for offline viewing.
- A collaborative commenting system allowing students to interact with other students and the instructors.
- Simple enrollment with an email address, and no spam.
- Notification to enrolled students of new courses as they become available.
- Each course, its content, or any part of it, available to the student, forever.
- Courses updated with new content as needed, freely available to the enrolled student, forever.
- Enrollment open to anyone in the world, of any age, bundled courses, money back guarantees, and much more.
That’s a lot of stuff, but I’m a needy guy, and I when it comes to something important to me, I don’t like half-assing it.
The other thing I cut out of the video was a complete hands-on tour of the university and one of the courses, but it got really long, so I decided to let people come over and check it out themselves.
I mentioned the courses would be between $99 and $149, but not for subscribers of my channel. It might be lost on many that charging $49 for these, which is what I will offer to my channel viewers, is not some sales-pitchy marked up price thing. After my time and monetary investment, card processing fees, and much more, that’s giving it to them at cost.
When I spend time on something like this, it is costing me money - lots of money - and I need to make sure I don't do something stupid and go broke. I do have a job to do, and I work a lot of hours doing that, and I try not to let this conflict with that.
I am hoping to have the first full-length course, how to create a successful YouTube channel, available next month. I still have quite a bit of shooting, editing, and course material preparation to complete. These full courses take a really long time, and it really makes me appreciate people who do these online courses.
As I said in the video, I'm really excited to doing this university, and am hoping it works out for all.
It is the purpose of this university to offer filmmakers anything and everything they might need to know about filmmaking, really get it, know how to apply it, and get results with each and every course.
The Basic Filmmaker