Topic: Brickfilming Discussion Week 6: Please Like, Comment and Subscribe

Welcome to the Weekly Bricks in Motion Filmmaking & Brickfilming Discussion thread!
These threads are designed to inspire discussion, debate and discourse on the topics of filmmaking, brickfilming, storytelling and LEGO. Each week I will start a new thread with a new discussion topic. Everyone is welcome to contribute as long as you have something thoughtful to say. Paragraphs are encouraged! If you are going to participate in this thread, please keep the discussion civil and refrain from pointless jokes, image macros, or “memes.”

Please stay on topic and keep your comments civil and respectful of other members.

Feel free to continue to contribute to the previous discussion threads as well. Just because they are older doesn't mean they aren't relevant any more!

Previous Discussions:
Week 1: Why LEGO?
Week 2: Dealing with the Mockers
Week 3: Brickfilms with Licensed Themes
Week 4: Challenges Unique to Brickfilmers
Week 5: For Mature Audiences Only


This week’s discussion topic:

Has the rise and domination of YouTube as a unified video-sharing platform affected the way brickfilmers make, distribute and promote their films?

In the early days of brickfilming, before 2006, one of the biggest challenges brickfilmers faced was the online hosting and distribution of their films. Brickfilmers were typically limited to uploading a heavily-compressed videos to Brickshelf, their own private hosting space, or now-defunct sites dedicated solely to hosting brickfilms. Once uploaded, the brickfilm’s only real means of promotion was through the Brickfilms.com forums. The “popularity” of a brickfilm was measured by forum posts, rankings in the Brickfilms.com library, and chatroom chatter. Nowadays, with the rise of YouTube, Facebook and the “Like/dislike” culture, popularity is most likely to be measured in YouTube views. Has the rise and domination of YouTube as a unified video-sharing platform affected the way brickfilmers make, distribute and promote their films, and if so, how? Is the focus on the numbers of subscribers and views positive, negative or not an issue? Have the quality or content of brickfilms been affected?

Re: Brickfilming Discussion Week 6: Please Like, Comment and Subscribe

Well, I think everyone want feedback on something they worked so hard to create, but they shouldn't change the art in order to get more feedback or money. That defeats the purpose of art, Vincet Van Gough didn't do traditional art beacuse that's what people wanted, he painted what he saw fit. Flattery is a dangerous thing too, the more you get of it, the more you crave it. It can make you do dumb things (like making MARVEL brickfilms mini/lol ).

The same goes for Hollywood films too. They just keep making re-makes, squeals, spin-offs, etc. because that's what sells. I think people need to remind themselves why they started making films or brick films in the first place.

My suggestion to people is that you should make what YOU want to make first, and then worry about how many people watch after its uploaded. As long as its enjoyable, there will still be people who want to watch your work.

EDIT: Also, no offense to people who make MARVEL brickfilms. mini/shifty

Last edited by PushOverProductions (June 9, 2014 (11:02am))

no more brickfilming *sad face*.

Re: Brickfilming Discussion Week 6: Please Like, Comment and Subscribe

Well, I feel too new to speak from experience about the early days.
But nowadays, I certainly see the "need" to promote your films more. Maybe with posters or promo frames or regular updates to drive interest. And the feel that one "most" produce a certain amount, or certain types of content to keep the subs happy.

I think most of us are wise enough to see two distinct audiences for our films. One, the more advanced, intelligent and sophisticated BiM crowd. The ones that give good feedback and whose opinions really count for a lot. But they are few, and unless it's a spectacular film, won't get that much feedback or attention.
Second, the Youtube crowd. Little feedback, fairly fickle and shallow, BUT can bring in huge numbers of views and subs and popularity with a broader audience. Can help via ad income, and provides hard numbers that help "legitimize" the hobby and help people feel better about their work.

I would say that the impact on a brickfilmer depends on each filmer.
The Youtube audience is more impressed with flashy visuals and licensed themes than a deep, meaningful and original plot. And there's a strong temptation to cater to those faceless masses to gain that popularity and self-satisfaction. A degree of that is not wrong, but constantly following that path will lead to making and promoting a lot of shallow and forgettable films that have no real impact. It can cause you to ignore your own creativity and you lose a portion of what makes your art unique. But the positive likes and high viewership numbers feel really good.

On the other hand, just doing what you envision can yield a very nice and original project that carries many of your own personal touches, but too much of that and it won't appeal to many people and those works generally don't get noticed much outside of BiM. Not promoting your film at all can cause it to slip under the radar, and this causes discouragement when nobody seems to care about your newest project.

I'd say Youtube has lead to a higher number of meaningless and forgettable films, but has also helped some good films become more popular and has increased the numbers of brickfilmers. Yes, some have "sold-out" to appeal to the masses, but many have just kept doing what they love, and eventually found others that think the same way.
The numbers do have meaning, and while some have done films just to get views, we all see the warped nature of that stat. Subs on the other hand seem to carry quite a bit more weight, though I think most brickfilmers see that the numbers themselves aren't that important in the grand scheme of things.

Re: Brickfilming Discussion Week 6: Please Like, Comment and Subscribe

PushOverProductions wrote:

It can make you do dumb things (like making MARVEL brickfilms mini/lol ).

Oh gee, thanks. mini/rolleyes

To be honest, I'd be lying if I said I didn't want any recognition, and in truth anyone who says they don't harbour a dream of being successful is also lying. Yes, a lot of us do this purely because it's fun, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't want your animation to be a success. Getting a mere 17 views on a video can be really disheartening.

There's a difference between that and setting out to be successful, which rarely works. I think that's a dangerous way to produce brickfilms, as you will find you put less of an emphasis on creativity, and will end up regurgitating something else. The only reason I did my past two Avengers Tower animations as straight-up fight scenes was as glorified animation tests for something larger (having not animated a proper fight for years). I also try to balance every licensed IP brickfilm I do with an original one, so while I work on Ultron Ascending I'll also be doing an original animation about a hyperactive genie. Just wanted to throw that in case some people think my comments here are a bit hypocritical.

However, the mass audience that is YouTube does have a lot of upsides:

Designed for ease of use
It's designed to be easy to use; the interface is pretty simple and inviting, and it's easy to upload videos. Brickshelf was a total faff. Back when I first started out brickfilming, I wasn't allowed a YouTube account, so I had to make my videos really tiny in size and put them on Brickshelf, which took forever. It also meant they weren't public, and you had to use a specific link for other people to see them. Until recently, BZpower (a BIONICLE forum) banned YouTube links, so I had to upload many of my animations to Brickshelf for that purpose as well. I know a lot of people would be turned off by the amount of effort that goes into compressing a file and uploading it to Brickshelf super-slowly, so YouTube's ease of use is something of a blessing. Like I said, it's inviting. This is a good thing.

Connectivity
Personally, I really enjoy having a Facebook and Twitter page specifically for my brickfilms. Yeah, it's great to try to build an audience, but it's also quite fun pretending I'm a real studio, and trying to make the pages look somewhat professional can be surprisingly enjoyable.

It's also another platform for additional material, something that was difficult to do in the pre-YouTube era. You can take your video's URL, but it in a Facebook post, along with behind-the-scenes pictures and additional canon. You can do this on blogs too, but Facebook's more accessible for people these days. Overall, when used correctly, this can enhance the viewing experience.

Also, the people who tend to make Facebook and Twitter feeds for their brickfilms are usually the kind of people who are serious about the hobby, rather than - and tell me I'm wrong, but there are a lot of these - ten year olds putting six frames together at 3fps and never touching the hobby again, so this use of the the YouTube connectivity schtick isn't oversaturated. Ish.

Like/dislikes, playlists and favourites
It's become easier to keep track of your favourite brickfilms. Pre-YouTube, you had to create Word docs with URLs to all the places where your favourites were on display, but now you just click a button and it's saved to a playlist, so you can easily access it whenever you like. That's awesome, and I wish I'd been allowed YouTube sooner as it would have saved me the hassle of the Word doc thing.

More importantly, the like/dislike system can encourage good work. By clicking like, you're showing support for the creator - you've specifically clicked a button that says "I really liked your brickfilm. Keep up the great work!" Equally, however, the dislike button can wreck a person's confidence.

All that said, there are some negatives to YouTube:

Luck of the draw
No matter how much you try to make a film that will appease a wide audience (if that's what you've set out to do, which I don't recommend) unless you already have a fanbase, a lot of it's down to luck. Luck that word of mouth will spread about your film. Luck that it might get on the front page of YouTube. Luck that it might get tweeted by someone with a lot of followers. Luck

And a lot of the time, bad videos get lucky. Mass Text. Friday. Justin Bieber was first 'discovered' on YouTube. Seeing things that don't necessarily 'deserve' to be viral become so can be disheartening, especially for younger brickfilmers whose motivation may well come from wanting to show the world something cool they made last Saturday (there's no problem with that).

Content to 'get famous'
Like I've said, it's not healthy to animate something simply to see it go viral, because you'll be horribly disappointed. I'd like to point out here that making a licensed IP brickfilm is not always, or even mostly done to 'go viral', and making a fanfilm is not a "dumb thing" to do. It's part of a learning process; learning to write character development, animation and vfx training, amongst other things. But making a licensed IP brickfilm to get famous isn't a good idea, but neither is making any brickfilm to get famous. If that's all that's on your mind, then you're not thinking about the more important elements of making a brickfilm: set design (not just simply building a set), good writing, good cinematography, characterisation, lighting...going viral would be cool, not gunna' lie, but it should be thought of as an added bonus, and one that you have as much chance of receiving as you do winning the lottery on your first ticket.

So there's my long-winded, rambly view on this.

PushOverProductions wrote:

EDIT: Also, no offense to people who make MARVEL brickfilms. mini/shifty

Sorry, but some taken. Don't tar everyone with the same stick, dude. And I'd like to point out that three years ago I made a Green Lantern video for fun, with no intention of any return, simply because I wanted to make it (just as I do with the Avengers today), and I was rewarded with 200,000 views and £150 in revenue, plus I became a Partner. The punchline? I haven't made a Green Lantern video since.

http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/ZoefDeHaas/stuff/sig1.png
"Nothing goes down 'less I'm involved. No nuggets. No onion rings. No nothin'. A cheeseburger gets sold in the park, I want in! You got fat while we starved on the streets...now it's my turn!" -Harley Morenstein

Re: Brickfilming Discussion Week 6: Please Like, Comment and Subscribe

jampot wrote:
PushOverProductions wrote:

EDIT: Also, no offense to people who make MARVEL brickfilms. mini/shifty

Sorry, but some taken. Don't tar everyone with the same stick, dude. And I'd like to point out that three years ago I made a Green Lantern video for fun, with no intention of any return, simply because I wanted to make it (just as I do with the Avengers today), and I was rewarded with 200,000 views and £150 in revenue, plus I became a Partner. The punchline? I haven't made a Green Lantern video since.

Ok, ok, hold on, you took that the wrong way. I don't mean making marvel videos just cause you want to, I mean making marvel videos because that's what people will click on. There are those brickfilmers who tend to make pop culture brickfims in order to get views. I remember when "The Avengers" came out, I only saw avenger parodies for a month. But I wouldn't attack a person for making licensed brickfilm just because they like the brand.  I used to only make Star Wars videos way back when because I loved StarWars (actually, that's what my first brickfilms were)

(And for the record, I actually do keep up with your brick ultra series, so.....)

Last edited by PushOverProductions (June 9, 2014 (12:04pm))

no more brickfilming *sad face*.

Re: Brickfilming Discussion Week 6: Please Like, Comment and Subscribe

I'd like to remind everyone that if you are interested in discussing the use of IPs such as Marvel in brickfilms, please see this topic instead. I understand there will be overlap in discussions, but I would like to avoid a repeat of last week's derailment of the discussion topic.

Re: Brickfilming Discussion Week 6: Please Like, Comment and Subscribe

Actually, I think the eventual endpoint of last week's topic was an interesting and natural progression.

And of course YouTube has drastically reshaped the brickfilming landscape. The drive to obtain views, subscribers and revenue has made itself very apparent. Pandering to/manipulating popular culture and various trends is a smart and successful strategy when implemented well. These can grow massive audiences, who in turn attempt to emulate the films and eventually we end up with an inundation of poor quality, generic shiz.

The real problem lies in that original or unique content loses favour to the metric [email protected]#$ ton of poor attempts (and gets buried along the way).

Re: Brickfilming Discussion Week 6: Please Like, Comment and Subscribe

Sorry for derailing the topic a bit, guys. I've had a long day of two exams, and having spent the last week organising a Marvel brickfilm crossover, and the last few months writing one Marvel brickfilm, that comment was not what I needed to see, but sorry if I came across as rude.

Nice to know you keep up with the series PushOver mini/bigsmile

http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/ZoefDeHaas/stuff/sig1.png
"Nothing goes down 'less I'm involved. No nuggets. No onion rings. No nothin'. A cheeseburger gets sold in the park, I want in! You got fat while we starved on the streets...now it's my turn!" -Harley Morenstein

Re: Brickfilming Discussion Week 6: Please Like, Comment and Subscribe

Yes it has effected things, because the is now we have what Jabba the Hutt would call "Bantha Fodder". Now any can make their own brickfilms (which is awesome), but because of the lesser quality brickfilms you never know if you are about to watch a good brickfilm or some 5 year olds 3 fps brickfilm. Yes I know that all brickfilmers don't start out making Force Unleashed quality brickfilms, but to many of those 5 year olds who make 3 fps brickfilms will after a few years (or weeks) never come back to it because they were not committed to making better videos.

And one last thing is because most people use YouTube to make really short videos, there are not really any brickfilms that have good, long stories. Look at the Magic Portal, a long brickfilm with a good story. Since YouTube, no one really takes the time to make a long brickfilm.

Re: Brickfilming Discussion Week 6: Please Like, Comment and Subscribe

I find the user-created promos at the end of a video both annoying and helpful.

On the one hand, today's content creators lack retrospect when they add these "Like and Subscribe" or "Click here to see more" segments to the end of their video.  Not everyone turns on annotations, not everyone views on desktop (I have Chromecast and watch on mobile, for example).  Also, years from now, when someone looks back at your work, will those annotation still work?  Will it still be a Like or Thumbs Up Button?  Will you still have a Kickstarter?  A Facebook/Twitter account?  Did you hit your 1000 subscriber by then? Look at some of the early videos that did these promo segments under a previous YouTube layout, when Myspace was popular and HQ setting was still an option.  How dated those video look now.

On the other hand, without some of these promo segments, I may not have found other interest clips from the user, or even videos that I missed because I didn't see it appear in my subscriptions.  The suggested videos on the side are still images.  The promo segments at the end fo a video can be videos.

I believe content should be separate from promotion, i.e. let your story stand by itself, ask for subscription separately.  Your PSAs and call-to-arms content can be changed, updated and adapted to each iteration of the YouTube layout or whatever video host you use.  Your animation, your story, your work of art, should not be affected by the platform you're putting it on. 

Unfortunately, not everyone can hold on to such principles in a competitive environment.  You do what you got to do.

During my stint with Blip.tv, I'd upload Preview videos to YouTube for content I've uploaded to Blip.tv.  Nathan here put up a trailer leading up to his Five Years Later release.  While this clips did not ask people to Like/Comment/Subscribe, they also didn't affect the content.  The promo and the content are two standalone entities.  One is not attached to the other on one file.  To me, this is a better approach than asking for feedback at the end of every video.  Imagine TV shows and Movies doing that.  This is not a culture I want to take part of (and I have considered it from time to time).  Maybe links to other videos or social media pages, but not to ask for Likes and subscriptions.

https://i.imgur.com/4b9NnS3.pnghttps://i.imgur.com/GUIl0qk.pnghttps://i.imgur.com/ox64uld.pnghttps://i.imgur.com/v3iyhE5.png

Re: Brickfilming Discussion Week 6: Please Like, Comment and Subscribe

Its really hard to get your brick films noticed nowday's with all those new young animators coming along. Its not that I wouldn't encourage young brickfilmers. Its just that its really hard to get noticed with so terribly many brick films. So it ends up that us brickfilmers who make high quality brick films  usually get lost in the flood of 3 fps lord of the rings brick films. It makes me consider making a short lord of the rings film to advertise my original brick films. in closing I think its really cool that younger kids are getting into brick filming. But I also think it would be rather nice if there were a different site that gets as many views as youtube that would only host high quality original films.

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Re: Brickfilming Discussion Week 6: Please Like, Comment and Subscribe

osomstudios wrote:

I also think it would be rather nice if there were a different site that gets as many views as youtube that would only host high quality original films.

Yes!!!!!! We need some thing like that like you must be 15+ to join and you videos must be filmed at 15 fps
or higher.

Re: Brickfilming Discussion Week 6: Please Like, Comment and Subscribe

Nathan Wells wrote:

Has the rise and domination of YouTube as a unified video-sharing platform affected the way brickfilmers make, distribute and promote their films, and if so, how? Is the focus on the numbers of subscribers and views positive, negative or not an issue? Have the quality or content of brickfilms been affected?

Absolutely. 
There's pros and cons to both, that's for sure.  The focus on the numbers to see how "good" a film is helps give people incentive.  When people are wanting people to watch and enjoy their films, they put more work into them (generally).  With how accessable YouTube is to everyone, it does give everyone a fair chance to start with nothing and you'll get what you put into it (to a point).  By that, I mean that if someone puts a lot of effort into becoming a member of communities, creating quality and original content, advertising for their films, social networking for their films, then I think they will generally do "well" (of course good and well are completely subjective here, but I think you understand my point).  If they really try, they will be noticed by someone.  Of course, if a person does all that but their actual films/content is poorly made (even if it's the best they can do at that point) they still won't do very well. 

Because that goes both ways, it also makes it much easier to do well on YouTube by "selling out".  I don't mean you make a superhero or Star Wars brickfilm every so often, I mean you specifically do it only because you want people to like your films.  I think there's a delicate balance to what's too much.  Take my own films, for instance.  When trailers for Iron Man 3 came out, I really liked them and wanted to make a short brickfilm anyway to test out some effects in After Effects and use my new webcam.  Since I love Iron Man and already had all the sets, what better way to do all that then make a LEGO Iron Man 3 trailer?  I went ahead and did that and you know what?  I wouldn't consider myself a "sell out" in any way.  I made the trailer because I wanted to, though it did help me realize something.  With that trailer I went from somewhere around 100 subscribers to close to 500 (a mark which I've passed by now) because of the trailer.  The trailer accounts for 90% or more of all my video views.  It was a small thing I made rather quickly because I wanted to, and it did well, allowing me to get a small following at least, and has encouraged me to work harder on my personal projects.  (as it turns out, I've actually gotten about 700 subs, but lost 200 or so over the lifetime of my channel, probably because I never upload anything)

So in my case, I didn't have any problem with making the trailer.  This is where the negative side of things comes in.  It was so easy, and got so many views compared to anything else I've ever made.  What I would consider my best film, Perpetual Twilight, only has abut 2,000 views compared to the 370,000 views the Iron Man trailer has.  When people realize how much people search for popular content (whether it be a movie, song, whatever) then they begin to stop making what they would have made for themselves and start making what they think other people want, which, it usually is what they want.  Which is a negative thing, yes.  I think that films should be made because it's what you want to make because it's what you enjoy, not because you think it'll get you YouTube famous.  If you really love making superhero, LotR, or Star Wars brickfilms, then that's fine too.  If you want to make those, your choice, but you should really expand beyond those, eventually. 

I think that back in pre-2006 (as you described), someone would put a lot more effort into what they wanted to make because they liked doing it.  Now, the same person would probably make something because they want to but would always kind of have YouTube in mind and want to make it big, especially beginners.  Where before, a beginner would start because they really enjoyed it whether or not people saw it, now most people begin specifically because they saw a brickfilm on YouTube once and think they could become famous, so they copy that brickfilm or base it off a licensed property (see previous discussion). 
That's why there's a multitude of young kids making a film or two at a low frame rate based off a licensed theme and then after realizing they won't get thousands of views from their video, they quit.

Because of that, I think that's why there are a good amount of brickfilmers who started back then and still continue to film, and do it very well.  Since they began when they had to make films for themselves, now they have no problem with doing that.  Even if they do make films just to get views, there still tends to be a style or feel to it because they know what they're doing, and love it.  With the nature of YouTube and how easy it is to upload films, that's why there's not nearly as many quality brickfilmers that began on YouTube and still continue to make quality films. 
At least that's pretty much what I've observed (and yes, I realize there's a ton of good, original YouTube brickfilmers too, I just think that if you look at it like a ratio, the ratio of good/bad original brickfilmers and good/bad YouTube orientated brickfilmers, there will be a much higher number of good brickfilmers that are pre-YouTube).

I guess in closing, what has changed is the times.  Are we going to change with the times or not?  I believe the brickfilming hobby has evolved a lot since it really began, especially because of YouTube.  As you can see, there are both good and bad points to be made for either side.  I barely even began to touch on most points, I just kept it to what I've really observed roughly with like one or two main points, this could seriously be a huge topic. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and good day.

Re: Brickfilming Discussion Week 6: Please Like, Comment and Subscribe

I find it hard to find good vids on Youtube - it is over-saturated and audience too fickle.  I got more traffic from Reddit than BiM - and it's rating system is used far more often than Youtube which provides better feedback on how you're doing.

You don't get feedback at all on Youtube or Reddit.  For that, you need BiM.  mini/smile

Aka Fox
Youtube: My channel   Twitter: @animationantics
Best brick films: My selection

Re: Brickfilming Discussion Week 6: Please Like, Comment and Subscribe

The rise of social media has changed the distribution of brickfilms worldwide. Now, not only can anyone with the right materials make one, but anyone with access to the World Wide Web can watch them. With YouTube's 10-year-anniversary coming up next year, their site has helped to boost the popularity of brickfilms and spread awareness to the existence of such a filmmaking medium. LEGO bricks? Who knew?!

Now, with every pro, there is a con. It's an equal ratio. Some do say that YouTube has taken advantage of their users and members. Some brickfilmers have left YouTube, and have taken their films to share on other video-viewing sites.

So, there's another way YouTube has helped spread awareness for brickfilms, ha ha! Ha...

Have you seen a big-chinned boy?

Re: Brickfilming Discussion Week 6: Please Like, Comment and Subscribe

This is a good question with so many intersecting topics and themes. You could literally write a book on this topic. However, I’d like to (try to) focus on the second part of the question: Have the quality or content of brickfilms been affected? (specifically the ‘quality’ part of the question)

You can’t really answer this question without addressing the change in the number of people who make brickfilms. Due to a number of different factors, such as YouTube, easy access to brickfilming tools, advances in technology and growth of the Lego brand, you have a lot more people making brickfilms. Echoing some of my comments from the thread on licensed themes, many of these people are young and inexperienced. In general, the works of a novice brickfilmer will not be as polished as those of an experienced brickfilmer. Thus it is my opinion that, strictly from a mathematical perspective, the percentage of quality brickfilms has decreased dramatically from the total number of brickfilms produced. However, I feel that the number of quality brickfilms has increased. The exposure provided by YouTube has attracted more and more people to take up brickfilming. I don’t believe the number of quality brickfilmers is a finite number. Thus, when the overall talent pool is bigger, you will get more quality brickfilms.

The down side is that there is a lot more garbage to wade through to find the quality films.  It’s easy to point at a 5 fps brickfilm with a ton of lightflicker and set bumps and say “See, the quality is going downhill. It was never like this back in the day…” However, I don’t think the problem is that there are too many people making weak brickfilms, the problem is that there is no recognized stratification system for brickfilmers.

If you’ll forgive the American-centric example, I feel that the current state of brickfilms is like baseball. In the U.S., there are approximately 5,000,000 kids playing little league baseball. That number drops to approximately 400,000 when you count the number of players in High School. It drops even further when you count the number of players in the minor leagues. Ultimately, it drops to about 800 individuals when you get to the highest level, Major League Baseball (MLB). Obviously, the difference between a little leaguer and a MLB player is like night and day. Fortunately, there are established leagues and organizations that clearly delineate the experienced professionals from the amateurs. For the casual YouTube browser, there is no such stratification for brickfilmers. You can watch an expertly crafted FancyPants video and at the end a link to a 5 fps hack job could appear as a ‘related video’ suggestion.

You’ve got many people producing brickfilms, most are lower quality due to age and experience level. Many of these people will drop the hobby and move on to different things. It’s not a bad thing that they tried their hand at brickfilming, nor should we dissuade them from trying or admonish them for making something of lower quality. However, it does present a problem for the community as a whole since no obvious lines exist between ‘professional’ and ‘amateur’. YouTube’s search algorithms and suggestion engines try to offer up results that are popular; in terms of views, likes and comments. However, ‘popular’ does not always mean ‘quality’. Thus, YouTube can give poor quality brickfilms equal, if not more, exposure, than it does to quality brickfilms.

Again, for the tl/dr crowd:
- Growing number of content producers increases the number of quality films
- Downside is a lot more low quality films produced as well that can drown out the quality films
- No easy way to separate good and bad quality brickfilms on YouTube

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Re: Brickfilming Discussion Week 6: Please Like, Comment and Subscribe

I sort of commented on this on one of the previous weekly discussions, but, I'll try to sum it up, and add to my theories here.

It's kind of obvious that Youtube has affected brickfilmers. Before 2008, 2007, 2006-ish, brickfilmers really only had one main website - Brickfilms.com. And, that little website allowed people to upload their animations, just as Youtube and BiM work now. However, there was no streaming, and thus, if you wanted to watch a brickfilm, you had to download it, and then view it. I think that this greatly affected brickfilmers, as, they had to keep the file-size low on their movies, otherwise, no one could download it. (Or, at least, it'd take a REALLY long time to download)

When streaming came about, things changed greatly. No longer did you have to worry about the quality/size of your files, as, after they were uploaded, they would be automatically converted into several different qualities, and thus, made viewing brickfilms easier over different connections. High-speed internet vs Dial-Up users could now all view the films at just about the same time - one being able to view it at a greater quality, the other, at least able to view it at all!

However, with Youtube came external additions to goals for brickfilmers - Views, comments, and subscribers. Now, I know that ForrestFire101 has been talked about on BiM before, and, when he is discussed, we often get mixed reactions that rival last weeks brickfilming discussion - all usually ending in a premature closing of the topic. However, in this case, I think he's a perfect person to use as an example.

ForrestFire101 IS a brickfilmer by definition. And, I think that he contributes to the community by and large. And, the fact that he has a buch of subscribers, and once appeared on a Nickelodeon news segment is quite a feat. However, It doesn't specifically mean he's the best animator, director, or voice actor in all of the brickfilming world. But, it does mean that he is probably the most recognized... And that's something I think that a lot of brickfilmers strive for, even if in vain.

But, I think that this new "strive for fame" can also be a good thing. It inspires brickfilmers to make more films, as now, they can see just how many people are out there that WANT to see brickfilms. - And, even though this can lead to competitive tendencies, I think that it does more good that bad to brickfilmers. We all need passion to keep doing what we're doing, and, I truly believe that if I never got comments, or views, or subscribers, then, I might not be brickfilming today. (Which, is kind of ironic, as, I loved the "earlier" days of brickfilming more, pretty much hate youtube's setup, and, prefer to make films more for myself, than for others... But, the message is still there)

Perhaps that's why BricksInMotion.com is still thriving. Perhaps, we need both sides of the spectrum; One for the support and sort of "island nesting away from the real world" as is BiM, and one for the busy and "fight to get to the top" sort of site that is Youtube. Both have spawned great brickfilmers, and, I think that both will continue for a long time, in some form or another.

Re: Brickfilming Discussion Week 6: Please Like, Comment and Subscribe

Has it affected us as brickfilmers? I can't see how it wouldn't. YouTube and other video sharing sites really changed how the entire internet worked, so it seems logical that we would be caught up in the changing waves. I see it doing a couple of things. The first, is that brickfilming is much better known. Almost everyone has now come in contact with SOME form of our wonderful art form thingy. Personally, I love it when my work gets recognized, knowing you have an audience really is an encouragement.

I also know that getting a lot of views, likes, and subs doesn't necessary mean that the work I, or someone else has done is actually any good. That is where BiM and other film sites and groups come in. I value a well thought out suggestion on here much more then a random 'I likez these animationz, whatz cameraz did ya uz?' comment on YT.

Has the quality of brickfilms been affected? Visibly, yes. With the onslaught of new animators, and the easiness of uploading a clip to YT it is quite easy to lose good quality work in the flood of newb attempts. This is both good and bad. The good, is that many new people are trying out our hobby. The bad, is that many new people are trying out our hobby. This can cause us to kind of lose high quality films in the cloud of uploads, which can leave an animator discouraged.

RedBrick1/LegoTrain587 | EXPANSE | A Brickfilm

Re: Brickfilming Discussion Week 6: Please Like, Comment and Subscribe

RedBrick1, I totally agree with you.

Have you seen a big-chinned boy?

Re: Brickfilming Discussion Week 6: Please Like, Comment and Subscribe

I haven't had time to talk about the proliferation of technoligy and its effect, but I did write to the core cast after my first films was made on how amazing it is tht today such a feat can be accomplished with help from people all around collaborating, and making a homemade video available to a worldwide audience.

I do have opinions specifically on the "Comment/Like/Rate" aspect of this, not really what the topic was about though it was in the title.  This is something I wrote as advice in "The Holding Our Own Guide To Brickfilming":

So you've made a brickfilm of artistic quality that would put Michelangelo to shame. But you just ruined your work of art by plastering "please like my video, subscribe to my channel, rate and comment" all over.  I HATE VIDEOS LIKE THAT! This is how 14-year-old girls conclude their video web logs. Your video is not that. If viewers want to provide feedback, they'll do so. Or, you can ask for opinions on the Bricks In Motion web forum at http://BricksInMotion.com instead of in your video.

I also think people make videos just intended to get a lot of views just be making something on a them that they know trends well (Batman, etc.) and view count is the most important thing to them.  I'd rather make/view something the writer 1) cares about and 2) is true to themselves.  View count to me is the last thing that a person should consider when judging the quality of a video.

https://vimeo.com/channels/holdingourown      http://holding-our-own.tumblr.com

"None practice tolerance less frequently than those who most loudly preach it."