Hey guys. Greg here.
As you… can see behind me,
I am editing an video,
and the video is the video you’re going to see.
But, what I want to say was that
I rolled up this huge document like tons and tons of words in it.
Come like, I get stripped kind of.
呃 说了这么多 其实就是我有很多想法想要分享给你们
Ugh…it has a lot ideas of my mind and I wanna to share them with you.
呃 我知道这些将会是一个视频 但结果是 这个视频里的信息太大了
Uhh…I know it’s going to be a video, but then it turns out to be a lot of words
and now it’s about
至少有三个视频 并且我还计划在这个系列中 另外加入三到四个视频
3 videos at least and I have planned another 3 or 4 more in a series.
It’s just kind of taking you behind the scenes and telling you about
what it’s like producing videos on YouTube.
what happened though was that I have a lot of details
I wanna make sure I got them right and then
I thought you know what… it’s gonna take a lot of time
to talk to the camera like this,
because when you’re editing…uhh…
have to edit it with the face, in your expressions
and try to remember things.
It’s a lot, especially when you have
like 45 minutes of content which is what I have so far for 3 videos
所以 我认为 嗯…
So, I thought, hum…
It’s going to be easier to record this
audio only first, no visuals, just audio
and then edit it, and then put it out there.
So I did that, and the editing was fine,
but…what happened was that once you have it
and you have the audio then there’s no visuals that kind of bugs .
So I started to put text on there
and put in images and
we are not so… end up taking probably just about as much time as what I would have had just to record myself.
But anyways, it’s a…
嗨 大家好 我是格雷格
Hey guys, Greg here.
Topic: My Experience with YouTube so far
I said from the get go
LWI F X频道里包含了很多东西
that this X channel is for lots of things.
While I’ve previously used it to expand on the content from the Life Where I’m From channel,
today, I’m going to use it to go inwards
and take you behind the scenes.
I want to talk about the why and how it was made.
As such, this will probably be much more interesting
to those that create, or want to create videos themselves.
If you’re simply interested in Japan,
this video may not be your cup of tea.
Onwards and upwards.
One of the most frequent questions I get asked is
“What do I do?”
Sometimes I don’t really know.
Am I a communicator?
All those things?
What I do know, is that I like creating things.
Ever since I was a kid, I always wanted to be an inventor.
I like to solve problems, which means trying to understand them.
Am I a YouTuber, a Vlogger?
Which by the way, I now know how to say properly.
Even though I’ve heard the word a hundred times,
I always think v log instead of vlog.
对于我来说这很有趣 因为我不会把blog说成b log
It’s kind of funny to me, because I would never say b log instead of blog.
But I digress. Am I a YouTuber,
想了很久 我觉得我就是一个YouTuber 或者是一个Vlogger
After much thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that I am,
but I didn’t start out as one.
More than half a decade ago I started watching videos on YouTube,
but it was only to watch a single video at a time.
Like doing a Google search for “how do I poach an egg”.
However, my use of YouTube evolved,
and I would look forward to watching the videos made by my favorite YouTubers.
Instead of watching a single video about poaching an egg,
I’d be watching a whole series of making scrambled eggs,
班尼迪克蛋 两面煎的鸡蛋 当然
eggs Benedict, over easy eggs, and well,
you get the point.
Following a YouTuber was like following a favorite newspaper columnist.
A voice you look forward to hearing from on a weekly basis.
My favorite YouTubers, almost right from the start,
were Community Channel,
Vlogbrothers, and Wong Fu.
They seemed to be into it for the sheer joy of creating, sharing and communicating.
If you don’t know any of them,
I wouldn’t be surprised,
since there are so many YouTubers out there.
So let me introduce you.
I’ll start with the Community Channel,
who is actually Natalie Tran.
If I have to describe her videos in one sentense,
I would say they’re mini-Seinfeld episodes starring Natalie Tran,
and only Natalie Tran.
It’s been inspiring watching her,
as she’s always done her own thing,
mostly without any sponsorship,
merch, or anything else.
She’s been a YouTuber for 10 years,
and she largely has the same format and approach.
It’s amazing to see her consistently do great work for such a long time.
Then there’s the Vlogbrothers.
When I first saw their videos, I thought they talked fast,
真的很快 不断的跳跃剪辑 闪瞎了我的双眼
really fast, and the constant jump cuts were jarring to my eyes.
In all my work as video producer,
I’ve always avoided the jump cut.
But, what they were saying was what mattered,
and they had lots of thought provoking things on their minds.
They were also doing a lot of good for the world
and donated significant amounts of money to charitable causes.
They’ve since built up a mini-YouTube empire,
and are one of the leading YouTube producers.
And then there’s Wong Fu.
Their video production and story telling
was what caught my eye.
They’re making creative shorts,
and even when they occasionally had sponsors,
the produced videos were done in a way and some viewers may never have known.
In their 10 years on YouTube,
they’ve built a company,
sold merch, made a movie,
and now creating digital shorts for YouTube Red,
the YouTube subscription service.
I think it’s quite hard to survive on YouTube,
when you’re producing high production value creative shorts,
they’ were able to not only survive, but actually thrive.
I must have picked up the last part from some corporate motivational speech,
“Learn how to go from surviving to thriving!”
不管怎么说 感谢YouTube 让这些播客们借以维生
Anyways, while all those people are able to make a living thanks to the work on YouTube,
it didn’t start out that way for them.
I learned early on that YouTube wasn’t about making money,
so I never treated it as a place to make a living.
Even the big vloggers have jobs
and only the biggest can make a living
if they supplemented their income with additional products,
whether it be merch like T-shirts and posters,
stuff they made like books and CDs,
or getting sponsorships.
As such, when I first started posting videos to YouTube,
it was to host of my business videos.
Oh, did I forget to mention,
I started a video production business with my brothers back in 2001.
By the time YouTube came around in 2006,
I’d been producing videos for a while.
But like I was saying,
I first started using YouTube as a free way to host my videos.
Those videos never got many views,
and that wasn’t the point.
I only wanted a free way to distribute my work.
In 2009, I decided to have some fun,
and put out a series of real-life sketch comedy videos.
Those got a very modest amount of views,
but I was happy doing them,
because the point was not to get popular,
but to have a creative outlet.
They took a long time to produce,
and when I got to busy with my paid work,
I stopped making them.
Later on it I started using YouTube
to upload business education videoes.
Those did much better than my previously uploaded videos,
but in comparision to other YouTubers, the number of views were tiny.
Then in 2012, I took my little brother to Japan.
I decided it’d to be cool to make a video diary of the trip and published 19 mini-episodes.
Those videos were also a way for me to practice creating content quickly.
Could I put my usual production quality qualms behind me
and just create?
Like all my other videos, they got few views.
但是 对我来说 这个项目是成功的
But, to me, the project was successful,
as it got me creating more without worrying so much about production values.
So before I started Life Where I’m From,
I had posted about 100 videos to YouTube,
with about a quarter of them being vlog style,
a quarter of them being promotional,
and half of them being business education.
Some did better than others,
but my success was of the type that I’d never consider making a living
by producing those types of videos for YouTube.
For me, YouTube was a place where you could get people’s attention,
and that attention may lead to some opportunities,
if your audience was large enough or engaged enough.
In 2013, my family and I moved to Japan.
In the decision to move, I wasn’t sure how I’d financially survive.
I’d be living behind my video production business,
a business that after 4 years,
was at its peak in terms of sales.
What? Wait a minute.
在2001年 你和你的弟弟开始做视频 不是吗？
Didn’t you start a video business with your brother in 2001?
That’s 12 years, dude.
Yes, I did.
But after a few years of simultaneously doing the video business
and my university degree,
I stopped to finish my university education,
then tried working for some big companies,
then ran a totally unrelated e-commerce meal delivery business.
After those detours,
I went back into video production in 2009.
So, when I left for Japan in 2013,
I had been running my latest video production business for about 4 years
and I was starting to do relatively well.
And I left it all to go to Japan.
And it was scary.
In case you are not in the know,
my wife was born and raised in Japan,
so allowingthe kids to experience their Japanese heritage was always something we wanted to do.
In the months surrounding the moves,
I was fortunate enough to secure contracts
creating business educational content for companies in the US and Canada,
which meant I could still make a living in Japan,
without actually working for companies in Japan.
But they were only contracts, not full time positions.
On the move to Japan, I brought my pro video gear with me,
as I didn’t know if I’d have to look for video work in order to make ends meet.
It turned out that my online educational work did well enough
that I was initially able to make enough of a living,
so for the first year, I hardly touched my camera.
After that year, I sold off the vast majority of my gear,
since for the most part, the longer you had video gare sitting,
the more it depreciates.
After selling my pro gear,
I opted to get a small point-and-shoot camera,
that could fit in the pocket of my pants and I could use on the go.
It was about as far away from my pro video gear as could be.
But, while I drastically downgraded the quality of my gear,
I upgraded its more mobility.
After about a year and a half into my move to Japan,
I had the urge to try something on YouTube.
I wanted to make creative videos again.
But what to make the videos about?
Since I first went to Japan in 2000,
I had always wanted to make videos about it,
as the everyday was so different from my experinces in Canada.
But then again, as much as it’s different,
it’s also very much the same,
as Canada and Japan are both first-world countries,
that lean more on the socialist and polite side of the spectrum.
What had initially discouraged me from making videos about Japan,
was that I hadn’t seen content out there that inspired me.
This was right back when YouTube was starting out in 2006 though,
and the term JVlogger probably didn’t even exist.
But now it was 2014,
and there were people making quality content about Japan.
Were they making a living at it?
I kind of doubted it,
but they seemed to really enjoy what they were doing.
What really inspired me were seeing content from the likes of Rachel & Jun and Micaela.
They presented topics in a way that seemed balanced and nuanced,
while still making the videos interesting.
I found myself watching a whole bunch of their videos, learning a lot about Japan.
However, I decided not to make videos about Japan from the adult perspective.
There are so many out there doing it, and many successfully.
I thought that even if I produced quality content,
the market for attention was already saturated.
So then what would I make videos about?
I noticed that there weren’t many kids videos on YouTube
that explaind everyday life in Japan,
or everyday life in another countries.
So that got me thinking.
I love filming my kids and my kids love watching YouTube.
Was I able to make something that could both educate and entertain kids?
Perhaps I can make edutainment videos
like Crash Course by the Green brothers
or the Kids React series by the Fine Bros
(although now the reputation ain’t quite what you used to be).
I thought just having a kid’s perspective of Japan wasn’t unique enough,
so I wanted to expand that to what life is like for kids from different countries around the world.
In fact, the channel was supposed to start off
with one of my good friends and his kids from Vancouver
providing the Canadian perspective
while my kids provided the Japanese perspective.
If we found enough of an audience,
we then started to feature kids from different countries around the world.
Before I started the channel though,
I had another problem to figure out,
which was how do I quickly produce videos.
All my professional video life,
my goal was to always make videos with better shorts,
better audio, and better editing,
which takes time.
To start channel on YouTube,
I felt I had to do the opposite.
I was used to spending 40 or 80 hours producing videos
that were only a few minutes long.
But, if I wanted to regularly upload videos,
I couldn’t afford to spend that amout of time producing videos
while still working full-time hours doing paid work.
If I could learn just spend only 10 to 20 hours on a video,
I could produce 4 time the amount of videos in the same amount of time
it would normally take me to make one.
The quality would only be perhaps 70 or 80% of what I was used to,
but, producing more content would give me the chance to explore more ideas.
It also made me less worried about failing,
because I hadn’t spent so much time working on it.
Another thing about spending less time producing a video
is that sometimes the more you polish a video,
the more it doesn’t feel authentic.
This isn’t always true,
but when I tried to make a video too perfect,
I felt it started to lose that something that would allow people to connect to it.
基本上 随着时间的推移 我发现内容胜过产量
Basically, over time, I learned that content trumps production.
And if you don’t know what I mean,
it’s that people would rather watch something
人们 或者说 某一个人 更愿意去看看更有趣的东西
– or more likely, someone – that is intersting,
than watch something that is boring
but has amazing production values.
All things being the same,
yeah, better prodution values will help,
but on YouTube,
you usually can’t expect great production values to get you an audience.
This was and still is a big change in the way I’ve produced videos.
Before I lauched the Life Where I’m From channel,
I needed to prove to myself that I could consistently make videos
that were not only interesting,
but that I could make it in both my kids’ and my own free time.
所以 我制作了视频 但并没有上传到YouTube
So, I started producing videos but didn’t upload them to YouTube.
After making a few videos, I figured out we could do it,
但不幸的是 我那个加拿大的朋友 他本应该和我在做一样的事情
but unfortunately, my buddy in Canada, who was supposed to do the same thing,
couldn’t quite match my pace.
So I lauched the channel after sitting on perhaps 5 or 6 videos,
hoping that he would be able to join up with that Canadian perspective some time later.
Now we’re 30 odd videos in
and it’s really a channel about what life is like for my kids in Japan.
And kind of our funny thing, even though it’s made for kids,
I’m sure the majority of viewers are teenagers and adults.
不管怎样 我还是很欢迎 那个温哥华的朋友以加拿大人视角参与进来
Anyways, I would still love it if my friend from Vancouver did join in with that Canadian perspective,
and I’m still trying to find a good way to incorporate
what a kids’ life is like in other countries around the world.
OK, I think I’ll stop the video here.
I’ll be making some more videos continuing in the story though.
I try to be brief but detailed at the same time.
I hope I kind of did that.
Other questions you like me to address in future videos?
In the next one, I’ll talk about what that was like to go viral.
一如往常 感谢观看 咱们下次见
As always, thanks for watching, I’ll catch you on the flip side.