AMA with Bernie Su!

(Rayne M) #41

Hi Bernie- big fan!!! Do you think there’s still unique stories to explore in the vlog format? What do you think has to be done in a vlog series to really stand out after LBD and the five years chock full of similarly-formatted shows?

(Bernie Su) #42

hi @Meg

Yes obviously a lot of help from Hank and John and the Nerdfighter community. But really for audience building it’s really two phrases, QUALITY and RUNWAY.
If LBD was a poorly made Vlog adaptation, it doesn’t sustain, it doesn’t matter how much Hank Green promotes. Sometimes things just don’t work out. The marketing gets the audience to try out the content, the quality is what keeps them there.

Make a quality show, make enough of that quality show so that the audience can build, this takes time.

(Bri Castellini) #43

Hey Bernie- I’m gonna put unanswered Qs in yellow highlighting (like this one!) because y’all are getting out of HAND with these great questions!

(Chris Hadley) #44

Haha! :slight_smile: Thanks Bri, and thanks @berniesu for taking the time to answer all of our questions! Great stuff!

(Bernie Su) #45

I don’t speak for the publications but I’ve always just gone to Tubefilter and TheVideoink. But you have to think of the audience for THOSE publications… they are other video industry peeps. Are they the best people to watch your show? (sure if you’re trying to sell your show… it’s a great place to get coverage).

I think you should be finding the communities online that would watch your show. So for us, literary fans/Jane Austen fans… that’s more effective targeting than Video industry folks for us.

(Emma Drewry) #46

what are you working on next/what are you excited about right now?

(Bernie Su) #47

Way too expensive and requires too high of a barrier of entry. AR (at least basic level) requires your cell phone. VR requires a head set and a room in your house. (Note - NOT 360 video… that’s it’s own thing )

(Meg Carroway) #48

Do you think there’s ever a kind of show that’s TOO niche? What’s the equation behind a story that’s niche enough to be targeted but broad enough to actually gain traction/audience/followers past 3 digits?

(Bri Castellini) #49

Pokemon Go, Jane Austen edition?

(Bernie Su) #50

I still love that one! -
The Art of Game Design: A book on Lenses
It’s obviously a game design book, but a lot of it applies.

(Bernie Su) #51

I do. I think vlogging itself has evolved, but I agree it’s hard to stand out today.
I mean if you do the single fixed camera we did with LBD, there’s really only so much we can do… and I think everything you could do, has pretty much been done collectively with all the shows that have done it (not just ours).

I really like it when people push the envelope. Take what we did an innovate/adapt from it and make it their own. We did that from LG15 to LBD. Go out and conquer!

(Meg Carroway) #52

Do you direct/have you directed any of your projects? If not, do you want to?

(Bernie Su) #53

In short, it’s a spreadsheet.
There’s a team of writers. They’re almost all remote. Btw, remember there was a post on Pemberley a few months back about interns or something… well here’s where we are!

(Bernie Su) #54

Absolutely! YouTube is great but there are so many new formats out there!

In a 30 minute browse through, IGTV is so far so great for me. More to come on that one.

And yes I do believe in vertical video, it has its place.

(Emma Drewry) #55

he definitely directs :slight_smile:

(Meg Carroway) #56

Oh wow I didn’t realize that! Then follow up, Bernie… how do you approach directing? You talk about writing a lot but I don’t think I’ve ever seen an interview where you talk about directing!

(Bernie Su) #57

Hey @samlockie,

I love this question. Compulsions launched my entire career (as I said in the podcast). We actually did a very shrewd, before its time move with that show. I gave it away exclusively for free on Dailymotion.

Now you may think, “what… he gave it away for free?!”
Yeah I did… because what I got was front page placement for 2 whole weeks on the site! Which led to this very sexy compulsions/Dailymotion announcement.

Again, my audience for this show… I was going for industry execs… and that headline is still sexy today!

(Bernie Su) #58


Gigi and Fitz being besties in Lizzie Bennet Diaries
Caroline marrying Elton in Emma Approved

were both directly from the fans, and both shows (in my opinion, which you don’t have to agree with) are better for them

(Bernie Su) #59

I honestly have not watched any other literary series that I wasn’t a part of in its entirety. I have sampled a few here and there.

I thought the Candle Wasters from NZ that did Nothing Much to Do, did some really innovating things with the format.

(Bri Castellini) #60

Alright folks that’s our hour! HUGE big thanks to @berniesu for taking the time today, and make sure to check out the Emma Approved app!!