28 videos, 53 million views (so far) - advice for your video essay YouTube channel

Sunday, 03 December 2017

Every Frame a Painting is a YouTube channel made up of video essays about visual storytelling. It has 1.3 million subscribers and millions of views. The creators Taylor Ramos and Tony Zhou have decided to close close it. Luckily for us they have written an essay on what they learned - including tips for others considering making videos in this form.

All the videos were made with Final Cut Pro X:

Every Frame a Painting was edited entirely in Final Cut Pro X for one reason: keywords.

The first time I watch something, I watch it with a notebook. The second time I watch it, I use FCPX and keyword anything that interests me.



Keywords group everything in a really simple, visual way. This is how I figured out to cut from West Side Story to Transformers. From Godzilla to I, Robot. From Jackie Chan to Marvel films. On my screen, all of these clips are side-by-side because they share the same keyword.

Organization is not just some anal-retentive habit; it is literally the best way to make connections that would not happen otherwise.

Even if you don't make scholarly videos on the nature of visual storytelling, there is a lot to be learnt from their article and the 28 video essays in their channel.