November 29, 2012

YouTube Space Brings a Studio, Workshops, and a Collaborative Environment to Creators, for Free

There have been several big pushes by social video sites recently aimed at providing support to content creators and partners -- the biggest of which (of all time, in fact) saw YouTube spending a third of a billion dollars on original channels and accompanying marketing. Amazingly, YouTube doesn't seem satisfied to stop there. It has recently opened multi-scope studio facilities in London and L.A. -- and unlike its original channels venture, which aims a massive amount of resources towards a 1% of already high-profile channel owners, these facilities are open for any and all YouTube partners to use -- and at absolutely no cost to them.

Looks pretty sexy, to be totally honest. But what's in it for YouTube, or Google for that matter? Aren't all-knowing all-powerful greedy mega-corporations supposed to have a different M.O. than this? The YTCreators blog had this to say when they announced the new YouTube Space L.A.:

At YouTube we're only as successful as you, our creators. From our NextUp series and the launch of a new home page focused on your channels, to funding a small group of original channels, our goal remains the same: to help all our creators build big audiences on YouTube.

That’s why we’re thrilled today to announce the opening of YouTube Space Los Angeles -- our flagship collaboration and production facility built for the exclusive use of YouTube partners.

The Space, a 41,000 square foot former helicopter hangar in Playa Vista, is a place where established and emerging creators from our Partner program can work together to cultivate big ideas and ambitious ways to tell their stories. And like the YouTube Space London, YouTube doesn’t charge you any fees for use of the Space or the production equipment that’s housed there.

Considering the spaces and equipment include just about everything you need to create content from back to front -- and it's worth stating one more time, for free -- it doesn't seem like working under the big evil company is all that bad after all. And YouTube's opening statement there, about being only as successful as its creators -- that's crazy in a way, because Google will never go bankrupt due to progressively shoddier workmanship of any one creator's material. At the same time, though, the sentiment (and the Spaces move as a whole) echoes that which struck me about the MotionMaker Fund. No video site wants to be known for just the fluff -- even if that stuff draws a great deal of traffic. YouTube is basically screaming at us, "I want you to use me for high-quality entertainment, and I want to help you do it!"

It's also worth mentioning that in addition to the collaborative and creative advantages such Spaces provide, YouTube is also scheduling workshops and classes, which really rounds out the whole offering. Of course, when all is said and done -- taking a quick peek at what it takes to be a partner -- I may have a bit of an issue with some of the stricter policies being enforced, as they seem overly-limiting for a site attempting raise its profile as a home to quality creative material.

How do the YouTube Spaces strike you, from the looks and sounds of things? Do you feel that this is an important step (not to mention gesture) to make for valuing its creators? What value do you feel all these pro-creator measures YouTube is taking will have, all told? Will it all help to raise the average quality level, or do you think it won't make much of a difference in the end?

Links:

[via TubeFilter]

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21 Comments

What specifically do you disagree about in their policies? Very jealous right now, if they had one in Cincinnati I'd be there every day.

November 29, 2012

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Austin Mace

•Do not upload content with sexually explicit or strongly sexually suggestive material.
•Do not upload content with nudity or partial nudity.
•Do not upload content with hate or abusive speech against any individual or group
•Do not upload content with excessive profanity.
•Do not upload content with graphic violence.
•Do not upload content with drugs or drug use.
•Do not upload content depicting cruelty to animals.
•Do not upload content that promotes and encourages an illegal or dangerous activity.

I would say that those guidelines are too strict written, I do agree that no content should make people do those things, but if you would clearly follow those movies, you can't even create a clip for example, that is agains drug abuse, if it shows someone using drugs, or if you would create a movie where there is a super vilain that is cruel to animals or gets into fights... or how about partial nudity in romantic sex scenes. I think all Youtube needs it a well working age limitation/rating system. I know they must be looking at the popularity Vimeo gained lately and there you won't have most of those restrictions.

And on a side note, many big movie productions, succesffull movies contain at least three of those listed above.. : ) Even though I do agree, a good movie does not really need any of those..

November 30, 2012

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Marco

Yes thank you for the info Sir.

December 6, 2012

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Gary Simmons

Thanks for that Marco -- saved me the effort, and you make many of the points I had in mind. Austin, to me, as Marco says, these are simply too strict for much breathing room. I hesitate to use the word 'puritanical,' but it came to mind. The fact is, I'm not sure how YouTube partners can expected to freely create original content (I'm thinking narrative stuff in particular) while restricted from some of these elements. Not that good content needs any of these things to be good, or even edgy/flashy/gritty/whatever the case may be. But why be limited in this sense? My main point is, if YouTube wants its homebrew material to compete with tried-and-true media (again, narrative forms), the 'family values' enforcement going on here may stifle it beyond the point of achieving such a thing. Hope this answered your question.

November 30, 2012

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Dave Kendricken
Writer
Freelancer

This looks awesome, but how does it work? You just call them and book a time? You'll have to reserve way ahead of time if everyone or most people are allowed to use it.

November 29, 2012

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Jason

Holy cow. This is huge.

November 29, 2012

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TehRandax

YouTube keeps getting more and more aggressive in their attempt to replace TV. And I applaud their efforts! Hopefully this will lead to more, better web-based series.

November 29, 2012

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David S.

well, is'nt it what I see TV? Is it not TV obsolete?
So yes, I can unleash my genous for a top down megabucks production scale, but not being PAYED megabucks? So is'nt it more revolutionary to go to a site with an old cinema, revive the cinema, make films for that cinema in town and show them there for food and lodging by the community?
Gear is just fivolous... my pov anyway...

November 29, 2012

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I still don`t understand how all of this is going to raise the widely spread level of content quality, even if I get two or three good clips while searching for a specific type of content about, let`s say "walk cycle tutorials", I get tired after a couple of bad ones and leave it. From all those channels I`ve ever followed, currently there are only a very few older than 2-3 years and I just discovered that I didn`t check those few ones for at least a year as they don`t offer enough watchable new stuff.

November 29, 2012

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Mariano

Open one of these in Washington DC and half my clients will be calling youtube instead of me. For now its just located in LA, so I doubt it will have much of an impact.

November 29, 2012

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" ... so I doubt it will have much of an impact." Huh?? Maybe not on you.

It should have a BIG impact on the quality of YouTube programming. There are a lot of wannabe content creators in L.A., and more arriving everyday. This could be a game-changer for them, more professionally produced programming and less shot-in-someones-garage shows.

November 29, 2012

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c.d.embrey

Their studio is about 40 miles up the coast from where I live. It's between LAX and Santa Monica.

I'll check-it-out, but my guess is that they are looking for short (5 min) web series. Something that will get their prime demographic to tune in regularly.

Go in and shoot a block 10/12 five minuet shows. If successful, then shoot another 10/12.

Here's the article from the LATimes http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-youtube-st... They show some stills from the live action/puppet shoh "Learning Town" (see photos 6 and 7)

November 29, 2012

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c.d.embrey

Need one here in NYC.

Love how Youtube is trying to compete with TV. They can do it if they continue to support their creators.

November 29, 2012

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N.K There is one in NYC! http://ytcreators.com

November 29, 2012

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This is really, really cool!

That said, I won't be planning a trip to LA just to use the facility any time soon. Once the newness wears off, it's going to become yet another cookie-cutter that people will use to make their videos.

November 29, 2012

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Digital tools have democratized content in the last 5 years. More quantity (i.e. crap) but the good stuff has risen to the top. Good stuff that might have never made it past the "gatekeepers" of earlier times. Hopefully these studio tools will do the same. More quantity but hopefully the good stuff will rise to the top. In the end, it's creative ideas and passionate execution that are the hallmarks of talent, not dynamic range and global shutter. However, hopefully access to killer tools helps us as an audience find that talent quicker. I think in the end it will be a good thing.

November 29, 2012

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Pretty cool. This has never been done. Man, the world is changing rapidly.

November 30, 2012

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Lorenzo S.

I want to elaborate on this story. I wouldn't call it incomplete, but I may like to provide a "somewhat" insider's view of this. I work for Corridor Digital, running their "second" channel. This in turn means I see Freddie and Brandon from the Freddiew channel quite frequently (which I hesitantly only mention because they're the 6th most subscribed channel of all time). My point is that that means I hear all the juicy gossip about what youtube is doing when I work.

The New Youtube LA Studio Space. Open to everyone who wants to use it, on a whim. Wrong. Well, kinda. The space is available to people who are only currently enrolled in these "classes" that you mentioned, which are offered quarterly. But I imagine these classes will be offered with at least a somewhat "preferential" treatment. As in if I didn't work for a top 100 youtube channel I'd probably have to wait a year. Ok, it's possible I may just be a little cynical for no reason. Yet these are not the typical film school classes you might expect, but classes on how to operate their high tech 4K streaming camera and how it works with their work stations and your ID badge, or their state of the art accelerometer and gyro based motion capture studio (which even on the super professional level isn't being used yet), or their real-time green screen keying ANDDDDDDDDDDD 3D (real-time data transfer) matchmoving studio. I can't express how excited about that last one Corridor Digital is. Also, they have 4 different greenscreen studios. As in 4 different two-wall, rounded cornered studios covered in green paint.

Personally I'm freaking excited about all of this. This is a HUGE amount of resources that youtube is providing for the "average" content provider. I say that in quotes because not everyone will be able to get in these classes. There are THOUSANDS of youtubers who have larger subscriber bases than I do (I currently sit at almost 38K) and HUNDREDS of THOSE youtubers who live in LA and would love to use this space. That doesn't even mention the thousands of native Los Angeles people who have striving youtube pages who hope and try to be something bigger. Who decides who get's the pass? Who gets off the Titanic? The elite or the struggling? Will this be used to simply further already giant youtube channels or the ones who have great content but simply don't have the audience or that viral flair that seem to rocket people up into the public youtube eye. Now, evoking the Titanic is perhaps a crude metaphor but the classic big verses little role in this "youtube" society still plays on. If this were Hollywood, there'd never be a doubt it'd be the former, but I'm hoping with youtube that it'd be the later.

Wow, my apologies, I started getting a little existential there. I blame this delicious winter porter beer. My point is that yes, even the big players on youtube think the LA space is awesome and that they totally plan to take advantage of every part of it they can, and that I don't know what the average "joe-shmoe" youtube partner who ALSO lives in LA will be able to have access too even if they want to. Access will be dictated by class "enrollment", so perhaps that'll be the way it is for the foreseeable future. At any rate, I simply look forward to seeing it all.
-Wren

December 1, 2012

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awesome, thanks for the insight wren

December 3, 2012

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Talk about sensationalism.

December 1, 2012

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I think if youtube could offer digital >public domain< resources like, music, sound effects, and graphics/ animations that would be MUCH more helpful to the majority of youtubers.

December 6, 2012

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Dave