Sky Full of Bacon

Longer Than Chad Vader

Okay, I’m not sure if anyone looks at this blog per se, it mainly exists to facilitate the videos, but if you happen to see this, I’d be interested in any feedback on the following.

Got a comment back from a local writer-editor person who basically said the Sun Wah video podcast was sort of interesting— but too long.

Now, I’m sure there are lots of people who will find 15 minutes on a Chinese restaurant too long… because they’d find two minutes on a Chinese restaurant too long. Fine, it’s not for them. But basically one of the things I’m trying to demonstrate here is that online video doesn’t have to be 54 seconds of online goofiness on YouTuber, that you can do things that have the feel and cohesiveness of a feature piece in a magazine, or a short story, or an NPR interview, in a sit-at-your-desk-and-watch-it setting.

For me, 15 somewhat methodical minutes on the family behind a Chinese restaurant is easier to take than the 22 minutes (plus commercials) that make up a typical food TV show, in the course of which we’d flit between five different places, cut every two seconds and get whiplash from the ADD camerawork. I find those kinds of TV shows much harder to sit through for very long than the videos I’ve made, but obviously they have some kind of audience which responds to that kind of pace or at least, once suckered in, is too dazzled by flashing bright colors to change the channel.

For me, I want to make things that let you go behind the scenes and really get to know a single place and the people involved— within the limitations of a 10 to 20 minute running length. Basically it’s an interview show, but with pictures. Of course, an audio podcast you can just have on in the background, so it’s okay if it runs on a bit; a video one has to be more focused and compelling minute to minute, because you’re sitting there looking at it. So where nobody would be bothered by a 30 minute audio podcast, I want to keep video short enough that it’s over before you’re tired of it, more in the 15 range.

But still, I refuse to let YouTube set the expectations for all video online; I’d rather have 1000 people watch something meaty (and that’s about what the first podcast has reached) than have 100,000 people watch something catchy but stupid I happened to make.

So what do you think about length, depth and the prospects for video online? And about the length and pace of the two Sky Full of Bacon podcasts to date?

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