Mastering the Moving Image (Breakout)

dad2summitLive Blogging Dad 2.016, Uncategorized

Panel consists of: Charlie Capen (@HowToBeADad), Stewart Reynolds (@BrittleStar), Randall Chase (@RandallChase), Matt Clarke (@Convos2yold) and Penn Holderness (@PennHolderness).

Started talking about “hot webcam shows”

The three “V”s of video

– viewers

– values

– vaginas (suggested by Charlie)

Randall builds communities online and offline, works with Periscope. Penn has over 100 million views and has done the Holderness pajama videos we’ve all seen. Matt is a filmmaker, actor, creator of “Convos with my two year old”. Stewart runs on Vine as Brittlestar, more than 5mil views/day.

Stewart: I had fun creating silly or stupid stuff on Vine from the first week, and in 2013 he did “put your finger on the screen” which helped him grow.

Matt: Got inspired by being silly all the time when my daughter was born. Fail fast, fail often. Really grew from Reddit once it hit the home page.

Penn: I had to raise my daughter for the first year because ESPN said I wasn’t good enough so they paid me out of my contract. Got into local news but never saw my kids. So we played with making videos, and my son suggested we make a Christmas Video. So we did, and my kids were having so much fun when we were making the pajama videos.

Randall: When Periscope came out and competitors with Meerkat, we keep trying to figure out which would die miserably, but Periscope gave you a chance to connect with members of the community in a way that was completely new. On Periscope you’re watching facial expressions and can respond immediately.


Stewart: Doing a video for Vine is very different from YouTube. Started out as more of a sharing platform (Vine) but quickly changed to mini-TV shows. It’s a very shareable media. Facebook you have to be there as a content creator because of the side of the audience. Matt: I don’t think being on multiple platforms dilutes your brand, used to be that you’d cannibalize your views from other platforms, but now people just watch Facebook, or Vine, or YouTube. So being everywhere is a “holistic presence”

Penn: there’s a massive obsession with the view count on Facebook, we realized putting a YouTube link on Facebook is the dumbest thing you can do: uploading to Facebook gives you 10x the views. Lot of Moms on Facebook, older people are more likely to engage than to subscribe too.

You have to go where you audience is – you have to have a presence everywhere. Everyone on the panel works really hard to make it look effortless, both in their videos and with the marketing.


Learn how to encourage engagement, tell people to subscribe. First rule is to have fun with your video – if you aren’t then people will know. But don’t be afraid to try different things and fail fast and often. You do have a responsibility to your viewers, however.

Matt: I would have been more thoughtful about how I set up the brand. Our format isn’t personality-based and has ended up as a challenge. Wish we would have established something broader to give us more options. Your subscriber numbers are only good in the past: we could do the very same thing and get no views. It’s harder to fail once you’ve been really successful too.

Randall: If I could start over, I’d do 6-second YouTube Videos. Or used “Start Broadcast” sooner. I would have spent less time worrying about having everything look beautiful and just do it. Because it’s basically gone in 24 hours anyway on Periscope.


Penn: Facebook Live is pretty amazing, being able to see comments as you go and Facebook is really pushing its live video content so you get a lot of visibility and engagement.

Perisope is cool but Facebook Live has a built-in community because you already have followers. It also lets people feel connected, sometimes Matt will Periscope him creating a Vine video.

Recording is time intensive because of the editing required, but live streaming is time intensive in a different way. But how does it tie in with your family / family life?

Penn: I’m constantly terrified that I’m doing it wrong, but if my kids stop having fun or don’t want to do it, then it’s a problem. And I have to have brands agree that if my kids don’t want to do a campaign, they won’t do it.  Hard to work with kids overall. We never even do more than 15min in front of a camera, one or two takes max.

Matt: I’ve let my kids know that they’re now employees. But really, that they don’t have to be in any given video. Are you still engaged, or are you just writing a story?

Penn: My kids want to be part of the storytelling process, learning how to edit, etc.

Stewart: If your kids aren’t into it, you just have to shut it down. Told story of how his son, at 15, bailed in the middle of a Disney project being recorded at the park, and they had to roll with it. So they made him run the camera.

As dads, we’re all very protective of our kids and won’t force them to do anything. But gives you a chance to share a creative process. In writing posts, you can refer to them obliquely, but in video you can’t protect them. As a parent you have the right to royally screw up your child as much or little as you’d like. Having to warn kids of trolls before you post their video content, and always give them the “ops out”


Stewart: There’s a reason people follow us, let me do things in my way and don’t make me put a call to action in the video. Let us do what we do best and let the brand trust us.

Matt: GEICO has been a great sponsor, they just give us money and let us do fun stuff.

Penn: We did five different videos last year for Target. With five different PR agencies. Best agencies understand that their message is adjacent to your message. Worst is when there are 7 or 8 people from the agency.

Randall: you also have to protect your own brand. You can become overbranded which can be risky.


Stewart: Have fun and be yourself, or it’ll become a chore.

Matt: Just do stuff. Even if you don’t know what you’re doing, just do stuff. You create momentum by doing things. Fail fast, fail often. You get better by doing. “Fail in your own way”

Penn: Commit. Use your whole effort, don’t do things half-assed. I realized that’s counter to the hipster culture.

Randall: Perfection is a myth. In Periscope, it’s raw, it’s in your face. The most successful are people who just set up their phone and talk. Be willing to connect to people, not make it perfect.


Live blogging by Dave Taylor (@DaveTaylor) of