Today’s Youtube Empires, Tomorrow’s Hollywood Ashes

Charlie’s a star.

Here’s Charlie, talking about stars.

A million people, roughly, have seen Charlie talking about stars. He’s got two-thirds as many followers on Twitter as Brian Cox, the physicist star of BBC doc Wonders of the Solar System, which topped out ratings around 3 million viewers. That’s impressive. And Charlie’s video cost a tiny fraction as much to make.

3 million is, incidentally, about a billion billion times less than the number of stars in the universe. Hmm, let’s stop using the word ‘star’ now. It’s starting (AH! There it is again!) to throw into stark (no!) relief how… I’m going to cut that sentence off before it becomes any more silly.

Throw into the mix the frank insight of a Hollywood hack, courtesy of The Benshi:

Its like, there are so many stories out there that could go a thousand different ways, mostly they turn into a boring bio pics. that lose money. So to invest the money studios do, they want someone who they know can deliver (aaron Sorkin and David Fincher) and even then they tend to want it to be about Steve Jobs, which is the hot assignment right now or in the prior case Facebook.

If you have a lights out script that blows people’s mind, that isn’t about a subject with a failing track record(IE the middle east wars.) you may have a shot there too, but people better totally flip.

127 hours btw only grossed $60mil world wide. Not a lot for a global release
grossed $50 mil world wide. Even less.

Its fine and well people in LA and NY like to talk about these movies over cocktails but in a world where it costs a mint just to market these pictures, they financially are damn tough.

If they are getting into something like that, they want it to be Social network that did $225M WW.

I shit you not, baring guys like [James] Cameron of which there are about 5-10 people with anywhere near that juice, almost every project is freaking existing IP driven stuff. Meaning Robocop remake, Fast and the furious 6, Transformers 4, Ouiji (based on the board game), Battleship (also based on the board game), Highlander remake, 2 snow white movies, Cinderella, a 300 sequel about Xerses, The Man from Uncle remake, Cannon ball run remake, The secret life of walter mitty remake. You would fucking laugh and then never try again in Hollywood if you saw the grid list of stuff out there, sometimes we just laugh.

We are along way from the 70′s and Chinatown. A long long way.

He may sound like a cynical bastard (stop it!), but it’s clear: Hollywood’s a non starter (that wasn’t even intentional!) for all us budding science communicators. Contagion‘s probably the closest we’ll get for a while.

So rather than staring (I give up) at the glass ceiling of commercial backing, I plan to have a crack at the Youtube market. It will probably end up floating in the void, languishing with a lazy triple digit hit count and dwindling into obscurity after being shared by friends and a few friends of friends… but who knows, maybe I’ll find the right formula (that would be startling) and win the hearts, minds and subscribe buttons of the fickle Youtube populace.

Of course, this isn’t just something I am going to whip up in a week. I just thought that announcing it would make me more likely to start.

I give up, it's me, under the stars.

What I need, though, are topics. I want to be answering the burning little questions we rarely bother to ask. What’s something that bugs you, in your everyday life, that you might want to know more about? What’s a thing you see that puzzles you, or a bodily function that confuses you, or a trick of the mind that catches you out? What do you want me to find out for you?

Categories: communication, Thoughts, Videos | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Post navigation

3 thoughts on “Today’s Youtube Empires, Tomorrow’s Hollywood Ashes

  1. Alana

    David, if u ever have a son, wonder if he will be like this young man?? (Wonder if his mom takes tranquilizers??) He is adorable and I wish him well.

  2. I often wonder about “the baby stare.” Have you ever been sitting somewhere, and someone else’s baby fixes you with an unblinking stare? He or she appears fascinated, intense, deep in thought. It is almost unnerving. What are they thinking, when they often don’t yet have words, or what are they absorbing?

  3. Interesting one John! Though science on babies is a tricky subject, as is filming them.

    I also found a paper on the science of sarcasm, which would seem appropriate for me to make into a video.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: