Thursday, January 17, 2013

Video Star Part 2 -- Real Videos, Real Artists

I just heard from Video Star's co-founder Barry Braksick who read my post.  He shared with my some of his favorite videos made with Video Star, including this one by recording artist Jenn Bostic. And, here are links to some of Barry's other favorite Video Star-made vids (which show just some of the power of this cool app). Enjoy!

MUST CHECK OUT App -- Video Star

If you haven't heard of the free app "Video Star," run, don't walk to your local App Store (especially if you have kids 8-18, which is the app's core demographic).  Video Star gives anyone the ability to easily create compelling music videos.  I recently caught up and spoke with Video Star's co-founder, Barry Bracksick.

Video Star is a ... er ... star.  It's just about everything a video-focused app should be.  Fun.  Easy-to-use.  Creative.  Compelling.  "Share-worthy" videos.  Where virtually all other public share-focused "Instagram for video" apps fail, Video Star succeeds.

Video Star understands that it is the content, stupid, that matters -- i.e., sharing is not enough.  Without compelling video content, videos (unlike Instagram-like still photos) are not share-worthy.  Why?  Because mobile video is fundamentally different as a medium compared to mobile photos.  Engagement with videos -- i.e., finding those that are worthy of your time -- is a very different animal.  Story-telling is important here.  So are navigational short-hands or guideposts to separate the wheat from the chafe.  Virtually no current mobile video apps (even those with significant initial traction) embrace these fundamental differences -- they simply focus on general mobile video sharing.  And, they will ultimately fail because of it.

Back to Video Star -- which is no "Instagram for video" clone.  Video Star, of course, lives in the milieu of music.  And, music solves these fundamental video issues/challenges.  An underlying music soundtrack – especially one known to a broad audience – becomes a central part of the “story” and adds the critical ingredient of relevance.  And, that means more engagement and virality amongst already-rabid fans.  Music also can help the audience efficiently find the videos that matter to them.  Artists and songs – especially those known to a broad audience – can serve as critical navigational guideposts.  They certainly convey more universality than a video thumbnail.

Music gives Video Star users their underlying narrative drive (i.e., the story's foundation), and the app fosters creativity and thought before video capture begins.  It also offers instant filters and automates editing (the video is always in synch with the music) to optimize ease-of-use – in other words, the technology gets out of the way so that users can focus on the act of creation.  That means better content, and that means enhanced universality, video engagement and sharing.  

I have seen Video Star in action with my own Instagram-using kids who made their own shockingly good Skrillex video (note to self: always look to what the kids are using).  They herded together a bunch of their friends for a few hours for that video alone.  It was fun for them.  And, it was highly creative and collaborative film-making.  Certainly beat watching TV or playing video games solo.  The end result was quite incredible, really.  In fact, the kids screened the video for us -- and we parents were quite impressed (and not just because our kids were involved).  It was just a damn good video.  So much so that one of the parents wanted to instantly share it with the anonymous world of YouTube (until I thought the better of it for privacy reasons).

I could imagine youth/kid-focused companies like Disney or Viacom/Nickelodeon being interested in acquiring the company behind Video Star, as well as music-focused services – like Vevo.  The app is definitely fueled by passion.  And, it isn't just for kids.  The company tells me that Video Star is so good that real bonified musical artists now use it to create their own music videos.