To Youtube or Not To Youtube, That Was The Question

Hot under the FeathersSo here we were, Mhairi & I, with 6 episodes and 2 teasers in the can and seemingly lots of options (since the Digital Revolution was now in full swing) but unsure which direction to go.

There had been some initial excitement, as several big name production companies had seen some of our material and were interested in working with us, but that excitement faded pretty quickly when we realized that they wanted to go in a different direction with the show than we had in mind.

Maybe it was due to Mhairi’s brilliantly dead pan delivery, but it seems many in the early stages saw Feathers and Toast as an actual cooking show, and wanted to steer it in that direction (in fact one even suggested cutting the Behind The Scenes part) but as tempting as it was to go where the money was, and shape our show into what was currently working on the digital platforms and MCN’s, Mhairi and I knew this was a full blown comedy destined for television and that even if it meant we were going to have to go it alone for awhile and forego any financial support (that we really could have used), that was just what we were going to have to do until we could effectively show them the trajectory we envisioned for ourselves and why it would work.

The decision was made to go ahead and put the episodes up on our own Youtube channel (more on how we prepped for that at a later time) and pretty quickly thereafter we learned what will become a series on insights I will share with you about Youtube, but the first is…

Industry Tip #3
Youtube is a powerful creative development tool if used effectively.

Almost immediately after we began releasing those early episodes of Feathers and Toast, we started getting invaluable feedback from the people, not industry people, but viewers, fans, the people we would be creating the show for in the first place, and one of the first bits of invaluable information we got is that they absolutely loved the back and forth between Diego and Tallulah.

This was music to our ears because the Behind The Scenes part was where we had chosen to hint at the fact that there was a larger story with Tallulah, and the fact that people were responding to it gave us encouragement to go even further with this aspect, in fact it altered our entire thinking as we headed into developing Season 2. (so thanks all you early supporters like Linda Eubanks, Bob Burns and Icerunner to name a few)

So I guess the answer to the ancient question “To Youtube or Not to Youtube” for us ended up being a resounding yes! To Youtube.

And now without further ado I will share with you the very first episode of Feathers and Toast to ever grace the web. (awww) As you watch it I’d love for you to appreciate as I do how serious Tallulah is about what she is up as I happen to know how not serious Mhairi herself was. (She may be straight faced for the camera – because she is truly a brilliant actress – but inside this was all hilarious to her as this is definitely her unique brand of humor)

And also I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge Diego for literally just being himself. Right before we had begun filming our Director, Barbara Stepansky, had suggested Tallulah have someone to talk to, like the camera man, so we had attempted to cast one of my Second City friends to play the camera man and that fell through, but then I had one of my crazy ideas.

I asked Mhairi what she thought of just letting Diego be the “camera man.” I knew, even though he wasn’t an actor that he would have no trouble getting into character because he literally was the camera man but I also knew how naturally funny he is and how incapable he is of being anything other than himself. To my surprise Mhairi embraced my crazy idea immediately (another reason I love her as my creative partner), and the rest, as they say is history. (And btw – we gave Diego literally no direction or explanation of what we were up to at all. We just told him to feel free to chat with her on that second part and just as I suspected, he gave us gold)


7 thoughts on “To Youtube or Not To Youtube, That Was The Question

  1. An actual cooking show?? Ohhhh how misguided those industry types are! Thanks for sticking to your guns and following your creative hearts! Love you ladies, I’m always pulling for you! Great “casting” Diego is a natural!

  2. First have to say I agree with Bob Burns about a cooking show and the industry people being misguided! We love the combination of both! The cooking bit has to be there to show Tallulah’s expertise and her style and her serious delivery of such great comedic moments… but the behind the scenes is too delightful and where we see more of the real Tallulah! When you can… it would be great to know in the pilot format how much time is behind the scenes and how much time is the cooking bit? They should both expand in time.

    The choice to go to YouTube was brilliant and it’s a great way to be seen by many! It’s also very easy for people to watch and comment and engage with you. It definitely works better when you have a regular release schedule too so when you were releasing on Saturday’s it was easy to make a stop at Feathers and Toast’s site to catch the latest episode. Just like now we know you have a set release of blogs and vlogs! I know your numbers and engagements on your site, SM and YouTube will help with getting your pilot picked up because it establishes an audience. You are both doing wonderful things building your audience and we can’t wait for more!

    It was another insightful blog Holly and the industry tips are fun too! You must stick to your guns and have the behind the scenes… it is a great part of the total show! I am certain that you will get the break and that more people will get the pleasure of seeing Mhairi be Tallulah Darling… she’s just too brilliant not too! Would love to see Diego, you and Barbara in some upcoming episodes even if it’s just filming a reaction! Thanks Holly… well done again!

    • With the TV show we will be spending nearly all our time on the Behind The Scenes moments as it will be a single camera comedy that follow the life of Tallulah and her rag tag team, Holster, Diego and Marge. “Tallulah’s cooking show” will continue to be on the web and we will make more episodes.

      • Only if you can say… will you be referring to the web cooking show within the TV show? Will there be the link to Tallulah actually doing the cooking bit? Sort of a transmedia approach? Could be interesting and could still work even with the name differences?

  3. Thanks Holly! Great topic! Most definitely YouTube! Any creative video content should be there and elsewhere. Vimeo is great too! Having it on your website is a must too! We have learned with our Birthday video for Simon that YouTube with the right links will get you people that are not your current supporters, if done correctly!

    Love that you both are taking a stand and not compromising your vision and your product! That is so uplifting to hear… rather than taking the money and running. You have a very delightfully complex mix of talents in this show and someone is bound to see what we see and love!

    Interesting to hear that there will not be any cooking bit in the TV show. Will look forward hopefully to your next web season of seeing more of the behind the scenes characters in front of the camera!

    Well done Holly… love the industry tips! Look forward to seeing the next one!

    • Thanks for the tip darling about vimeo. Why do you think its necessary to have vimeo on your website, is it an SEO situation? Thats interesting as we only have youtube, maybe we should upload to vimeo too and add that to our website. Thank you for sharing about the links in your birthday video (which I remember watching and loved, well done!) do you mean the tag words used when describing the video in youtube or do you mean annotations within the video itself? I’m still grappling with all of this with the vlogs and would appreciate your insight!

      Thank you so much. I am so inspired by Chanel and her uncompromising vision that we often say we are Chanel and not H and M. With a lot of art people don’t necessarily ‘get it’ straight away…even Manet and Monet weren’t accepted into the Academy of Beaux Arts and were considered outcasts when they began… Thank you for the vote of confidence, I hope you’re right!

      There maybe some sandwich making in the half hour show darling Tallulah is Queen of the Cuisine afterall…we shall see!
      Thank you again so much for watching and commenting, so glad that we have met, even if it is simply in the virtual world!

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