From cooking videos to a professional online video and film production tool

Here's an interview with ProductionMinds.

Jeremy Campbell, founder and president of Spidvid has taken a long stride from cooking videos to a system for video and film professionals that enables them to hook up, collaborate and financially compensate each other for work done. Jeremy is keen on leading product design and development, and is commonly referred to as “the Swiss army knife of Spidvid." We were lucky enough to track this sharpshooter down with our questions, and here is the heads up he gave us below.

What was your aim when you started to build Spidvid, what problem did you want to solve?

My goal was to solve my own problem to find talent to help me collaboratively produce my cooking videos, which I'm passionate about developing. I had poor, unsuccessful experiences on Craigslist, I couldn't find the talent I needed on my social graph, and finding talent on freelancing sites was almost impossible since they aren't focused on video projects. So I did some research to find websites where video projects could be posted to recruit talent for video projects efficiently and cost effectively, and I had no luck. But that presented an opportunity to build something to solve my problem, and the problem of many other video creators. I contracted a development team and we built Spidvid, version 1 in 8 months.

What makes Spidvid the social network for video production and filmmakers?

We are sort of veering away from being labeled as a social network for video and film production, and more towards freelancing for video and film production. Our members can still message each other, and even have group conversations with their teams, but we don't allow our members to follow or befriend each other like typical social networking websites allow for. We are focused on providing the best possible tools so that our members can connect, collaborate, work on projects together, and financially compensate each other for work done.

What perks does Spidvid offer film makers?

We have built a network of like-minded individuals with diverse skill sets so that video creators and filmmakers can team up on projects together. We provide the tools for team and project management, and videos can be exclusively uploaded to if distribution options in addition to the YouTube's are desired. We also help to promote all our member's uploaded videos to our thousands of followers, fans, and subscribers. In many cases videos uploaded via Spidvid get more views than on YouTube as there's a lot of competition and noise there to compete with. All of this for now is 100% free.

Can you explain to a new Spidvid user how to get started working on a project?

Yes, a new user can post a project if he or she needs to find collaborators or freelancers. Or users can bid on active projects that are publicly displayed. We allow for public and private projects, so public ones are available to take bids from anyone that has the skill sets required. If it's a private project then that project owner must invite users to bid on their project through our search, share, and invite features.

You often state that Spidvid was made with web-videos in mind. How about the broader film industry - can they also benefit from Spidvid?

We have broadened our focus of Spidvid to any kind of video or film project. So feature films, short films, TV series, web series, corporate, music videos, weddings, documentaries, cooking, animations, live events, student films, and advertisements/promos are all in play now.

As an online communication expert, what would you say every web-video maker should keep in mind?

Video creators need to keep in mind that they will get out what they put in. For example, some video creators will post a project on Spidvid and hope for quality bids to roll in, and if they don't they will think that Spidvid is useless. But the fact is, people are busy and have limited bandwidth so to recruit users to post bids and join projects takes time to search out and discover talent that makes sense to their project, then to reach out to them and build a relationship over time. We offer a matchmaking like a service for video creators and creative talent, the key is to connect to the right individuals at the right time, and we offer features to help aid in that challenging process.

Can you tell us about some recent Spidvid success stories?

We have had filmmakers find world class composers to do sound design for their projects. We have had video creators connect with amazing editors to help cut together their content. We have had members team up and work on short film projects, then move onto feature film projects together. We have seen many success stories, and it's what inspires and motivates us to keep pushing forward. To see projects get successfully completed that possibly otherwise wouldn't have, re-insures us that we are solving an important problem that matters to our members.

How do you see the future of Spidvid in terms of new features and services – do you have something exciting up your sleeve?

We are planning some premium features to be released next year. I can't go into what they are as we are still debating what they will be, how they will be implemented, and the value they will offer, but we always have our members in mind and are constantly taking in ideas from them and what they want built. We are planning to launch mobile apps next year for the major phones and tablets as well, to make our product more widely accessible.

I’m sure a lot of people reading this will find Spidvid interesting – where do they find you and how do they go about signing up for your service? Do you offer a free trial period? 

Anyone can go to, sign up for free, and build a profile. All our features are free so there's no risk for becoming a member. We do have an escrow and invoice payment system in place for projects, so our members can safely and securely compensate each other.

An Interview With Video Production Tips

Below is a Q and A our founder Jeremy Campbell did with Lorraine Grula of Video Production Tips.

If you’re looking for people to collaborate with on a video project, then do yourself a favor and check out Spidvid.

Spidvid is a website created by Jeremy Campbell with the goal of developing a thriving community of videomakers who can work together on projects. The site is several years old and has grown quite a bit since it first came online.

Spidvid has recently undergone quite a few changes to accommodate all the growth. Jeremy was kind enough to do a brief interview with me in order to inform Video Production Tips readers of the many ways in which Spidvid can help you get your video projects DONE!

1. What is Spidvid and how does it help video makers?

Spidvid helps filmmakers by providing an outlet to post projects and recruit high quality, creative talent to their teams. Individuals such as actors, editors and VFX artists can bid on projects which match their skill sets and interest them, and can be compensated whichever way they prefer. Projects are then collaborated on, managed, and completed. We have just recently launched “Spidvid Payments” where our members can pay, and be paid safely and securely for the projects they are part of.

The purpose of Spidvid is to connect filmmakers with needed creative talent to join their teams, some people call it matchmaking for the film industry. The growth has been impressive, our membership and completed projects have doubled each year since launching in 2010.

2. Where did you come up with the name Spidvid?

Spidvid’s name took awhile to come up with. Our original name was “Collab Guru” which totally sucks, and it never actually saw the light of day. A few years ago the word “collaboration” was really emerging as a powerhouse concept so I wanted to play off that and couple it with guru which means expert individuals, so collaboration between experts. But there was no connection to video or film, it was hard to say, wasn’t memorable, and was essentially boring so that name didn’t stick around long. Myself and others started throwing out funky names that had “video,” “vid,” and “film,” in them and the one I liked the best was “Splenvid” which plays off of splendid. But then I was worried people would have trouble spelling it and saying it. I wanted something similar and Spidvid came to me while I was at a movie theater of all places, perhaps it was a sign. It worked on all levels, and the .com domain name was available from GoDaddy so I jumped on it, and the rest is history.

3. How the Spidvid process works:

I. A video creator or filmmaker posts a Spidvid project outlining the details such as:

  • - budget/no budget,
  • - pre/post/production location(s),
  • - type i.e. feature film,
  • - talent needed i.e. 4 actors, 1 director, 2 videographers, 1 video editor.

The project’s metadata including title, storyline, where in the development process the project is currently at (i.e. in post production,) resources and skills needed, and the compensation offered for each role on the team. Then the bidding process opens and closes. If there are crowdfunding links from Kickstarter or Indiegogo, these can be shared on the project page too to attract more attention from potential financial donators.

II. The project leader invites talent to bid on their project by searching for who they need, and trade messages with individuals who are of interest. This is sort of like the dating zone where individuals feel each other out and decide if it makes sense to collaborate or not.

III. Individuals are added to the team once agreements have been made.

IV. Projects are managed, media files can be shared, group conversations can be done, and once each individual has executed what is needed, the video or film is completed and the asset can be uploaded for distribution to our exclusive distribution partner, Or, the video can be shared externally on YouTube, Vimeo, Funny Or Die, film festivals, or wherever the video or film’s target audience hangs out and views content.

We plan on soon adding several new project management tools including collaborative:

  • - To-do do lists
  • - Milestone and goal tracking
  • - Budgeting
  • - Time tracking
And whatever else makes sense to build so our members can connect and manage their video and film projects from start to finish as effectively and efficiently as possible.

4. Describe this new growth phase with being able to exchange money thru the site. How will this enhance/change Spidvid?

We just recently launched “Spidvid Payments” which allows our members to pay each other safely and securely. We have had some financial transaction blunders in the past between members on external payment sites, so by providing an internal means to act as the middleman between our members everyone is protected. And members can build up their integrity on Spidvid by showing they have paid or earned money on our site, which validates them as legit partners to work with. We launched with PayPal as our payment processor and can add new services over time if our members prefer additional options.

We still have the option of posting Spidvid projects with no budget, so we aren’t turning our back on the bootstrapping filmmakers who want to leverage our site but can’t afford to pay talent, at least not right away.

5. What are the benefits for people to join?

The benefits of Spidvid are:

  • - Individuals build up their portfolios
  • - better manage their projects and teams
  • - all in the cloud
  • - get to work with talent they wouldn’t have otherwise
  • - discover new opportunities locally/nationally/internationally
  • - build up their contact list of industry professionals
  • - earn money
  • - have fun being part of an emerging and open filmmaking ecosystem

6. What growth path is planned for Spidvid? Where do you hope to be in 5 years or so?

We are actively building up a dream team of advisors and mentors to help guide our future efforts, both on the product and member side. Every great company became great because of talented people, so the more “A players” we can attract, the more successful Spidvid will be.

Our mission is to build a framework that plays an integral role within the new-aged filmmaking ecosystem. Our ever evolving product will continue to address the needs and solve the core problems of our members, and act as a glue for the industry.
In 5 years I see feature film projects coming out of Spidvid which make millions of dollars at the box office, win major film festival awards, and the big Hollywood studio’s are constantly tapping into our network for hiring talent and to successfully manage their projects. Modest goals, I know. I come from humble beginnings. :)

I appreciate the opportunity to talk to your audience about filmmaking and Spidvid, two things I’m very passionate about. Thanks Lorraine, this was fun.

The original post on Video Production Tips can be found here.
Hire and Compensate Video Production Talent, and Collaboratively Manage Projects In the Cloud

Spidvid launches the world’s first compensation system specifically built for video and film projects. 

Toronto, Canada – 08/07/2013 - “Spidvid Payments” empowers video creators to launch their projects and disperse their budgets on to hire cast and crew, and to safely and securely compensate their team through escrow and/or invoice payments. 

“We saw firsthand how some video creators would launch a video project on our website, then compensate their team members on various payment services, only to not fully receive the value they expected.” Founder and President Jeremy Campbell explains. “We saw this as an important problem to solve, because we wanted to see our members completing projects and financial transactions together successfully. It made perfect sense to provide a solution where paid video projects could be launched, managed, collaborated on, and completed. Our members can now pay for the time and talent of other’s, all within a safe and secure environment. Spidvid Payments leverages 

PayPal to process project payments, with the goal of smoothly handling financial transactions between individuals working in the quickly emerging, evolving, and exciting video production space.” 

We have seen the emergence of YouTube for video distribution, and crowdfunding websites where money is raised for video projects, but Spidvid’s core focus is on areas which have seen relatively little innovation; video project collaboration and management, hiring talent, and a framework for compensating team members.

If you want to hire cast and crew, there are freelancing websites which are mostly dedicated towards development and design projects. There is Craigslist, where video related hiring opportunities are loosely posted and often get lost in the noise. There are random job boards, which are often local and lack the global reach that the Internet now makes possible. There isn’t a solution specifically for video project management, team building, and compensation between individuals. Spidvid aims to fill that void with a powerful product that’s easy to use, reliable and trustworthy for our 7,000+ members, and with a framework built from the ground up specifically for video. Spidvid is truly the first of its kind worldwide.

About Spidvid 

Spidvid is a complete and modular solution for video production. Cast and crew connect around projects, creators and producers build their teams, collaboratively manage their work flow, financial compensation is handled safely and securely, video content is successfully developed, and can be uploaded for digital distribution.

Contact person - Jeremy Campbell:, @JeremyCampbell, 1-416-799-9506

An Interview with Spidvid's Founder and President, Jeremy Campbell

5th Cinema recently had the opportunity to talk to Jeremy Campbell of, a website devoted to helping independent filmmakers. Here’s what he had to say.

So explain what Spidvid does for those who haven’t heard of the site yet.

Spidvid helps filmmakers by providing an outlet to post projects and recruit high quality, creative talent to their teams. Individuals such as actors, editors and VFX artists can bid on projects which match their skill sets and interest them, and can be compensated whichever way they prefer. Projects are then collaborated on, managed, and completed. Very soon we are launching “Spidvid Payments” where our members can pay, and be paid safely and securely for the projects they are part of.

How does Spidvid help filmmakers?

My response above briefly touches on how Spidvid helps filmmakers, but we also help to promote projects posted on our site, and help connect talent to projects when we identify opportunities that make sense for both parties. We listen to our members, and receive many requests for help, and we always try to accommodate everyone the best we can. We are passionate about helping our members get their projects completed successfully, and move onto new exciting projects they want to pursue. It’s a bit cliche, but our members success is our success.

Can you tell us any success stories?

Yes, we’ve had many, and that keeps us going. One that quickly sticks out to me is a filmmaker from California who had been producing entertaining short films for years, but never really had a professional composer to work with to raise his level of production value. He posted a project on our site and quickly connected with a very talented composer in the UK who provided an incredible score for his short film, which really elevated the overall product.

How can someone get the most out of Spidvid?

I think it’s all about how someone pitches their project to attract interest from our members. Then it’s all about reaching out to individuals who have the skill sets needed, are team players, and can deliver results in a timely fashion. Sometimes we see filmmakers who put in very little effort to their project’s metadata, who don’t make any contact with members in our network, and basically just hope for the best. People are busy and distracted so you and your project have to break through the noise to earn valuable attention and bids.

The same goes for individuals bidding on projects. You can’t just spend 1 minute submitting a bid on a project and expect to get hired. You have to reach out to the project’s owner, and communicate why you’re the perfect fit for the project. Show some personality, that you can be trusted, and that you’re genuinely interested in being part of the team.

We provide a useful product, but it’s up to our members to use the tools effectively to maximize their overall Spidvid experience.

How did you get the idea for Spidvid?

It was mostly out of personal need, I wanted to solve my personal problem. I had a cooking video project that I wanted to do but I needed a video editor and a voice over actor. I couldn’t post the project on a freelancing site because I had no budget. I looked for talent on Craigslist but it was messy and hard to connect with the right kind of individuals. I saw a hole in the market for a website where I could post a video project with no budget, and attract collaborators to my team. I hired a team of developers and designers and we built and launched the first version of the website in about 8 months, in January 2010. There will be official paid projects on our website once Spidvid Payments launches, but staying true to our roots we are also keeping the option to post a project that has no budget. We want every video project to at least have a fighting chance to succeed regardless of budget size, and regardless of where in the production development process the project is in.

What are your plans for the future?

Over the years we have had many requests for a payment system on Spidvid. There were a few transactions where a member would pay another member on an external payment website and there were issues of people either not getting paid what was agreed upon, or would pay out money but not receive the project value they expected to receive. So we built an escrow and invoice payment system in partnership with PayPal, and will be launching it very soon. To see financial transactions between members occur safely and securely on our site will be great to see.

We are actively building up a dream team of advisors and mentors to help guide our future efforts, both on the product and member side. Every great company became great because of talented people, so the more “A players” we can attract, the more successful Spidvid will be.

Our mission is to build a framework that plays an integral role within the new-aged filmmaking ecosystem. Our ever evolving product will continue to address the needs and solve the core problems of our members.
Spidvid's Lessons Learned About the Crowd and Video Production The Industry Website

Here's a question and answer that our founder did with, the content was used to produce an article which is posted below. You can read the original article on their amazing site.

When we set out to launch Spidvid, a decision had to be made whether to form a small traditional entertainment studio which would develop original content, or do something original to challenge the status quo.

In late 2008 Seth Godin was writing about connecting people together, collaboration, openness, new media, going to the fringes, and other cutting edge concepts. Connecting the dots between wanting to do something different and what Seth was saying, it made sense to see if these elements were being applied to the video or film production model, and from our research the answer was no.

Video remixing and mashing was big around this time--where someone could upload a clip, and then others could download that clip with the purpose of adding value to the clip, and then sharing that improved clip with the hopes that yet someone else can add value to it too, and so on. While this was a cool phenomena to see the crowdsourcing power of video production on a large scale, the results were often mediocre because videos often didn't have a compelling story, value wasn't always added as it morphed along, and there was always someone who had to use a popular song for background music with no copyright clearances.

The goal for Spidvid was to always have an open video production ecosystem, but remixing was too open and chaotic. So the big idea was to crowdsource talent to create video entertainment where each individual on the team was responsible for something, and allow the members to set how the compensation split will work. For example, if a team has a video creator, 2 actors, 2 videographers, and an editor, the creator and team decide on each member getting 15% except for the creator getting 25%. If the video makes $1,000 in ad/sponsorship revenue then each member would get their pre-determined fair share.

So Spidvid fits into the crowdsourcing landscape as the site that aims to connect and empower individuals to create original video entertainment together, either locally, nationally, globally, or a combination of all three.

The concept came together over many months. "The back of the napkin" happened to be in the notes section on an iPod Touch leading to those concepts getting coded out as features over the next 8 months. On beta launch day in January 2010, 187 users signed up to get profiles thanks to our marketing efforts leading up to the launch day--including press releases, blog posts, getting small niche sites to write reviews, and most importantly--word of mouth and mouse.

Spidvid has grown up a ton--going from a concept with no users, to a public beta with 187, to now in late 2011 with 3,000 members, over 1,000 video projects launched, 250 projects completed, and over 1.2 million views.

Spidvid 2.0 is now being designed and developed to feature a simple and elegant user interface (UI), make video project work flow easier, add more social tools and location features. Spidvid 2.0 should launch in early 2012, and by 2015 full feature films will be produced by Spidvid's collaborative community.

Here's the lessons we've learned about crowdsourcing so far:

#1 -- Projects need to be compelling, otherwise people won't be inspired and motivated to jump in.
#2 -- The collaborative objectives and goals must be clearly articulated before starting a project.
#3 -- The benefits and value must be laid out so each individual understands what they are getting for their time and talent investment.

The most surprising thing to date is how fast the crowdsourcing model has taken shape over the years. It used to be that we had to educate people on our new media concept, but now the majority of users understand what's going on as soon as they jump in to our community.

The majority of our users come from connections on Twitter, which makes scaling our community up fast challenging, but users coming in tend to be more active since they've had personal interaction with us before joining.

I wasn't much of a video creator before starting Spidvid, but now I am since I have a platform to attract talent cost-effectively and quickly. I've been creating many entertaining "how to" cooking videos and really enjoy the connections and partnerships I've built up over the past couple years.

It's exciting to think there have been many videos and films created that wouldn't have otherwise existed without Spidvid's crowdsourcing product to leverage. What keeps us going is knowing that the next big hit video or film may come from our community, making an impact on that production team, along with the thousands or millions of viewers that consume the content. There's a lot to be excited about in the crowdsourcing space, especially for video production, and we hope you'll be watching it all unfold with us.


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