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 UnleashVideo.com 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 Spidvid.com, 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.
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 Spidvid.com 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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org, @JeremyCampbell, 1-416-799-9506
Here's a question and answer that our founder did with Crowdsourcing.org, 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.