Christopher Franklin

Christopher Franklin

Creating Video Essay Things About Video Games

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About Christopher Franklin

Hi, I'm Chris. I make game criticism videos, and yes, that's even more pretentious than it sounds. And I'm here to kick off a Patreon campaign! But before we get into the details I think it's sort of necessary to explain why I'm doing this.

Your first response is probably, "why not just rely on ads like every other YouTuber!?" Well, ads are a bad idea for two key reasons. First, YouTube's monetization policy has grown increasingly unreliable for someone doing criticism, as ContentID checks can torpedo my ability to make any money on a video at all. That's not to mention the delays likely to be introduced in getting videos out with their new mandatory review system for monetization.

Second, ads don't really care about anything other than the number of eyeballs you can generate. This means YouTube is great for strong personalities that put out daily vlogs; they function almost like a morning radio show host you can listen to at any time and make a part of your daily routine. The sort of criticism I do means I can only put out pieces once or twice a month. So where I'm getting twenty to fifty thousand views a month, someone with my subscriber base doing daily vlogs would get that much a day. If vlog videos were put out every weekday (~20 a month) that would mean I’m earning somewhere between five and ten percent of what a vlogger would earn. These sorts of videos just aren't profitable on an ad based system unless you're crazy popular and can offset the lack of videos with a massive view count.

It's also not really a show that can be shopped around. Even if they would have me - and I'm under no delusions of grandeur that they would, I’m just sayin’ - it's pretty clear at this point that the sweet spot for videos on places like The Escapist or GameTrailers is weekly six to nine minute episodes, not monthly episodes that can go as long as twenty minutes. And there's nothing wrong with those shorter episodes! But it's not the show I do.

So, Patreon! First, though, these crowdfunding things are tricky and I don’t want to be the Veronica Mars or Zach Braff of video game criticism fundraising. There are plenty of game critics literally making their living off of Patreon right now, and if you’re interested in supporting someone who could really use the money please consider subscribing to them. I’d love to make more any money from this venture (and I’d even love to make it my full time job some day!) but I’d love writers I respect to be warm and well fed more than that. That said, if you’re a fan of the show and are interested in seeing it survive or even grow, any little bit would be sincerely appreciated.

The money will help fund production. Monthly subscriptions to Photoshop and Premiere pretty much cancel most of my current YouTube earnings out, so any other expense (web hosting, game purchases for reference footage or review, video capture devices, newer computers to handle editing of HD video, not to mention the immense amount of time invested in making these things) is largely out of pocket. Errant Signal has been fun to make, but it’s also cost me a lot of money. Production value increases don’t just come from hard work!  Whatever’s left over at the end of the month will be saved in an attempt to jump-start doing this full-time in the future. Whether that’s feasible or not, I can’t say! We’ll have to see what the response to this campaign is like.

Finally, the gritty details: I'm running this campaign on a monthly basis.  Which works well since that's about how often I release videos anyways, but know that it also supports whatever writing I can squeeze in in addition to my videos.  You're making it all possible!  I'm working on figuring out patron-only content, but it's tricky.  Between a day job and making videos I don't have time to do a whole additional piece of content just for subscribers, and I'd prefer that all of the writing and videos I do to be publicly available.  Still, I'd love to do something as a thank-you to anyone who subscribes.  If anyone has any ideas, please let me know!

Anyways, regardless of whether you subscribe I'd like to offer a thank you just for taking the time to read this long, meandering plea.  Now, back to writing about games!
967 of 2,000 patrons
If I have 2,000 patrons I am probably earning enough to do this full time.  That means way more videos for that ravenous, insatiable content monster we call the internet!
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