By dan

What I’ve learned about publishing internet video while at AJ+ so far…

I’ve been at my gig at AJ+ English for about three months, and I’ve had the opportunity to run at some great stories. Making video for a digital audience is slightly different than if I were crafting comedy for TV. I’ve learned a few things.

  • Start with your biggest laugh first. Generally in TV you gradually build up to your biggest laugh in order to get out to the studio with a fuzzy feeling, or create a sense of narrative over a long period of time. However with online it doesn’t matter. You want your audience to laugh at the top, so they’ll stick with you till the end. If you give them lots of carrot to begin with, they’ll hang round despite varying carrot size. (How was that metaphor?)
  • Big text is your friend. When crafting online content setting the game of the joke within the first 4-5 seconds of the video with text is really important, especially in a Facebook environment where now most of the video is consumed on mobile. This is because Facebook auto plays videos now with the video on mute, so regardless of whether they can hear the sound or not, audiences should be able to stick with your video. Same goes for subtitling all your video content. Basically; MOAR TEXT!
  • Engage: This is a fancy digital marketing word for “talk” if you’re putting out content, talk with your audience, make jokes with them. I love talking with the audience, more often than not they’re funnier than I am, so the comments section it’s a great place to extend the conversation, and build on the jokes. I like the idea that the game is set in the video and the audience can then play with you.
  • Feed The Trolls: If someone is ripping you or your video apart… have a crack at them in a funny way if you can, and you feel justified…why? because it’s fun.
  • Mobile First!: I almost forgot about this one… Consider your audience… and your audience is mostly consuming video on a mobile device.

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Here are some of my favourite pieces I’ve created so far:

Apple Car:

My Country’s Not That Racist But…. Australia


The best worst Fox News response to Charlie Hebdo

Who is sucking dry California without a permit?

HSBC’s top tax tips

GreekStarter – Greece Launches a KickStarter to pay off their debt

A Knight sells the new Holy War to Conservatives at CPAC

How big are the NFL’s Balls? I visit the Super Bowl media day to ask tough questions.

By dan

GetUp 2013: Three Videos I’m Heaps proud of

This past election season I had the great opportunity to
work with the sharp brains and bleeding hearts at GetUp!. GetUp!
are a fantastic non partisan lobby group who fight for progressive
change in Australian politics. Since
2006 I’ve been creating communications that cut through and educate
the electorate on policy often using the sharpest most pointed
It’s been a wonderful synergy. This year I took a
more hands on role in content creation. Two days a week I
worked on strategy, writing, directing, and producing bits of
content throughout the election campaign with my producer, Peter
Slee, at Motion Picture Company.

Often the brief would land in our inbox 3
days before it was to air or be published. That kind of turn around
is really exciting, but also terrifying, and compromises always get
made to get the final product over the line in time, but the work
is truly fulfilling. Working with such a passionate, beautiful
bunch of people who are slaving their guts out to make our country
better everyday is a privilege. Here are three of my favourite
spots I worked on for Electapoolooza 2013.

Bad Designs –
Manus Island

(Write/Direct/VO) When Kevin announced the
expansion of Manus Island, I was with one of the GetUp team in the
car listening to the announcement on the radio. We made a few dark
jokes about how only way this policy could be more palatable is if had been on Grand Designs. Two weeks
later we delivered this sketch. (I’m particularly proud of my Kevin
McCloud Impression… and I know.. the word Bespoke is missing)

Game Of Seats

(Write/Direct) The brief here
was to create a spot about how to vote and inform people about the
senate. It’s a notoriously difficult subject to do properly, and
get the information across in a short space of time without boring
people to suicide. We tried many different scripts, from simple
explainers, to nude sketches, to hip hop raps, to Game of Thrones
hip hop raps. We finally settled on this Game Of Thrones inspired
sketch. It
came out about two weeks before Juice Media’s Rap News
Theirs blew up due to the Assange factor. I
was totes jellz. This was an epic production, we shot in a 70’s
besser block castle on the sunshine coast, that on first glance
looked hokey, but one screen came up a treat. We started rolling at
9am and finished at 6pm, and delivered the edit to GetUp two days
later. Big thanks go to our wonderful cast, production designer,
and team at Motion Picture Company.

Progressive Australia

(Direct) This spot was
made with real Getup members to remind the membership base what
GetUp does and why they do it. After we made this super
positive spot, Labor put out a spot about two weeks later that
looked very similar that was all negative. Bravo.

By dan

Rally To Restore Irony

If you only caught parts of Rally For Sanity on TV, or the net, you could be forgiven for wondering what exactly it was all about. Even Stewart himself acknowledge the ambiguity in his own message “What exactly was this?”

For me yesterday’s Rally is an extension of what Jon Stewart has been doing since he took over The Daily Show. Slamming the news media, with its own medium.  The Rally, is just another medium, albeit much much larger, to flip over.

Sitting at the rear of the press section, looking over all the TV cameras, photographers, journalists scribbling furiously, broadcasters practicing live crosses, this event is to big for media to ignore. I couldn’t help but feel an immense sense of irony as Stewart and his team carefully slapped faces of the 24 hour TV networks, and the press, with only a passing mention to Capitol Hill for two hours straight.

“The press can hold its magnifying glass up to our problems and illuminate problems heretofore unseen, or it can use its magnifying glass to light ants on fire, and then perhaps host a week of shows on the sudden, unexpected dangerous-flaming-ant epidemic. If we amplify everything, we hear nothing.” (Jon Stewart)

For four nights a week Stewart himself uses his magnifying glass to do the same to the fourth estate. Yesterday he used the biggest magnifying glass possible and took the piss on the biggest scale imaginable.

The show itself tried valiantly to entertain the masses gathered. While the nuance of the comedic pieces got lost on the sea of rally goers, the sentiment didn’t.

For Stewart this wasn’t about politics, it was about society, and how the media is polarising its audience and turning them against each other. Unsurprisingly such a complex idea doesn’t translate to clicks, or sound bytes. As a result, the following day, it was covered very little in the mainstream media as Jeff Jarvis writes.

“The morning after: The Rally to Restore Sanity was about media, but media didn’t hear. The New York Times, Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, MSNBC, and, of course, Fox News all played it down on their home pages; the Guardian and Die Zeit Online played it bigger.”

But does that really matter when 215000 moderately minded individuals (125000 more than Glen Beck’s Rally) came out to support, and cheer on their spokesperson for reason? I don’t think so.

At the time, sitting at the back of the media pack in the National Mall, I wasn’t sure how to feel about this event. 24 hours later I am blown away, by Stewart’s courage and feel privileged to be part of the biggest satirical event ever staged.

Irony is alive and well in the United States of America.

@danilic is a comedian, and filmmaker, he is best known as a presenter on the ABC Television show Hungry Beast.

By dan

Little Old Asian Ladies Slam Illegal Downloaders

NEW YORK-Illegal movie downloads are having a devastating effect on the nation’s elderly female Asian DVD pirates and they’ve had enough. “These people are parasites” Says Faye Chan, General Manager of Lucky Copy Movie Team, the largest nation wide network of little old asian ladies who manufacture and sell pirated DVDs.

“They take our hard work and give it away for next to nothing. It’s expensive to bootleg a movie, and if the movie is in 3D, we need  film it with two cameras and that means we have buy two tickets to the cinema” said Ms Chan whose family has been pirating movies since BetaMax. “My mother was a bootlegger, her mother before her was a bootlegger, my great grandmother started off with Tango and Cash”

As well as rise of digital downloading, the current economic climate has made it even tougher for people like Faye Chan “In 2008 rising costs saw us pack up our DVD plant in Chinatown, and outsource the entire operation to a town in China.”

By dan

Afghanistan War to turn profit by 2018

After American Government Officials announced that $1 trillion dollars worth of minerals were discovered in Afghanistan, General Patraeus proudly announced that the war in Afghanistan will not only break even, but will make a modest profit. Whilst rubbing his thumb back and forth over his middle and index finger Patraeus said “I don’t want to say I told you so, but ca-ching ca-ching”

Patraeus made the announcement at the Wired Disruptive By Design Conference in New York. “It’s the new Economy. You gotta spend money to make money. It’s all about perspective, we don’t see our fallen soldiers as “Killed In Action”, we see them as “Loss Leaders””

While seeing potential in the report’s outcome Defence Secretary Robert Gates, was a little more pragmatic comparing the war to an internet start-up “first we burn through a whole pile of cash, push  our young graduate workforce to death, build up an invested userbase, ride that long tail, and now that we’ve got a business model we hope that Google will buy us out.. Facebook have been in touch but we have problems with their privacy policy”

It’s not just American’s who are buoyed by the latest report, local Afghani’s too are seeing the positives “This has come at a good time for me.. I’ve been getting a little bored with our war.”said Afghani president Harmid Kazai “I’m just so glad I got in on the ground floor, I can’t wait to cash in my options and become an Angel investor… Somalia, Iran, Detroit.. that’s where the smart money’s heading”.

For Patraeus mining the country will also serve a dual purpose. “One of the main problems in finding Osama Bin Laden has been that he’s just so good at hiding in those mountain ranges… remove the mountains, remove Osama… easy.”

What I’ve learned about publishing internet video while at AJ+ so far…
GetUp 2013: Three Videos I’m Heaps proud of