#196 – Matt D’Avella On Building Audiences/
- October 16, 2018
The Daily Talk Show — Tuesday October 16 (Ep 196) – Josh Janssen & Tommy Jackett
Our mate Matt D’Avella is a documentary filmmaker behind the Netflix documentary Minimalism and the Invision documentary, Design Disruptors.
He’s now brought his creativity to YouTube, creating a successful YouTube channel with over 250,000 subscribers, and a weekly podcast called The Ground Up Show.
On today’s episode of The Daily Talk Show from Matt’s apartment in West Hollywood, we chat about the difference of pointing the camera at yourself, the labels we’re known for, not consuming the type of content you’re creating, 8 months of doing stand up comedy, creating a Patreon profile and coffee in the US verses Australia.
Matt’s YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ24N4O0bP7LGLBDvye7oCA
The Ground Up Show – http://mattdavella.com/podcast/
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The Daily Talk Show is produced by BIG MEDIA COMPANY.
Wait a minute.
worth recording with Josh Janssen and Tommy jacket.
It's the daily talk show live from West Hollywood Los Angeles
with special guest Matt D. Avella.
Hey guys, what's Kaka Lakin? Excited to be here? It's a when Tommy brings out his little blogging camera. I find it really hard not to just be super awkward.
I actually have a problem with that too, when people put the Instagram storey and your face
Oh, yeah. Again,
it wasn't an intentional reference.
So you may the minimalism documentary meant about a bunch. Amongst other things I can't speak we just did an hour of your podcast.
Yeah. But the only thing people know me for
will learn about you over this episode. But Josh and I were talking about blogging and bloggers. And I guess I've become pretty comfortable holding a camera in a moment. But what we kind of realised is that while I might feel in the moment, it pulls people out of the moment. So it's this weird thing do you feel like if you were holding the camera you were in the moment, or out of the moment?
Well, I think there's two different styles of filmmaking. The one style was how I got started out, which is you're behind the camera, you are not part of the storey, you're just capturing the storey. So that is much easier. But you also have to help people be comfortable on camera, you don't just start filming, especially if you're shooting a doc, you want to kind of build a rapport and build a connexion with somebody before you put a camera in their face. The blogging style is totally different. Because you are immersing yourself into it, you're turning the camera on yourself and bringing other people with you, which poses its own challenges. But I still think this is maybe an etiquette that a lot of people aren't picking up, at least the younger filmmakers, is that you should let people know if you're just going to come in filming or if especially if you have a big audience, and you're reaching 10s of thousands of people. That's like a lot to put on somebody in the moment without them preparing or really knowing what they're getting into.
So do you think it's a rapport killer?
Is it a report killer?
We just want to hit one.
Report killer for sure. Yeah, I think it I think it hurts it a little bit. Because I mean, that's why when I record any podcast, it's usually a meeting somebody for the first time, as cool as it would be to capture those moments of us meeting. I just don't want to be like, hey, by the way, when you get here, I'm going to start filming you right away. And then when you sit down, we're never going to have a moment where we're off camera. Being able to chat casual. Yeah,
I think I've put my friends and family painfully through the process of becoming okay with it. Because I think people know that I always have a camera on me nowadays. It's so it's so hard because I've got so much out of a approaching filmmaking from that angle to get comfortable and to get the skilled in it. But yeah, it is at the detriment of I haven't lost any friends. Let's say that. But no, I am. I've had the same hang on when I picked up the camera. I've got not Yeah, exactly the same friends
is the Do you feel the that when you tell guests that they going to be filmed? Have you ever had a moment where they've said, I don't want to be doing video?
No, but I have had people show up and be be like, Oh, you're doing video? Yeah, that's just one of the things where I am not the best at communicating
doing a great job now. Slowly. Yeah, I just need to talk slow.
That's my punchy, comedic voice.
But I sometimes I don't fully communicate and let people know exactly what they're getting into. Like, you can't curse on that. Or you can curse on the show and what you can and can't do. And is there anything you don't want to talk about on the podcast? There are certain things that I think are helpful for guests and you let them know, letting them know they're going to be filmed. And on camera. I've said a couple of times, where like they're coming up, and I'm like, Oh, yeah, like, I think I mentioned, by the way that, you know, I film all of this. And they they're like, Oh, do I not look like I'm ready for to be on camera. So I stopped doing that.
What did I say? Assume to make an ass out of you. And May, when you break it down. It's like if you assume that they know you end up looking bad. They look bad. And so yeah, I guess in these situations over communicating,
do you have like an email template? Like not a template shit? But do you actually have sort of a few words that you just copy and paste? So you know that you're communicating that stuff each time?
No, and I should that's probably one of those things that's like, it would save me a lot of time. But it kind of happens naturally in the ask because I get most of my guests through asking through email. So I usually have certain things where I will actually say in the first email, you know, it is filmed, recorded at my pod at my apartment in West Hollywood, which but a lot of people forget that because it's in the first email that you ever exchanged with somebody. So it sometimes goes to reiterate that to make sure that they're just aware of it and comfortable with it.
Do you feel like you're the podcast guy now? Because like when we first started chatting online, you didn't even have your podcast. So how have things changed since you've started? Well, it's funny when we first met in person was January of 2016, or 17. cuna
remembers maybe 1717. And yeah, right, because my documentary I think came out just the year prior recently, and I was in this mode of starting to build something to create original content. The podcast started three months after that. So haven't been no become known as the podcast guy. If anything. It's the the YouTube guy. When I started out, I didn't intend to be a YouTuber, but then people started calling me a YouTuber. So I said, Okay, I guess that's, that's what I am now.
You cannot see, but I am wearing my youtube t shirt. Yeah.
What about an excuse play button on the wall? What about being a filmmaker? Is there a point where you felt like, I can't say I'm a filmmaker? Well, no one really can unless I use film for the
change it but you know, it's funny. That was like my parents used to call me a videographer. Oh, yeah.
realised that you were doing Bar Mitzvah.
There was a transition point where I was doing actual
film yourself a filmmaker and be doing bar mitzvahs. I wonder if those and you had
to wear the yarmulke?
Yeah. Yeah, people call it you can? It doesn't really matter. It's really what makes you sleep better at night? Yeah, I think calling yourself that's where the element of branding is sometimes helpful. Where I think if you call yourself a filmmaker, and you make films, you're maybe elevating it a little bit where if you call it you making videos and clients, it may not look as professional to clients. Yeah.
Well, I've noticed when I first started full stack films, I, I was really into talking about filmmaking and storytelling, but it doesn't necessarily translate like clients want a video, they don't want to film in a lot of ways. I wonder if that's going to change. But as soon as I changed it to a video production video production company, it started getting a different type of audience.
So how did the audience change when you did video production?
Well, I think that I actually gained an audience research and she's like, Oh, yeah, like no one search for like people who search from Melbourne filmmakers on this, not the people who are spending corporate dollars to get videos made.
This is the difference between somebody who's an artist who gets too attached to maybe the name of something it needs to sound artistic and symbolic. When if you labelled your video something like how to wake up early, it's going to get a lot more people's attention, because you're actually figuring out what people are searching for what they would be looking for, as opposed to creating a really clever name.
I think titles help people that I know the videos I've made that have got media attention. I've noticed like people grab will go to somewhere to just pull a title because they need that then helps them write something like I've had into China written up about me, I had fitness guru.
It was a PT one.
crappy one at that. Yeah. And then lately, I've managed to that always go for filmmaker. And sure enough, it's for myself. But it's also like, if there's one shot what I probably want, and that is for some of them to call me film a film. Yeah.
Yeah. And I guess the The good thing about it is that you can create your own labels for yourself. And some people would be so averse to kind of doing it. Just creating any labels like oh, like I, I don't like labels. I'm like, Tommy, I believe in time. Watch on. Yeah, some people would not like to even define things. Yeah. And that can be a challenging way to live. But to create labels for yourself, I think is empowering and a lot of ways because then you define the way people start talking about you. Sometimes you have no control over and people might call you an entertainer, even though that's not what you do, that people always call comedians. funny man.
Bring them down a bit. The person is not funny, that's writing
it actually way notice that it was really nice to be able to tell people that without podcasts that were not comedians and they said like this, a lot of comedians who are doing podcasts, and we've had some comedians on the show recently, you know, I and I think that the the they changed like the comedians change when we explain all like we're not we're not comedians, I don't know if I guess it's just because they don't have to worry about us trying to be come on eating, eating.
Yeah, I think it maybe takes some of the pressure away to there is that there's a huge trend of comedians doing podcasts. And it is I mean, it's kind of difficult in terms of the the saturation, is that something that you guys worry about at all? It's like the fact that so many people are doing it and getting into the space.
We've just said, We're lucky we did the five days a week thing Yeah, daily, because now we've got nearly 200 apps.
Yeah, if we hadn't done that, then we would be a lot slower. I think
it's kind of amazing. Just I mean, the fact that you've done so many, because most people they wouldn't even look and say oh, you know you do five episodes every week I would just see the fun Wow, these guys have been doing this for a very long time.
I've literally seen people who I've only just found their podcast and they're at say 290 episodes and you look and they've been doing it for years and so I definitely I think that doing it daily is giving us I don't think that we would be putting the energy that we were that we're putting in the podcast now or have the excitement if we weren't doing it every single week done. Yeah,
how many videos are you Mikey awake,
ma'am? I do a video every Monday for my YouTube channel, which is anywhere from five to 10 minutes and
there's seriously thoughtful videos that take a bit of time
with that. So that was a big learning lesson from it but just answer your question and like I do podcast Monday and I sorry, I do video on Monday podcast every Wednesday and then I used to do an extra video on Fridays but then it would just became too much and not sustainable. But I also do create secret videos for my you my
Patreon dot com you guys did it on my podcast.
It sounds so sleazy, though.
Dirty it gets it gets it's very raw and uncensored. But so what I learned early on was like I wasn't even a YouTube consumer. I didn't watch a lot of YouTube videos. And obviously I had heard of Casey nice stat. But that's like I couldn't have listed out like I can now 15 other YouTubers that are making content, what would you be consuming? If why would listen to podcasts, but I wouldn't watch them necessarily. What would you listen to? Listen to Tim Ferriss Joe Rogan. A lot of the main main ones Freakonomics, like some of the edited podcast, Malcolm Gladwell came out with an amazing podcast. Yeah, the reason is revisionist history. And but what I did consume on YouTube is Joe Rogan clips. And then so that's what I thought YouTube was, it was just a collection of clips. And if I put excerpts of my YouTube, sorry, my podcast on YouTube, they don't get a lot of people finding me and those of you videos, we get hundreds of thousands of views and my podcasts would take off. And I did that for a year where I put out maybe two, sometimes three excerpts a week, which is a lot less work, you're just cutting it out, exporting, it takes a little bit of work to colour and do all that stuff. But I just saw no traction at all. And then when I started to make these short form videos about simplicity, minimalism, well being and mindfulness, then they started to take off because it was just like you said, it's like more, I put a lot more thought time and energy into one video week, as opposed to just easily uploading three videos a week, it was interesting,
I noticed that my viewing habits with your content was when I saw the small clips, and I saw the thumbnail of the the person, I wouldn't click on those. When it was an idea that was had a nice image, I'd click on that. Or I would only click on the thumbnails of the people, if it was the full length. Like if I saw it was like an hour long. I'm like, Okay, I'll consume that whole bit. Because it's almost like, you can end up doubling up on things, right? And so it's it's that that balance of what are people actually going to watch? Like, you know, watch the the full length, or they are they going to watch like the little snippets,
it is a balance of I think there's two different kind of creators on YouTube, at least, if you're going to put into two buckets I would do the YouTuber who is most of their views come from subscribers, people who subscribe and they want to see every video you release. Well, if you're doing the other model, which is just mass uploads every single day, you're putting up an excerpt or something really quick and easy. People aren't going to the quality isn't there, first of all, and then also, it's just there's so much going out there that people can't even keep up with it. So I think that there is a detriment to actually putting out too much stuff.
So your your knowing your person that wasn't consuming YouTube and now has over 200,000 subs. Yeah, and there's people out there going, I just want to be a YouTuber, and I've got no subs. What do you think the breaking down? Now, like you said, there's a little strategy around what you did. But do you think there's something you know that you weren't a big consumer and you kind of didn't, you weren't sort of jaded or had some thoughts about how it's working for someone else,
it probably helped because I think what helps is doing something different. And to do something different requires you to be able to not be trapped in the bubble, because it's very easy to do the daily vlog, you know, and just do that every single day. And in a lot of ways, you're just kind of mimicking what other people are doing. But then to be able to tell a storey in a different way. A lot of times, it just comes through in personality. So that might not matter what the medium is or how you're telling a storey because your personality is going to be different. And for me, it was finding a topic that people were interested in and being very focused and specific about that. So the creativity type stuff didn't really do that well in the beginning. But then when I started to talk about minimalism and simplicity, it started to resonate more. And then you have to do is just react to how people are reacting to your videos. So I saw I put out my minimalist apartment, and it was just an apartment tour, showing how I live as a minimalist, but really just showing how it's, it might be just like anybody else's apartment, but with just a little bit less stuff. I added some humour to the video, it wasn't dull and dry. And I think sometimes with minimalism content online, people just take themselves and self development in general. Yeah, everything is so serious, everything it's like, and that's not how I wanted my content to show up. I wanted to actually make something that had my personality in it. So then my friends couldn't make fun of me. If I pretended to be, you know, Joe Rogan, or Tim Ferriss or somebody that I'm not people just make fun of me and be like, Dude, what are you doing? Like, why are you making that voice?
I think that's like a really good point. I know. Hamish Blake talks about it with Andy lay with Hamish and Andy, where Andy went to a school that would like all boys school, and his benchmark was avoiding to be made fun off. And so like, there, that's the filter in which they go through a lot of their their content, which is probably it means that you're really tapped into not taking yourself too seriously.
You have to I think that's one of the biggest things I learned early on, just as a person in the world was to be self deprecating, because I, oftentimes when you're a teenager, you you take yourself way too seriously. And if somebody makes fun of you, it just crushes your ego. But then I like you make fun of yourself one time and people laugh. And it maybe it kind of hurts a little bit more than it should because it's the first time you're like, oh, people were making fun laughing at me. But it's at my own expense. Yeah, so there's a control in that. And I think that learning that I think people would be so much happier if they just weren't so serious all the time. When do you think you should double down on talking about your success? Right now? Right?
I think my observation of Americans are that they celebrate their success. And I've seen Australians we feel I can sort of talk for Australia. But my observation is that, like you said, be self deprecating. You don't need to go out there yelling from the rooftops. But when do you feel like you should do? Do you even think about? How are you okay with talking about the success you've had? Or do you steer away from it as a person? Is that naturally? Yeah,
it's kind of like the art of the humble brag. I think sometimes it's good to soften it with a joke. And say, like, actually, this is how it happened. Because I think it is it's helpful for people to learn from the mistakes that you made. And I think, luckily, that is easier to talk about. Because it's like, well, I tried this, this and this, it didn't work. But then this did work. And I think that's a humble way to talk about success. You know, I just wouldn't want to be the kind of person that nonstop talks about my own success or brags too much. There is an element of making noise that is helpful in any field, like say, if you're working nine to five job and you want to get you have done well on a project, but you're not getting recognition that maybe you deserve. I think it does help to make a little bit of noise and let people know let your boss know what you're working on. There was I think it was in a Malcolm Gladwell book, but they put out a he talked about a storey where they put out a dishwasher and it was just no harm. No sound, it was super quiet. And people had this installed in their house and their apartments. And they thought it was broken because it was so quiet. Yeah. So they had the manufacturer ended up adding a light hum to it to let people know that it was working. And I think sometimes that's what we have to do in our own work. Just let people know a little bit, but also don't be a dick about it.
It's like toothpaste like the foaming. The foaming agent is like design because it's like it feels like it apparently doesn't really do much for cleaning. It's a tingle as well.
Yeah, tingle because it gives you like that trigger at the end. And I think that that was the example with for Brees. They're trying to figure out how to self a breeze. And people that live in smelly houses don't know it. Yeah, they're amongst all the bad to tell you Matt.
Now you have smells.
I got the candle here from Australia.
But they don't know it. So they're not as incentivized to actually use the spray. But then they started to market it as after you clean your house, then you do that as like a nice finishing touch. It's like almost like a reward for you. And
yeah, that's that's the
you taught you clearly taught very well. You did
you did you give stand up comedy.
Yeah, I did. Actually I did Santa for about like eight months or
so. Fuck, that's how many gigs in a month.
I couldn't tell you but I did a lot of open my me is all open mic nights. Yeah, I never got paid to do it. But one of my buddies nature Iowa who he actually went on to do stand up comedy in Vietnam and Cambodia, expat community there. And he got me to do it. cuz I've been writing jokes for a year. Yeah. And it was just a dream, a crazy idea that I always wanted to do stand up, at least just get on stage once, but I never thought I'd do it. And I met him in a comedy workshop class in college. And he's like, Yeah, I just did stand up for the first time like three weeks ago, you should totally do it. So I was like, all right, I got all these jokes. And he just convinced me to go and do it. And it was brutal. Any anybody who's ever done stand up will tell you that the first time very rare. Unless you're Dave Chappelle, the first time you get on stage is just awful. But there is kind of a thrill to actually doing it. And then I just pretty consistently, you know, every week or two, I would get up and go into centre City, Philadelphia, tell jokes to drunk people at a bar,
And then getting a little bit of success with that, too. And see, and also, it did teach me about I'm not expecting anything from an audience. Because Thursday night, I would do stand up and I would just kill it. I remember one time, I would do like these, like one liners, and it was kind of just set up punch line setup, punch line, kind of like Dimitri Martin. And because I was like playing guitar as well. Yeah. But then there was this one guy, like, the host of the show is like, I'm sorry, but like, there was a dude at the back of the room that almost died from laughing so hard. And I felt great. And then on Friday, I did the same exact jokes to a crowd that I thought would have been better because they were young and college aged. And it was crickets on it was the worst I'd ever bombed. And
he was like, there was a nearly a guy dying. Yeah.
You guys don't know me. But it was a learning lesson to say that, you know, you can't it's them, not make
them create, you can't imagine some people just don't aren't into it. Some people just don't think it's funny. And it's not your job to judge an audience based, like, based on how they react.
Was there a difference in what you did? Do you think on those tonight, I want to say it was
close to identical. Yeah. And I think other comedians will tell you that it's just whatever it is some mysterious aspect to it. It could be the age of the crowd, it could be the night it could be, you know, just the people who led up to them up to you performing could have been really bad. I didn't warm up the crowd enough.
A lot of things would go and when was the last gig?
Oh, I don't know. I mean, it was I can't remember, the specific gig that I did
was a specific moment of being like, I'm not fucking doing this agenda,
it was actually kind of hard. It was a really tough decision, because I loved comedy. And that was was really what got me into film originally. But I was doing film and comedy at the same time. And I didn't have one focus, where I was kind of splitting my time between the two of them. And I felt like I had to commit, because my mind was on always running, thinking of jokes, and trying to write jokes and invest my energy into how can I grow my comedy, you know, career, but then I was starting to make money as a freelance filmmaker, being in debt $100,000 in student loans. And I was like, maybe I should just, you know, I love I have a passion for filmmaking. And I'm also making money. Why don't I just put all my energy into that? So that's what I did.
Yeah, being in LA, does it make you see the comedy scene and think maybe I'll have another crack?
Well, now, I mean, it actually could I have some friends who I made a lot of great friends who still do comedy to this day from back in the day, some of them successful, some of them still working to get open mic nights. And it's like, it's a grind. You have to do comedy five, six nights a week. And it takes a lot, because there's so many people doing it, that I think there's other avenues to getting to that place, where, even now on my YouTube videos, I've turned it a lot of it into just joke writing. Yeah, I'm in my videos. I'm like, All right, I'm going to do a video about minimalism and how it influences my workout routine. I cannot take myself seriously in this video. How many jokes Can I just throw into this? And actually, it's a lot easier to get away with a joke on YouTube because you don't have to deliver in front of a crowd. You can pay say you can figure out whether it's it's actually gonna work or not. And sometimes just being a little bit odd and silly. works on YouTube. When if you did it in front of a crowd, they'd be like, this guy's a loser. We do it.
Cuz I look at I'm in the filmmaking industry. I look at musicians. And I think, Oh, look at that. That would be such a slog. Do you think it's just because I love filmmaking enough that it's something that I can I'm, it is a competitive industry. And so it's like, I'm amongst it. So I care. And I love it enough that I can deal with that competitive nature of it. And I don't love music enough. And that's why I'm for you like comedy looking at that. Do you think it's because you didn't love it enough? filmmaking more, that
I suck at it. Some industries and jobs are easier to get into. And I think that there are many, many, like, I couldn't even imagine how many more full time freelance filmmakers and photographers There are over full time freelance comedians, like it must be, you know, 1000 to one, it's got to be crazy. So, you know, you have a choice to and you could I fully support people, if you want to just go after the dream and wholeheartedly put everything you have into it, go for it. But know that you could be happy. This is this is one of those hard things where I'm like, don't follow your dreams. But there is some more practical ways to do it. And then you could always do comedy down the road, you could always do these things in other ways where maybe it's not pursuing acting, maybe it's pursuing directing. And then when you become a successful director, then you could then part that into directing films that maybe you yourself acting.
Yeah, I mean, you're living the modern filmmaking dream by being one of the few people who have been able to sell something to Netflix, what was that experience like?
It? It that wasn't the the goal. In the beginning, the goal was just to make a documentary. I mean, I think that is a dream for a lot of people.
But I think that maybe there's I actually think that, whilst that's the case, the conversation, unfortunately, I think there's more people who are like, how do I get something on Netflix, then head on?
Yeah, Isn't that crazy? I mean, I think that's the same thing as people on YouTube, say, How do I get hundred thousand subscribers? Yeah, versus how do I make amazing films, and different mentalities? I mean, I think probably, if you look at how you guys started and how I started, it wasn't as much based upon what other people thought of it. Yeah, I was making I made VHS tape home movies, like Thrasher thriller movies with my brothers and sisters. And there was no audience, there was no Ooh, then I could get a certain amount of subscribers on YouTube, it was just, it was so fun, just to tell a storey and to be able to take these two frames that were shot, you know, two hours apart from each other, and then stitch them together. And then there's a storey there, and it actually, it starts to make sense, and then actually gets a reaction out of your family. And friends, when they watch it, they laugh. So I think that's the thing to focus on is like, first try to do it with intentions of just maybe telling a storey that you're passionate about and you really care about. And then once you make the thing, whether it's a short film or a feature, then I think it's definitely time to think about how can we actually sell this, but it has to be great first
people having pipe dreams about this sort of thing, like the conversations because you have done it. There are a lot of people seeking that and what have they got wrong in the conversations that you've had with them?
Well, I would say that if somebody wants to have a successful film, and I would say successful film is something that makes you money back that like you could actually turn into a career. So my expectations were or at least my hopes and dreams of making minimalism was that we make our money back that we put into it, which isn't the highest bar. But for my first film, I was totally fine with it. I was like, well, it'd be really cool if we can get the word out there. And this, you know, people could get some guy from the film. And if I made the 10 Grand i put into it back, I'd be thrilled, I'd be stoked. But then after we made it, I was like, No, I like doing that. I want to keep doing it. So I need to make more than just my money back. You know what I mean? If I wanted it to be a job, I need to actually make a living doing it. So it the advice that I would give is find a partner or two. And you guys have talked about this too? How like you would have been able to do the podcast without it. Yeah, cuz it helps to motivate you. That's one thing that helps having a partner. The One is if the partner also has an audience. So we're fucked.
Yeah, exactly. who's bringing the audience? Yeah, she's what we've got you here.
Jamie? 200,000. Plus, yeah.
So it's a you have to
if you find a partner that you can work with like that, then they have their audience, you're also bringing your filmmaking expertise, and then the two together can actually create something that doesn't need Netflix. Yeah. And that's something that we knew from the beginning is that, well, no matter what, we could release this to your audience, and 5000 people might see 1000 people might buy it. And that was enough for us. It gave us a lot of confidence going into it that we're not actually just spinning our wheels.
Has it changed when it's got on Netflix? Have you had those thoughts? and had to remind yourself that okay, maybe it's not about the Netflix thing? Have you been? Is there a trap that you've fallen into? No,
I could see that. And but I mean, I'm like I said, I'm kind of self deprecating as it is. And maybe I don't have enough confidence. But I'm like, wow, there's no way I'm gonna get back on Netflix
or like maybe on crackle. What was it? Maybe I'll get crackle comedians in cars had and then all of a sudden, that's gone from it. And they fucking Sony crackle emails me, like, every second day from signing up wants to watch comedians, and they're still doing it. They're
still trying to make it work. Yeah, it's not gonna be a thing.
They could do something crackle, though.
Yeah. You know it. Yeah, it doesn't, it doesn't really play my mind. Actually, that was one of the reasons why I decided to go on YouTube, start a podcast, create my own audience. Because it was to me self reliance. It was I don't need Netflix, I don't need somebody else's audience, I could, if I have an idea for something, I could make a movie. And I could put it out there. And even if in the beginning, it's small, it's something that I could build upon. And it would be amazing to get to the point where you wouldn't even need a Netflix, you could just make something yourself and put
it out there. Do you think modern day filmmakers need to step out from behind the camera and into in front of the camera to you know, elevate their brand, elevate their skills, like what you've done,
I guess it like depends on what kind of goals that they would have and what they want to get out of it. I think
just to make it in this landscape to make it,
it doesn't hurt. But not everybody's made for that. So there are a lot of people that I think they could provide just as much value just staying behind the camera. Not everybody looks like they should be on camera too. But it just figures out, you have to figure out what you like doing, if you enjoy being in front of the camera. And sometimes it takes a while to actually get comfortable in front of it and put in the time to say, then I think that's probably something that would help you down the road. But if every time you turn the camera on yourself, it's a grind you hate it. And like I mean, I have those moments, but all in all, my it's worth it for me to put in the work, then, you know, it may or may not be for you. We've had
friends who have had videos that they've made go viral. And they've all of a sudden, sudden gained an audience specifically, based on that style of video that they've done. And they've sort of been locked in. What's been the learnings for you having done minimalism and gaining a sort of audience, what have you had to think about in regards to identity and personal brand?
Yeah, well, I know that whenever I make a video on my YouTube channel about minimalism, if minimalism is in the title, it's about simplicity, it's going to do four times better than anything else I put out. That's something that I know just from releasing a certain amount of videos. But then it also, it doesn't mean that I can't talk about other stuff. It means I have to be creative in transitioning to that kind of content. And I think what I want people to eventually just come for me for me, because I add humour and my videos are because the way I tell storeys are the topics I cover. They might come to me for a bunch of different reasons. But then even this past week, I made a video about how I make my videos, which I was like, wow, this is probably not going to do as well. But I did see in some of the comments, people being like, Hey, I do not care about filmmaking at all. But I found this really interesting, or this was like, I thought this video was really funny or entertaining. And I think that's what I try to get through. But a lot of people get known for one thing, like Gary Vee started out as the wine guy. Yeah. And then now he's an entrepreneur, the rock. You guys know, I love the rock. Yeah, he started out WWE, and now he's a huge movie star and the point of transition, a lot of people are going to say that's not going to work out like that. What are they doing? Like they should stay in their own lane? And then you can make it work. It's not guaranteed.
Is there a friction to it? How do you how do you like push against what the audience are trying to or if you know that, you're going to get more views doing the minimalism stuff. I'm guessing it can be sometimes hard to be like if I'm going to put in 10 hours. And I know that I'm going to get more views. If I do minimalism content, I guess it can be pretty sort of enticing just to do milsom minimalism stuff.
Yeah, I think it would, it would get a little bit boring. But you will for the audience for me if all I did was minimalism content. But also it does take an element of just getting creative with it. Because maybe it's that I just haven't really, there's probably 100 other minimalism related videos lightly based around that topic. Yeah, that I could just have so much fun with and explore. So I don't think like we were talking about on my podcast about like Seth Godin. It's like, does he run out of ideas to talk about like, No, he's always gonna have ideas, and Seth goes, he's never gonna run out of ideas. But and that's the same thing with even a topic as narrow is that that said, I find interesting and to talk about other aspects that are lightly related. So I may I've got a video in the works about waking up early. Like how what are the certain steps that helped me to wake up early every single day? It's fucking alarm clock isn't an alarm clock, alarm clock step to wake.
podcast take a photo of your sweat on the ground. Yeah, well, like. But so like, you know, things like that, that are related to well being. And there's so many other things that I would be interested in that I could cover there. And I think what also helped me to was having the podcast early on, which is really just about creativity, sometimes about simplicity, as it applies to creativity. But that has been an outlet for me to talk about whatever I want to talk about.
It's a combination of all the things you're doing that I guess has got you to where you are, is there one that is the the main love or the main passion.
I think it always comes back to filmmaking like I really do enjoy the process. I even through minimalism, and everything I've done, it's, I've had hands on everything from filming it editing it colour grading, and all that stuff. Sometimes I'll get get help. Like with minimalism, my buddy coloured it, but I love editing. And I love the storytelling and the challenges that come from being an edit. And I find it hard for me to detach myself from that. So imagine growing to a point where you could hire somebody to edit, shoot and edit all your videos, there is an element to the blogger or the writer that has a website and gets popular for their own writing. And then they get so big that they just are hiring people to write articles for them and for their site. It's like there's a disconnect there where I'm like, filmmaking is in as an art form. And it's your voice comes through and how you tell those storeys. And I don't think as many people would follow Casey nice that if he had somebody following him around with a camera shooting, editing everything,
do you think you've created the base that you can't control? And you have to constantly be giving content and new videos to?
Yes, I think that's one of the unexpected things that happens when you start creating original content, because I originally did it, because I thought I'd have more freedom. You know what I mean? Where I when I was doing client work? I actually had way more time in the day?
Well, it's almost I think what happens is that people leave their nine to five job because they don't want a boss, then they get clients and realise that I've got a fucking hundred bosses. And now you've got the interesting perspective that Tommy and I don't necessarily have yet which is, what is that next stage to creating original content isn't like having 10,000 bosses.
Josh is a Patreon subscriber. He's the boss. Yeah,
I'm a shareholder.
I didn't call you guys at my recent ama. Ama podcast, I told people to go check out your podcast.
Thank you. If you listening? Yeah,
it was actually going to be a test to you. Because I said in the podcast, like, Josh, if you're listening to this, we'll find out. But
I'm the only one that looks like a taught us for not supporting that kind of a bitch.
I'm a patron of myself.
How many how many people do actually support on Patreon? You so I don't support anybody.
But it's the same thing as like, I don't watch many documentaries. You know, I don't listen to many podcasts anymore, because I'm creating a lot.
Because funnily enough, like, I think that I've, as a supporter of whatever it is, that's happening right now, I don't completely understand how this monetization thing is going to work for a lot of people, especially smaller podcast is Oh, yeah, people who are doing Patreon, like, I've almost I got rid of a bunch of subscriptions that were costing me a bunch of money and said, Okay, I've got $100 a month, and I'm going to use this as like my fund, where I'm just going to support a bunch of people who are doing cool shit, as an idea of like, we'll see what happens. see where this goes.
It's kind of amazing. And I mean, it's, I think it's becoming more and more acceptable. I mean, some people will be like, my, I have the videos, if you want to pay for like the top tier, it's $12 a month, you know, people like, Matt, that's what I pay for Netflix, why would I pay you $12 a month for a couple videos every month when I have all this content on Netflix? And I'm like, I don't have an answer. Because you really care about me. And you like the fact that I don't advertise or
actually say that if people said that to you.
Yeah, in the comments, people like it just doesn't make sense. Like, why would I ever pay for that? But I get it makes sense. But that's actually what now what we're we're comparing, yeah.
What's the mindset shift then, that people have to, like, who is paying that? Like, what are they getting out of it, or how they viewing life that may be the person who thinks that it's a far stretch,
I think it does go to like the thousand true fans is that those are the people that really care about you and want to support your work. And I think many of them have more flexible incomes, they making a little bit more money. They actually do little exit interviews on Patreon. So you can see why people are leaving, which I just found out about yesterday. And I was really nervous when I was going in there. How
many people did you have? Because I'm guessing when you start something like Patreon at the very beginning, you're going to end up with a high a drop off, right? Because people are entering it probably to see whether it's worth it. And then they do it for the first month and they
drop off. Yeah, but I think then you have a balance the two people that just forget, like me, I mean, how many things sign up for that you forget,
I literally found out. This is hilarious. Like a week ago, Bry was looking at bank statements. It turns out that I had Netflix and the American Netflix since 2011. And
was a point where the VPN stop working like you could you couldn't use the VPN anymore when it came to Australia. But I'd still been paying so I spent about I think $400 on a Netflix login that we haven't accessed. Wow. I don't know if we're gonna be able to get that.
But if you if you said that Netflix have 1% or 3% of people doing that they're making a lot of money. Why
it's the whole gym membership. Yeah, yeah. How many people are just making a killing? owning gyms, when only 40% of people
actually show Oh, members went at once, it'd be
Kairos. Well, that's why I was saying to tell me I recommend like I've actually funded a bunch of original Netflix series for sure. That's the same with Jim. I'm sure I've paid a fair few leases at Janssen.
Yeah, I so I was going through those the exit interviews I think I've had, I don't have to count, but maybe 30 people. Yeah, that's fine. Maybe 40 I don't know that have signed up and exited out probably would get at least 15 every month. And a large majority of them. Almost every single one would just say financially, you know, they did it for financial reasons, because they were trying to save money. Then there was maybe three out of the group that was like not giving value content not would expect it to really content creator did not deliver. And I want to sit that person down is
like I think I was telling Tommy, before we got here, I think you are doing Patreon, the best in the sense of it's not like you're a lot of some people were doing it where they were doing video content, and audio. And then they took away something from their audience and said, well, you can only access video, if you support me on Patreon, which what I like about what you've done is you've actually you using a new muscle with the the blogging type of stuff. And I actually say like real value in saying that behind the scenes type of content.
Yeah, so it was like, I had never done any blogging really, most of my videos would be more doc style, or me sitting down talking to the camera, but not where you're holding the camera and maybe show it like a vacation type blog or anything that you would do. So noxious, Natalie loves it. But I, so it was for me, I knew I wasn't good enough yet. Or I never even wanted to do that. As part of my actual YouTube channel,
it was a bit too low status for in regards to what you'd because I feel like that sometimes I'm like, I've done all of this beautiful shit where I've like spent a lot of time like, and the idea of then having like an RX 100 point and shoot camera and using that feels like I've taken a bit of a step back.
Yeah, but I think you can actually do it in a way that's beautiful. And I have learned a lot just about blogging and turning the camera on myself about how to make it look better. And I think I still want to actually employ my own my similar style of filmmaking. So integrating voiceovers a nice colour grade, getting actual B roll instead of just having everything be talking head and not using a cheap camera to use the Sony A seven or two. So the quality is still there. And I mean, I've learned a lot just about filmmaking in general from it. And I feel like they're getting to the point where they're good enough where I could put them on my YouTube channel, which makes me be like, Damn, like, easy content. Yeah. But But then I see the value. Somebody actually asked me that on Patreon, they said, Do you feel like an extra hurdle or challenge and knowing that, if you put this video on your YouTube channel, it may get 50,000 views. But when you put it on Patreon, you get 50 views. And I was like you guys paid my bills last month, so I can make videos for you all day long. And I think that is it. It's a mindset of you even said this with like Seth Godin model where it's like, what's the smallest audience that you could have that can you can make a living from, that's what Patreon is really allowing you to do. If you're thoughtful, and you make really high quality content for it. But it just requires you to make more stuff.
When I started my video stuff. I was like, okay, everything Twitter, YouTube Vimeo Facebook page, you know,
LinkedIn. Yeah. And Tommy Exactly. quite big on LinkedIn. You
know, you've mentioned it before. And I don't even have
a link. Yeah. And I've looked, you don't have a Facebook page.
But yeah, just recently, actually, I think I made my personal one private and then might deleted my public one recently.
Yeah. And so have you thought, like, specific to a platform? Is that your whole intention? I'm being very focused on this.
It happened. I mean, the one thing is,
should I get rid of my LinkedIn is what I'm saying?
I think so. I mean, it really depends on it. It goes back to the reactive thing and reacting to what's working and what's not. And nobody likes anything on Facebook. And if I'm getting point oh, 1% of interactions on Facebook, I think it actually hurts and it just looks bad. Because if I'm reaching out to a big guest, and the first thing they happen to find is my Facebook page, and they're like, oh, only 1000 people follow him like nobody's commenting or interacting with him. It may look bad, it's also a mental strain. It's almost like a little bit bit of a wait where you know it's there. And even if you don't spend a whole lot of time posting to it or interacting on it, it is going to take up a certain amount. Way too much time for what you're getting out of it. So I've tried to be very specific have most of my energy will go into YouTube, and podcast. And then if I don't have those first set off, then I can't do newsletter Instagram, Twitter.
What have you learned from doing the podcast that you've been able to bring across to video video making filmmaking?
I think it's videographer video.
I doing long form content helps to break down the walls and the persona, yet people sometimes try to put on camera. So you try to be the person Hey, everybody, my brother always make fun of me because I was always like, I could do that like on camera. But Hey guys, what's going on? Welcome back to my YouTube channel. It's so annoying man. start to lose that you lose this personality and trying to look good for people which it just never looks good. It never feels authentic. And people react to you being yourself and you being comfortable. So I think when you do our to our podcasts and you do over 80 of them, it starts to allow you just to be more comfortable on camera.
I like that meeting you for not and not knowing you and many of you in person. You very similar consistent, which is it's different being like an actor think about Yeah, maybe Tom Cruise. Who the hell is that? Got to play so many different people. I think let's bring the rock up the rock seems like he will be. He seems like he's nailed the consistency across everything he does. You could probably tell who.
You are like the rock. Yeah, like the rock. Do you guys think?
I like the rock. I'm like the
consistent. You know what you're gonna get biceps?
Can you put that in writing?
That's gonna be my have to use that when I get him on the podcast. Yeah, let's
talk about that. You have a photo of the rock on the wall in this room? Yeah, pretty sure he's got his fanny pack on. Yeah, otherwise known as a bum bag.
Leather palm bag. Bag. bag. Bag. bag. Yes. I find it Yeah. Yeah, fanny pack. Fanny pack, leather fanny pack. He's got a turtleneck. And then a gold chain. It's amazing. Actually, he tweeted at me twice. Yeah, that's cool. It lost your mind. Oh, I lost it. So I've been for the past two years. I've been trying to get him on the podcast. And it started out it was it was way funnier when nobody listened to the podcast. Nobody listens to it. Now. I mean, it's still laughable that he would come on the show. Just because I record it out of my dining room. Why would the rock ever want to come on my podcast? But I just wanted to have a crazy stretch goal of something that people could follow along with me like it'd be a reoccurring theme on the show. Just what are the creative ways that that I can come up with to potentially get the rocks attention?
People are supportive? Yeah. And artist?
Yeah, no, it's actually one of the most common things that people will comment. In a podcast or on Twitter, I have a big tweet button on. There's a website. It's called Get the rock on. That's podcast calm, as well as the hashtag, hashtag get the rock on. That's podcast. But there's a big tweet button on the site. So people will go there. And it's sort of like interactive, you can click on it. And every time you click on it, it creates a new tweet for the rock. That's great.
So your fiance, Natalie is Australian, what have you What have you learned about Australians? Ah, that's a great question.
I didn't know. I had met one Australian before Natalie. And now I know.
I feel like well, you
guys just like us. Even if you're in America, you just find each other and there's like these little alcoves and clusters. We went to London, I forget where we were staying. But it was just everybody on the block was
good coffee. You just hang around in Australia. And this is
this is a point of contention between Natalie and myself. Because she will often say I mean, Americans, they they don't know coffee, they're terrible and coffee. But my experience has been the opposite. At least lately in the past five years. I mean, especially if you're living in LA or New York, there's just great local indie coffee shop and roaster around every corner but half of the barista is a fucking Australia. Haven't you work that bad?
So ya know, they're there. It's like it's heavily
leaning. Hey, say pay like you. You've got the pay pays. Yeah, the coffee shop Australian. Yep. That one's nearby coffee, coffee. Coffee is Australian I did the barista was Yeah. So it doesn't mean
there's something there.
But I would say definitely Middle America is Duncan America runs on Dunkin.
I think we're adopting some of the American coffee culture and in terms of like that really cheap, quick
I haven't drank I haven't had a lot of time since being here. Like a strong last as well. I'll get home because I'm going straight for that. That just big vat of coffee that I can just drink lots of
it's interesting point though, because I think this is where I think that we do coffee a little bit differently in Australia. I don't know if they have yet. But they have adopted the poor over method, the drip coffee where it's like artists in drip coffee. But you guys do have the lattes and they are known for
the flat whites and things like that. But there is a bit like the hipster culture especially in Collingwood, where our offices there's a lot of that. There's a there's a coffee shop on pegs, which we took Josh and Ryan to, and that's a only black coffee. They do no milk. I literally don't have milk on the premises. You asked for milk. And the beads do this like weird like
as a Melbourne I haven't gone to any of these places. It's too expensive. And it's a no
$5 for coffee's a lot of money. And that's what usually it's five or six bucks. Yeah. And then you like, you know, you got a tip $7 $8 for a cup of coffee.
kind of crazy nuts. outrageous. And so yeah, that's the whole tipping thing has been. Yeah, it's been it's time based on
Australia. The Tipping is a whole nother storey. But Australians in general. What have I learned? Yeah. I feel like yeah, they they very much don't take themselves too seriously. not easily offended. Yeah. But can offend the world.
You know what I mean? Like, you see him on the news every once in a while the Australia just won't learn. It's like, I don't know, I'd rather be with the Ozzy's who like are just making fun of themselves and other people and
I don't know there's a bit like the PC culture in America has definitely gone a little bit too far.
Do you think that you would ever live in Australia or do when you visit Australia? Is there anything that you try and take back to the way you live here in the States? I think
that will Australia become a second home to me and I think it's always going to be a place that I mean it in an ideal world it's funny like being a minimalist but likely will have I want to have like a home in Australia where we can actually go and spend either half the year there or like months there at a time where
you would be wrapped because she was saying the other day she's like man if Matt Matt live in Australia be so good. I gotta get you guys to move to Sydney This is gonna be the content maybe we move to Canberra it's in the middle.
It's not much there. No.
No, or we just go like the outback.
Yeah, we could do like Byron Bay or something. But it's it's got
a great option by the water in Sydney's crazy.
Yeah. Can't be in it.
Or you could kind of Melbourne and
Sydney is easier. I think. I know. It's Melbourne. Is there a lot of direct flights? Yeah, there is. Look into it.
Yeah. We could we could definitely make something was worth work. So you. So that's what you want about Australia is it's the legends where we're a bit outrageous at times
good people, people in America. Love your fucking accents. That was actually one thing that got really upset early on, because I didn't say anything. Because like she everybody, even like my mom is just like, I could just listen to you talk all day. Yeah. And I'm like, but she's saying dumb shit.
Like she's not even being intelligent.
So it's so big. I remember driving through parts and speaking the locals. And now we're fascinated by my accent. Because I hadn't met an Australian. Like, this country is massive in the so many people. Oh, yeah. If
you're if you're outside of a major city, and like that was one thing that she would always expect somebody if we're in Jersey, where I grew up, like in a small town, and she just waits. She gets upset if a barista doesn't say, Oh, where are you from?
We should ask strategy just to get this podcast out. They go to all over America inland.
deep south. What do you think we forget? Do you think we could create an audience in the States? Do you think there is an appetite for two Australians talking? Or do you think we're just a little bit too removed?
I think so. I know that it's interesting, though. Because even you when you look at Hamish and Andy and it's like, massive in Australia. And I only know that I'm because of Natalie. Yeah. And do they have much of an audience in America? I mean, they probably it probably does.
She should on the list. I think it's like Australia, UK, the US. And they've done a bunch of they did a show, like a night show. Australia or No, well, they do this for the strange. I was gonna say I outside of New York in New York, was specifically for the Australian audience. So they've done heaps of stuff.
And now on Jay Leno, which is, you know, they were That's it, that would have got them
back, because I do wonder about that sort of stuff as we go. As you know, there's more globalisation around the world. Like, what, what does that mean for content creators? people doing stuff?
Yeah, I mean, my audience, at least on YouTube, and I think even in the podcast is 50%. United States, and then the other 50% is the rest of the world,
Australia would be up there.
Oh, yeah, I'll show it's like UK, Australia, Canada. And like, those are the top, the top four. But then you have Germany, and they just get obviously smaller and smaller. But it is interesting to just to see 50% of my audience if I was just in America, and that's all I could only connect with, it would be much smaller. And I do get surprised, in fact that there are people in Germany that listen to it.
Yeah. What do you think is that having listened to a little bit of our show? What do you think, wouldn't connect with saying us audience versus what might connect with us?
Now, I mean, I think that there's the more that I've gotten just to known Ozzy's in general and you guys it's, it's I learned that there's really not much different I think, I think it would be interesting to like, be able to learn about somebody else's culture. And I'd similar as we are, the only gap is going to be getting over the the isms and the the vocabulary that holidays use that nobody else in the world uses. Yeah, you got to end it at Oh, on every word. bottle. Oh, it's not a thing anywhere else.
Yeah, it's funny juice. Do you get our accents? Like, is this something that we would have to struggle with?
I don't think so. I mean, I but it's hard, because with Nat.
I feel like I've kind of pick up on it. But it is interesting, because even like hearing Bry talk, it's it takes a little while because it's based upon a distinct accent. But it's also a distinct voice and you get to know that person's voice with the axe. I don't know if that makes any sense. No, it's for me. It's like when Josh, I've heard you talk so much, that it's just easier for me to pick up what you're saying. Yeah.
Me talking too much is just such a pain point with
Bry has been whenever we travel, I think people struggle with Bray more they understand what I'm saying. I don't know. Maybe it's because I listened to so much American content. Or Yeah.
I definitely notice the differences in how accents Josh Bry in May when we're here. And I do think your Bogan X ray.
Means also bit Bogota, Yeah, me too. You think like hearing Tommy and I speak? Would you be able to pick that Tommy's Australian? Do you think before me or what's what's your take on our accents?
The Bogan major is what Josh is saying.
Yeah, probably tell me.
Josh is so goddamn sophisticated.
It's the glasses.
There's no turtleneck.
It's a subtle turtleneck.
It's too hot in Los Angeles for a turtleneck. Matt Dave element. Thanks so much for being a on the daily talk show. And I'm looking forward to this idea of you just fucking coming to Australia. Yeah, can we can put out there party.
Culture, maybe be on the
first live show.
having you back on my Thanks, guys. Have a good one. See you guys. Bye.