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First, watch this cute video about Anakin, the two-legged kitten who plays with a ball. Awww! Isn’t he cute? Makes you wish you had a kitten so you could plaster it across YouTube and get a million views overnight.
Only problem is you don’t have a kitten. Maybe you’re allergic, or the landlord won’t let you have cats or dogs. So that avenue is out.
What about babies or small kids? You know that Charlie bit my finger video got enough to help Charlie bite many fingers in college. But you either have no kids, or you children are long since grown up. The grandkids are too far away to get a video of.
So what do you do?
Well, there are many other ways to make a viral video. They don’t have to consist of those power factors. They just have to make people go “Awww”.
Remember the Man Falls off Roof to Propose video I posted a couple months back? There were no kittens, dogs or kids in that one. In fact, there are many viral videos that don’t include dogs, cats or babies. Last month, I helped record a video interview with Keenan Cahill and Jason Falls. Keenan lip-syncs songs, which he sees millions of views for.
How to Get a Viral Video Recorded
First of all, carry a video camera with you. You probably already do with your smartphone. If you want to get something higher quality, then you might want to look into a handheld camera. Sony makes the Bloggie for just that.
You can always set up a camera at home pointed to an active area of your house. Maybe the back yard where squirrels, chipmunks, birds and other animals run around. Make sure you get a good area of land to capture it, and the ability to zoom in if you see something that will make a great video.
Take a walk. You never know when you see something that will catch your attention. In town, we have a car that has hundreds of rubber ducks glued to it. That could garner a thousand views right there.
Even with a webcam pointed at yourself, you could do some weird stunt that people end up loving.
Other Viral Objects to Record
If you can stand having that mouse run around a little bit longer, put out a piece of cheese and point the camera at it. When the mouse goes for the cheese, record it. Of course, if there is a mousetrap on the other side of that – well, let’s just keep that between you and the mouse.
Build a Rube Goldberg machine – If you are not sure what that is, think of dominoes – one falls to knock the next over. The momentum continues. Except other objects are involved. Fill a balloon with water til it pops, the water falls into a bucket that tips a see-saw, which lights a candle to burn away some string holding a bowling ball. You get the idea.
A good Rube Goldberg machine not only may give you some viral video fame, but also could win you some stature. Remember when OK, Go! Did their Rube Goldberg video? It was viral overnight!
Do something silly. Planking became viral for a while – You lay across two objects like a plank of wood. Some of those videos went over well, others became super viral. Videos like the lady who tried to plank on the stove. Yes, the oven door opens and the stove can tip over.
Here is another thing to do – build a puzzle, or take apart and put together an item like a stereo, car, bicycle or other item. Set up the camera to record the whole thing. When done, get some software to speed up the video. On a Mac, you can use iMovie. For PC, it’s Windows Movie Maker. Speed it up, create the video, and if it’s too long, just repeat the process until you can get the whole task under a few minutes. Put a catchy tune to it (YouTube offers free music to put in the background) and voila!
Of course, the more obscure item, the more people will want to see it.
Stop motion also works. Two years ago, I took a series of pictures from my iPhone – a fireworks display I was watching. I pasted all the pictures in succession and put music behind it. The video got a great amount of views.
Another favorite video was called Caption Fail: Mr. Cuddles. These guys create a video with an original script. They record the video and upload to YouTube to get the captions. The captions become the new script for the same video. They record and post again. By the third iteration, the script is completely different.
You get the idea. There are many ways to turn something into a viral video. Maybe you are around a campfire and the cinders look like a devil. Maybe you are watching some guy try to paint a wall standing on everything but a ladder. Maybe the weather turned bad, and before you headed to the basement, you put a camera in the window to record a billboard fly down the street.
Think outside the box. Then you will realize, you don’t need a kid, kitten or dog to get views on YouTube. But they do help…