SCREENSHOT: THE MAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE
It’s a simple idea, but it’s genius. Pick up a camera and ask for men advice about love. What comes out gives you more information about men, women, life and love than you ever imagined. This week’s Screenshot aims to teach the men in our life how to live and how to love with The Man’s Guide to Love. Here’s Abe Greenwald‘s guide to The Man’s Guide.
Describe the The Man’s Guide to Love in 140 characters.
The Man’s Guide To Love is a daily short video series in which real guys give their advice about love. Alternately heartfelt and hilarious.
That’s kinda cool. How’d you come up with that?
I have a background in documentary film and started on Day 1 of the project with Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett, a husband and wife team of writer/directors. They had never done an online series before and wanted to use this title “The Man’s Guide To Love” as to navigate the new world of independent, online media. The first lesson we all learned was that the site had to function in a way that was simple, but attractive. Our first effort, which was to post videos on an ugly blogspot template, did not showcase the idea in a compelling way. Then we found WordPress and a talented developer and have been posting a video each day for almost 2 years.
One video a day for two years? That’s 705 videos (I know because you number your videos) and really impressive! How do keep your audience?
The site has been through its ups and downs, traffic-wise, but ultimately it comes down to the content. If people respond to the advice that our man of the day is giving, or maybe the manner in which the advice is given, they will send it along to their friends. Also, discussions on each video take place over Facebook and Twitter but not on our homepage. The Facebook fans are particularly passionate, and mostly female.
Two years of a video a day can’t be easy. What’s the hardest part and how many of you are there putting this machine together?
The hardest part of putting together the site is just the time it takes to shoot, edit, tag, and post such a huge amount of content. We have shot over 2500 videos and have posted over 700 to the site, so it’s a complex workflow as you might imagine. We’ve maxed out 5 hard drives up to this point and will probably fill up another couple before we’re done.
There are four of us guys who go out and shoot videos all over the country. We are based in LA so you’ll see a lot of palm trees and beach locations, but we try to shoot as many as possible outside of L.A. so that the men on the site reflect a geographic diversity as well as race, age and sexual orientation. Also, we added two fantastic interns last year that filmed a lot of the videos that went up on the site recently.
So, will you just keep plugging away or do you have something more planned?
Just last week I presented the site at a graduate anthropology seminar at UCLA and it was exciting to hear people’s responses in an academic context. I think the video archive we’ve built is unique in its breadth of men advising other men about love. I first fell in love with documentary in an undergrad Anthropology and Film class, so it was really exciting to hear what anthropology students had to say about the whole endeavor.
We are also working on “The Man’s Guide To Love” book for Simon & Schuster which we are very excited about.
Check in to The Man’s Guide to love on a daily basis for an inside look in the mind of a man, or for a daily dose of advice. You may even see some famous faces. Abe is especially proud of the video below. But I kind of love Finn. Who is your favorite?
January 26th, 2012 • 1 Comment