For over two years now, eGuiders has been using human curation by entertainment professionals to try to slice through the internet clutter and allow casual viewers to be exposed to not only the best and most popular of videos the ‘net has to offer, but also undiscovered gems of entertainment gold. Not only that, but they have their own studio, which showcases the eGuiders themselves as well as content creators that the eGuiders community have asked to see.
Tubefilter sat down with Marc Ostrick, CEO of eGuiders, and Brian Rothe, Director of Content, to talk about why the site and studio work together as to expose consumers to internet content in a rewarding and entertaining way. Ostrick gave us the lowdown on what eGuiders has been up to for the past two years plus: “We have our three shows (eGuiders Live, The B Side, and The Untitled Series). We have a deal in place with Tribune Media Serivices, which has been syndicating the eGuilders website. We have a really dynamic app on Boxee and we’re actually going to be doing some more stuff with Boxee.”
“The studio has been great in the sense that it shows what we’re doing and gives a deeper experience for the website and gives a chance for our eGuilders themselves to shine”, continued Ostrick. “The main focus of eGuilders Live it to either focus on a specific eGuilder or some type of creative or specific creatives that the audience are recommending.”
One of those creatives he sited was The Fully Sick Rapper, an Australian named Christiaan Van Vuuran who is infected with an extremely virulent form of TB, which requires him to be in quarantine. He began to make internet videos to pass the time. eGuiders Live Skyped Van Vuuran into the show and it proved to be one of their most popular episodes.
Ostrick discussed the way the eGuiders site and studio work in tandem with each other: “While eGuilders is a great service in itself to recommend videos, to actually create content, which is my background, number one is very fulfilling as a filmmaker and two, it really helps bring the whole experience alive and brings a better depth and serves as an example to other content creators what you can do with the technology now.” Ostrick and Rothe shoot the eGuiders shows on a Canon 7D and a Panasonic HVX-100 and use a consumer-grade switcher for handling camera angles.
“We’re really trying to raise the bar and move online video away from that stigma as disposable media,” explained Ostrick. “Online video should not be looked at as disposable media or junk media but as a real legitimate platform for content creators. That was the real inspiration for creating the site and the studio. I feel like the studio is our street cred. We’re not just recommending the videos, we can also create content that’s of value, that’s not just whipped together.”
I asked Ostrick about plans for the future of the eGuiders site and studio. “We’re developing more shows but we’re being very careful about it,” said Ostrick. “We don’t want to overextend ourselves and we’re also looking to create shows that will serve as a test or a pilot to have sponsors come in. Because at a certain point, it’s great to do things for the love of doing it for altruistic reasons but eventually you have to try to bring in some revenue or find some way to monitize it in some way.”
The eGuiders site itself began with 12 eGuiders and has now expanded to more than 100, including filmmakers such as John Landis and internet names such as Greg Benson of Mediocre Films and Jeremy Redleaf, creator of Odd Jobs. When asked if eGuiders is looking to add to its roster, Ostrick responded in the affirmative. “As long as they are some kind of expert in whatever field they are in,” he continued. “An example would be if a fashion designer wanted to become an eGuider, I wouldn’t necessarily want them recommending documentary or comedy videos, I’d want them to recommend things in what they know.”