Is Genero.TV the Way to Break Into the Music Video Industry?
With three ongoing competitions and the past participation of artists such as Alicia Keys, Royksopp, Moby or David Lynch, Genero.TV positions itself as a unique platform for independent filmmakers to create original content, build their network while potentially generating profit out of it.
Genero.Tv might well be that point of entry for independent filmmakers interested in the music video industry. The platform was created in 2009 by two friends, Mick Entwisle and Andrew Lane, both from a marketing background with a proven passion for music and music video.
Genero.Tv enables artists to showcase a song or an entire album by inviting filmmakers to compete in creating the relevant original music video.
The viewers can vote for their favorite music video and once the competition is closed, a jury that includes the artist and a member from the Genero team among others, selects the finalists and thereafter the winner whose proposal becomes the official music video for the given song in addition to bringing in a cash prize.
I had the chance to talk with Mick Entwisle founder of Genero.TV along with Andrew Lane and here is the story behind this website with a bright future:
How It Started:
‘We both have a huge passion for music and music video and professional backgrounds in online and traditional marketing. We saw the huge growth in the number of people that could make broadcast quality music videos, as a result of more affordable camera equipment and editing software, and the emergence of unofficial fan videos being created as a creative outlet. But rather than them being embraced, often they were being pulled down from sites like YouTube for copyright infringement. We saw the potential for a platform that would support it and provide opportunities for the growing number of people looking to make a career in music video.At the same time we recognized the huge benefits that the approach could have for the artists as well – a bigger pool of creative ideas, engaging with their fans and involving them in the creative process, more videos being shared online that could help promote them and their music etc. So we really saw it as win-win opportunity and thought that as long as we made sure both sides are looked after then it would work. We’ve got a long way to go but we couldn’t be happier with how it’s gone so far.We wanted to launch the site with a range of artists but to do that we had to convince them of the benefits before we even had a website or community. That was definitely the hardest part because there was nothing tangible to show them. But we were lucky enough to get a great group of diverse artists on board for launch including UNKLE, The Temper Trap, Easy Star All Stars and Kissy Sell Out. That was back in Sept 2009 and now we’ve got a great story to tell in terms of the community, website and campaigns we’ve run, so it’s now a lot easier for artists and labels to see the benefits. Obviously it’s not for every artist, song or album but more and more are open to the idea of giving up a little bit of control over the video content that goes with their music and embracing the diversity of interpretations.
About Choosing New Artists, Dealing With Each Competition and Judging Them
Film makers are always at the forefront of our minds when working out artists and songs to feature and the prizes for each competition. We work with each artist/label to think about how we can not only financially reward film makers, but also benefit their careers. So we’re always looking for opportunities that further promote the film maker and can help them get a break or help them move to the next level.Towards the end of a competition is definitely the busiest time for us because of the number of videos that come in during the last few days. At the end of the day though we genuinely love discovering new film makers and seeing the huge variety of creative interpretations in the videos so even though the hours are long we really enjoy it. One of the most important areas to us is to support and promote all of the talented people that make up our community so we’ll continue to look for new ways to do that. Although we haven’t formally launched it yet we’re representing some film makers to help them get traditional paid work and we’ll focus more on that in future.The artists and labels themselves are doing the bulk of the judging and in most cases we’re thankful of that! There are always so many diverse and amazing videos that we’re normally pretty relieved that we don’t have to choose a winner because it would just be too hard. The artists are obviously a lot closer to the music and it’s therefore probably a bit easier for them based on what ‘feels right’ as a visual interpretation of their song. We do often choose some of the finalists though to make sure some of our favourites are also recognised.
But though some may sense another Youtube up ahead, Genero.TV bears nothing like it. Merely uploading a video is not enough as it must satisfy a certain set of strict criteria:
As Genero grew and attracted more artists, the website also began to feature filmmakers versed in the music video industry, many of them either won or became finalists. This month, Andy Pearce takes the spotlight. With one music video making it as a finalist and another winning the prize, Andy addresses how his participation in the Genero’s contests captivated the attention of production companies.
‘We’ve heard some great stories that have come out of not only winning, but even just participating in some of our competitions.’ confirms Entwisle. ‘We’re conscious that a lot of the people entering aren’t being rewarded directly, because there is only one or a few winners, so we make sure we do everything we can to not only promote the winner but also all of the other fantastic film makers and their videos.We probably don’t ask enough because I’m sure there are a lot of examples where people have benefited, but a couple of recent examples are Kris Koster (Spain) and Andy Pearce (Australia). If you read the Q&A on their profile pages you’ll see they’ve both had great exposure and look like being able to make a career out of music video as a result of the exposure they’ve received. We’ll look at ways to share those experiences more with people too because we’re really proud that we’ve been able to help people with their careers.’
Through twitter, Genero regularly promotes the profile of diverse and inspired filmmakers, giving them visibility.
So grab that camera and get creative. You might snatch the prize, or simply get your foot in the door of the music video industry—which isn’t necessarily that bad either.
For more about Genero’s current competitions visit Genero.TV Website.