Duncan Cowles, currently a volunteer in our team at Scottish Documentary Institute, made a video that, within 24 hours, had more than 350,000 views on YouTube. Can he teach us how to make things go viral?
Let me start off by saying that The Lady with the Lamp was a complete accident. It has been however, my most successful accident to date.
For those of you who haven’t seen the film here it is. (It’s only 3 minutes 49 seconds so if you don’t like it, you've not wasted too much time.)
On what was probably the only day I hadn't washed my hair in the entire year of 2010, my mum came into my bedroom to inform me that my bedside lamp was not quite up to house standards, and that I should invest in a new one. Unbeknown to her I’d been in the middle of filming what was (from what I remember) a really exciting video blog for my second year film at Edinburgh College of Art, Pooling Together.
Anyway, I more or less forgot about the whole experience until editing where I re-discovered my mum’s interruption. I called my brother through to my room to show him. His reaction told me that at least those who knew my mum would appreciate the footage. So I took the film, at the time creatively named LAMP and showed my classmates and lecturer David Cairns alongside my hand-in piece.
“Should I bother putting effort into a film ever again?”
The general consensus was that it was miles better and more entertaining than the film I’d spent eight months making. “Should I bother putting effort into a film ever again?” I asked myself.
Showing my mum and some visiting family members was the next step. Safe to say they all (Mum included) got a good laugh out of it, and my Grandma suggested a new title, The Lady with the Lamp, named after Florence Nightingale. I was all set to attempt submitting to film festivals.Read more