You may not recognise the name Ian Padgham, but you’ve probably seen some of his Vine videos. One of his biggest videos, and one he says he’s most proud of, captures his wife’s pregnancy in just six seconds.
Padgham started making Vines right around the time Twitter launched the platform on January 24, 2013. He was a video producer for Twitter at the time, putting together product release and promotional videos, including the Twitter recruitment video that went viral.
Now he runs a Vine creation company — essentially an ad agency for marketers who want Vine videos. It’s a business in which a good Vine can fetch up to $US30,000 per client.
“I’ve had some really awesome opportunities,” Padgham tells Business Insider. “I went and I did the Olympics for Visa so I was in Sochi for a month. I have an ongoing contract with Sony where every week Sony sends me a box with a product in it and I open it up and I get to make a video about it.”
When Twitter rolled out Vine, Padgham put together a video of how the six-second video platform worked. He made his first Vine video from the Twitter headquarters the day it launched.
Form there he kept experimenting with Vine. Sometimes he put together Vines for the company itself when updates rolled out. Those would show users how the updates worked and would provide tips and tricks for using the platform. Other Vines were embedded into Twitter blog posts. When Twitter wanted to put together a post with Twitter stats from the NBA finals, Padgham put together a Vine for that as well.
He was on Vine from day one and was fast becoming a master of the platform, but it wasn’t until Robot Chicken, an animated stop-motion comedy show, visited Twitter’s office that Padgham knew it was time for him to take the next step.
The guys from Robot Chicken offered a simple piece of advice to Twitter employees: success comes to those who hustle and work hard.
“For whatever reason it was this a-ha moment for me,” Padgham says. “I think in a lot of stuff I do I’m kind of a perfectionist. I decided, you know what, I am going to use Vine to change the way I produce because I was over-thinking things and killing projects with revisions.”
Padgham decided to wake up an hour earlier each morning and make a Vine video. He made a Vine a day for a year and a half, many of which featured his signature wooden man as the central focus. Over that year and a half period Padgham watched his number of Vine followers skyrocket. Right now he has over 360,000 followers.
That’s when brands took notice, and the offers from marketers started to pour in.
His first big offer came last August from country singer LeAnn Rimes. Rimes saw some of Padgham’s work on Vine and loved it. She called him up and asked Padgham to work on her music video for “Gasoline and Matches” in the stop-motion style he used for many of his Vines.
Even though the music video wasn’t his first big break using the Vine platform, he still thinks it helped kick off his career. The video is shot entirely via an iPhone.
Padgham got more involved on the brand side. But working with brands while still at Twitter became a conflict of interest because some brands wanted to pay to promote their videos on the social platform, while paying him to create them, at the same time. It was time to make a tough decision and Padgham left the company in August 16 2013, although he still freelances for the video team from time to time.
One of his most recent projects Padgham has taken on is a series of videos for the San Francisco 49ers, named the “Forty Viners.” Any time the SF football team has a home game, Padgham ventures down the team’s Levi’s Stadium and puts together a 6-second video for the Vine page.
Recently Padgham says he brings a plush puppet of the opposing team’s mascot along and uses it to playfully mock the other team.
There are so many opportunities to create content that’s artistic, but it can also bring in a steady income. We asked Padgham about what kind of money is involved in making Vines, although he declines to be specific about his own fees:
This whole process is still really new. It’s really shaken up the way things work in terms of advertising. The prices are all over the place. When you put into perspective the cost on these Vines, there are people who say a Vine is 50 bucks to make, but when you think of the impact of some of these Vines, they get hundreds of thousands, if not millions of loops, tons of likes, huge ROI [return on investment]…There have been a lot of stories that have come out and people say they are paid anything from $US1,000 to $US30,000.
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