In the second in our ‘Behind The Reel’ series, a show that shines a light on YouTube movers and shakers, we talk to the team behind CinemaSins. Their channel has seen phenomenal growth over the past 12 months with, at time of writing, over 1.5 million subscribers and 177.5 million views. Their warmhearted but devastatingly funny critiques of movies such as The Hunger Games and Jurassic Park has brought them an army of fans which grow stronger with every new release. Oh, and they are ex-ReelSEOer’s, don’t you know. Please welcome to the show, YouTube’s biggest and funniest pedants, Chris and Jeremy of CinemaSins:
ReelSEO: Where did you guys get your love of movies from?:
Chris Atkinson: I’ve always been a huge movie lover. I wasn’t allowed to watch R-rated movies for a very long time, but once I started breaking that barrier, around the age of 12, there wasn’t any stopping me.
ReelSEO: How did all of that lead to this?
Jeremy Scott: We were both naturally pushed to working in movie theatres, and that’s actually where we met each other. That’s where we furthered our love of movies and our distaste for people….
Chris: The great thing about working at a movie theater was being able to watch the movies before they came out. If you are friends with someone who “gets it” and you can have fun and joke around at the movie’s expense then it makes the whole thing more enjoyable.
ReelSEO: Where did you get the idea to do “CinemaSins”?
CinemaSins: It was Jeremy’s original idea. He wanted to document movie mistakes and gaffes but in the style of the “Micro Machines” guy. Our first concept was “Everything Wrong With The Amazing Spiderman in 2 Minutes or Less” and looking back, our voiceovers are three or four times faster than they are now. We’ve slowed down a lot since then. We also worked on some side video projects back in our ReelSEO days like the ‘Pulp Fiction Cussing‘ supercut, some explainer videos and also some general movie reviews. Those reviews weren’t very well received and have since been deleted. Looking back, I think it’s pretty obvious that everything we did then was leading to this, although it was mostly trial and error at the time.
ReelSEO: Most people don’t realise the amount of work and effort that goes into making YouTube videos. When did it start taking up all of your time?
Jeremy: For a couple of months it was all I was doing, I had let go all of my clients to focus on CinemaSins. About 4 months after that (August 2013) Chris was able to give up his editor role at ReelSEO to go full-time with me. That allowed us to double production of the shows and to basically keep going.
ReelSEO: How much of the success of the CinemaSins channel has been in part to the things you learned about YouTube, video production and video marketing from your time at ReelSEO?
Chris: Before I left ReelSEO, I wrote a post called “Everything I learned, I learned from ReelSEO“. I knew nothing of video when I first started writing but now almost everything that we do, has had an article written about it on ReelSEO at some point either by me or Jeremy or another one of the writers.
Jeremy: It would be wrong if we didn’t credit our time at ReelSEO for not making us want to do videos. Also, because of everything we learned about SEO tactics, promotional tactics and other general video marketing stuff, we started off more informed than the average YouTube creator. I would have to assume that readers of the blog get a similar experience as they have an insiders knowledge of what it takes.
ReelSEO: How long does it take to make one of your videos?
CinemaSins: It takes around 20-30 hours per video, but it depends on the movie, how many sins we find and all other kinds of different factors. In the beginning, we watched more of the movie than we do now but experience has speeded up the process for us. Now, if we’re really familiar with a movie, like “Back to the Future”, we don’t have to watch it 6 times to find the mistakes, we can get a head start on the nitpicking….However, if it’s a movie that we’ve never seen, then we will watch it two or three times. In terms of our approach, we never set out to be 100% serious in our reviews or do something that may be really damaging to the movie.
ReelSEO: Has doing CinemaSins totally ruined the way you watch movies now?
Chris: I can watch a movie as normal with absolutely no problem. I’ve watched 3 or 4 over the past couple of weeks without going into “CinemaSins” mode. You have to put that kind of approach to bed if you just want to enjoy a film.
Jeremy: We love movies and we’re able to turn off our nitpicking very easily if we just want to watch a film.
ReelSEO: What would you say is the biggest secret to your success?
Chris: We are really consistent in our production and upload rate, releasing two or even three videos per week. If you are building up a following and you keep supplying relevant and entertaining content week after week then your audience will keep coming back for more. The worst thing you can do is run a dormant YouTube channel if you’re trying to build up a subscriber base. We have stuck to a formula right off the bat and that’s worked well for us.
That’s it for the second episode of ‘Behind The Reel’. A huge thank you to CinemaSins for their time and our viewers for watching. Let us know which stars you’d like us to interview in the comments below!