CJ Bruce was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. He studied Media Arts and Political Science at the University of Arizona and has been producing videos since he was 13. During his junior and senior years of college he produced, directed, edited and acted in an original 15 episode web series titled Tucson Underground. As much as he enjoys the film arts, he has also been a certified computer geek since the dawn of time. In May of 2007 CJ moved out to Los Angeles where he immediately got the coveted industry job of server at a diner. Nine months later, after a brief stint on Gene Simmon’s Family Jewels, he got a job as the visual effects assistant on Drag Me To Hell working with one of his favorite directors, Sam Raimi. This experience pulled the past 10 years of messing around with a camera into focus. Currently CJ is CEO at an Internet video marketing company called Video Army where he regularly strategizes online video marketing campaigns for clients including Gatorade and Ford.
What are you working on right now?
I am working on the convergence of film and television with the new opportunities given by the internet. Specifically teaching people and giving them the tools to spread their message, art, movement, products, etc. across the internet to interested audiences.
3 Trends that excite you?
1. The movement toward more mobile entertainment. In 15 years people will take it for granted that they can watch what they want from anywhere in the world on their “cell phone”, if they don’t come up with a better name. This will give us more ways to reach people with more targeted messages. Location based advertising and entertainment will be huge, as well as being able to interact with other users that in your vicinity.
2. Interactive Television. It’s been happening for years, but it is finally coming of age. Being able to tweet with other people while a show is playing on TV adds an entirely new level of entertainment. Having shows and films recommended to you based on your previous viewing experiences and those of your friends. This will allow seemingly obscure content to find the right audience and will do the same for advertisers.
3. The end of mass-market content. It will happen slowly, but there will be no more, or very few, huge music acts/blockbuster films/best selling books. Because there will be more content targeted to smaller groups of people, the amount of huge universal successes will shrink. As a viewer you will be able to see, hear and read content that is much more specific to what you want. As a content creator, you will be able to find an audience for your art instead of molding the art to the audience.
This means more content, more diverse content, more opportunities for advertising and more messages being given a voice.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring ideas to life by breaking them down into small doable tasks. Have an overarching goal, but don’t let it stop you from starting. What is the one thing that you can do today to help you achieve that goal?
It might be something small like buy a domain name or a book. Maybe the first step is figuring out what your goal should be.
Whatever it is, once you get started on some aspect of it, it will build momentum and make the task easier and easier. Before you know it, the manifested idea will be bigger than you and it will continue moving forward with or without you.
What is one mistake that you’ve made that our readers can learn from?
One huge mistake that I made was with the first web series I produced. We spent over two years of our time, energy and money to create the series. However, we had no plan once it was complete. We finished, put it online and waited for the audience to come, but they never did.
I’ve learned to plan things from conception all the way through the final execution. Take a look at the full picture and not just the parts that interest you the most.
I had a great time creating the content, editing it, creating the online presence, talking to people about it, etc. However, I never thought about the business side. How are we going to sell this? How will people find it if they want to watch it? What is our goal for the number of viewers?
Now when I am creating new content/products/services I try my best to think the entire process through. Then when I am satisfied with my own analysis, I bring in other people to check it out. Especially people with different professional backgrounds because they look at things differently.
I don’t accept everything they say, but every time I get some new information, directly or indirectly, that makes the end result better.
What is one idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Sell what you know. Don’t go out looking for the next big thing to sell or a bandwagon that you can hop on to make your millions. Instead, create solutions for your problems.
This may be a product that solves a common problem in your industry, but it could also be the knowledge of your trade itself. Teach people how to do what you know, start with small free information, then work your way up to full courses that you can charge people for.
At the very least you will learn much more about your profession, and at best you will be making a living off of your passion.
Why should marketers use online video?
Internet video marketing is the most efficient and effective way to spread your message online. This applies to businesses, bands, artists, causes, and anyone that is trying to communicate with a group of people.
Video has been proven to keep people on your website longer. People prefer to watch a video than to read long blocks of text. It allows you to convey your message using the emotion of moving images and sound.
Because of the social nature of video it is much easier for people who enjoy it to share it with their network. This allows you to leverage your viewers communities in order to get that “viral video” that everyone hopes for.
Lastly, the metrics of online video destroy traditional advertising analytics. You can see who is watching your video, where they are watching it, what they do after they watch, etc. This gives you the facts that you need to make educated decisions about your campaign. Perhaps one video is getting better results than another, or you have a large audience base in another country. Whatever the case may be, you will have the information to act.
Outside of internet marketing, what are your other interests?
Entertaining and educating people. I’ve written many short films, done stand up comedy a few times and helped countless people produce their own content.
I enjoy giving people advice in their professional lives and helping them to find the thing that excites them most. Once they have discovered this, the next step is helping them convert it into something they can make a living doing.
I am currently developing a new horror-sci-fi-comedy web series called Friendly Meadows to satisfy my creative bug. I’m always open to new ideas and creative opportunities, feel free to reach out to me.
Email: [email protected]
CJ on Twitter
Video Army on Twitter
Video Army on Facebook
Video Army on YouTube