Hey Mikey, great to have you here. Can you first introduce yourself?
My name is Mike Zakarian and I live in New York City. I do stand up and a lot of comedy stuff. And during the pandemic, I was trying to find a creative outlet and basketball is something that I really love, so I started to do some streaming and YouTube around it.
I had never done YouTube or any online video content before, and had a little success at the beginning and built a community around it, so I started doing it consistently. Now it's been a little over two years, and last year I started doing it full time.
We've been growing a lot last year and I was really overwhelmed, so I paid an editor to do some shorts for around 10 hours per week. And what is so cool about Opus Clips is that it allows me to still create content without having to either take me forever to do that type of editing, or financially irresponsible to pay somebody that much for editing.
How long have you been doing shorts?
Last November or December was when I first started tinkering with shorts, and I messed around it with a bunch of different types. I would talk directly to camera and then edited a bunch. And then I realized that there was a more efficient way to it. So I started doing green screen, and that had a lot more success. It was giving me a bunch of views and subscribers, which is cool, but it's not really giving my viewers an idea of what my long form content is about. So I shifted and tried to pull two or three bits from every live show. Even if that conversion rate sucks, it gives my viewers a better idea of the type of content I create, and so that's was my primary focus.
"A lot of the success came from the consistency of putting short form content out there."
Have you seen any benefits that shorts have brought to you?
Yes, last October before creating short videos, we had less than 6,000 subscribers, and now we have around 9,600 subscribers. And my views just quadrupled. I think it took me a year and a half to get to a million, and three and a half months to get to the second million. Of course it was due to a couple of things, but a lot of the success came from the consistency of putting short form content out there.
How did you find out about Opus Clip?
A friend of mine got an interest in how AI can affect different short form content, and he didn't know anything about it when he signed up for Opus. What was so funny is that he is a fan of what I do, and he put in one of my recent videos. And he just sent five of them to me. And I was like, "Dude, what are you doing? Why are you working on this?" He then told me it was from Opus. That's how I knew it. I've been using it for two months or three now. I have a lot of comedian friends and content creating friends, and I've been sharing with people.
I want to know from your perspective, how well does Opus Clip work with comedy content?
I've actually been impressed with how well it is at picking up what I'm hoping it to get. And it's been a lot better over the past month. In the first month when I was using it, there were a lot of clips that were not what I was looking for. But this time, it's almost close to spot-on every time.
One of the best adjustments that I think you've made is the ability to go back a little bit further or extend it a little bit longer. Because that was a big issue for me early on, where I often felt like "Oh man, I need like 10 more seconds from that."
One thing that I find really interesting is that, since I started using Opus, I've actually changed my prep work for the show. I'm very good at improvising, but that's not usually ideal if somebody's trying to clip segments, because it can get a little sporadic. So what it's forced me to do is be a little bit more intentional and structural about what I say.
"For someone who sucks at editing, the ability to get dynamic captions in such an efficient manner is amazing."
Yes, I've heard the same thing from a YouTube coach who mentioned to me about how creators are actually changing the way they speak and act just to make the AI clip content better.
Many of my live show viewers have seen my short videos, and it's almost like an inside joke for them now when we're doing a live show live, where if I stumble over a word, they'll almost be like, "Oh, dude, you gotta do that again. You need the AI to pick it up." So that's been funny.
This change is happening even in the moment when I'm doing a show. If I think something is going to be a really funny thing, instead of blurting it out as I would normally do, I would actually circle the wagon a little bit, making a specific stare at the camera and stating my points. That's been a cool adjustment that's happened mentally while the show's going on.
That's great to hear. What do you think is the biggest value that Opus has brought to you?
For someone who sucks at editing, the ability to get dynamic captions in such an efficient manner is amazing. This is definitely the biggest value add for me, because a lot of people watch short videos with no sound on.
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About the Author
Rebecca Xu is the Product Marketing Manager at Opus, and a professional simultaneous interpreter. She is a story teller, food lover, globe trotter, and sarcasm connoisseur. She loves learning new things through reading, traveling, and exploring. Most of the time, you can find her either in an ice-cream shop, or on her way to an ice-cream shop.