Exploring the GoPro life.
Everybody can make a short video, something simple or more sophisticated but all of us have a tool to film today.
I was reading the great post of Aaron Chase in The New Yorker, where the journalist describes that Chase, who is sponsored by GoPro and is exceptionally adept at using GoPro cameras to make videos.
When the agony of missing the shot trumps the joy of the experience worth shooting, the adventure athlete (climber, surfer, extreme skier) reveals himself to be something else: a filmmaker, a brand, a vessel for the creation of content. He used to just do the thing—plan the killer trip or trick and then complete it, with panache. Maybe a photographer or film crew tagged along, and afterward there’d be a slide show at community centers and high-school gyms, or an article in a magazine. Now the purpose of the trip or trick is the record of it. Life is footage.
Woodman had the good fortune to invent a product that was well suited to a world he had not yet imagined. The ripening of the technology in his camera, after a half decade of tinkering, coincided with the fruition of broadband and the emergence of YouTube, Facebook, and other social-media platforms for the wide distribution of video. GoPro rode the wave!
I am a big GoPro user, with it, I am always up for a new adventure wishing that my movies would be awesome! The result is not as much a selfie as a worldie. It’s more like the story you’d tell about an adventure than the photo that would accompany it. You want to make people dream! That’s certainly pretty egocentric. I am agreed. But this not the social media’s life?
Though GoPro is known primarily for its connection to adventure sports, the camera is increasingly used in feature likefilm or most recently at the World Rugby Cup. You could see the referees with a GoPro attached on their chest.
Position itself not just as a camera-maker but as a media company—a producer and distributor of branded content. In this conception, it is hawking not only cameras and accessories (the source, up to now, of pretty much all of GoPro’s revenue) but videos, too (a source, up to now, of pretty much no revenue). In the past five years, videos posted by GoPro have attracted half a billion views. On the GoPro channel on YouTube, videos average about half a million viewers each.It’s hard to « Be A Hero ».
Most of them are not the ones that come from their sponsored athletes (or “brand ambassadors”), like Aaron Chase, who are expected to submit footage. They are crowdsourced—amateur-hour finds that turn pro. For the latter, GoPro pays very little—maybe some accessories or a camera, plus, say, a thousand dollars for the first million views.
In a sociology way, psychologists and neurologists have discovered that photos or videos of an event are more effective than notes or conversation at helping people remember an experience.
GoPro, like Google Glass, has the insidious effect of making the pervasiveness of cameras seem playful and benign when it may one day be anything but. The Economist called the film-everything culture “the people’s panopticon”.
Let’s be all a storyteller.
Everybody has something to say and it’s certainly the beauty of GoPro.
Cécile lives in Chicago though is originally from southern France. She’s an avid traveler and is always excited by new adventures. After living in Ireland, Australia and Canada, Cécile is an advocate of having a routine but not staying comfortable for too long.