A novelist shares his secrets

“For all the videos I’ve made for FIU, which include pieces about research expeditions to Papua New Guinea and Alaska, the one that really stands out for me is one I made practically in my own backyard. Actually, it was in the backyard of Creative Writing Professor John Dufresne, who lives about 15 minutes from my house.

The video itself is a very simple one: A writer talking about his craft. There was nothing really special about it. It wasn’t a difficult shoot, with complex shots to block out or amazing production values to achieve. This video is all about the content.

But since we posted it on Youtube, it has been wildly popular. To date, it’s garnered more than 100,000 views. Currents Magazine mentioned it in a story about universities with successful content marketing strategies. ‘The content takes center stage in a piece that’s found an audience far beyond campus boundaries … .’ wrote Currents.

And it led to another wildly popular video. When TEDx FIU programmers saw the video, they tapped Professor Dufresne to use it as a basis for a TED Talk. He did the talk, and the video of that has now received more than 400,000 views.

Not bad for a video made in a backyard.”

Timothy Long
Multimedia Manager

Editor’s note: Tim Long’s documentaries have appeared on PBS stations around the country. Check out a Q&A with the filmmaker about his quintessential American road trip, “Stories from the Overseas Highway.”

Watch the other videos in the FIU Magazine summer online issue
From homelessness to hope       A video about making videos    Capturing cancer research on campus     The essence of Pantherness
South Beach soirée   A spotlight on the deserving   A riff on “Friends”   Most viewed: An April Fools’ joke