Viral: A Brief History

After we Launched the San Diego experience OTO (one time only) on Fox 6 in February of 2006, we began work on several other projects. During the development of these projects the growth of new media was exponential. Inspired and intrigued by shows like Ask a Ninja, Ze Frank, Casey McKinnon’s KitKast and Rocketboom, I encouraged Sunny to play with the medium. Three weeks later she launched her own show in her backyard called Anchor in Pjs, drawing from her experience in news and her love for producing.

Replying to a Craigslist ad for a spokesperson, Sunny contacted the Veoh offices in San Diego and setup an interview. Long story short, then CEO Dmitry Shapiro and marketing director Francis Costello gave her the opportunity to create her own job at Veoh if she could inspire the indie production community to use Veoh’s services. She took all the information back and Viral was born: A behind the scenes look at the world of internet television and the people behind it. We pitched the show and within days were on our way to the first annual Vloggies to cover the event.

Over the two years of producing the show we met and shot some of the most inspiring people in new media today, were nominated for two Webby Awards and slept for a combined total of 16 hours. From producers like Zadi and Steve of Epic-Fu to the very smart and talented guys of the Totally Rad Show to the great team behind CBS’ Ghost Whisperer: The Other side, we were invited into the homes, studios and rooftops of some very awesome people. Working on Viral has made us into the company we are today. I had never picked up a camera professionally until I worked on Viral and feel immensely grateful for the opportunities the show has given me. In fact, I passed up a scholarship to CalArts to work in new media and I can’t think of a better education. Working with some of the most innovative minds and in a medium that affords its creators such freedom makes me feel a little spoiled. Like most first projects, I look back and see the holes and mistakes and places we could have improved, but overall I’m happy with the outcome.

Regardless of the direction Veoh is taking now, I’m still impressed that they were as willing and courageous as they were to try something that hadn’t been done before. Before I wrap this up, I can’t thank Sunny Gault enough. Her determination and work ethic are something I still aspire to. She gave me the opportunity to produce a show for a major network with very little experience, and I can’t imagine a better opportunity for our company. If you’d like to follow her work she’s produced a great show called Momversations, and she’s got a great website. Veoh still hosts Viral, and you can watch every episode here on the channel page. Some of my favorite moments producing the show were never on camera but here are some links below that correspond:

Interview with Kent Nichols, Ask A Ninja was the catalyst for this whole thing. So getting to meet such a great guy was one of the coolest moments.

Everything we’ve done with Big Fantastic has been just about been some of the coolest interviews we’ve done. Talent to aspire to.

In my mind, Dutch West was hands down the most hilarious interview/taping I’ve done to date. I’m not surprised Sam and the crew, now with college humor, are on MTV.

Gary Vaynerchuk is an inspiring business man and all around great guy.

And of course meeting the nicest guys in New Media, The Bui Brothers, who we’ve partnered with.