in video essays, videos

How My ‘John Wick’ Video Essay Went from 0 to 30K Views

In late October 2014, I published the above video essay on the action of John Wick. I had a great time watching that film and I wanted to put together a brief video that demonstrated my utter disbelief at the audacity the film’s set pieces.

To create this video essay, I used film clips from John Wick’s Electronic Press Kit. These kits typically include a few videos that broadcasters and videomakers can use as b-roll while putting together packages. They are intended to be shared broadly to generate interest in the film.
Originally, I wanted to run this video essay on /Film but ultimately decided against it because it was a bit too thin. So, I simply published it on my YouTube channel (which has around 4.5K subscribers) and just let it sit there with pretty much no promotion.
I was stunned when I checked the video in recent months, only to find that it had reached 30K views, surpassing the vast majority of video reviews I’d done for /Film. I know that 30K is not a high number, but typically, when I publish a video review at /FilmĀ (go here for an example), that review will bring in anywhere from 1K to 15K views.
Curious as to what had caused this traffic, I checked the YouTube stats. By far, the greatest number of people had come from YouTube searches. And what were those searches? Check’em out:


Tons of traffic comes from people just looking for specific scenes in movies. The other top traffic sources were YouTube Suggested videos, and from social sharing sites.
I know this information may be obvious to a lot of people, but when a film becomes prominently and well known for a specific attribute (e.g. John Wick and its fight scenes), then the more you can deliver on that with a video (legitimately), the higher the likelihood that it will be viewed thousands of times. Sometimes, the more specific you are, the better.