Anatomy of a YouTube Season Hype Video

I’m as red-blooded a college football fan as anyone and my blood gets pumping around this time of watching the myriad of season preview and hype videos you can find on YouTube every year. This year is no different, but this year we’re going to have a little vote here at MotSaG to pick the best Ohio State hype video for the upcoming 2010 season. I’m not sure what the result of the contest will be, but we’ll figure that out later.

For now, I just want to put together some guidelines for what I think it takes to make a successful YT hype video. I’m not going to criticize other people’s creative output because I’m not putting my creations out there (I guess I sort of am here, but that’s besides the point). Let’s just hit on a few points I think it takes to really get the blood pumping.

After we go over some guidelines, we’ll talk about our 2010 video contest.


The music you pick can make or break your video. It’s the most delicate choice you’re going to make, so don’t take the easy road. No Limp Bizkit or Boom by P.O.D. Yes, those songs work because of their impact on a base emotional level. Football is violent and so is “BOOM!” But you’re better than that. You don’t have to resort to those cheap, pandering grooves. Also, no Ride of the Valkyries or Carmina Burana, again for obvious reasons. Personally, I’m partial to Remember the Name by Fort Minor but that could song could get old quickly. Try something new. Maybe some Daft Punk or Chemical Brothers or some old OK Go. Or you could really think outside the box and go with Van Canto.

Also: if your video is going to span the length of more than one song, you have an extra burden as you’ll need to make two excellent and original choices. No pressure.

The right choice can be a beautiful thing. Exhibit A.


Next, let’s talk about what type of clips to include. This is a season preview video, created to generate as much buzz for your team and to get the football endorphins pumping for your fellow fans. It’s a spiritual experience and I mean that in the most literal sense possible. So as much as I loved, for example, Ray Small’s returns against Penn State or Hurt Coleman’s interception return against Wisconsin, you are making a preview video. Don’t show me seniors making great plays. That’s for another video.

Leave the past in the past.

There is one exception to this rule: Jim Tressel pumping his fist in angry excitement. Jim Tressel pumping his fist in pure elation. Whether it was from the 2002 BCS Title Game or anytime hence, it is always allowed and, in fact, recommended.

There’s more to it than just showing the right clips. The actual clips I want to see are plays on the field. I know it gets the blood pumping to see the team come out of the tunnel, arm in arm. Script Ohio really riles up emotion. But I only need to see one or the other. Like the team itself, let the plays do the talking.


I know it’s possible that you’re probably a film student or maybe you’re an amateur video editor testing out new effects in Premiere, but you don’t have to show off. I am here to see highlights, not your skills of lens flare and quick cuts. Again, let the plays speak for themselves.

Also: slow motion is your friend. So is the repetition of a particularly bruising hit or ankle turn run. But do not abuse them.

At least that’s how I see it. What gets your blood pumping?

So over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be scouring YouTube for Ohio State hype videos for the 2010 season and share them with you here. After we get through the best of them, we’ll hold a little vote to see which video reigns supreme. Said video will then be featured prominently in the waning days of the off-season, leading up to the 2010 season.

On to the videos!

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