What Makes A Good Cat Video?

Earlier this week, more than 10,000 cat fanciers -- many dressed as felines -- packed into St. Paul's CHS Field for the fourth annual Internet Cat Video Festival. We here at TTBOOK pride ourselves on asking the difficult questions, so when we spoke to the festival's curator earlier this year, we asked him: what makes a good cat video?

Flickr Creative Commons / Jimmy B

According to festival curator Will Braden, the most important factor is length. The Internet Cat Video Festival shows about a hundred clips within the span of an hour, so brevity is essential. "If you have a 15 minute opus, the long Martin Scorsese track, and a shot of your cat, it's not going to make the cut, no matter how great it is," he says.

Besides length, spontaneity is essential. "Try not to force your cat into something just because you think you have a great idea," he says. "Try to have the idea come from something funny your cat does or something unique about your cat."

His last piece of advice: save the best for last. "Try to keep the biggest reveal or the biggest laugh or the slip and fall or whatever it is right at the end of the video. That's when people will, in their brain, be thinking, I have to send this to so-and-so, they'll love this!" This last rule applies to more than cat video producers. "This is, I think, advice for anybody that wants to go viral with anything."

Braden himself got his start by creating the video series Henri, Le Chat Noir, featuring the existential musings of a tuxedo cat. To date, the project has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times and has been called "the best internet cat video ever made" by Roger Ebert.

Henri

He Made A Cat Video And You'll Never Guess What Happened Next...

In the world of cat videos, Henri Le Chat Noir is a superstar.  Filmmaker Will Braden talks about the glory that is Henri and the embarrassment of telling strangers what he does for a living. 

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