Working with Lemons
When life hands you lemons, you can either make lemonade, or you can do as one Utah family who is members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has done, and that is to turn those lemons into some money making, viral YouTube videos.
Robbie Bagley, 22, and his family earn more than $7,000 a month from their Disney-themed videos. They have been able to realize this success after their version of Frozen’s “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” amassed more than 86 million views on YouTube. Since then, the video has been seen by more than 180 million viewers. The video was directed and edited by Robbie Bagley, and the role of Anna was played by real-life sisters, Mia, then 8, and Ariana Bagley, then 14.
Robbie got the idea for making Disney-themed videos after watching Disney’s animated classic based on the fairy tale “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Anderson. He thought that his sister Mia was an almost twin of the character Anna and cast her in the role in his first video. After seeing how many views the video received, he felt that the next big move was to make some income from his projects. One of the major challenges that he faced was dealing with copyright laws. He commented, “We weren’t even sure if we were going to get paid because there are a lot of difficulties that come with copyrights. It was terrifying.” Through his diligence, he was able to successfully negotiate a deal with Disney and secured the rights to make his family’s Disney-themed videos provided they give the international multimedia corporation a share of the revenue.
The family currently has over 1.3 million subscribers on its YouTube channel with an average of 18 million plus views each month. After Disney is paid its share, the family accrues between $7,000 and $10,000 per month. The family business and content of their video content are managed by Marker Studios’ James Koo. He commented, “I think (Bagley) has the hit nail on the head with the stuff he is trying to do. It feels like a family affair — playing with your siblings, but on a more epic scale.”
The following description of the family project is found on the Working with Lemons official website:
Who are we? A mighty fine question. We are a film crew of the sorts, a family, and a few friends. We love to sing, dance, act, and film so we love making movies! The name “Working with Lemons” originated from the saying when life gives you lemons make lemonade. Well, when we make movies or videos we take whatever “lemons” are available and roll with it whether it’s making a pop filter out of a hanger and some nylon tights or sliding a rug back with a camera on it to get a dolly shot we wanted. And it works! Most of the time. And we’re just getting started! Stay tuned for a lot of great videos and music!
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