Two years ago, Toni and me set out to found Real Time History. Several encounters with German bureaucracy and one pandemic later, we are still here. Only because of your support and we are eternally thankful for that.
The gut feeling of founding your own company is a weird mix of euphoria and nausea in the beginning. In 2019, the stress of setting up this company was sometimes overwhelming but over time it got more and more fun, yes, it's actually fun now. It's extremely rewarding and humbling to be able to produce high quality history content and be directly supported by your viewers. Even 10 years ago that wouldn't have been possible. Our ideas to pursue this strategy are so far successful.
16 Days in Berlin
In 2019 we crowdfunded 16 Days in Berlin, the most detailed documentary about the Battle of Berlin ever made - and we released it just in time for the 75th anniversary of that battle. Producing this documentary gave me a new appreciation for the scars left in our hometown Berlin. And it gave me faith that insisting in high quality and objectivity for a historic documentary will pay off.
Our follow-up project Rhineland 45 is in full production at the moment. Jesse is drowning in the minute detail that the Western Front of WW2 is covered in history books. And everything we learned from 16 Days in Berlin, we can apply here and improve. If you still want to support the project, we would really appreciate it by the way. Did you know that it costs 160GBP to license a single photo from the Imperial War Museum? 1800GBP for a minute of film? Yeah, it's certainly not cheap or easy to pull off such a documentary.
The Great War
Of course, we wouldn't be where we are today without The Great War YouTube channel. Toni and me met the day we were hired for the project in 2014 and it's probably the best proof of concept you can wish for. We knew we could work together, we could prove to our bank that our business model has legs, and we could prove to you what were are capable of. Two years after the rebirth of The Great War with Jesse (who sent us a kick ass application video that we should publish one day), diving into the unknown and untested "interwar period", we are very proud of what we have achieved together. The years between the world wars are not super popular on YouTube, well history content is not super popular on YouTube - if you use video game content or music videos as a metric. There are single music videos out there that have more views than our entire channel with 700 videos. But a good chunk of you stayed with us and continue to support us and that is what matters in the end. We don't produce The Great War for the next viral hit, but for you. And you can tell all your friends out there: If you really want to understand the Second World War, the Cold War and the mess we call the present, they should pay attention to the events between 1919 and 1939.
So, where do we go from here? When we announced that 16 Days in Berlin and Rhineland 45 wouldn't be on YouTube, some were worried that we would leave YouTube behind completely. We still stand by our decision, because the grim history of World War 2 cannot be told completely without running in all kinds of problems from demonetization to age-restrictions. But there is no way around YouTube in the foreseeable future and honestly, as producers of educational content, we should strive for making at least some of it accessible for everyone. Especially in 2021. And since every encounter with public funding institutions or media networks has led to nothing but hot air, we will keep working with you directly.
With that in mind, we are currently planning that the next project we will unveil will have a YouTube component again. It won't be another WW2 project and it will go back to our roots in a way. That's all I am saying so far and the rest will follow this summer. If you want to be notified about the new project you can sign up at realtimehistory.net/subscribe - it's not really a newsletter, but it sends you an email every time we upload a video on YouTube (which YouTube doesn't offer anymore for some reason).
Thank you so much for your ongoing support. Be it on Patreon or here on our website. We literally would not exist without you.
Flo, Toni & Jesse
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