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Christian Hull: the secret to making a hit YouTube video

There are many ways to describe Christian Hull. Wife and mother. Teacher. Nurse. Man about town. For..

There are many ways to describe Christian Hull. Wife and mother. Teacher. Nurse. Man about town. For these are just a few of the characters – he's not afraid of donning a crazy wig – in his hit YouTube videos, many of which have gone viral, including his satirical series Growing Up In (take your pick from most of our capital cities, and regional centres such as Newcastle). "Australians love to laugh at themselves," says Hull. "Even where they live."

Christian Hull says he earns "between 30-40% of a liveable full-time wage" from his YouTube channel.

Photo: Simon Schluter

Hull, a full-time video producer on the national radio show Carrie & Tommy (starring The Project's Carrie Bickmore and comedian Tommy Little), shoots his videos after hours in his tiny rented apartment in inner-city Melbourne at the rate of two or three a week.

"I'm a hermit," says the 31-year-old, laughing. "The only thing that will get me out is a sit-down dinner. I don't drink, don't do parties – so producing these YouTube videos is my entertainment."

In case you've been living off-grid for the past decade, YouTube is the largest video sharing site in the world, with 1.57 billion active monthly users and 300 hours of video footage uploaded every minute, according to digital marketing agency Omnicore. "The best thing about YouTube," observes Hull, "is that you can be whoever you want, do whatever you want." He's now earning "between 30 and 40 per cent of a liveable full-time wage" from his channel. Before you ask, video creators receive an income from YouTube once they crack certain subscriber numbers.

Hull, who has younger brother triplets ("they're all taller and much better looking than me"), grew up in Sydney, but insists his adopted city of Melbourne is now his favourite, because of "the number of good coffees per square kilometre, the black clothes, the hook turn, which terrifies Sydneysiders, and the fact that if you're silly enough to have a wedding on [AFL] grand final day, no one will turn up".

Most of his ideas are sent in by fans or come from overhearing conversations on the bus or in the street. The secret to making a hit video? "Don't wait until you're 'ready'," advises Hull, who would like to write comedy for television. "The mantra is 'upload, upload, upload', and you'll start to develop."

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So, we guess this means Beyonce and Jay-Z are OK then

The first couple of pop music took the world by surprise by dropping their first album together last..

The first couple of pop music took the world by surprise by dropping their first album together last weekend. As you'd expect, it's a statement.

There is arguably no couple better at controlling their own press than Beyonce and Jay-Z. When a video surfaced in 2014 showing Bey's younger sister Solange attacking her brother-in-law in an elevator, rumours of a strained marriage proliferated.

Rather than battle the tabloids, the spouses used the gossip to fuel the creation of two critically beloved, commercially successful records: Beyonce's Lemonade and Jay-Z's 4:44. And, in them, they offered just as many details about their private lives as they chose.

Beyonce and Jay-Z on stage in France for the 2014 On the Run tour.

Photo: Rob Hoffman

Now the couple have continued their domination of pop music, surprising the world last Saturday by releasing their joint album Everything Is Love, which is something of a sequel to those two solo records. Though they have collaborated for at least 15 years, this marks their first joint album, which they dropped under the name The Carters.

The record is a victory lap from a couple who have mined their relationship for universal truths and then presented them as art. It's a fierce love letter to success, to family, to blackness – but, most of all, to each other.

Artwork for the album Everything is Love by The Carters, aka Beyonce and Jay-Z.

Photo: Karl Quinn

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Lyrically, it primarily focuses on two aspects of the Carters' lives: their marriage and their success. (more…)

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Rachel Griffiths: female characters are finally getting real on screen

Almost a year into the #MeToo era, Rachel Griffiths believes the likes of Mystery Road, Wentworth, P..

Almost a year into the #MeToo era, Rachel Griffiths believes the likes of Mystery Road, Wentworth, Picnic at Hanging Rock and Top of the Lake show that female characters are finally coming of age on Australian screens.

In a spirited speech at the launch of a new state government scheme to support more women directors in television, the actor-turned-director said it was exciting to see female characters move beyond "the typical tropes of 'likable, f—able, adorable'" to "more complex depictions of female experience" recently.

Happy to see "more complex depictions of female experience": Rachel Griffiths (left) with Leah Purcell at the launch of #SheDirects.

Photo: Louie Douvis

While she acknowledged there were male directors who created fresh and compelling women characters, Griffiths said the "male gaze" often reduced them to colouring the characters of their male counterparts.

"[They are created to] make him hot, make him authentic, make him empathetic, make him fatherly, make him conflicted, make him grieve," she said. "In the male gaze, we are so often not the gatekeepers; we're not the ferryman. Sometimes the mentor but usually only ironically, like Judi Dench's M…

"Under-written and under-observed, brought into our sexual awareness precociously and prepubescent in order to accommodate the male libido.

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"Often in television we're used by lazy writers and producers who can think of nothing more interesting this week than 'let's have her have sex with X' or 'discover she's a lesbian – for an episode'."

Griffiths, who is about to begin editing the Melbourne Cup drama Ride Like A Girl after finishing the shoot, endorsed Hollywood star Sandra Bullock's recent comment that it was time for women to "stop being polite" about gender equality. (more…)

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Rachel Maddow breaks down on air over Trump immigration policy

US television host Rachel Maddow has broken down on live air as she delivered the latest development..

US television host Rachel Maddow has broken down on live air as she delivered the latest developments in the Trump administration's controversial "zero tolerance" immigration policy.

Maddow, who hosts her own show on MSNBC, was reading from a breaking news release from the Associated Press that revealed government officials have been sending babies and toddlers to what are being called "tender age" shelters in the US.

The youngsters are some of the 2,300 children who have been forcibly separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border since the White House announced a zero-tolerance policy on migrant families in May.

"The AP has just broken some new news," Maddow started.

"Um, this has just come out from the Associated Press, this is incredible. Trump administration have been sending babies and other young children – oh, hold on," she said, her voice breaking.

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Maddow attempted to get through the breaking news piece one more time before moving the show over to a guest. "To at least three – three tender age shelters in South Texas. Lawyers and medical providers… I think I'm going to have to hand this off. Sorry."

Maddow took to Twitter shortly after the segment aired to say sorry to her viewers. "Again, I apologise for losing it there for a moment," she wrote. "Not the way I intended that to go, not by a mile."

She also tweeted out what she had been trying to say in her live read, writing out what was presented in the AP story. "Lawyers and medical providers who have visited the "tender age" shelters described play rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis…" she wrote.

"Decades after the nations child welfare system ended the use of orphanages over concerns about the lasting trauma to children, the administration is standing up new institutions to hold Central American toddlers that the government separated from their parents." (more…)

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