Meet Our Team: Mark Brodhuber, Video Content Specialist
Mark Brodhuber is one of Envato’s longest-serving employees. He’s also the leader of our VideoHive quality team. Read on to find out how he stays up-to-date with industry trends and his top advice for video authors.
I love it when Authors think outside the box and bring unique perspectives to emerging trends!
Mark Brodhuber Video Content Specialist, Envato
Tell us about yourself.
I’m a bit of a jack of all trades master of none! I tend to find new interests pretty frequently, and then obsess over them until I’m competent enough to hold my own. I’ve never really spent years mastering any one skill. That being said, I’ve always been passionate about video production, editing, and design.
When I found Envato, I was trying to improve in Motion Graphics, 3D, and thinking about changing focus to web development.
How did you get started with Envato?
I can attribute my entire Envato career to an older web platform called StumbleUpon. The tool must have brought me to FlashDen 3 or 4 times before I decided to stick around and dig a little deeper, but I’m sure glad it was persistent.
Back then, Envato went by Eden and the only site that was live was FlashDen. Video was just a category containing really barebones animations that were meant to be used in Flash templates and I got my start with the company as one of the first video authors, spending too much time on the forums and pestering Collis and early staff.
My official start date is still a bit fuzzy, but I’ve been working at the company in some capacity for about 15-16 years.
Describe your role at Envato. What do you do day to day?
I wear a lot of hats, and my day to day tends to vary wildly depending on the quarter and whatever my main focus is at the time. At a high level, the Content Specialists are responsible for overseeing both Market & Elements catalogs. We help to set quality standards, and train & calibrate review teams.
We also act in an consulting capacity for the rest of the business. Whenever other teams need to work in one of our areas, they’ll loop us into the mix. We provide value by providing industry context, category-specific advice, and detail around Author & customer perspectives.
We’ve also been with the company long enough that we’re also able to provide historical context around past decisions, which can be incredibly valuable when trying to consider future plans.
Above: Some items from Mark’s favourite Authors.
What or who inspires you?
At the moment, I’ve become a bit obsessed with AI image and video generation. It unlocks so many creative possibilities, and I’ve been loving settling down with a warm cup of coffee and losing track of time while I play around and try to come up with unique compositions.
There’s so many different ways to approach different goals, and the industry is moving so rapidly, new features and workflows are being released so fast I can’t stay on top of it all. It’s overwhelming, but also incredibly inspiring at the same time.
In the video industry specifically, two people that I’ve followed closely for inspiration were Ian Hubert and Beeple. I’ve also recently gone down the generative art rabbit hole. I have been blown away by work from Tyler Hobbs, Zach Lieberman, and Lulu xXX.
How do you keep up to date with the latest trends in your industry?
I set aside some time each month to do some research and just try to keep up with emerging themes across the industry.
YouTube and a number of design/mograph blogs are great for a high level perspective. I usually spend a few minutes browsing networks like Dribbble, Artstation, and Behance every day, and aggregation tools like Muzli is also super helpful!
Advice to Video Authors
What trends in the design industry do you think video Authors should keep an eye on?
At any given time, the industry seems to always have one specific version of ‘retro’ that’s being used everywhere. The last few years have been dominated by 80s themed shows, fashion, design and animation.
It seems logical that as the 80s trend fades, the retro movement is heading into the 90s. It’s not necessarily new or emergent, but it does feel like it’s gained a lot of traction in recent months. It’s nice seeing work that takes the 90s aesthetic but elevated by blending more modern design practices.
Over the last few years, Stock Footage & Photos have both transitioned away from the generic ‘stock’ look. Customers have been seeking much more authentic imagery. To suceed in this, images need to appear genuine, models/talent need to be believable, scenes should feel candid, and the look of the shots need to feel professional and should not come across staged.
We’re now seeing Music following a similar trajectory, where tracks should almost feel like they were pulled right out of an artist’s album, or easy to imagine hearing a song playing on the radio or used in a film/TV score. The inclusion of vocals really help to sell this approach.
For both stock footage & photos, authenticity started out as a growing trend but has quickly become the default standard. I’m expecting the same thing to happen in stock music over the next year or two, so it’s important for audio Authors to keep this in mind.
Augmented or virtual reality
Apple also just threw their hat into the AR/VR ring, along with Meta and a few other larger companies. As these devices become more approachable and available, I’m expecting to see a rapidly growing demand around AR/VR-ready content.
AI image and video generation can unlock so many creative possibilities!
Mark Brodhuber Video Content Specialist, Envato
What makes a video item great?
The two most important metrics that differentiate between a good item and a great item are design quality and user experience.
Because of the way we’ve structured and consistently increased our quality standards over the years, I believe all of our video items are actually very high quality.
So when the technical aspect is consistently high, design and visual aesthetics are going to be the factor that sets great video templates apart from the rest. I like when Authors think outside the box and bring unique perspectives to emerging trends.
You also want to strive for a finish level that would be indistinguishable from professional motion graphics that you’d expect to see in broadcast.
The second critical component of a great video item is usability. Customers want high quality video content, but the value for them shrinks rapidly if that content is incredibly difficult to use or customize. Thankfully, we’ve had pretty strict guidelines in place since the beginning of VideoHive so we won’t have any video items that are impossible to use .
That being said, customers still appreciate when it’s clear that a lot of effort has been put into planning file structure, and building templates in a way where customization is effortless.
I follow so many of our talented video Authors, it would be difficult to name all of them. But the following Authors all produce high quality, work that always takes the design, aesthetics and usability to the next level.
What advice do you have for video Authors who are new to Envato? How can they make sure their items are accepted?
One of the biggest pieces of advice I’d give to new video Authors would be to take their time. That, and to focus on quality over quantity.
Many categories across the stock industry require a great deal of volume for consistent income. However, video templates are unique. It’s not uncommon to see a new Author drop one or two game-changing templates that sell incredibly well and have staying power. Of course, Authors should focus on growing the number of items in their portfolio slowly, over time.
It really just takes one outstanding item to put a new Author on the map.
Mark Brodhuber Video Content Specialist, Envato
Mark’s advice to new Authors: Spend some time browsing through VideoHive and Elements.
- Sort by
Popular, then filter to show items that were published in the last month or year. That helps you can get a feel for recent content that has been well received.
- Then, switch the sorting to
New, and spend time digging deep to get a feel for trends that we’re seeing across the community. Spend time looking at traditional media to get a feel for the styles and themes that are trending. Look at the current trends in in video, mograph, and design in general.
It’s important to focus on themes and styles that customers are seeking out at any given time. But the issue with designing around popular trends is that many Authors will be releasing similarly themed or styled items around the same time.
It’s also just as important to focus on putting your own spin on things, and try to bring something completely new or different to the table.
What advice would you give Authors whose items are rejected?
For video templates and motion graphics
One of the most common issues is that submissions may be a bit too derivative. Containing visual elements that are already abundant in the library, and the new submissions fail to bring anything new to the table. Advice from above applies here.
For stock footage
It really boils down to fundamentals. There’s a number of common rejection reasons that we see all the time – often enough that we created some videos to demonstrate the common issues and how to avoid them. But if I was going to name one of the most common issues in this space, I would go with a lack of stability and control.
So many incredible shots get submitted by our Authors that would be accepted immediately if the shot was just more stable. I realize bulky stabilization equipment may not be practical in every situation, especially not when you’re shooting on location. I would always advise Authors to use some sort of basic stabilization.
Monopods are a bit easier to move with, and offer quick and basic stabilization, and there’s also a large and growing number of pretty affordable handheld gimbals that do a great job of reducing jitter and too much visible movement.
Need more advice on what to do when your items get rejected?
Check out our dedicated Envato Reveals article!
Shoutout more video Authors that you love!
The list of Authors that I love is pretty exhaustive, and many of the Authors I named above would carry over here. But since I have the space to name some others, I’ll take advantage of it!
I have to stop here because I can go on for quite a while otherwise. There really are just so many incredible Authors!
Anything else you want to tell our Author community?
I want to thank everyone for being a part of this community and sticking with us for all this time.
When VideoHive first opened its doors, we had no way of knowing how well it would be received by customers. We also had no idea if Authors would be interested in participating. So many other notable companies had been established in the video space for so long, and we were brand new.
The incredible progress we’ve made over the years simply would not be possible without the support from our Authors. I genuinely believe that our Authors are the lifeblood of Envato. I really appreciate so many talented people joining us for the ride.
Meet Our Team: Tyson Frantz
Loved this article and want to get to know more members of Team Envato?
Check out our interview with Senior VideoHive Reviewer Tyson Frantz.