NKU student's YouTube video goes viral, wins international video competition

CALIFORNIA, Ky. - A Northern Kentucky University student is receiving international recognition for a video that's going viral.

After Douglas Gautraud entered his YouTube video in the My Rode Reel film contest by Rode Microphones, he earned about 400,000 views in a single day.

The 24-year-old NKU junior later won the People's Choice award in the competition. His film is currently approaching more than 1.5 million views on YouTube.

"I think it resonated the way it did because the fundamental lesson, 'It's better to give than receive,' came from Jesus," the California, Kentucky resident said. "No matter what you believe... those are some of the most influential words in history. They can resonate even in a five-minute YouTube video."

In three months, the My Rode Reel contest saw 1,120 entries from 76 countries. Of these, Gautrad’s film garnered around 15,000 votes by July 23, he said.

The video, titled "My Mom's Motorcycle, " tells the story of Gautraud's late grandfathers, his attempt to be connected to them through buying and riding a motorcycle and his realization that his grandparents' legacy is more than the objects they left.

At the end of the video, Gautraud's mother buys the motorcycle from him.

"It was such a strange thing for my mom to do," Gautraud said. "And I thought it was so cool for her to show me love in that way."

One of the themes in the video is the human tendency to use inanimate objects to connect to people, times and ideas, Gautraud said.

He used objects his grandfathers left behind in their offices and drawers to sketch a picture of each family member.

"I wanted people to know that my grandpa Roessler was a tinkerer and fixed things for himself," Gautrad said. "With my other grandpa, I wanted people to know that he cared about doing things well."

Gautraud said the film was relatable because many people like to feel proud of their older relatives.

"We love to love those who came before us," he said.

Gautraud had been writing the story for the film on-and-off for about a year and began filming when he heard about the competition.

He found out at 10 p.m. Sunday that he had won a prize that included 44 pieces of equipment, which he hopes will help him improve his video quality.

He has already received requests to film short videos for businesses, charities and startups in his own style, Gautraud said.

"Some are just 'You make videos people like, I want you to do that for me,'" Gautraud said. "It's a good feeling."

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