• BJ Barretta is a digital video creator and strategist responsible for over 1,700,000,000 social video views

     

  • What BJ looks like

    About BJ

    I develop digital content and strategies that find and grow audiences. My diverse experience is the result of technology evolving and platforms emerging while I grew as a storyteller. I always took advantage of the newest tools and methods available to find the biggest audiences.

     

    Today, I'm finding those big audiences for Good Media Group (Upworthy and GOOD) as Head of Video. My expertise in emotive storytelling has grown our video audience as well as helped dozens of Fortune 500 companies win the war for attention and connect with consumers on a deep, memorable, and emotional level. Prior to GMG, I was a producer at Discovery Communications where I developed and produced digital original content spun off of tentpole television programming that included Shark Week and Whale Wars.

     

    What BJ Offers

    • Social Video Strategy and Optimization: Provided consultation to Starbucks, Facebook, and YouTube to refine and optimize their social storytelling.
    • Social Channel Development and Programming: Developed, produced, and programmed a 420 million view YouTube channel for Discovery; Increased Upworthy's monthly video audience by 47% in 2018, earning over 1 billion views in 10 months, despite January's algorithm change and significant staff and resource cuts; Launched Upworthy's Watch page, Upworthy Presents.
    • Branded Video "Pitch-to-Published" Expertise as a Creative Director and Executive Producer: Helped establish Upworthy's brand video studio. Upworthy brand studio projects for Fortune 500 clients have earned 20 industry awards and recognitions. Upworthy had the 22nd most branded video views on all of Facebook in 2017, ranking in the top .01% of all publishers. In 2016, Upworthy had the most watched branded Facebook video for November.
    • Mixed Media Development and Production: Wrote pitch that got Discovery Communications' first interactive documentary greenlit, Whale Wars: Blood and Water. Was also a producer and editor on the immersive, mixed media project that won two Webby Awards, a National Gold Addy, and was an Interactive Emmy finalist.
    • Communications: For five years managed an award-winning mixed media team for a strategic communications group in the United States Intelligence Community, communicating critical information across multiple channels and mediums to over 80,000 cleared personnel.  
    • Broadcast Video Production: Produced season 6 of DIY Network's I Want That; produced and directed an independent documentary that was broadcast on PBS member stations and is now available on iTunes and Amazon; was a producer for TLC's Toddler Bowl; edited for the CBS Evening News and CBS This Morning; shot video for HGTV's National Open House.

  • Selected Video Work

    Reflections Episode 1: Caroline

    Creative Director + Executive Producer

    Client: L'Oreal (Cynopsis, Digiday, and Telly Award recognized)

    Fill My Basket

    Creative Director + Executive Producer

    Client: Cricket Wireless (most viewed branded Facebook video for Nov 2016, Shorty Award and Cynopsis recognized)

    Love Has No Labels 2016

    Creative Director + Executive Producer

    Client: Ad Council

    Robin Hood Heroes: Moawia

    Creative Director + Executive Producer

    Client: Robin Hood Foundation (2017 Webby winner)

    Five Fundamentals of Social Change Videos

    Executive Producer

    Client: YouTube (This video was a main feature on client's Webby-winning website)

    #DoinGood: Alison Stroming

    Creative Director + Executive Producer

    Client: Minute Maid (PromaxBDA and Telly Award recognized)

    Moringa

    Creative Director + Executive Producer

    International mini doc funded by a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant

    Verizon Social Justice: StreetChange

    Creative Director + Executive Producer

    Client: Verizon (Shorty Award recognized)

    Because We're All Part of the Same Story

    Writer/Producer

    Upworthy Marketing Animation

    Parenting 2.0 Pilot

    Development Producer

    Upworthy Original Series

    Whale Wars: Final Confrontation

    Producer/Editor

    Video supporting 2013 Whale Wars television special and interactive documentary, Blood and Water (Emmy, Webby, Addy, and PromaxBDA recognized)

    Producer Sizzle

  • Credits

    Digital (producer/editor)

    Whale Wars, Shark Week, Deadliest Catch, River Monsters, Through the Wormhole, Alaska: The Last Frontier, Next Great Baker, Big Giant Swords, Call of the Wildman, Everest Jump Live

     

    Digital (branded content executive producer)

    Starbucks, L'Oreal, The CW, Facebook, Paramount Pictures, YouTube, Quaker, State Farm, TD Ameritrade, Capital One, Cricket Wireless, Verizon, Westin, Hallmark, Whirlpool, REI, Dick's Sporting Goods, Dignity Health, Cigna, Johnson & Johnson, Ancestry.com, Minute Maid, Ford, Subaru, SoCal Honda, Pratt & Whitney, Nature Valley, Old Navy, Hasbro, Kroger, Barilla, Northwestern Mutual, Red Robin, Truvia, Extra Gum, Hershey's, Maxwell House, New Orleans Tourism, Disabled American Veterans, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Robin Hood Foundation, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, Ad Council Love Has No Labels

     

    Television (producer)

    I Want That, TLC's Toddler Bowl, Surviving Death: A Paranormal Debate

     

    Television (editor)

    CBS Evening News, CBS This Morning

    Experience

    Head of Video

    Good Media Group (Upworthy)

    Jan 2018-present

     

    Executive Producer, Brand Video

    Good Media Group (Upworthy)

    Oct 2015-present

     

    Senior Lecturer, Video Production

    University of the Arts, Philadelphia

    Spring 2017 semester

     

    Adjunct Professor, History of Film

    Northern Virginia Community College

    Sep 2013-Dec 2015

     

    Producer/Editor

    Discovery Communications 

    Sep 2013-Aug 2014 /May-July 2015

     

    Series Producer

    DIY Network’s I Want That, season 6

    Sep 2014-May 2015

     

    Producer/Editor

    Discovery Digital Networks

    Apr-Sep 2013

     

    Editor 

    CBS News, Washington Bureau

    Dec 2012 - March 2013

     

    Producer/Director

    Surviving Death: A Paranormal Debate 

    short documentary

    2012

     

    Media Team Lead/Video Specialist

    ManTech

    Aug 2004-Aug 2006 /Sep 2007-Sep 2012

     

    Station Manager

    FCTV, Falmouth, MA

    Sep 2006-July 2007

     

    Special Agent, Dept. of Defense

    Defense Security Service 

    June 2002-Aug 2003

    AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

    • 2018 PromaxBDA North America Gold: Long Form Branded Content (project: re:imagineATL, an Upworthy collaboration with State Farm)
    • 2018 PromaxBDA Global Nominee Bronze: Long Form Branded Content (project: re:imagineATL, an Upworthy collaboration with State Farm)
    • 2018 PromaxBDA North America Nominee: Social Media/ Mobile-Based Promotional Digital Video Video (project:  Alison Stroming, an Upworthy collaboration with Minute Maid)
    • 2018 Cynopsis Social Good Award Winner: Branded Social Media Campaign (project: Dermablend Reflections, an Upworthy collaboration with L'Oreal)
    • 2x 2018 Cynopsis Social Good Award Finalist: Branded Campaign for a Digital, Broadcast or Cable TV Series and Branded Social Media Campaign (project: Dermablend Reflections, an Upworthy collaboration with L'Oreal)
    • 2018 Telly Award Gold: Branded Content Social Campaign  (project: Dermablend Reflections, an Upworthy collaboration with L'Oreal)
    • 2018 Telly Award Bronze: Social Video Series, Food & Beverage (project: #Doingood, an Upworthy collaboration with Minute Maid)
    • 2018 Telly Award Bronze: Branded Content Campaign, Social Responsibility (project: Upworthy's collaboration with State Farm)
    • 2018 Shorty Award Best Branded Series Winner: Audience Honor and Bronze (project: Upstanders, an Upworthy collaboration with Starbucks)
    • 2018 CINE Golden Eagle Finalist (project: One Time in New Orleans, an Upworthy Collaboration with New Orleans Tourism)
    • Fast Company 2018 World Changing Ideas Awards Finalist  (project: Upstanders, an Upworthy collaboration with Starbucks)
    • 2018 Digiday Award Nominee: Best Branded Content Program (project: Dermablend Reflections, an Upworthy collaboration with L'Oreal)
    • 2018 Cynopsis Film Festival: 3rd Place, Single Entry Branded Content/Content Marketing (project: Fill My Basket, an Upworthy collaboration with Cricket Wireless)
    • 2017 Webby Award
      (project: Robin Hood Heroes: Moawia, an Upworthy collaboration with The Robin Hood Foundation)
    • 2017 Digiday Award: Upworthy named best video publisher partner for brands
    • 2017 Tubular Labs: Upworthy named #VideoAce for Brand Partner Facebook Video (146.9MM views and in top .01% of all publishers)
    • 2017 Brandtale Best of the Week: Starbucks Upstanders
    • 2017 Shorty Social Good Awards Finalist: Video (project: Fill My Basket, an Upworthy collaboration with Cricket Wireless)
    • 2017 Shorty Social Good Awards Finalist: Social Justice (project: Street Change, an Upworthy collaboration with Verizon)
    • 2016 - Produced most watched Facebook branded video for November
    • 2014 Webby Award 
      (project: Whale Wars Blood and Water)
    • 2014 Webby People's Voice 
      (project: Whale Wars Blood and Water)
    • 2014 Interactive Media Emmy Finalist: User Experience and Visual Design (project: Whale Wars Blood and Water)
    • 2014 National Gold ADDY Award 
      (project: Whale Wars Blood and Water)
    • 2014 PromaxBDA North America Silver: Program Promotion Website (project: Whale Wars Blood and Water)
    • 2014 - Official Selection: New Filmmakers New York Spring Series
    • 2013 - Official Selection: The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival
    • 2013 - Produced 3rd most and 5th most-watched  Discovery Digital Networks videos
    • IADAS Member