The film crew, which included four other personnel operating cameras and moving lights, soon decided it would be easier to shoot inside the tank, and Copson climbed into the rusted Mark I and proceeded to record a segment in which the stern Discussion of circumstances was included. The crew would have experienced that inside the tank.
“You really have to admire the bravery and tenacity of those who worked in these circumstances,” he said.
The popularity of the museum’s videos has given the presenters a taste of the influential lives – both positive and negative. Curator Wiley said he sometimes gets requests for selfies or autographs. Less fascinatingly, he said, “Russian bots” appeared to target the museum’s clip on the use of tanks in Ukraine, spamming the video with negative comments.
At a time when many museums in Britain are struggling to cope with inflation and falling government subsidies, Wynes said the YouTube clips have proven to be a financial boon. Last year, the museum earned about a third of its revenue online, he said, including from viewers paying for early access to clips and merchandise sales from the online store. Some of that approximately $2.5 million in online income was used to hire Copson as a full-time presenter, as well as Paul Famojuro, a former guide. Museum’s TikTok Channel, It also went toward publishing old-school tank history books, Wyness said.
Wiley said that, thanks to YouTube, he is educating more people about tanks than he ever expected. But, ultimately, he wanted more people through the museum doors. “As a museum person,” he said, “what I love most is the amazement on people’s faces when they come for the first time, stand in front of a tank and say, ‘Look how big this is. Have!'” This was his reaction, he said, “to his first visit to Bovington, at the age of 6, more than half a century ago.”