Stories by LIM MAY LEE
YOUTUBE is such an instrumental part of our lives that it’s hard to imagine that the video sharing site is only nine years old. While most of us use YouTube to watch everything, from hair-curling techniques (well, I do anyway!) to cat videos and THAT Emma Stone lip-sync battle with Jimmy Fallon, many netizens use this video platform as a mode of self-expression.
The constantly-evolving landscape of the Internet means that most of those who have become successful via social media, made it though trial and error. There are no textbooks for success here (or is there?).
Two local YouTubers who’ve become pretty much omnipresent are Joseph Germani from Germani Productions, and Faiq Syazwan Kuhiri from PopTeeVee, both of whom spoke at the Google Spotlights Malaysia’s Digital Content Creators workshop last week.
Germani, a short film producer who recently debuted his first music video, Monchichi, revealed that he had to learn everything from scratch – from writing scripts to video editing (which he did online, of course). It took him a while, considering his degree was in interior design. “I also had to buy a camera, which costs a lot of money!” he said, indicating that budget is a common stumbling block.
However, all the effort and investment has paid off. “I got a job with Volkswagon,” he shared, adding that it was an opportunity he didn’t know could even exist. The job was a three-part YouTube video campaign for the Volkswagon Beetle, in collaboration with another local video production team, GRIMFILM. “I thought I was going to just make YouTube videos for people to watch, but now there are brands funding us and keeping the local YouTube scene active,” Germani said.
“It’s easy to start a Youtube presence,” said Germani, whose Monchichi video has garnered more than 500,000 views since it was first posted two months ago. “YouTube is unlimited, and its platform is so open, that it’s a great place for creative stuff to happen.”
Faiq concurs. “YouTube is great for experimentation,” he said. Faiq is part of the duo that makes up That Effing Show, a political satire, local happenings and cultural video series all rolled into one.
“When we started four years ago, we didn’t know what to expect from the audience,” Faiq shared. “There wasn’t a lot of local YouTube content back then.” He recommends keeping things fresh and local to keep the audience coming back for more.
Of course, with great Internet activity comes nasty comments. “Some of the things people say can hurt your feelings a little bit!” said Faiq with a laugh. “But it’s great because you can immediately gauge how the audience reacts to your videos.”