Sunday, June 7, 2015

His First Post: Long Arms

A while back, I teased about making a series on Youtube creator's first videos, and after what I can only assume is months, it's finally happening. I decided to ask my good-ish buddy Marc about his first video, as he alluded to it in the interview from last June (PLUG! PLUG! PLUG!), and a few exchanges later, I managed to get ahold of his earliest two videos, both of which were.... interesting, to say the least. (I'm not harshing your buzz, Marc, m'kay? I think we can both agree it was a rough time.) Also, sorry in advance for a lack of photos. Sure, it looks more like a college dissertation without pretty pictures everywhere, but hey, at least it's an AWESOME college dissertation, so stop complaining, my presumably angry readers!
[insert smooth segue into Marc's response]

My early moments into video creation stretch back several years. Lemme lay down some context, yo.

The year was 2008. One of the very few content creators I watched was The Angry Video Game Nerd. He was very much so an early inspiration, maybe not so much in characterization and personality, but more in the development of how the videos came along and transpired. He made the videos funny and entertaining, and that to me meant a lot. Being an entertainer alongside riffing on games that were generally considered to be awful was something undone and unseen at the time, and I think if you were to ask just about anybody they would say that James is the father of the modern video game reviewer. He had several years of uninterrupted stardom in his genre of filmmaking in the early days of YouTube, which was once again, a marvel.

Then came along the Nostalgia Critic. He had originally done a series of collaborations with the AVGN, ultimately leading up to a feigned slow motion battle royale between the two of them… and also a fellow called Captain S… but nobody cares about him anymore. Anyways, that was how I first saw the Nostalgia Critic and came across his website, ThatGuyWithTheGlasses (with the website domain now officially being registered as Channel Awesome).

Originally starting a YouTube channel, but then deciding to pull the plug on it due to several instances of copyright infringement (something that scarily mimics recent developments of YouTube), Doug Walker started his own website as a way to post his creations, and eventually added on additional content creators of different sorts, people who would review movies, comic books, anime, video games, music; you name it and it was probably on that website.

Seeing all of the nurturing talent on there struck some sort of inspiration I had never felt before. I was a freshman in college at the time, stranded in a dorm room with no kind of equipment or experience necessary to do anything in regards to content creation just quite yet. It wouldn’t be until the summer of 2009 when I was home from school (and had access to a camera and a computer that miraculously had Sony Vegas on it) that I would attempt at trying to make my own videos.


I was big into music at the time (I still am), and decided that I would try to make a series of videos on albums I thought were terrible. I think I was going to call it Can I Get An Amen!?. I don’t know why I was going to call it that, maybe because I assumed that my opinions were correct, and that I hypothetically wanted other people to say that I was absolutely 100% right in my opinions. Regardless, the name was terrible, at least in retrospect. Can’t even believe I’d think to call it that. I also remember BRIEFLY interacting with another group of content creators from the TGWTG community who wanted to make a website similar to it, with one of the people involved being the Necro Critic (anybody from the TGWTG forums probably remembers this guy). I think the plans were to call it GRUE, based off of some monster from an old school text-only game. I don’t think the project ever lifted off, which was probably for the better, especially with a name like that.
Anyways, after fidgeting around for a little bit, I somehow made a video about Nickelback’s album ‘The Black Horse’. I also somehow made the video without even talking about a single song from the album, instead deciding rather to criticize it for its album art and how Chad Kroeger sang. It was a mess of a video, and I quickly hung up the content creation game after feeling embarrassed as to how it turned out, but also for realizing that just because I had made a video, that there was no reason at all why I should have been recognized or been given any kind of fame. That was a huge mistake on my part in thinking that if I made a video I’d get instant fame, and because of that those feelings of wanting to make videos went buried for several years. It was also during this part of my life that time started to slow down. I went back to college, this time choosing to attend a local community college instead of the big university I went to freshman year. I think it was one of the better choices I made. I also got a job at a local retail store, and started to make a little money onside of going to school. Things were decent, but they were also pretty boring. I didn’t really have any kind of hobby, and that whole time I pretty much stopped going to TGWTG, and didn’t really watch anyone else’s videos. I didn’t want anything to do with content creation in general, because it had reminded me of my past failures, and that made me feel bad about myself.

But then Hidden Block came along. March 2013 proved to be a historic time in terms of content creation. Young up-and-comers like Brutalmoose and Yungtown were steadily gaining a fanbase, and decided to become involved in a group of fellow YouTubers after being pitched the idea by BalrogTheMaster. I think we all pretty much know the story, but it’s such an important aspect to note that SO MANY PEOPLE first started making videos because they were inspired by Hidden Block coming together.

And I was one of those people.

Within that first week of Hidden Block starting, I knew that I wanted to start making videos again. It wasn’t an easy decision, as self doubt and anxiety started to set in about making videos on the internet for a second time (I was so worried I’d be an embarrassment to myself again), but eventually that original inspiration wave that hit me when Channel Awesome started smacked me a second time, and I knew that I just had to give it a second chance… and I’m glad I did. After making seven ‘reviews’ and a handful of skits, I’ve gained five hundred  783 subscribers, which is something I never thought I’d ever be able to do. I also started a collaborative group channel with several of my friends called Item Box, and it’s yet again something I didn’t think was ever at all possible for me to accomplish or be a part of. It just goes to show that if you really strive to do something it’ll all work out, especially if it’s something you feel that you could do for the rest of your life.

And that, my friend, is the story of how I started making videos… twice.
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Thanks to Marc. If you haven't checked out his channel yet, check it out! He's an awesome content creator who needs a metric crapton more subscribers and is an all-around cool guy. He's also probably single, so ladies, get in line!
Side note: the post is a substitution for the monthly interviews I used to do. Fret not, though, for I already have two done and more coming!

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