"Listen up, hater!"

YouTube is hardly the perfect platform for a traditional, narrative filmmaker. Most scripted projects get buried by the daily video blogs and Epic Meal Times of the world.

It’s an awesome place for “video snacks” and shows that can be made on an assembly-line every week.  But for those of us who like to create content with a touch of, dare I say… artistic value, it can be a long, frustrating road.

A Solution.

There is a way around this, however, as my pals at Wong Fu Productions have proven.  You first build an audience making the video blogs and spectacle pieces, then turn around and deliver an actual story.  Wong Fu are the only YouTube filmmakers I know who can pull 7-figure views with a drama, and they’ve done so using this method.  They’re among my favorite and most inspiring YouTube creators because they so well balance viral-type content with their own artistic integrity.

On a smaller scale, I’ve had success doing this myself, building up the numbers with The Fuplers and other viral types, then delivering something more substantial with 8 Dates.

Of course, this method certainly isn’t easy, and if you’re a true writer type, you’ll most likely vomit at the thought of video-blogging or mass producing disposable content.  I’ve struggled with this ever since I got on YouTube, resisting the model of  “create, rinse and repeat 1,000 times”.

YouTube NextUp

by Matt Koval

Imagine a fully grown man sitting on the floor of his dining room, wearing a blonde wig with pig-tails. It’s a hot summer night, and he’s sweating through his costume.  He’s alone and frustrated.  Things aren’t going well.  There’s too much to do and not enough help.  Not any help.

He begins to ask himself questions.  “What am I doing?”  “Is this going to amount to anything?”  “Am I just a complete idiot?”  “Am I irresponsible for thinking there might be some career benefit to doing this?”

The minutes pass.  The ceiling fan whirs overhead.  The man considers the alternative — quitting.  He takes a deep breath, then gets up and turns the lights back on.  Then the video camera….

Yep, that’s been me.  On more than one occasion.  As other YouTubers know, making video content can be a lonely experience, and one that takes a lot of courage.  The end results are rarely visible, especially in the beginning.  But if you keep following your heart through the fog, if you trust your ability, if you keep doing what you’re most passionate about and don’t quit… a strange thing can happen.

You can be rewarded.


Thanks so much to those who voted for me in the YouTube NextUp program. I was selected, and will be heading to New York at the end of the month. Funding is to arrive shortly thereafter… along with a lot more Koval internet flicks. :)