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.
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”.