Today is day 4 of the challenge I started Monday. For you to find three new filmmakers to follow and learn from and/or be inspired by. I suggested to pick three filmmakers who are part of what I call the New, New Hollywood—original content creators taking advantage of online media to do what every filmmaker dreams of: make a living producing original films that millions of people watch. This week I’m offering up three of my own suggestions. You don’t have to go with mine, you can find your own. But if you’re too lazy or have no time to find your own, these three are great. First was Wong Fu Productions. Yesterday I suggested Matt Koval. Today I offer up Julian Smith.
Many of you may already know him as the brain child behind the viral sensation “25 Things I Hate About Facebook” that was big a couple of years ago. (It got him on the Tyra Banks Show as well as a personal invite to Facebook HQ). Since then, Julian has continued to produce original content that is creative and freaking hilarious. In the 4-1/2 years since joining YouTube, he has garnered an impressive 100+ million views and he is the #19 Most Subscribed (All Time) YouTube Directors. In honor of his aforementioned Facebook sketch, I offer you “The 25 Things I Love About Julian Smith.”
- 25. His creative writing.
- 24. Clean humor. (He’s yet another comedian that proves you don’t have to use a bunch of four-letter words or sexually explicit content to make people laugh or generate a huge following.)
- 23. He’s a musician who writes his own music that he sells on iTunes. (Titles below with * after them are music videos of his songs.)
- 23. High production value relative to traditional YouTube content. In fact, of all the YouTubers I follow, his series of sketches have the highest level of production value in terms of cinematography, color grading, direction, scope, and acting.
- 22. “You In Five Minutes“
- 21. “uMove“
- 20. “Trees Hate You“
- 19. “Red Eye Flashes Twice” *
- 18. “Racist Coffee” *
- 17. “Waffles“
- 16. “Rendezvous with You” *
- 15. “Truth“
- 14. “Jellyfish“
- 13. “Rerun“
- 12. “Big Boy“
- 11. “Brag Call“
- 10. “Hot Koolaid“
- 9. “I’m Reading a Book” * (this could’ve been made for my beloved wife. 🙂
- 8. “Techno Jeep“
- 7. “Handbag“
- 6. “Got my Mac on with” *
- 5. “One Bad App“
- 4. “Malk” (“Sorry dad. My white friends.” Classic!)
- 3. “25 Things I Hate About Facebook“
- 2. “Pre-blessed Food” (Double pre-blessed!)
And the #1 reason I love Julian Smith: “He made these videos for me!”
Why You Should Follow Him
For a weekly dose of hilarious comedy and writing inspiration. He also creates behind the scenes every now and then. I strongly suggest reading his story.
The Moral of the Story
So there you have it. Three incredible filmmakers living the dream. None of these guys started out big. They were all just like you and me. They had a specific talent and worked hard to get their talent seen. I think the #1 lesson we can take away from all of them is consistency, consistency, consistency. This is where I know I (and probably many of you) fall short. I’m working on changing that though. Greatly inspired by artists like these, I’m shooting to up the amount of filmmaking I do. Even if it’s garbage, the act and discipline of just making them is what will pay off. And maybe you or I won’t become a YouTube sensation earning tens of thousands (or maybe even hundreds of thousands) of dollars in ad sales. Maybe we won’t get millions of views. But, if filmmaking is our passion, I believe the level of fulfillment we’ll gain will be reward enough.
Share with us whom you follow, or whom you started to follow.
Um… you, the Skit Guys, Asher Emmanuel and Trip Crosby. Embarrassingly Natalie Tran, but we don’t have to talk about that.
Shane Kerr says
Hey, I was about to suggest Natalie Tran just before GetYerPhil beat me to it.
Lots of fun. A neat concept in that she plays all the characters in her clips. Slightly more mature content though. So you have been warned.
amy van vechten says
hey Ron, good call. found julian via his “25 things i hate about facebook;” have kept somewhat of an eye on him since.
have you considered jack conte or pomplamoose in your “filmmakers to follow?”
the “video song” might be a fun meme to explore as part of your series…
thanks for an entertaining blog!
My 11 year old son and I just watched 8 of them… we couldn’t stop. Malk was hysterical! Thanks Ron.
Ron Dawson says
If you haven’t already watched it, my fave is “Pre-blessed Food.” You’ll love it Phil.
My kids, 10 and 13, are huge fans of Julian Smith. The rest of the family enjoys his videos as well 🙂
fresh, clean, deeply funny