Media representation has never been more democratized. Pre-teens having grown up watching their favourite internet stars, dream of having their own YouTube channels and becoming the next notable influencer. People from around the world are joining online trends that range from wacky challenges to ironic cross-overs. From artful dance videos, to homemade animations and beautiful short films — online media platforms have allowed video creativity to flow free.
So what does being a creator mean today?
You have a unique perspective
The beauty of the internet, and what I truly believe is the most powerful thing about it, is the access to view so many different ways of being. Marginalized people from different walks of life and experiences, can create content and tell their own stories without being filtered or swayed by traditional media companies. The internet doesn’t just have ONE kind of story or way of being (much like the majority of today’s Hollywood movies).
Online creators have full control of what they put out there and how they want to be represented. Your perspective, who you are, and the context in which you come from, are a large part of what makes you a successful creator.
You wear many hats
Whether you started out in the spotlight, behind the camera, or anywhere in between, creators are well versed in different skills. Honing in on certain areas by being hands-on, modern creators learn how to edit video through tutorials, design their own graphics by learning photoshop and even create their own music tracks. It helps to learn a little bit of everything, even if you have your own video team. The modern creator wants to know it all.
16-year-old Ton Do-Nguyen from Pennsylvania, can post his insanely accurate dance rendition of Beyonce’s “Countdown” in a snuggie and go viral. His expression of self, attention to detail and dedication of months and months of editing is celebrated and watched by millions of people around the world. He even gets a shout-out from Queen B herself.
You NEED to express yourself
You have opinions. You need to share them. Whether you’re directing talent or hosting your own vlog, you want to show the world your point of view. Showing off cool skills, sharing your political views or writing comedy skits about your niche community, lets people to connect to you, as well as bond as a larger online community. You value knowledge, humour, or both and know it’s the best way to engage with the people of the interwebs.
Vimeo Staff Picks is my favourite place to watch short films from around the world. Whether it’s animation or festival films, it’s always a source of creative inspiration from different voices.
You’re a self-starter
We all know that the key to success is consistency. Creators need to produce content on a regular basis and keep creating! Finding inspiration from other kinds of media, discovering your niche and engaging with your audience is a full-time commitment. Filmmakers and music video producers can take months in pre-production to presenting the finished product. Posting consistent YouTube and Instagram videos, help with your algorithms to attract the right kind followers. Creators today are DEDICATED, and are always finding new ways of making their work stand out.
If you haven’t heard of the Futur, you need to sign up immediately for their Academy. Lessons on fostering your creativity while being business savvy is their game. Chris Do is full of useful knowledge for today’s self-made creator.
Needless to say, internet culture is a marvelous thing. It’s ever-changing with a million voices and viral memes. There isn’t a formula or any way of knowing what will become popular or “break the internet”. Creators know what’s up. They have the pulse on the latest challenges, contribute to the conversations and are a part of the “tipping point” in what makes things viral. Without creators, internet and media trends wouldn’t take off. Subcultures and communities would never see the light of the day to become normalized as the next cool thing in mainstream media. Creators are what makes today’s digital age on-trend.