So who am I? Well I’m a crazy guy who has a dream of being able to create content for a living!
My time making videos goes really far back, however I didn’t start YouTube until August of 2015. But I’m sure you want to hear more of my story than that.
Well I had to be around 7 and my dad had this digital camera that he one day let me play around with and take some photos with. Now this to me was the coolest thing ever. Before this I had no idea that you could take a photo on a camera and transfer it to a computer! Then of course go and ruin it with MS paint. Fast forward about a year or so, my parents had gotten me this little 2.1 megapixel digital camera to take photos and videos with. The thing about this camera that really stood out to me was the ability to take videos with it. I experimented with lots of different things, from things around our house to the great outdoors. The quality on these video was of course lacking. It shot 480p videos. But to me it was so fascinating that this camera was taking around 30 pictures per second and putting them together to make something that I could see happening right in front of me! After taking videos with that camera for a while I wanted to do different things with video.
I remember I was at a homeschool co-op and I saw a bunch of photos put together into a sequence and play them to music, and I was super curious how that worked. So I asked the woman who put the video together what she used to make something like that. She told me she used Windows Movie maker. So I went home and found the program on my old Windows XP machine and didn’t know what the heck this thing was or how to use it, so I started searching for tutorial videos on how to use this piece of software that was so daunting.
I quickly caught on to the software and how it worked and had begun creating picture slideshows and putting them to music. But I wanted to try something different. So I decided on day to take my little digital camera and a tripod my dad had in the basement and record myself playing ToonTown Online. I remember I spent around 45-50 minutes just recording. So I then took my newly created video and put it into Movie Maker only to find out that there was no audio. My little digital camera didn’t have a microphone on it. Because I didn’t want my video to be boring I sat down with a simple headset mic that I had and using the built in voice recording in Movie Maker I sat and narrated my entire ToonTown video.
Over the next two years or so I would take my little camera and film lots of things, from me doing stunts on my ramp with my bike to other games on my computer and then I proceeded to narrated those videos in Movie Maker.
When I was 10 we were attending a church and they were talking with my dad about expanding their media department. The church ended up buying a TriCaster Studio. This little device would change the way I looked at production forever. I remember we had someone come out to the church to help train people on how to use it. My dad of course was the main person who learned how to do it. Then he suggested I sit and learn too. He thought it would be excellent experience for me. Little did he know where I would be today. So I learned how to run the churches TriCaster. We had four robotic cameras that I would have to both control and switch between at the same time, as well as lower thirds we would have to trigger at certain moments. Now when I first got to try the TriCaster for the first time my first thought was ‘Oh my gosh! This is like editing four videos together but without having to edit them! The TriCaster does it all for you!’ My dad had to explain that yes that is one way to look at it however most people will still do lots of editing even on videos recorded off of video switchers. Right then and there he showed me the editing software that came built into the Tricaster. I was called Newtek Speed Edit. Now when I saw this I was so overwhelmed and shocked. I didn’t know how any of the functions worked, nor how complicated video editing could really be. I was so used to movie maker with one video at a time and some audio that I had recorded my self. In speed edit you could have several audio files and several video files and layer them together to do so much more with different videos!
After seeing all this I went home to see if Movie Maker could do the same thing. Much to my disappointment I could not. This led to my search for a video editing software that could do what I wanted to do.
My search landed me with a piece of software called Camtasia Studio. This looked really cool but Also very complicated. So I downloaded it and started watching tutorials on youtube. The only downside. Camtasia wouldn’t run on my little laptop that I could barely do my school on. Back to Movie Maker I went, disappointed and upset. A few years later and I have a new laptop. I have also started to volunteer at and attend the church I attend now. I am 14 and I met someone who would change my life forever. He saw the passion and desire to work in production and he invited me to start volunteering in the media team here. Under him I was able to learn so much about production. From timing on the slides you see on the screen, to professional video editing, Now this is where I had my first experience with an industry standard piece of software. It was Apple’s Final Cut Pro. When I first started working with it I found it very easy and simple to use. That made me want to use it more and more. Unfortunately it was and is Mac only. I only had a pc and was no where near being able to afford one. So I found myself at the church very often helping prep for Sunday services. I loved working on different videos. From recap videos of church events; like the picnic, the youth groups annual trip to moment, and more, to the announcement videos.
The next major thing that kept my interest growing in production was being introduced to a very special game and a start-up YouTuber. Both of these events happened around the same time in the summer of 2014. The game I started playing was, of course, Minecraft. Now this may not seem like it would have a significant affect on my desire to do production but it actually has and does play a huge role in content that I create today!
So I started watching this YouTuber that I heard of through a Netcast company called TWiT. To me they were the top of the line production. They had daily shows and they live streamed it all to their website with thousands of viewers per day! Shortly after I started watching the TWiT they introduced a new producer. His name was Chad Johnson, or OMGchad as he was known on the internet. When he first started at TWiT he also started his YouTube channel (OMGchad) where he would make weekly videos of, you guessed it, Minecraft. When I saw these videos I wanted to create the same thing. So to Google I went, searching for how to record your computer screen. I eventually found out that Camtasia Studio came with a screen recorder. I also had a new computer that was able to run it! So I downloaded it! Once I had it downloaded I started trying to record minecraft. This would work, but it caused my computer to be very slow. The videos it recorded were choppy and barely 720p. They would often be pixelated and the audio quality was shotty at best. But I was recording Minecraft videos! I was so excited! I started editing them with Camtasia as well. The downside was that during editing my computer would often lock up or in extreme cases just shutdown entirely from the stress of the program. But I still managed to create these videos. I had made a simply intro for myself, (which you can view here) the files for which I still have on my computer, I felt like I was the coolest person around!
After a while of recording these minecraft videos and having to deal with all the trouble they were causing I decided to stop making them. This was during a lull in my creative history. I still continued to volunteer at church, making videos and running things Sunday morning. But it eventually got repetitive. I still enjoyed doing it but I wanted to do something new.
In march of 2015 my next big breakthrough happened. I had heard of this platform called twitch, which allowed for people like me to livestream the games they were playing to people on the internet. This fascinated me a lot, so I asked my parents what they thought. They said that I could create an account and start streaming, so I did! My first stream was March 17th 2015. I was streaming Hearthstone: Heros of Warcraft. I remember at one point during the stream I had one person come to check out my stream and begin chatting with me. He left shortly after messing around with me in chat, but I still had one person that watched me! I was so excited!
I continued to livestream once or twice a week. I mainly streamed Hearthstone because it was the least taxing on my computer. I soon realized, however, that my laptop couldn’t really keep up with my streaming and I decided I needed an upgrade. So I saved some money and my dad and I drove to an electronics shop and purchased all the parts to my new pc!
When I got it all built and running the first thing I did was try streaming Minecraft, something I was never able to do on my laptop. It worked amazingly in a beautiful 1080p at 60 frames per second! I was so happy and overjoyed to have a computer that could accomplish all the tasks I wanted.
Now at this time I wanted to started editing videos on my new computer. I had heard of this new, or at least new to me, software called Adobe Premier Pro. The downside was that you could only try it for 30 days then you had to subscribe to the Creative Cloud which cost $50 per month, or just $20 per month for just on app instead of all the programs they offered. Being that I didn’t want to pay monthly I decided to keep creative new Adobe accounts so I could keep using this software for free, so every 30 days I would be making a new account on adobe using fake email addresses.
Now while having this software I tried using it several times and could never figure out how to use it. It looked a little bit like Final Cut, but the interface was very strange and daunting to me. Once again I turned to the internet for help. I learned basic functions of Premier and was able to edit sermons for the church with it, but I still wanted to learn how to use more of what the software had to offer.
Now at this point my mom had heard of a film school from a friend that her friend’s son has attended the school and that it changed his life forever. My mom and I decided to look into it a bit more and started to see if it was something I could see myself doing to further my education.
While researching information on the school we found out that they had a one week program where
you could go and try everything out to see if you liked it. My mom thought it would be a great idea. I agreed and we began to plan out the trip to Texas for the one week camp.
While I was at the school for the one week program I was able to have to opportunity to work on a short film with a group of three other individuals. The film, while not very good, was my first major project I had worked on in Adobe Premier Pro. Before then my experience and knowledge with it was very limited, but with the help of some of the people there I was able to pick up on Premier relatively well. But it was still a rough transition from Final Cut, with its simple user interface.
Now another thing that happened at the school during that one week camp I met my best friend. Who could that possibly be you may ask? Well, Jabous! He and I hit it off really well and we decided to stay in touch after we left the school. So about a month after I got home we started talking over Skype. It was during those conversations that he encouraged me to start my YouTube Channel!
That is how we are here today. If it hadn’t been for those events in my life. This page. My channels on Twitch and YouTube would not exists, or at least in the extent they do right now.