This year’s YouTube FanFest creators open to the realities of being a YouTuber

YouTubers, content creators, vloggers, YouTube stars — no matter what you call them, they’re all personalities brought alive through videos on the popular online platform. Being a YouTuber is one of those new age career titles that have sprouted in the past decade, alongside social media influencers.

From the audience’s point of view, you see a snippet of the creator ’s day or a tutorial that usually runs 10 minutes or so. But behind the scenes, there’s more to it than just placing a camera in front of you. There’s lots of brainstorming, scriptwriting, filming and editing involved in the whole process of producing a single video.

To talk about what’s it really like to be a content creator, Young STAR got a chance to chat with some well-known and fast-rising YouTube stars last May 26 at YouTube FanFest (YTFF). Now in its fifth year, YTFF’s lineup included international favorites Alex Wassabi and Matt Steffanina with 15 homegrown creators like Ranz Kyle and Niana Guerrero, JaMill and ThatsBella.

Each creator’s story about launching their own video site varies — like how Hannah Kathleen produces her videos as a one-woman show, compared with Alex Wassabi’s team of creatives. With different filming setups, naturally, their everyday routines tend to be different.

Alex shares that a typical day for him consists of scriptwriting, coordinating with his camera guy, producers and a writer to get a video idea. “Once that’s finalized, we film for four or five hours. The editing process takes about eight hours, then you have one video. Then, you have to do it again the next day so… fun?”

Now in its fifth year, YouTube FanFest has been attended by over 200,000 fans across more than 40 events around the world. This year’s FanFest was held in Manila at the Mall Of Asia Arena last May 26.

Meanwhile, Hannah, a full-time student, attends school first. “After I go to school, I usually write my script, then set it up and film. My editing process is almost two days!” Alex and Hannah are different types of creators, but their effort in producing a video for their audience is the same. Hannah advises, “Expect that it’s a lot more work than it looks like. A lot of editing comes into play and brainstorming when it comes to ideas.”

In coming up with video content, we’ve gathered that authenticity plays a big role in the success of a creator’s brand. YouTube APAC head of Creator and Artist Development Marc Lefkowitz notes: “For creators to be successful, it’s really important to be authentic to the message you want to share. I would advise them to be themselves.”


“Everyone is on YouTube. If you feel like you want it, go ahead and do it. You just have to be very consistent. Don’t compare your journey to other creators though, because it’s not always the same.”


Actress Andrea Brillantes is not convinced that she should even play a character when filming their videos. She says: “Because I act for a living, bakit ako aarte sa YouTube? Gusto ko lang ipakita kung sino ako, because the next day I’ll act again on TV so when it comes to YouTube I just want to be me.”

With the rise of YouTube as a stable career platform, the motivations for succeeding as YouTubers can revolve around many things — monetization, brand deals and sponsorships probably edging out the art of creating just for the fun of it.

YTFF veteran Matt Steffanina has witnessed the growth of YouTube from a simple video site to a media platform since creating his first site in 2012. Comparing YouTube then and now, he shares, “Then, everybody was just doing YouTube as a hobby because we like to create videos. There were people doing it with no intention of making money just because of their passion. Now, it’s mostly still the same, there’s just an opportunity to make it an actual career and grow a business out of it.”

Who wouldn’t want to be a YouTuber? You’re self-employed with the freedom to control your own schedule and content. Plus, it can pay well. Nowadays, corporate sponsors target YouTubers as brand ambassadors to represent their companies. Alex Wassabi was able to buy his parents a house with his YouTube revenues. “I have a family of six, I bought everybody a car. It’s cool that because I get to do what I love to do, that gives me the opportunity to help my family and friends.”

The growth of the Filipino YouTube community is just starting. Today, there are over 750 channels that have reached 100,000 subscribers, and more than 60 channels with more than a million subscribers. YouTube is also doing its best to bring new creators in front of potential audiences. “We have a new feature that we launched in the Philippines three months ago called Creator on the Rise. It’s a tab that highlights upcoming new creators,” Marc says.

Germar notes, “Everyone is on YouTube. If you feel like you want it, go ahead and do it. You just have to be very consistent. Don’t compare your journey to other creators though, because it’s not always the same.”


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