YouTube has an ever-shifting tide of new creators, and it’s the place for new talent and old practises in a magnificent melting pot of all things video. What this means for what we make and how it’s made is constantly up for grabs.
We heard it from Lucy Moon recently, commenting on how Youtubers who aren’t traditionally ’emotionally’ open are seeming to be jumping on the bandwagon to be #relatable for their audience. Previously we’d seen this in fun tag videos where things were a little silly and unpredictable, so we got to see another side to our favourite creators who weren’t naturally like that. Now there is a feeling (in my little internet corner anyway) that emotional vulnerability is the next wave (see YouTubers talking about alcohol if you don’t believe me) for a predominantly traditional-vlogger-creator.
Vloggers or video-makers by nature are further ‘out there’ for having been making content based on personality or interest-quirk for some time. What we’re making is an intriguing reflection on both our surroundings, peers, culture and society.
Inside the world of YouTube (for experience-hunting viewers seeking connection), entertainment ‘tags’, ‘ASMR’ and ‘mukbang’ videos are common place. While each not necessarily understood or appreciated widely across the ‘Community’, they are established niches and have their own sub-communities.
But there is more ‘out-niche’ content that is being made on the fringes. Things that are cool and feel like a trend, or at least repeatable but that we don’t have a name for. These mush together peer-work, society and culture in a fascinating, time-capsule-esq melée.
Maybe we’ll have to stick with ‘vlog’ as a catch-all for anything from a Louise Pentland chat to a Casey Neistat story-adventure-thing.
What I believe is emerging is more defined categories of self-edited-reality-TV-dramas. But new-media-style. Or a ‘cinematic place-centric vlog with thoughtful voice over and a fresh edit’… quite a mouthful eh?
Maybe it is simpler to strip it back to the catch all of ‘new media filmmaker’ and hope that it makes more sense of what we are making. Maybe things will shift again before we know it and that title won’t even stick. Perhaps Snapchat and Instagram stories will turn us into ‘digital storytellers’ more than filmmakers. Let me know in the comments what you think, or tweet us @LondonSmallYT.