April 7, 2020
YouTube Gave Me $20,000 To Create Anything

YouTube Gave Me $20,000 To Create Anything

(insects chirping) – Yes, this is not a click-bait title. YouTube gave me $20,000 to
make any video that I wanted. And I’m gonna explain it a little bit. (upbeat music) (water splashing) So yes, YouTube did pay me $20,000, but I’m gonna explain this project little bit more in depth, because there’s more to it than, I just got money from YouTube and I went and shot anything I wanted. So, just let me give
you a little background on how this all came about. I’ve been wanting to shoot a documentary for the last couple of years,
put together a pitch deck, I put together a promo reel, I’ve been trying to get some
funding to make it happen. None of it really happened, so, instead of just doing a
full-length feature documentary I thought, hey, I’ll break
this down into bite-sized chunks for my YouTube channel, pair it with some other videos, get some sponsors on board and that’s where I landed when this opportunity came
knocking on my door with YouTube. (upbeat music) So, I’m currently at BEES
Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand. It’s a lot of work here, we’re
tending for the elephants as well as just doing
lots of hiking, working, all of that good stuff. Have you ever heard of that idea of the tap on the shoulder? So, this whole project was that
tap on the shoulder for me. What that means is that you
are ready and you’re willing when the opportunity comes
up to jump on whatever it is that has just fallen into your lap. So, I’ve been trying to make
this documentary project work and the biggest struggle has just been, what am I gonna do with this, how am I gonna get people to see this, how does it fit my channel? And when I landed on this
idea of getting sponsors involved to help fund
these kind of projects, I need some sort of sample
that shows how this works because companies wanna be reassured that their money is going
into the right places and so I saw this Tweet from YouTube, and it was about this VR Creator Lab, and what that is is, they give $20,000 to creators
to create a series of films, it’s four films, they
don’t have to connect, but it’s all in virtual reality and for me, I was like, huh, I could take my documentary series, do this VR Creator Lab, have the funding and be able to use this
as a project to launch off this idea of doing this
kind of documentary series on my channel. Now, it’s all good in theory, but, actually putting that in practice and making this a success has been kind of a larger undertaking. So, let’s go back to Thailand and let me explain what I was
trying to do with this series. (upbeat music) What I’m doing is showing how
creators can have an impact with the videos that we’re creating and how social media is
now sculpting the way that we interact with different places. (upbeat music) I’m here in Thailand because I’m covering a story
about elephant tourism and part three is about how
we are making a positive impact in this world. So, I definitely think film
three does hit on this idea. However, this documentary
became more than just about how influencers can
make a positive change. When you’re actually out
shooting this kind of content, the stories actually come
out of what you’re doing. It’s all up in the air right now, really don’t know what we’re walkin’ into in terms of how much access,
what we’re gonna be shooting. There’s always that
sense of you have an idea of what you’re gonna shoot, but, when you’re actually out shooting it, everything completely changes. So, one of the biggest
challenges with VR180, is in the edit, and it’s not
that the editing is tough, it’s actually fairly
straightforward to edit because there’s not a lot of cuts. The struggle comes in, how
do you make it engaging, how do you make an audience
respond to the video and actually feel
something from the video? Because you can’t really use
your editing to show emotion, you have to use other elements
in the filmmaking toolkit. So, for me, I found that the music was where I was able to
pull that emotional element out of these videos. Watching them without music and then turning the music on, it’s a completely different experience. So, for this project, I’ve
teamed up with Soundstripe. They’re a music licensing service and I’ve been able to find
a ton of awesome music on their site. In each of the VR films you’re gonna hear
exclusively Soundstripe music but also, in all of these
behind-the-scene pieces and all of the videos I’ve
been creating on my channel for the last couple of months has all been from Soundstripe. Now, there’s a few reasons that
I like using their service. It’s super-easy to use, you
can find the music quick. They make it super-affordable,
so it’s a single fee and you get access to everything. And in each of these
films, the music has become the driving force to really
pull that emotional quality out of it and connect
you more with the stories that I’m trying to tell. So, you’re gonna see in a second here, I’m gonna switch the music up, and I’m gonna change gears and you’re gonna see how
much of a different impact that has with the segment
of this specific video that you’re seeing. So guys, if you’re looking
for music for your videos, I highly suggest Soundstripe. I’m gonna put a link down
below in the description where you guys can find out
more information about them, but let’s get back into VR180. (insects chirping)
(water splashing) (playful music) So, let’s talk about gear for a second because one of my biggest
issues with this project has been dealing with the gear. This is the camera. I am just trying to get
all the equipment to work and make everything function properly. (playful music) It’s just not easy to use. And, yeah, this is how I
have to carry this camera just in case we come across
anything interesting. I’ve got my wizard staff. I’ll look cool if I can get a good spot. (water splashing) I’m a little bit tired, so I’m trying to make things work and I feel like I’m not making it work and I feel like I’m gonna scrap it all, but we’ll see.
(laughing) (playful music) It’s got two lenses on it. It creates a 180 half sphere. So, VR180 is basically half the sphere. So, you can’t see what’s behind you, but you can see what’s in front of you. You have to use a monopod because you don’t wanna
have the tripod legs, even this, as you can see down there, you can see the tips
of the feet in the shot because it’s a 180 half globe. So, I’ve built this system
where I can pop this on pretty quick and easy, I use these Zhiyun quick releases here, and I’ve got this set up
where the camera actually sticks out away from the plate and it can all fit in
my backpack super easy. Who builds a camera with a power port on the bottom like this? What do you attach that to? It’s ridiculous. Oh, and there’s no power-on
button, it just starts. (playful music) Now beyond working with
these limiting cameras, one of the hardest things for me just to wrap my head
around, was this idea of shooting in a theater setting. So, all of my takes had to be dead-on for the entirety of the take, there’s no cutting. You’ll see in these films, I had to do all of these takes, all the way through. And when I was out shooting, I would do 20 takes of some of these shots just because I would fumble one word or I’d say something a little wrong. You’d start to get in your head, when there’s no cutting,
it’s a massive challenge, and it’s one of those that I
just wasn’t really thinking of going into this. (uplifting music) When you have a film that is
shot properly in this format, you are transferred from your living room, or wherever you’re
watching, to that location and when you add in to
these different elements that VR180 is built with, you basically feel like you’re there and you really have the sense of the space and the scale and everything
that’s involved in it, but, it is a new frontier. It makes you feel like
that you’re not necessarily watching the film, but you
are a part of the film. (uplifting music) This is a grant program from YouTube, so, there was multiple stages of
getting my videos approved. I had to first go through
a technical review, which is where the team of
mentors actually watched all the films and gave technical feedback. And then there was legal clearance. So, YouTube actually had to
go through all these films and legally clear them so that
I can put them on my channel. Now, I started this
project three months ago and everything just got approved. So, tomorrow I’m gonna
be releasing film one, and I decided with this first film to just dive into what is VR180, in VR180. So, for me, this has been
a massive undertaking, a massive challenge with a lot of layers. But I am super-proud of the films that I was able to create and I think there’s some
really powerful messages within these videos. And going into 2020, I
definitely have a different way of thinking about how to
integrate different styles of videos onto my channel. I loved doing the tutorials and I love doing the YouTube training, but that’s not everything that
I wanna do on this channel. I have some different
dreams and hopes and wishes and I hope you guys are
willing to come along on this journey and I
definitely want to just create some stories that
could have a bigger impact on the world, so, for me,
this is a jumping-off point, it is a way for me to test some ideas and actually have
YouTube fund those ideas. And so, if you have a VR headset, I highly suggest watching
all four of these VR films in the virtual reality with headphones because it’s gonna make a huge difference. And if you don’t have a VR headset, you can still watch these films using your phone or your computer. You can scroll around
and actually look around. Now, these films aren’t exactly
what I set out to create, but, I think you’re gonna
enjoy the experience. So, make sure those
notifications are turned on, make sure you’re
subscribed to this channel, because you’re not gonna wanna
miss any of these videos. All right guys, that is it. See you on the next one. (uplifting music)

80 thoughts on “YouTube Gave Me $20,000 To Create Anything

  1. Jeven has officially levelled up to grand VR WIZARD. Magic staff and all πŸ˜‚ next up we need a sweet set of robes.
    Was rad to join you in Thailand Jeven! I am excited for people to see the films.

  2. Ive Been watching your videos for a Long time jeven, sometimes multiple of them Per Day.
    Ive always liked your passion and hard Work – which im absolutely certain you put into your whole YouTube business and your message.

    But it is the first time i comment, and i do so to say. Im very full of respect for your choice of subject. I am a mountaineer, hiker, and adveenturer Myself. So i love Nature and the animals as much as you. And i had to comment and show my respect for your choice of dubject, and that passion you have.
    I Hope i somedsy can afford a gh5 or Sony a7iii or maybe even just a a6400 and make some quality videos – in this sector, im a huge fan og your edits and cinematic video skills.

    Greetings from Denmark πŸ™ keep Up the good Work.

  3. I was born in the land of a million elephants aka Lan Xang so this sparked my interest. πŸ‘ good job! πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ’•πŸŒΏ

  4. Hi Jeven, nice vid sharing your experience in TL.

    Check out Born Free Foundation and what they’re doing to promote animals to stay in the wild.

    If you’re ever back to Asia, particularly Vietnam, let me know and I’ll show you around.

    Happy holidays and seeing more of your videos in 2020!

  5. Excellent BTS video man! I can’t wait for people to experience the VR film! It blew my mind to see it on your headset!

  6. Thanks for sharing the process of a project like this. Looking forward to seeing the result over the next days 🐘

  7. Love this you help me a lot with my channel ❀️❀️❀️ you deserve it ❗️❗️❗️

  8. πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»

  9. Damn man how cool and very cool of you to use your platform to bring awareness to an issue that needs some attention

  10. I have wanted to film a documentary for years. Every time I think I’ve saved up for a decent camera, I have to repair fencing, replace tires, fix a roof, or vet livestock. You are so blessed.

  11. Awesome. Thanks for helping those helpless elephants. We need more people doing this work to save those endangered elephants.

  12. Pretty cool man! Like you vids. Have gotten some good insights from you now that I have started my own channel.

  13. Man that’s awesome in so many ways!! The message, the concept, your determination and drive, the new technology, how your including your audience, the behind the scenes, the beautiful videography, again, the message. I cannot wait to see this series of films! πŸ˜„πŸ™ŒπŸ»

  14. That gear looked well complicated – an awesome reason to make a film cant wait to see the final edits ….. if it was not such a serious issue I would say you should make sure you leave in the bits with @Leviallen giggling in the background !

  15. So awesome that you used the opportunity to draw attention to an important issue!

    Also… that geodesic background?? 🀯 🀩

  16. I can't wait for the studio tour. That geodesic backdrop is sick! πŸ”₯ I hope you don't mind if I totally steal your idea. πŸ˜€

  17. Thats so cool they gave you that much to do what you love!!! I hope one day i can make money doing what i love!!! Untill then im just living day by day very depressed!!! Thanks for sharing and keep posting!

  18. Love the new beginning . very happy and proud of you . may all your dreams come true . Love your channel a lot and it is not only helpful, but also very pleasant to watch. Waiting for your new videos

  19. Thank you, thank you, thank you for using the $20,000 for something so meaningful!! You could have used it for something way more self-serving … and way less important. Good on you, Jeven.

  20. I understand your point boss, being a YouTuber is, your an actor, host, camera man, content creator, editor, all of it my god, so hard to being pressure you have, go sir I'm one of your fan your video inspire me.

  21. This is going to be awesome. I have been following your channel for a little while and learning a ton. Excited to see how it all turns out.

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