Tuesday, 18 February 2014

YouTube Interviews #3 - TeaMakerJason

Warning to all: I usually veer away from swearing on my blog. But for artistic accuracy I have been forced to resort to the use of foul language in this interview today. Please steel yourselves.

Today's episode of my YouTube Interviews focuses on a chap from the North West of England, TeaMakerJason. TeaMakerJason produces a variety of extremely popular and funny vlogs and sketches on his channel. He also has suspiciously clean teeth.

No proof of the clean teeth thing though in this picture. I actually tried for ages to get a decent still from Jason's YouTube videos but he tends to be close up to the camera and/or move around a lot so I gave up and stole one from his Google+ page instead. Sorry Jason.

Jason - the more I watch your videos the more sympathy I have for Nick Crompton (being also from Yorkshire myself - although he is a wessie so not that much sympathy). Just wondering idly... are you a really good actor or do you just enjoy telling him to fuck off?

I like to think I get more enjoyment out of seeing everybody else do it, as bad as that sounds! My relationship with Nick is essentially based entirely on telling each other to go forth and conjugate (as you so elegantly put it!) so we’re kind of desensitised at this point. I like to pride myself on sticking to my word so when I promised Nick I’d make “Fuck Off Nick” a worldwide phrase back in April after his usual attempts to annoy me it’s certainly nice to see that come to fruition. Although I’d definitely say I do have to put in maybe a BIT of acting when it comes to fulfilling all the vulgarity required in our recent projects!

In the last six months you've done something like quadrupled your subscriber count - or should I say, you've got a really big box of teabags. What do you think attracts people to your videos?

What I make I make to fulfill my own strange, eccentric and sometimes twisted sense of humour and making even one other person laugh or connect with that makes every effort worth it. Why the people who watch me found me and subscribed I blame entirely on luck but I like to think the fact that I love every minute of doing what I do can be picked up on and persuades people to stick around.

The thing that used to surprise me about making videos is that actually recording the video is probably the shortest and simplest bit, with the vast majority of the time, I find, taken up editing it. Do you find it difficult to fit in video making with the rest of your life?

I find the distribution of time and effort differs with every project. Filming sketches or short film projects alone can be grueling. Those are times where I find recording is actually in some ways the most complex part of a project. When you have to setup a different shot for every single line alone it can actually be pretty draining. I’m in love with editing and learning new technology so I guess you could say I find editing easier. In terms of Vlog style content the filming can be very fast and simple and then as you say editing takes up a large majority of the time so it’s certainly not black and white and it differs with every video.

Personal life certainly gets in the way but that can be an issue with anything in life, not just content creation. I think the secret is to find the right balance, as with everything.

In a lot of your videos one thing that stands out is that there is quite a lot of really good visual effects going on, but is there any certain part of the video making process that you particularly struggle with?

Any form of animation or general visual effects work can be a seriously challenging part of the process but if I decide on an effect I really want I generally just have to find a way to make it work or I’ll know I’m not making what I want to make to the best of my abilities. I don’t like sacrificing aspects of a project for a faster turnaround so if I have to work on something for weeks to get it right then I will.

I’m not trained in animating in any way shape or form. For a lack of a better word, I’m crap. The effects wouldn't look out of place in a classic episode of Doctor Who, but that’s part of the look I go for. I like the cheesy and the crazy. Every project has its ups and downs. When you spend an entire day sat at your desk with cups of tea battling bumps in the animation that seem like they’ll never be fixed it can be pretty draining but when you finally get the look you want there’s no better feeling.

Jason attempts to save the world, despite Nick trying to stop him. And despite being in Bradford.

From watching your work, I suspect that you enjoy Doctor Who (if I'm wrong then this question is going to be crap) - if so, who is your favourite Doctor, and why?

That’s a tough one. I’m a massive fan of the classic series and I’ve loved most aspects of the modern series. David Tennant was sort of “my doctor”, which isn’t a rare thing to hear on the internet! But I’d say my favourite Doctor was and is Tom Baker! I can’t get enough of him. I am also ridiculously excited to see Peter Capaldi take over. I’m not a huge fan of Steven Moffat’s writing but I have a hunch I’m really going to enjoy what he brings to the show in Series 8.

I think this next question works even if Jason doesn't like Doctor Who in that it will ingratiate myself with him - So, Matt Smith was 26 when he got the part of the Doctor, the actor generally plays them for about 3-5 years... so they'll be wanting a new one when you're in your early 20s... any hopes to be the Thirteenth Doctor?

If I have one dream in life it’s that in 50 years the press of the time will be digging up old articles like this one after my announcement as the 27th Doctor and they’ll be able to look on my desire to play the Doctor even at this age! Peter Capaldi-esque! I’d love to play the Doctor, or that type of character! My biggest hope at the moment is that one day I’ll have the acting skills to do it justice. I’ve still got a lot of learning to do.

You've collaborated with a number of YouTubers - CrashBangAdam, MarkThomasLife, SlightlySteve, to name but a few. How did you get into delivering regular collaborations with other video creators?

The Youtube Community is an incredible niche. I wouldn’t even call it a niche, it’s far more massive than I could have ever anticipated when I started looking at it over a year ago! I’ve made lifelong friends and met amazing creators who inspire me everyday and working with those people, people who you really feel you have things in common with, is just a joy. When you’re with like minded people there’s nothing better in the world than to spend time doing the things you both love doing. Collaborations are an example of that!

I'm afraid to ask but... what sort of teabags DO you use?

I’d love to tell you but then I’d have to kill you.

And for those people that aren't subscribers...um, teabags, I mean... of yours, how would you describe your channel, and what video would you recommend they watch first?

My channel is a mashup of crazy, ridiculous, over the top, cheesy & purile.. shite! I wouldn’t have it any other way. If that’s what you like I’d recommend The Fuck Off Saga, a collection of collaborations that’s developed into a bit of a story over the past 10 months or so and saw the birth of Fuck Off Nick! (http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNIdZx1ntKv7lj7XG_IXlALmSxM4naf4G)

If you like something just as crazy but a little more laid back and unscripted I’d recommend my vlogs. I couldn’t choose one in particular, just jump in at the deep end and it might be your thing!

Whether people like what I make or hate me until the end of the earth for it I’m just ridiculously happy to have had you give me even just 10 seconds of your time!

Thanks to TeaMakerJason for his time. Catch his videos now at youtube.com/TeaMakerJason

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