Media & Entertainment

YouTube: The search for creativity

Once started as a platform to simply share videos with one another, YouTube has grown out to be much more than that. Vloggers have become figures of today’s society and indispensable to pop culture. Where most people started making videos on YouTube as an outlet for their creativity and a way to pass time, some of them have gotten their one-way to fame. But whether that’s necessarily been a good thing, creativity-wise, is the question.

Especially daily vloggers seem to have fallen under the curse of being uninspired lately. Perhaps it’s the repetitive nature of these types of videos, but many vloggers have fallen into a pattern and gotten stuck there. Prime example: Casey Neistat. He’s seen as the tech-guy and constantly looked up to in the vlogging industry. His background as film maker is ever present in his vlogs. But even he seems to struggle with his content from time to time.

About six months ago, Casey decided to give up daily vlogging. The reason behind it is the core of this article: lack of creativity and innovation in their content. He felt he couldn’t fully express his video creating abilities. Since daily vlogs are, as their name might suggest, supposed to appear daily, the time to edit one is limited. Within a month after Casey put this video online, he posted a video in which he stated he “missed vlogging“. And after a four-month break, he announced to be back with vlogs.

Thankfully, innovation isn’t lost. Because alongside the clickbait-videos and humdrum on YouTube, there’s still people creating things worth watching

We’re all in this together
Casey, however, is not the only YouTuber struggling to connect creativity to their videos. Quite recently, Theodora Lee made a video, in which she announced and explained quitting YouTube. The main reason behind this was that she felt her videos lacked creativity. Started as a creative outlet, her channel had become a routine she wasn’t happy with anymore.

British vlogging couple, Stef and Hannah, known as The Michalaks on YouTube, also struggled. Stef, who edits the vlogs, lives and breathes cinematography. He, however, felt like his videos lacked a touch of this and decided to turn the wheel around. Although he never explicitly addressed himself as a daily vlogger, he stresses how he doesn’t want to be a vlogger. The videos that appear online of the couple and their adorable son, Grayson, are meant to be short films.

As a bigger trend on YouTube, structures have surfaced that determine the platform’s innovation, or better, the lack thereof. Challenges have dominated the website for quite some time now. The concept started blowing up with the ‘Cinnamon Challenge’, but has now manifested itself in ‘Boyfriend does my makeup’-videos, pranks and ‘GONE WRONG’-videos. Scroll through the Trending page and the repetitiveness of thumbnails with arrows, caps-only titles and fidget spinners flying about are bound to make you go insane.

Fighting back
Thankfully, innovation isn’t lost. Because alongside the clickbait-videos and humdrum on YouTube, there’s still people creating things worth watching. These creators have most likely gone back to the roots of the platform. Their decision to break from the routines and let their videos be guided by creativity and innovation, is undecidedly a good one. Allow me to show some examples.

The first would be Louise Pentland, who’s a #girlboss in general for many reasons. Her videos stay true to her and trends don’t seem to faze her that much. The second who’s worth a mention, is Joe Sugg. He started as ‘Zoella’s brother’, but cleverly turned that into a running joke throughout his videos to take the mick out of critics. His videos are centred around comedy and Joe’s creativity. More often than not, Joe creates his own challenge, usually accompanied by some form of painful punishment to the loser of it. Perhaps I’ve just fallen for his British charm, but his videos never fail to entertain me.

Last but by no means least in my recommendations are the Michalaks. Earlier they were mentioned as being stuck in vlogger-land. Their videos have always been cinematic and recent changes have only improved the quality of their videos. They picture life in the most charming way, with appropriate music and cute drawings here and there. It’s like watching a short life documentary movie every Sunday. Creativity at its best, if you ask me.

Cover: Kaboompics // Karolina

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Tamar Hellinga
Tamar (21) is Chef MediumTV 2017-2018. Disappointed about not having been able to follow the English course at the start of her studies. To make up for that, she mainly writes articles in English. Specialized in YouTube and social media, thanks to years of devotion.

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