The past year has seen an influx of artistas going beyond traditional media to connect with their fans. Apart from their regular appearances on film and television, many are penetrating the YouTube space, creating their own channels and giving viewers a personal, almost unscripted look into their lives. The trend, it seems, is bound to grow in the near future, as with mobile and digital media usage continue to rise.
Some, however, were long ahead of their time. Take the likes of Mikael Daez. The actor has been vlogging for eight and a half years. As of this writing, his channel consists of 114 videos and is over 166,000 subscribers strong. When we met the Oppo Reno2 ambassador, he dished to ABS-CBN Lifestyle about his own experience in content creating—from his beginnings, to his workflow, and even his thoughts on fellow artistas following suit. Here’s what we learned.
[related: #ABSCBNLifestyleInspo Mimiyuuuh: Vlogging Is Life, But Watch Out For My Fashion Line!]
1. His initial reason for vlogging may surprise you. “When I started working, my hard earned cash was going to tech gadgets. I had a Macbook Pro, I bought a nice camera—and these are huge investments. So it came to the point where I bought these new things, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, why did I just spend my hard earned money on these things? How am I going to make a return on this?’ At that time, YouTube was at its infancy in terms of making money out of it. But I was like, ‘Hey, I guess something is better than nothing?’ So I tried it out and I never looked back.”
2. Mikael does most of the vlogging himself. But he does get a little help from his famous better half. “I have someone who carries my cameras and my luggage. She pays for my coffee from time to time, my food. You might actually know her. Her name is Megan Young,” he jokes. “She knows how to shoot. She actually knew how to shoot and edit before me! Now she helps me out from time to time.”
3. It takes him a week, give or take, to upload a vlog. “Shooting the vlog is quite easy because I’m just going around shooting whatever I want. It’s sitting down on the edit that takes a while,” he admits. “I’m the slowest editor in the world! In terms of actual sit down hours on the computer, it might take me 8-10 hours to edit a video. And I never sit down for 8-10 hours. I usually sit about two hours at a time. So that’s four or five days. But if I’m super motivated through video, and I shoot for the edit—meaning I know exactly what I’m shooting and where the video is going—I could probably edit in work hours. But that’d take a lot of pre-prod.”
4. Another motivation behind his vlog was to document their trips. “I like travelling with Megan. People take photos but I was like, ‘I have all these things. Why not make a video diary?’ That’s what I wanted. When you watch my vlog, it’s basically my point of view of how I saw our story unfold during that trip.”
5. He’s all for celebrities starting their own YouTube channels. “It’s not a competition for me only because YouTube is not my primary source of income,” he explains. “If, you ask me what my job is, I’m an actor. YouTube is fun. It just so happens this amazing kind of fun also generates some sort of income. If I suddenly thought about it as a competition, I think stress levels will just rise immensely. But I think for others, the influx of artists into YouTube is scary, especially for those who live off of Youtube. YouTube is like one big pie, and more people just means cutting up the pie into smaller pieces. In terms of how I feel about the artists coming in, I think it’s good that they’re experimenting. I hope that they don’t put too much money to produce their content because I think some are quite extravagant! To me, you could execute creativity and the things with you want with a smaller budget. Other than that, artists are coming in gives more color and life to an already super- fast growing industry.”
6. He has one piece of advice for anyone (not just celebs) looking to be a content creator. “Be fearless,” he states. “There’s a lot of posting anxiety when it comes to Instagram, YouTube, or any type of content because you’re afraid to be judged. My quick solution to that is before that fear comes in, just press ‘Upload’ or press ‘Post’ and just deal with the backlash later. There’s always going to be feedback. You’re never going to get away from it! And you’re never going to know whether its positive or negative. When that feedback comes in, that’s actually a moment for you to learn and improve.”
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Photographs courtesy of Mikael Daez's official Instagram