One of the YouTube format’s best aspects is that it allows for creative content to flourish. It is the optimal platform for creative projects like short films, sketches and musicals. This is especially true with the increase in video quality both in number of pixels per screen and frames per second.
Vlogger Charlie McDonnell, from the channel Charlieissocoollike, made his debut into short films in 2013 with his horror comedy “The Tea Chronicles,” which features a roommate who won’t stop making Charlie’s character tea. Since then he has posted many films, like “OFFLINE,” “Our Brother“ and “Strangers in a Bed.” He favors the genre of dramedy, and he does it well.
One of the most creative channels I’ve come across is PJ Ligouri’s KickThePJ. Liguori loves to push against the boundaries of reality. He favors practical effects, using a lot of glitter, paint, newspaper and cardboard in his work. “The Forever Train“ features a lot of popular YouTubers like Danisnotonfire, AmazingPhil, Charlieissocoollike, Crabstickz and many others. The film is a journey through the liminal space between the dreaming and waking worlds. This high-fantasy genre is carried through all of his work, even his shorter sketches, like “Colour Bandits,” and Q&A videos. His film “Oscar’s Hotel“ was so well received that he has since created a web series to continue the story.
YouTuber Julian Smith prefers short form comedy sketches and music videos. These videos often include his alter ego character Jeffery Dallas. One of his music videos that really speaks to me is “I’m Reading Book“ which accurately conveys the annoyance that I feel when someone interrupts me while reading. His videos range from slightly silly to completely ridiculous. One of his most well-known videos, “Hot Kool Aid,” is built on the simple premise of what Kool Aid would taste like if it was hot. The skit itself isn’t very thought provoking, but the line “I made this for you!” has lasted. Julian includes a sound clip of it at the end of every sketch, and it’s fitting. Like “Hot Kool Aid,” his sketches are a little bit weird and unorthodox, but they are made with love for his audience.
Parody musicals form another emerging genre on YouTube. AVbyte and The Hillywood Show have fully embraced the genre. AVbyte posts a prodigious amount of videos that feature characters from Disney, pirates, social media users and more all singing about their lives. They’re perhaps most well known for their character “Hipster Ariel” (Molly Gallagher) who features in both “Tumblr: The Musical“ and “Hipster Princesses.”
The Hillywood Show produces incredibly high quality parody musicals. The two sisters, Hilly and Hannah Hindi, take on the roles of popular characters like Harry Potter and The Doctor from “Doctor Who.” The pair have a background in dance, and their musicals are usually fully choreographed. They also painstakingly recreate sets and costumes to completely immerse the viewer. What is perhaps most impressive is their ability to step into the roles they play. Hilly Hindi plays a male character more often than not, and she is eerily believable as Dean Winchester in their “Supernatural” parody, right down to the stubble. Their most popular video, their “Breaking Dawn” parody, has over 29,227,800 views.
When watching each of these channels, wifi allowing, turn the video quality up as high as possible to fully experience the production.
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