YouTuber Jamie Curry was the special guest speaker at the Auckland You Tube: Insider’s Guide to Success event on February 13th – doing the ‘rock star’ fly in, fly out to speak to a couple of hundred eager young YouTubers and older film industry veterans.
Jamie is one of New Zealand’s top YouTubers with 1.2 million subscribers and 46 million video views (and 10 million fans on Facebook, another 350k on Twitter, and another 430k on Instagram). Eye-watering follower numbers – envied by most New Zealand brands. And she does that by herself, with authenticity and a “camera – that’s black” – no pretentions, no inflated egos and no extreme production budgets.
She’s 18 years old, based in Napier, started her YouTube channel in 2012 and is now a ‘YouTuber’ full-time. That’s right – you can make a career out of making videos for YouTube.
She’s multi-talented – she writes, films, edits and stars in her own YouTube clips – videos about random stuff.
Jamie says it all began when her friends bullied her into making vids for them, and it grew from there. She didn’t have a ‘viral hit’ – just steady, and quick, growth.
Ultimately, she says she wants to be an actor, and while she rides the YouTube wave, her channel is getting her name out there and she can incorporate skits into her videos to practice and showcase her talent.
The Q&A with the down-to-earth and endearing Jamie went something like this:
What’s the difference between TV and YouTube?
With TV you have to wait to watch programmes. I don’t watch TV; I watch everything on the internet, on YouTube. I want to watch now, so I can’t be bothered with TV.
How do you come up with ideas for your videos?
I grab my camera and blab in front of it. I do have a basic idea and then I improvise. And most of it is cut out.
How much time is involved making the videos?
A four minute clip takes four hours to edit (I’m a slow editor), from 20 mins footage, usually shot between 1am and 4am.
What’s better; Quantity or Quality?
For me quality. I could put up rubbish every day but I don’t. People do get upset about the lack in quantity though. I don’t have a schedule (posting every Tuesday etc) because if people subscribe they get a notification anyway.
What are the top things you’ve learned?
– Be relatable; eg Valentine’s Day is coming up, so I’ll do a V-day post on it
– Be authentic; Audiences can tell if you’re fake; I’m an exaggerated version of myself but I’m still me. Audiences have high bullshit detectors!
When should you hire a manager?
I wasn’t making money before I had a manager. You need someone to deal with big brands, someone to squeeze the most money out of them! I have to focus on content – the business side would be distracting.
Most of your video views come from outside New Zealand – so how do you manage that?
People would ask what is weetbix? So I stopped making Kiwi jokes; and besides, people find our Kiwi humour odd.
Also I don’t say it’s summer, because it’s winter somewhere else.
As for accents, the Germans say ‘we can’t understand you but we love you’.
How about fandom?
I’ve had people come to my house – and we live on a private road. I did a meet and greet in Sydney; there were 400 or 500 people; and some of them wanted to smell me. They’re really odd but really cool.
And keeping them happy?
When I started I was 15 and did stuff I wouldn’t do now. I’m way more self-conscious now; more careful; audiences can attack me right there on YouTube, with TV you can’t do that.
People ask for longer videos, or shorter videos. I do what I think is cool, because I can’t please everyone.
What about working with brands? (like recently with Coke? And Peter Alexander?)
I won’t endorse something I don’t like, I won’t be a sell-out.
Brands, because they’re older, struggle to relate to teenagers, they bounce ideas around, say it’s cool and hip and I’m like; no it’s not!
Audience Q: What camera do you use? And other equipment?
My camera; it’s a black one….. [audience applause and self-depreciation laughter from the film industry veterans] I’m bad with technology; 60d? Sometimes I knock a button on my camera and have to get my photography teacher to help fix it.
And Final Cut Pro on my Mac.
View Jamie’s YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/theJamiesWorld
Follow on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/itsjamiesworld