Sam Macaroni has been creating YouTube videos for years, collaborating with fellow YouTubers and “traditional” celebrities alike on lots of parodies and just a smidge of puppet-starring original content. Because of his experience and fan base (he has over 209,000 subscribers on his channel), Macaroni has a lot of insight on the ins and outs of content creation for the platform…but he still manages to eschew any specific formula in favor of having fun with his work.
We caught up with Macaroni so he could tell us about creating genuinely lovable content and how YouTube has changed over his years as a creator…
Where did you get the idea to start doing parodies on YouTube?
I love feature films, so it seemed obvious to do parodies. I’m like a big kid getting to live out my dreams and be in my favorite movies. What I do is basically like “advanced cosplay.”
Have you found any specific formula that works especially well for getting views on YouTube?
No formula; I just have fun making movies, and it shows. If you try to fake it, the audience always knows.
Your “Puppet Break-Up” video collaboration with Ray William Johnson did especially well on YouTube. Do you think that was due to its collaborative aspect? What else do you think accounted for its success?
“Puppet Break-Up” did well for two reasons. The first reason was Ray’s massive audience. The second was the fact that there weren’t any puppet gangster rap videos on YouTube at the time. It was just strange enough for people to enjoy.
You’ve collaborated with plenty of YouTube creators and traditional celebrities. Have you noticed any big differences in working with talent used to the video platform vs. actors who usually appear on TV/the movies?
Yes. Talent from video platforms have less management/agent types to deal with. I can call them up and they are always ready to collaborate. When dealing with mainstream talent, I usually have to co-ordinate with their handlers. The mainstream artists are always happy to work with me, but they spend a lot of time explaining why they want to make videos with me to their representatives.
What are some of the biggest changes you’ve noticed to YouTube since you started creating videos on the platform several years ago?
It’s so much harder to get your videos noticed now. A few years ago, there weren’t so many of us making movies. Now, people subscribe to hundreds of channels. When I put a new movie out, many of my subscribers don’t even notice because their feeds are crammed with new content.