“Good story, in the end, is all that matters” is a quote we hear from our peers frequently. What’s often overlooked, however, is that the digital space has the same anatomy found in the films and TV series that Hollywood has been producing for decades. So for this year’s 30 Digital Creatives to Know, we’ve taken a deep look at the various individuals who, from start to finish, help craft the great stories that are being distributed digitally and, now, in a multi-platform world.
On this list, you’ll find our picks for top producers, writers, directors, editors, visual effects artists, and overall one-stop-shop creators.
Vine star, YouTube creator
Creation: Zach first made it big on the internet with his viral video “Jedi Kittens,” showing two cats fighting with lightsabers. It shot past a million views in just three days, leading to the sequels “Jedi Kittens Strike Back” and “Jedi Kittens with Force.” In 2013 he made a jump to Vine and soon mastered that medium as well, creating mind-blowing six-second visual illusions with just an iPhone and a computer.
What’s Next: Zach continues to make magic on Vine, but he’s also expressed a desire to create feature films, preferably action/adventure. He recently worked with AT&T on a creativity and film workshop, and created a Vine for Sony using their new Action Cam.
Creation: Pansino has taken her familial love of baking and turned it into a “Nerdy Nummies,” a channel on YouTube with more than 53 million June views. Originally done with a Flip camera as an effort to become more comfortable infront of the camera, this Seattle native has come up with the recipe for success through hours of preparation that yields such kooky creations as Game Boy ice cream sandwiches and a “Frozen” princess cake. Pansino’s turning point came when her agent asked her to choose between acting and YouTube. It seems she made the right decision.
What’s Next: Pansino has repeatedly declared it her intention to stick with YouTube as her primary creative outlet.
YouTube creator, director.
Creation: Since 2010, Sawyer has accumulated 1.8 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, which features his “Thru My Eyes Series,” music videos, short films and video collaborations with fellow YouTubers.
What’s Next: Hartman recently wrapped production on one of New Form Digital’s first series, “Parallax,” which will premiere on Vimeo-On-Demand.
Rhett & Link
Creation: Self-described “Internetainers” Rhett McLaughlin and Charles Neal III have earned legions of online fans with their viral videos and comedy songs. They are also the hosts of “Good Mythical Morning”, a popular morning talk show featuring guest appearances actors and YouTube personalities such as Daniel Radcliffe, Tony Hale and PewDiePie. They’ve also been busy producing branded content, including viral ad campaigns for Taco Bell, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola.
What’s Next: The duo has already scored a million views with their latest commercial video, which has them battling it out to see who can make the most complicated Starbucks order.
YouTube creator, host
Creation: Johnson has used her makeup talents to transform herself into everything from a living Barbie and a contoured Kardashian to a Disney princess and Edward Scissorhands. In the process, she’s metamorphosed into a YouTube star, with a channel that has more than 3 million subscribers and 322 million views. Recently, she’s taken her talents to another digital stage as the host of “The Naked Truth,” the official after-show to Game Show Network’s body makeup and body painting competition show “Skin Wars.”
What’s Next: Kandee will return to host the “Skin Wars” after-show, while she continues to create regular transformation and tutorial videos on her YouTube channel.
Benny and Rafi Fine (a.k.a. The Fine Bros)
YouTube creators, TV producers
Creation: Benny and Rafi Fine’s YouTube channel has spawned several iconic video series, most notably the REACT franchise, in which a panel of recurring participants (kids, teens, YouTubers, the elderly) react to viral videos and other pop culture objects. The series has spawned its own spin-off channel of REACT-based content including “REACT Gaming,” in which the panelists try their hand at various popular video games. More recently, the Fines have taken their talent for engaging millennial friendly entertainment to television, creating “React To That” for Nickelodeon.
What’s Next: The Fine Bros have even more REACT in store on YouTube and Nick, as well as a new show, “Six Degrees of Everything” in development at TruTV
“VideoInk and What’s Trending’s 30 Digital Creatives to Know in 2015 is presented in partnership with Jukin Media, the global leader in user-generated entertainment.