“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.
Visual effects supervisor
Creation: Ryan is known for his impressive work on the hit web series “Video Game High School,” where he held the roles of lead animator, creative director and lead compositor. He was also visual effects supervisor for the 2013 feature “Cas & Dylan,” starring Richard Dreyfuss and Tatiana Maslany, and visual effects artist for the 2011 short “Call of Duty: Find Makarov.” Most recently, he worked on the TV mini-series “This Is Not Happening” hosted by comedian Ari Shaffir.
What’s Next: Creative director for the feature “Meza,” about an orphan turned into a genetically modified assassin, currently in post-production.
Creation: Shanks (a.k.a. TimTimFed) is a Melbourne-based, New Zealand-born filmmaker and musician with one of the highest-ranked YouTube channels Down Under. He started out in visual effects before going on to win awards for filmmaking, music videos and shorts. His visual effects skills have been showcased in the 2012 video “How I Play Skyrim,” which has close to 3.7 million views, and, more recently, his parody trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which racked up more than 12 million views before being pulled from YouTube.
What’s Next: The upcoming new web series “The Wizards of AUS,” a comedy about a Gandalf-esque wizard who gets tired of fighting dragons and settles down in the suburbs of Melbourne.
Daniel Hashimoto (a.ka. Action Movie Kid)
YouTube creator, VFX Artist
Creation: It’s not always fun when dad’s bring their work home with them, but when Daniel Hashimoto started using his skills as a DreamWorks visual effects artist to doctor home movies of his son James, he created something explosive, literally. Daniel punched up videos of his toddler son with cinema-quality special effects, and Action Movie Kid was born. The web series has racked up 363 thousand subscribers and over 86 million views, leading to a commercial with Toys R’Us and even a book deal.
What’s Next: More Action Movie Kid, including a short film with an assist from YouTube’s “Field Day” Channel and the YouTube Space LA.
Digital production studio
Creation: Founded by Sam Gorski, Niko Pueringer and Jake Watson, Corridor Digital has established itself as the leading visual effects studio on YouTube, where their channel has racked up 3.4 million subscribers and more than 345 million views. Corridor’s talent for bring the vibrant world of video games to life is exemplified by their most popular video “Minecraft: The Last Minecart,” which has more than 31 million views on YouTube. The company also produced the 2012 sci-fi web series “Sync.”
What’s Next: Continuing to develop content for its YouTube channel in 2015.
Visual effects artist
Creation: A native of Italy, Schiassi made his debut on the ultra-low-budget 2009 fan film “Metal Gear Solid: Philanthropy” and went on to work on some of YouTube’s more popular programs and channels, including “Video Game High School,” CorridorDigital, FreddieW, DevinSuperTramp and, most recently, Stan Lee’s “World of Heroes.” Last year, he handled all the visual effects for dark fantasy film “Stitch.”
What’s Next: The short films “Night of the Slasher,” “The Zelda Project: The Final Battle” and “Devil Dogs.”
“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.