How Filipino content creators on YouTube are trying to stay relevant

September 10, 2019 - 3:37 PM
YouTube NextUp 2019
YouTube NextUp 2019 Manila selected 12 content creators from different fields to participate in a week-long camp meant to elevate their careers on the video-sharing platform. (Artwork by Interaksyon/Uela Altar-Badayos)

The world’s largest video-sharing platform will give 12 Filipino content creators an opportunity to reach their maximum potential through a week-long creator camp that will give them skills, mentorship and a network to level up their careers.

Some of the ones selected to participate from Manila are indie musician Reese Lansangan, longtime celebrity Nadia Montenegro, male beauty guru “Kuys Kiko,” law student “Lex in Motion” and maritime chief engineer “Chief MAKOi.”

Also on the list are poultry farmer Dwight Tamayo, cycling enthusiast Mark More, corporate employee-turned-content creator “Rea Ninja,” host and all-around entertainer Charlotte Ferguson, student and lifestyle blogger Raya Cordova, fitness enthusiast “Aileene” and rising singer-songwriter Caleb Santos.

All of them participated and won in the YouTube NextUp 2019 Manila, a contest that enables qualified content creators to receive a crash course on production techniques and in-depth training from YouTube stars, NextUp alumni and industry experts.

WATCH: Get to know the new batch of Filipino YouTube creators

Apart from that, each of them is entitled to receive a voucher worth P100,000 for their production needs.

They will also get guidance and strategic account management support from the YouTube Creator and Artist Development team.

To qualify, participants are supposed to have a channel in good standing with 10,000 to 100,000 subscribers. They must also have at least three original videos uploaded in the past three months.

Vishal Sarin, the director of content partnerships in YouTube Southeast Asia, calls NextUp an opportunity “to help current and aspiring Filipino creators to hone their talents and skills” and “enable them to create meaningful content on YouTube.”

Interaksyon was able to chat with four content creators who want to improve their craft and share insights on how they make relevant videos for Filipinos.

These are Nadia Montenegro, Reese Lansangan,Kuys Kiko” and “Lex in Motion.”

Montenegro runs a cooking-oriented channel where she shares different cooking recipes, budget-friendly dishes and cooking tips for mothers.

Lansangan is an artist who began her music career by posting song covers on the video-sharing platform and since then, has shared the stage with international artists such as LANY, the Temper Trap and Purity Ring.

“Kuys Kiko” is a registered nurse and freelance makeup artist who uploads beauty tutorials for men to inspire them to look and feel good.

“Lex in Motion” is a law student who uploads animated videos and lectures about different law subjects. He also helps future juris doctors build competence and confidence through his content.

Who are your inspirations?

Nadia: My management, my team encouraged me… minsan kasi nangungulit ako na, puwede ba akong mag-video na nagluluto ng Sunday, Saturday? Sila naman, ‘Go, go.’ Go lang nang go kasi ang dami ngang social media platform, ‘di ba?

Hanggang sa we just decided to, why don’t we… let’s try doing the “Cucina ni Nadia,” one season. Then ‘yun, tuloy tuloy na. One year na kami mahigit ngayon and then we’re here.

Reese: I am inspired by a lot of singers, songwriters. Usually female musicians on YouTube.

Kiko: Siguro inspired sa mga YouTube OGs (originals), Michelle Tan, sila talaga. Sa guys naman, si Wayne Goss. This is why I created my channel. Kasi hindi siya (Goss) nag-conform doon sa usual beauty guru na stereotype. Manly pa rin siya but he does a lot of makeup stuff.

Lex: Positive influence, si “Okay Samurai.” He’s an animator. Tapos si Seth McFarlane, creator of “Family Guy” and Genndy Tartakovsky, creator ng “Powerpuff Girls.”

How do you create your content? Is there a certain process involved or is it spontaneous? 

Nadia: We do a pre-production for every season, well, for the next 8 or 10 videos pero we really do make sure na it is gonna touch the heart of the Filipino budget, you know how they eat.

Minsan mahirap din kasi we had to learn through the process also, like when we started our first episode, “Carbonara ala Nadia,” which is talagang good and bad, but we learned from that.

And then next time we had more than 200,000 views, ba’t kaya, ano kaya secret? Until we finally learned from it and then eventually, ayun na, we’re on our 80th episode, I think.

Reese: I think with music videos, mas matrabaho talaga siya. I would start with my original song and then a concept… very vague. I’d look at boards, images and then I would write a raw storyboard, present it to either my co-director or my DOP (director of photography) and then know what I need like props, costumes, locations, from there.

So ‘yun ‘yung pinakamatrabahong part with my content creation. Otherwise, when I’m just sitting down or when I’m making a vlog or an informative video, I don’t really plan, I’m a very “wing it” person which is what I wanna change.

I want to be more mindful about how I go about these but usually, I just sit down and kind of think of a topic and then whatever comes out, will come out. I don’t even write a script so that’s something that I wanna do because it saves time and it also makes you more purposeful.

Kiko: Ganon, (spontaneous) lang din. ‘Pag nag-on na ako ng camera and then ‘yung lights ko sa studio, mag-start na ko mag-makeup tutorial or ‘yung sa ibang case, ‘pag mga may brands na nagpapadala ng products to review, ‘yun.

Impromptu talaga. Kasi kailangan mo talaga makita ‘yung first impressions, how it feels… ‘yun ‘yung authentic na gusto nilang napapanood.

Lex: For my part, kailangan heavily scripted ‘yung trabaho kasi anime. I compile all of the comments I received tungkol sa isang topic. Say, handwriting, how to improve your handwriting, ta’s lahat na ng tanong doon, sasagutin ko.

I have a spreadsheet, scheduled naman ‘yan… I take a week off from creating, pahinga ko ‘yun, and that’s when I list down all of the topics. 52 episodes for the coming year.

Video and featured artwork by Uela Altar-Badayos