I should really just create a page where I list everything I’ve ever encountered that I like, as well as reasons why you might just like them, too.
I haven’t done so because that would be a lot of work. Furthermore, stuff on the Internet is constantly being taken down or moved, which would require constant curation, which isn’t nearly as much fun as creating new things.
Also, I have to write a lot to make sure that I post every day. Sometimes I’m a bit tired of politics or research, and it’s nice to pretend I’m Buzzfeed for a little while, and that it’s possible to trick all of you into thinking listicles are real, quality content.
So, without further ado, here are 5 YouTube Channels I watch in my spare time:
I end up watching a lot of videos on filmmaking. It could be because most writing advice videos can be summed up as “get off of YouTube and go write.” Every Frame a Painting contains the best breakdown of filmmaking technique I’ve ever encountered. Each video focuses on something small but goes into incredible detail. I never fail to learn something, and somehow, there’s a bit of dry humor packed in there as well.
But what really sets this channel apart from the competition is the fact that it lives up to its name. Each video is edited to within an inch of perfection and maybe beyond. The style forged here may provide the inspiration for Austin McConnell’s video essays, and perhaps Breadsword’s whole channel. Unfortunately, Every Frame a Painting was so labor intensive that it never quite turned a profit. The channel is now dead. The 28 videos that were posted are all we’re ever going to get.
Speaking of Breadsword, it might be time to admit that I have a problem. Hi, my name is Cody Kapocsi, and I love video essays.
Breadsword is a relatively new channel, roughly a year old, and having a total of five videos to its name. Something I love about this channel is how it really lives in that sweet spot where passion and creative talent meet up. How else would we end up with an impassioned defense of the Mike Meyers The Cat in The Hat movie, that makes you want to go watch it? Why did Treasure Planet flop? What is that movie, Dr. Stranglove, which everybody knows and nobody’s seen, really about? Like Every Frame a Painting, Breadsword is spectacularly edited but takes a more philosophical approach to movies, which I love. And unlike the latter channel, it’s still active. I’m looking forward to seeing what it does in the future.
“All the world’s a videogame,
And all the animals merely possible characters”
That’s the premise of TierZoo. The world is a videogame, and each species of animal represents a class of playable character. Like any complex game, a so-called “tier-list” of which characters are the best and which are awful, which is created by the community of players. TierZoo is a tongue-in-cheek analysis of just which animals would be the strongest if real life was in fact, a videogame.
It’s a great channel to sit down and watch while eating lunch. Nothing is too heavy, but it’s definitely well-thought out. Which stats are better? Would a turtle with more speed or more armor be more competitive? How long can this guy keep pretending we all live in a videogame?
- Captain Disillusion
They say you can make a career out of what you love. Maybe your thing is dressing up like a B-movie superhero and debunking Internet hoax videos for children. Or, maybe that’s not your thing, but it’s definitely Captain Disillusion’s thing. He recently sat for an interview in which he revealed that his parents were circus performers in the U.S.S.R., who escaped to the West but left him behind for a time, later sending for him. That . . . actually sounds like a real superhero’s backstory.
Anyways, his channel is more than just debunking videos. Captain Disillusion is also dedicated to making sure you understand how those videos were made in the first place so that you can recognize the technique when it’s used in other videos. Something that’s always fascinated me, and exasperated him, is that people often use unmodified stock effects in the creation of these videos. As Captain Disillusion says, “Love with your heart, use your head for everything else!”
- Imaginary Ambition
Contradictions in title aside, Imaginary Ambition is one of the most interesting channels I’ve ever encountered. Each video starts out fairly normally. The premise is that the video creator is teaching you how to make music in the style of a popular artist.
Then things take a turn for the weird.
Commonly, sounds for the songs must be physically hunted down in the real world. And when I say, “hunted down,” I don’t mean “found.” Think knives and nets. Other times the process of creation involves smearing mayonnaise over a laptop keyboard.
Furthermore, the author’s character often experiences small existential crises during the composition of the song and struggles with loneliness and meaning.
It’s a channel that teaches you something while also making something just a step lower than art. You just have to have a heavy tolerance for the truly bizarre. No, really. This one is weird.