The world of youtube is becoming a more and more cut throat all the time. It takes a lot to get the subscribers attention. I too have put my hand in the youtube game for about 5 months now an have only gained 12 subscribers, but that can’t be said for my guest Justin Silverman. He also started his channel back in august and has gained nearly 3,000. Which are all well deserved. I find his videos very well shot, produced, and the content is never lacking in entertainment. And my wife will tell you I am very critical about the things I watch.
Justin describes his content as being “stream-of-consciousness kind of stuff.” Any statement couldn’t be truer of his channel. His opinions are well informed, and are delivered in a way that seems more conversation like rather than talking down to you. Because most of his videos being, basically, unscripted it gives them a randomness that make them hard to predict, so you never get bored. Justin is also part of the team behind the Underbellyshow, which became one of my favorite channels since I found it about 2 years ago. If I remember right I was about the 2,500 subscriber to Underbellyshow, and how I remember that I have no clue. This channel has seen its problems, but has managed to muscle through it to find something that seems to be working for them.
Read Justin’s Full Interview Below:
1. Where did you go to college, and what did you study?
Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in 3D Animation and also one in Motion Picture Study and Design.
2. What did you do before you got on youtube?
Before I got onto YouTube in 2009 I worked at NFL Films as an Assistant Editor in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. I was a big fan of YouTube stuff though. Shows on ScrewAttack. People like the AVGN.
3. Where did the idea for Underbelly come from?
Basically I was working with Newt and Shawn on a movie called Midnight Show. Unfortunately the movie couldn’t get made for budget reasons (we were smack in the middle of the recession.) So, we decided to pool our resources and start a webshow. We tossed a lot of e-mails back and forth and we settled on the name Underbelly because we wanted to be the seedy underbelly of the Internet while attacking the vulnerable underbelly of pop culture. We used both meanings of the word.
4. What made you want to start Silvermania Show?
Underbelly was really falling apart a few months ago. I wanted to quit, basically. No one was invested in the show anymore. So, I took some old ideas and rants I had and starting filming them with my roommate Jarrett and another group of friends. Because of this show and a few other factors, Underbelly came back together quickly and now I am doing both shows weekly.
5.Whats it like starting your own channel, and seeing some success with it?
Well, I wouldn’t say Underbelly or Silvermania are successes, really. I’m not being modest either. Shows like Smosh or Ray William Johnson rake in millions of dollars a year. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a check from YouTube. Right now everything goes to updating equipment and buying props we constantly need. I appreciate the fans though and their reaction to my content.
6. Where do you come up for the ideas for Silvermania Show and Underbelly?
Silvermania is just stream-of-conciousness kind of stuff, not a lot of preparation goes into episodes. Whatever we’re thinking about on the day to day… I also get ideas from friends to. Underbelly is more difficult, but, there’s four guys on the team that know nerdy stuff and we’re all filmmakers. Again, just write what you know.
7. I have seen a parody which you wrote the lyrics to, so do you prefer writing or acting?
I don’t prefer either. I write when I’m needed to, I act when there’s no one else. Silvermania isn’t an act, it’s me being me… so, that’s fine… I prefer the role of Producing, making sure things are getting done to my standards. I also like fixing someone’s script. I’m the kind of guy who is bad at making original content, but good at fixing someone else’s mediocre content.
8. How do you feel about people throwing around the term “Nerd?”
Doesn’t really phase me. Just people being dumb and misunderstanding a term. I mean, I can rant all day about it, but, you can’t let things like that get to you. If anything it’s people being trendy since nerd stuff is so hot today in the media.
9. How many Cons do you/Underbelly visit?
A lot. E3, PAX East, Otakon, Kotoricon, MAGFest, NekoCon, TooManyGames, RetroCon, Philly Comic Con, and those are just the yearly cons. We’ve been to BronyCon, Monster Mania… lot’s of stuff. We mainly starting getting press badges because we wanted to go for free and get press access, filming was secondary.
10. Are you involved with any bigger youtube studios?
Underbelly and Silvermania are signed with Maker Studios and are primarily under The Game Station’s wing. Silvermania is also with ScrewAttack.
11. What are some plans you have for the future?
Just make weekly content and see where it takes me. I also really like conventions… and, as I said before, I’m good at fixing things as a producer… so, I see a lot of issues when I am at a convention and think to myself, “I would do this differently.” So, I am now staff at TooManyGames and I plan on helping out at other cons across the country. I really want to start PokéCon, the first ever Pokémon Convention.
12. What advice do you have for anyone who may want to start there own youtube channel?
There’s three things you need… and I’ll start with the biggest. You need to talk and show stuff that you really like and earnestly enjoy. Next, learn video production and especially sound work. People won’t watch you if your show sounds terrible, but will if the video is bad… most YouTuber’s just do voice over anyway. Last, once you have the first two just sit back and be cool with your audience. Don’t force yourself on anyone or try to be someone you’re not. If no one watches, that sucks, but luck has a lot to do with it. Don’t worry about e-mailing a million blogs about your show, don’t seem needy, just cool and relaxed.
Wether Justin thinks his channel is successful or not he is part of one of the most brutal social media sights out there, and with so many people on Youtube it’s getting tougher and tougher to come up with original content, but Justin does it with his own flare. And he does it well. That makes him a success in my book.
Justin’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SilvermaniaShow
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