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What got you started, doing video editing and then going from that to starting your own Youtube channel?

Oh goodness. I started doing video editing back when I was in grade 6 with my friend Nicholas. We created our own “Jackass” stunts and my passion for content creation started then. I have been making and editing videos ever since! Throughout highschool to university there was always a camera in my hand.

My YouTube channel came about 2 years ago. I was working for a media company at the time and so was spending alot of time editing. But majority of the videos were incredibly corporate and started sucking the joy out of editing. I needed to find a way to be creative again, and that’s how my YouTube channel came about.

What would you say, was the biggest hurdle to overcome, in regards to yourself and taking that leap to actually start the Youtube channel and pushing through?

I don’t think I ever had that hurdle when starting my channel. Content creation was always something I was passionate about and so there was more excitement than anything else when starting my channel. 

But I won’t lie, starting a new channel is difficult. Putting hard work into videos that don’t get many views and a small number of subscribers can really take a knock on one’s self confidence. But that’s when you reflect on your content and yourself and figure out way you started in the first place.

What would you say are the biggest influences on your workflow and decisions while editing? 

It might sound cliche, but authenticity. That is the one thing I make sure is present in all my videos. I need to be authentic. There have been a few videos that I never uploaded because I felt like I wasn’t being true to myself or what I believe in. 

And since reviews are my regular uploads I battle with authenticity alot. Because I know, there are movies that others enjoy and I don’t or vice versa. And I can either go and agree with everyone to get more likes, or I can be honest and stand true in what I believe. 

And I can say for the most part, this has actually worked in my favor with people actually preferring that I gave my honest opinion. Although, that’s not always the case. Just take a look at my Goop Labs like to dislike ratio if you want to see what happens when people really don’t like your videos XD.

What would you do if given the chance to do anything else, outside the creative realm?

Flip, this is an incredibly tough question. Basically everything I do or have done has an element of creativity to it. And I try to be creative with everything I do. 

One thing I guess doesn’t fall under the typical creative realm is ministry. My faith is incredibly important to me and I know that I am who I am because of the gifts and talents God has given me, so ministry, education and presenting the Gospel are definitely things I want to and will pursue in the future.

What’s your favourite food dish?

I’ll never say no to a hamburger! It’s the ultimate food! So I’ll take a burger with fries as my favorite food dish.

Have you encountered a severe drop in your career that made you feel you are going to give up and how did you overcome that obstacle?

Oh most definitely! After about a year on YouTube I was still sitting on around only 70 subscribers and it was heart breaking. I was so tired of working and working on videos that didn’t seem to get many views or any new subscribers. and it became very hard to create content when it felt like no one was enjoying it or engaging with it. 

But I then realized, I had 70 subscribers. There were 70 people out there in the world that liked my content enough to subscribe. And while 70 might not sound like alot, put 70 people in a room and you’ll see how many people it actually is. 

After this realization, I became motivated about my channel once again and I moved forward at a greater pace, creating better content, and I’ve never looked back.

What is the best go-to break away from your workstation to unplug for a few minutes?

So, I might lose some cool guy points here… But I need to be honest. I actually have a pet Chihuahua named Rose-Tyler. She is the cutest little puppy in the world and whenever I need a break I just have a little wrestling match with her or chase her around the garden.

What is your favourite way of finding inspiration to stay creative?

Staying creative can be difficult, and even exhausting. But I’ll bring up two points that creatives I know personally and look up to have told me. 

The first is Lindo Langa, a Director I studied with at university. He explained to me how replication, or taking elements from something else and then introducing it into your own work can be a great way to create something new and beautiful. Whether it’s replicating a shot or camera angle with new lighting or a different subject.

The next is my friend Ruan Swanepoel (Better known as EXP STREAMS) who taught me the importance of pushing through. At a CreateZA Meetup he was presenting, and told the audience that in moments where he is tired or exhausted he doesn’t stop creating. Because that’s when the best ideas come. when you think you’ve got nothing left, you got to push just that little bit more.

Sushi or steak?

I’m about to disappoint my dad here and say probably sushi… Gosh I feel like I’ve betrayed him.

I’m sorry dad, I love you.

What do you enjoy most about your journey in video and cinematography so far?

Another cliche answer, but it’s the relationships I have built with others through my channel that I enjoy the most. I have made many life long friends that started with a simple video collaboration (a perfect example would be Jared Naidu). 

I have also gotten involved with a company called CreateZA (of which I am the KZN Manager) and I now call the companies founders (Sheldon Zam and Tenn iBair) some of my closest friends. 

None of these relationships would have been possible if not for YouTube or my channel, and so I’m incredibly thankful for that.

What has been your most memorable moment where you felt that you are in the right place for you at that moment?

One moment definitely stands out amongst the rest! It happened while filming a photography video titled “Summer Sunrise Photography“.

My friend Alleen and I woke up incredibly early to film the sun rising. We got up in the pitch black and drove to the top of a hill side and when the sun started to rise… We got nothing. Out of nowhere this massive wall of mist came in and completely and completely surrounded us. 

All hope seemed lost but we decided to put a time-lapse on and go take some photos, and thankfully we did, because what happened next was actually almost indescribable. 

The mist disappated in an instant and the remaining clouds seemed to roll out like waves in the ocean. The sun shone out in all its golden glory and bathed everything in this warm light. 

To this day it is honestly the most beatiful things I’ve ever filmed and it was just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

Have you got any special shoutouts to anyone who you feel made a significant impact on your skills and that helped you reach this point?

Too many to count! 

Firstly, a massive shout out to Happe Chappe. This incredible bro of mine was instrumental in helping me with the early stages of my YouTube career. 

Sheldon Zam, who I mentioned before, but introduced me to a whole new way to approach content creation and how it impacts the community. 

Jared Naidu, my first collaboration and dear friend. 

Daniella Mosca, the strongest person I know. Someone I look up to, respect and love with all my heart. 

And I could honestly go on and on… Preshan Dhanillal, Zack Cherry, Reel James, SunnyBunch, EXP STREAMS. All these guys have an incredibly special place in my heart.

If you could be any superhero or superheroine, who would you be and why?

Hands Down it’s Superman. Not only is he pretty much unstoppable and invulnerable… He’s the ultimate good guy. He never abuses his powers and he stands up for those who need it. We need more heroes like that.

What can we expect to see from your Youtube channel in the near future?

I actually just made a video about this! My channel has just hit a weird period of time. 

I have recently gotten a new job filming and editing a series called “The Adventures of The Twins In Africa”. It’s an incredibly exciting series and I’ll be traveling through South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. I’m really excited about it all and very passionate about the project. 

But this will and already has affected my channel. With the enormous workload comes less time to edit videos, plus the fact that some locations we are going to don’t even have signal has impacted how many videos I can release. 

There will be more videos, I promise, but for the next 9 months I won’t have a fixed uploading schedule. But after those 9 months, you better be ready because the content will be pumping!

What do you think, is the most important discipline to develop, that will help carry you in any of the career paths available to you?

I think the most important discipline to develop is a love for learning. We are constantly having to learn more if we want to stay ahead of the curve and the competition. 

Learning to enjoy that process makes it alot more enjoyable and sustainable.

If we want to find you online and follow your work, where can we look you up?


YouTube

Instagram

Neal

Written by Neal Strydom


Co-Owner of Pixelsmithstudios. Specialising in creating content for digital platforms Working fulltime in marketing & Advertising Always meeting new talent