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5 small Twitch streamers you should know

Twitch streamer

Millions of streamers broadcast their content every month on Twitch. With so much content to watch, and Twitch’s often lackluster support for discoverability, it’s easy to miss small streamers producing quality broadcasts.

In this article, we will highlight five small Twitch streamers making quality content. We’ll discuss what they do and what makes them such great streamers.


Lewloh is a singer-songwriter, occasional gamer and a kind-hearted person. Having just started streaming a little over a year ago, he already has around 3.4K followers and an average viewer count of around 50 live viewers per stream. What’s more, his presence on other platforms is just as big, if not bigger, than his community on Twitch. For instance, his YouTube channel has about 8.1K followers. On Instagram, he has 13.6K followers. Twitch growth happens most quickly when you simultaneously grow yourself on platforms like YouTube. As we see with Lewloh, his YouTube subscriber performance mirrors his performance on Twitch.

Through the natural commentary, viewers learn about Lewloh’s identity. He is Asian, LGBTQ+ and a person who connects with multiple cultures. Lewloh often brings guests to his streams to expand on music and converse about their experiences. He creates a comfortable space for his audience. Viewers can learn a ton about developing a music career, including specific topics like songwriting. Lewloh teaches the importance of being mindful in any process, whether it’s music or self-growth.


Patrixia is a full-time Twitch streamer who DJs on stream three times a week. Her channel currently has 4.7K followers. Born and raised in Chicago, her DJ style focuses on darker genres and electronica. Patrixia is not confined to a single style; she expands on her Latinx culture and beyond. In 2020 she began streaming and found success with her loyal following.

Patrixia is constantly interacting with her viewers while she DJs. She creates a safe space within her chats where hate is not tolerated. Offering one on one lessons via stream for aspiring DJs is one way she shows support for her followers. By utilizing special effects during her streams she keeps the visuals engaging throughout. Patrixia streams with her talent and personality on full display.


ChelseaBytes is an avid gamer, computer scientist and self-proclaimed nerd. She regularly streams various games like “League of Legends” or “A Plague Tale: Requiem.” As she games, she chats. In fact, most of her content falls under the Just Chatting category. She regularly dives into other forms of content like builds or TikTok commentary. Streaming for over four years, she has amassed 19.5K followers. 

She has made it clear that her identity and experiences as a black woman are important to her content. She gives back by raising money for charities like Girls Who Code. It is easy to see that Chelsea is passionate about her streams with the enthusiasm she brings to each one. Her personality is what drives her channel. ChelseaBytes streams show the necessity of having a genuine connection to what you produce is vital.


Christine is the mind behind CookingForNoobs, where she makes recipes she has not tried before. She is a seasoned streamer starting in 2015 and gained 30.2K followers. Streaming regularly on Twitch around four times a week, her success is consistent thanks to her routine. She sometimes shelves cooking to game, create staycations or make content with her husband.

Christine is warm and inviting to all. The commitment to producing streams for the enjoyment of her followers is crucial. Her Twitch stream teaches people to cook from a new perspective. She encourages everyone to be positive and appropriate in chat, which creates a family-friendly stream. Christine exemplifies the persistence it takes to have a successful Twitch channel that continues to grow.


Miekii is a bike messenger and gamer living in Manhattan. His streams consist of him riding through the city streets, gaming and going on adventures with his girlfriend, Keisha. He brings viewers with him on daily quests that build a bond. Sitting at around 66K followers, Miekii provides content almost daily for viewer enjoyment. He is also part of a streaming team called Fuslie Family

He is quite active in the Twitch community, having met up with other streamers. Being a part of a stream team connects Micheal to other Twitch streamers, giving him more exposure. Michael demonstrates how essential it is to have a community that supports you.

Take away

These Twitch streamers all produce very different streams, yet all similarly have a deep regard for their communities. They are also great examples of the advantage of authenticity. Sharing their hobbies and craft with enthusiasm connects them with their audiences.

So, while these streamers may not have the biggest communities on Twitch, they have tight-knit communities that love their content. We hope they continue to grow their communities and share their great content with the rest of the world.

How long does it take to upload a video to YouTube?

How long does it take to upload a video to YouTube featured image

In a nutshell

  • Uploading a video to YouTube depends on a number of factors, including connection speed, video format, quality and resolution
  • YouTube’s file size and duration limit is 256 GB or 12 hours
  • Depending on your video file size and internet speed, uploading a video could take anywhere from 40 seconds to 45 minutes or more

The time it takes to upload a video to YouTube depends on several factors, including internet connection speed, video format, quality and resolution. This article goes into detail and how to optimize each stage.

YouTube processing

Processing refers to the work that takes place behind the scenes following a user upload. This keeps YouTube’s platform from imploding under the sheer volume of uploads and streams by standardizing them.

How does processing work?

Several events occur when uploading a video to YouTube.

  • Encoding the video to YouTube’s VP9 codec
  • Combining (muxing) the audio and video streams into the WebM container format
  • Creating a version of the video for each resolution

This is the current state of YouTube encoders and containers and largely reflects the shift away from the VP8 codec and older containers like FLV and 3GP used for lower-resolution videos.

How long does it take?

The main factors that impact video upload and processing times are quality, resolution, bitrate, file size and internet bandwidth.

YouTube’s file size and duration limit is 256 GB or 12 hours. See the recommended export settings in the next section.

ResolutionApproximate File size per minute: 30 fpsProcessing Time per minute
2160p (4K) – 3840 x 2160337 MB at 45 Mbps60-240 seconds
1440p – 2560 x 1440135 MB at 16 Mbps45-180 seconds
1080p – 1920 x 108054 MB at 8 Mbps30-60 seconds
720p – 1280 x 72036 MB at 5 Mbps~30 seconds
480p – 854 x 48018 MB 2.5 Mbps~ 15 seconds
Approximate YouTube processing times per minute of video.

The future of processing

Why has there been no mention of H.264 and H.265 (HEVC) codecs so far? With regards to H.264, YouTube did heavily use the codec and displays as AVC1 in the “stats for nerds” menu if you want to compare usage. The major reasons for the shift away from H.264 come down to efficiency and royalty payments. VP9, by comparison, is a royalty-free codec that Google developed in-house and offered better performance.

The payment of royalties is a big driver as to why YouTube never adopted the more efficient H.265 codec. The practice of using royalty-free technologies is a large part of YouTube’s operating model, which makes total sense when you consider a footprint of billions of videos and the increasing pressures of hosting and distributing an ever-increasing amount of 4K content.

Though the platform does generate billions of dollars in revenue, profitability is more elusive, especially in the context of the recent trials around putting 4K streams behind the premium paywall and adding more ads to the free tier.

AV1 is a next-generation, royalty-free codec that has been around since 2019 and is in line to replace VP9. The improvements AV1 offers include better image quality at lower bitrates, making it more efficient than even H.265. The current GPU launches, including Intel’s ARC, Nvidia’s 4000 series and AMD’s 7000 cards, all offer AV1 encoding and decoding capabilities. For anyone after strong AV1 encoding performance on a budget, look no further than the Intel ARC A380 graphics card.

Optimizing your upload

A good upload experience begins by matching the recommended upload specification and providing content at a high source resolution. The recommendations in this article focus on SDR videos since the state and support of HDR on YouTube is somewhat dubious. However, there are some signs this will be addressed in the future.

Most video editing software has export presets, among them presets for YouTube at different resolutions.

YouTube’s recommended upload settings for video are available here and are well worth looking at for a complete summary.

This is a summary of YouTube’s recommended export settings:

  • Container: MP4
  • Audio: AAC
    • Sample rate: 48 KHz or 96 KHz
    • Bitrate: 192 KHz
    • Channels: Stereo or Stereo and 5.1
  • Codec: H.264
    • Progressive scan
    • High profile
  • Video bitrate
    • 4K: 35-45 Mbps
    • 1440: 16 Mbps
    • 1080p: 8 Mbps


Part of YouTube’s processing includes creating multiple versions of the video at different resolutions. Therefore the primary goal of an upload should be to provide the highest quality that makes practical sense given your workflow and audience.

High-resolution 4K content is now more widely available than ever, but when you factor in that 40 percent of YouTube content is streamed on mobile devices uploading at 4K might make less sense depending on your audience.

Editing 4K content is the easiest it has ever been, owing to the recent jumps in computing power. Apple’s transition to its own silicon designs has been particularly effective because of the powerful computer and graphics included even in the base models. Intel and AMD have also just released their latest generation of CPUs.

Compute power is only one factor in editing in high resolutions since storing and editing 4K video still consumes a lot of storage space. It is best to choose our battles by consciously choosing what resolution we want to film and edit in. 

4K or bust?

To that end, 1440p and 1080p both make for more than just an acceptable compromise. Both resolutions are significantly less demanding in terms of computing and storage resources and very much still high resolutions that upscale well on 4K displays. There are still plenty of channels out there with high-quality content at 1080p.


YouTube’s own upload guidelines recommend using H.264 compression on source videos. Check the export presets on your video software and how closely they align with the recommended settings above; most have YouTube-specific flavors.

Run and upload test exports until there is little to no difference between the H.264 compression quality and bitrate, specifically looking out for artifacts and color banding. This will help save on export and upload times in the long run.

Bring your own device

We highly recommend using your own network device for more technically savvy users whenever the Internet Service Provider (ISP) allows it. For example, the ARRIS Surfboard modem family, formerly Motorola, is a staple in the DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem world and makes a difference in connection quality. Bringing your own device also stops the extortionate monthly equipment rental fees ISPs like to charge.

The same logic applies to ditching the ISP-provided combo modem/router/access point and opting for a better combo unit or going for a dedicated access point and router.

Internet connection

Internet connectivity has only become a bigger factor in the lives of content creators. Fast download and upload speeds have become less of a novelty and more of a necessity in our workflows.

The ability to quickly upload videos, push offsite backups, and host high-quality livestreams are just some of the immediate benefits.

Start by checking if the ISPs in your area provide fiber or, at the very least, higher bandwidth packages.

Bandwidth explained

Bandwidth is the total available capacity of a network connection. For home and business users, this is also the amount that is allocated. Conventional copper connections are not symmetrical and are weighted for higher download speeds.

Bandwidth is measured in megabits per second (Mbps); a common mistake is to see this as Megabytes which is used to measure disk space and file size.

1 Mbps = 0.125 MB/s: a 100 Mbps connection will net you 12.5 MB/s

Connection types

This is not an exhaustive list, but it covers the most common broadband internet connection types available in the North American and European markets.

Evolving standards have been critical in optimizing and fully utilizing both new and existing infrastructure.


This is the oldest of the original broadband standards still in use today. DSL stands for “digital subscriber line” and utilizes standard copper telephone lines for data transmission. The standard has undergone several evolutions through DSL, ADSL and VDSL.

ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) is the most common legacy connection used in the US market and can provide maximum download and upload speeds of 20 Mbps and 1 Mbps, respectively. Whether those speeds are achievable entirely depends on the proximity to an exchange. 

VDSL (very high-speed digital subscriber line) is popular in European markets and uses a blend of higher frequency modulation on the signal and fiber cable to link the exchange to the local cabinets located on most blocks. Towns and municipalities also tend to have their own exchange and, combined with the higher density of junctions, allow for effective deployment. Expected download speeds are in the 70 Mbps range, with upload speeds around 20 Mbps.

Coaxial, aka cable

Cable internet is, by far, the most common type of connection in North America. The introduction of broadband packages using DOCSIS 3.0 and 3.1 connections over the last 12 years has transformed the cable internet industry and allowed download speeds north of 100 Mbps. Unfortunately, upload speeds have lagged behind anywhere between 5 to 15 Mbps. There are now packages in some markets offering upload speeds of 35 Mbps.

A major downside of cable is its performance during peak hours, akin to how we could see the water pressure drop by poking more holes in a garden hose. While this has gotten better over the years, it can still account for slowdowns at peak hours.


All roads eventually lead to fiber internet. The improvements listed above, especially given the historical context, are truly amazing. If we told our past selves that one day we could have a gigabit cable connection, there would surely be some stunned expressions. This author still remembers the pain of using dial-up internet and watching pages load line by line.

The key benefits of fiber are removing the restrictions of using copper cabling, supporting much higher speeds and supporting truly symmetrical upload and download speeds.

Gigabit internet is no longer a mythical unicorn and is increasingly available — not that most users would need those speeds. More importantly, connections offering speeds of anywhere over 200 Mbps on download and upload links are where we start seeing transformative value.

Download and upload speeds

Download speed is the rate at which data can be downloaded and is again measured in megabits per second (Mbps). For most connections, download speeds make up the bulk of allocated bandwidth. Unless otherwise stated, upload speeds are usually a fraction compared to a connection’s download speeds. The exceptions are fiber connections, and that still depends on the ISP providing a package that can unlock increased upload speeds.

The chart below shows estimated upload times for a 15-minute video at three different resolutions and three common upload speeds.

Video ResolutionLength and File SizeUpload SpeedEstimated Upload Time
4K15 minutes / 5 GB100 Mbps7:09 minutes
35 Mbps20:27 minutes
15 Mbps47:43 minutes
1080p15 minutes / 810 MB100 Mbps1:07 minutes
35 Mbps3:14 minutes
15 Mbps7:32 minutes
720p15 minutes / 5 GB100 Mbps0:45 minutes
35 Mbps2:09 minutes
15 Mbps5:01 minutes
Comparison of YouTube video upload times for different resolutions at several upload speeds.

Times will vary

There are many factors you have to consider when uploading a video to YouTube. Use this guide to give you a general estimate of what to expect when uploading your next YouTube video.

What can we learn from the most disliked video on YouTube?

Most disliked YouTube videos featured image

In a nutshell

  • The most disliked video is YouTube’s 2018 Rewind
  • Dislikes can help creators determine what content their audiences dislikes
  • Creators should pay attention to dislike as closely as they do to likes

It’s common knowledge to YouTubers that the like button is better than the dislike button. However, the dislike button isn’t as bad of a thing as one might think. Though uploading a video that gets a lot of dislikes is usually seen as a bad thing, it doesn’t necessarily have to be. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the YouTube dislike button. We will discuss what it does, what the most disliked YouTube video currently is and why the dislike button isn’t as bad a thing as you might think it is.

What does disliking a YouTube video do?

Most YouTubers focus more on subscriptions, shares, views and comments — for good reason, too. However, dislikes also matter. When a video receives a dislike, it hurts its standing with YouTube’s algorithm. A dislike flags the video as content that isn’t worth viewers’ time or content that’s misleading or contains incorrect information. Regardless of the reason, videos that are disliked typically are buried in search results by the algorithm; YouTube wants to dish out liked videos to users watching.

However, one dislike isn’t likely going to bury it. It all depends on your like-to-dislike ratio. For instance, Markipler’s video “we found a message… | Raft” has 346 dislikes. While that might seem like a lot a first, when we see that the video has 77K likes on it, the video’s like-to-dislike ratio tells the algorithm that an overwhelming majority — about 99 percent — of the viewers liked this video. Note, though, the like-to-dislike ratio isn’t the only factor the YouTube algorithm looks at when determining if it should push the video up in search results. It is possible for a massively disliked video to still be at the top of search results. We see this with YouTube’s top creators and businesses. However, for smaller creators, it has a big impact on their performance in the algorithm.

Unfortunately, YouTube took away the ability to see other people’s videos’ like-to-dislike ratios earlier this year. Though, you can still see yours in your Creator Studio.

Is the disklike button important?

The dislike button serves two purposes. First, it gives YouTube an idea of whether or not the video is worth pushing into search results. Second, it gives creators important information about what their audience thinks about the content of the video. Say you’re primarily a gaming channel on YouTube, but you want to break out into baking content. You upload a few baking videos and notice that your baking videos have more dislikes than your gaming content. It’s a sign that your current audience isn’t a fan of your content. It’s a data point that can help you understand your audience and make a more informed decision about the future of your channel and what content you should post.

What is the most disliked YouTube video, and why?

If you’re curious about what the most disliked YouTube video is, look no further than YouTube. Yes, YouTube. YouTube ironically uploaded the most disliked YouTube video ever back in 2018 when it published “YouTube Rewind 2018: Everyone Controls Rewind | #YouTubeRewind.” It currently holds 3.1 million likes and 20 million dislikes, which suggests about 87 percent of viewers disliked this video. Both content creators and fans faulted the video for being too corporate, commercial and highlighting celebrities instead of the platform’s actual community. Its long running time of 8 minutes also played a hand in its contempt, as well.

Should you encourage dislikes?

Some YouTubers will argue that any publicity is good publicity. There are videos that will blow up on YouTube due to the sheer number of dislikes it has. We won’t beat around the bush; sometimes, this strategy works. Drama and controversy can sometimes help creators grow bigger. However, they’re gambling on their channel’s future. They hope that if just one of their videos gains traction due to the number of dislikes it gets, that will naturally result in more eyes on their content and brand. It sometimes works, sure, but it’s rare, especially for smaller creators. Plus, it’s potentially damaging to your brand and will have the opposite effect of what you initially intended the strategy to do. While YouTube didn’t plan to make the most disliked video, it took a hit to its image when it uploaded 2018’s Rewind.

What can you really learn from disliked videos?

Having a few disliked videos on YouTube doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a bad content creator. Likes and dislikes on your video indicate your current audience’s feedback on the video’s contents. Sure, that video won’t perform as well in the algorithm, but you can use that information to help your future content perform better. Dislikes indicate what you shouldn’t do if you want to grow more.

So, moving forward, be mindful of dislikes, but they aren’t the end-all and bell-all. In fact, some creators find dislikes more helpful than likes simply because it helps them decide what’s working and what isn’t. So, keep a level head if one of your videos gets a few dislikes and take a close look as to why it was disliked so much.

How much does TikTok pay you for one million views?

Image asset courtesy: TikTok

In a nutshell:

  • TikTok creators make about $0.02 to $0.04 per 1,000 views on a video
  • The Creator Fund is TikTok’s way of paying creators on the platform
  • The low payout forces creators to use TikTok primarily for exposure, not a revenue stream

TikTok creators, especially those with large followings, get millions of views on their content. So, of course, you’re probably wondering about the payout. How much does TikTok pay you for one million views? Do creators get paid a lot of money for all the views they get? Well, the answer might surprise you. We’ll cover how much TikTok pays creators per one million views, what factors play into how much creators get paid and other ways creators on the platform make money.

So, how much does TikTok pay you for one million views?

The answer to this question might come as a surprise to most people. The payout for TikTok creators is quite low, even for videos that reach one million views. TikTok pays $0.02 to $0.04 per 1,000 views on a video, so creators can make up to $40 per one million views on their content. Yeah, that’s pretty low, especially when compared to platforms like YouTube, which pays creators up to $4,000 per 1,000 views. Even that payout is a little low.

Why is the payout so low?

TikTok pays its creators through the Creator Fund, which is a pool of money distributed among creators on the platform based on their views. This is a set pool of money, so regardless of how many creators are on the platform, the pool remains the same. This system doesn’t exactly work in favor of creators — who are paid pennies for millions of views. TikTok’s rise in popularity has skyrocketed in the past couple of years and continues to grow, yet the platform pays creators the same.

Many creators on the platform have called out TikTok on their low payouts for content creators. When the Creator Fund launched, the pool was set at $200 million in 2020. TikTok stated this was set to increase to one billion in the U.S. in a few years’ time, so we’ll see if the payout increases heading into 2023.

What is the Creator Fund?

The Creator Fund is TikTok’s way of paying its creators. The platform wants to reward creators who create engaging content that attracts more users to the platform. Creators make $0.02 to $0.04 per 1,000 views. To be eligible for the Creator Fund, a creator needs to be 18 years old, be a U.S. resident, have 10,000 followers and receive 100,000 authentic video views. Currently, the Creator Fund is available in the U.S., UK, Germany, Italy, France and Spain.

How do TikTok creators make money?

TikTok can be lucrative if you know what you’re doing, and there are plenty of other ways to make money apart from views.

TikTok Live

Creators on TikTok can make money by hosting TikTok lives on their channel. While on live, followers can give creators “gifts,” which are essentially coins. These coins can be exchanged through PayPal. Lives are a great way to engage with followers as well. Creators can do Q&A sessions, get ready with me content, vlogging and more. The only requirement to go live on TikTok is a minimum of 1,000 followers.

Affiliate marketing

One of the best ways for creators to make money on TikTok is through affiliate marketing. There are plenty of TikTok creators that feature products in their content and have a link in their bio for followers and viewers to purchase the items. Affiliate marketing can be a lucrative way to make money on the platform. Studies have shown that more and more consumers make purchasing decisions on social media platforms. Even if you don’t receive millions of views on your content, you can still make product recommendations and include affiliate links in your bio. Many creators link right to their Amazon storefront.

Brand deals

With the rise in social media, more companies are catching onto influencer marketing and using platforms such as TikTok to market their products. Consumers find relatability more appealing when it comes to purchasing decisions. So, more and more creators on TikTok are receiving brand deals. It’s not uncommon to scroll through your TikTok feed and see multiple ads of what seem like ordinary people talking about a product. Creators with large followings receive thousands of dollars from brands for a post.

TikTok needs an update

With the massive increase in popularity since 2020, TikTok really needs to pay its creators more money for views. The platform’s popularity will only increase heading into 2023, and creators deserve better pay for the content that drives users to the platform. Will TikTok increase the pool for the Creator Fund to one billion, as they stated? Time will tell, but we sure hope so.

Mark Rober found success on YouTube by making videos that matter to viewers

Youtuber and Engineer Mark Rober
Image courtesy: Mark Rober

In a nutshell

  • Growth comes from making content that matters to viewers
  • Any topic can be meaningful if explained in a way that communicates its importance
  • Mark Rober uses storytelling to explain complex topics in a way that is easy to understand and draws people into his content

YouTube has no shortage of content. As the world’s second-largest search engine, it’s pretty clear why viewers come in droves searching for content that is entertaining or informative. With tens of thousands of hours being uploaded every day, it is difficult to find content that’s both. But sometimes, with luck, you find channels that can bridge the gap between the two. When the stars align, and the algorithm is working in our favor, you get something a little extra. The merger of entertainment and information cannot be observed more easily than through content creator Mark Rober.

Who is Mark Rober?

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to become a YouTube sensation. Except, in Mark’s case, that’s exactly what it takes. Mark is a trained mechanical engineer with degrees from BYU and USC. He spent nine years working for NASA’s JPL labs and seven of those years working on the Curiosity Rover currently cruising the landscape of Mars. Mark then spent five years with Apple designing special projects. 

In the past few years, Mark switched from being an employee at a Fortune 500 company to a full-time Youtube content creator. And if you thought his engineering career was astonishing, prepare for liftoff. In his online career, Mark has created some incredibly fun videos from “The World’s Largest Super Soaker” to “World’s Largest Jello Pool- Can you swim in Jello?” and from the “Rocket Powered Golf Club at 100,000 FPS” to “Automatic Bullseye, MOVING DARTBOARD.” Each video is both fun and educational, and it’s these types of videos that bring in nearly 60 million viewers per month. Today, Mark’s YouTube channel has nearly 23 million subscribers.

Mark also leans heavily into the scientific method by revisiting concepts that he believes he can make better. Two of the most popular video series of this type are Backyard Squirrel Maze and the Exploding Glitter Bomb. The Backyard Squirrel Maze series (currently version 3.0 in 2022) has totaled more than 190 million views. The Exploding Glitter Bomb series (currently version 4.0 in 2022) has over 230 million views.

How does he do it?

Mark Rober with the world’s largest Super Soaker. Source: Mark Rober

Mark’s affable nature does a bit of the heavy lifting here. He comes across as approachable, like a great science teacher. But it’s his storytelling ability that really draws us into his world. It would be pretty easy for the average viewer to get lost in some of the advanced scientific processes that go into one of his videos, but Mark takes care to explain the concept in digestible bites without resorting to technical jargon. He achieves this by taking more time to craft his videos. He only releases a video once a month, showing that quantity isn’t always better than quality on YouTube.

Additionally, Mark brings a key element to storytelling to draw viewers in: dramatic effect. For example, in the wildly popular “Backyard Squirrelympics 3.0- The Summer Games,” Mark gave each competitor a name. By getting audiences to buy into the squirrel names, Mark utilizes one of the most-effective messaging techniques, the appeal to pathos. Suddenly, the audience has subconsciously chosen their favorite and is actively cheering for them. 

Mark also wears a white hat. Well, not literally. Literally, he generally wears a baseball cap, but he comes from a place of doing good for society. By doing videos to expose rigged carnival games or purifying swamp water to drink, Mark shows us that not all heroes wear capes. Nothing illustrates this more than the Exploding Glitter Bomb series of videos. Mark went to work designing and building a bait package that uses glitter and stink spray to make thieves pay the price for stealing packages from his front door. Now on version 4.0, Mark continues to refine the process and fight the good fight.

Mark Rober with his thief deterring Exploding Glitter Bomb. Source: Mark Rober

Never work a day in your life.

One thing that is overwhelmingly clear is that Mark Rober loves what he does. For years he has brought energy and playfulness to his videos. It is that passion for what he does that gives Mark the opportunity to do some real good in the world. In 2020, Mark teamed up with fellow YouTuber, MrBeast, to raise $20 million for the #TeamTrees campaign. Their goal was to plant 20 million trees around the world (24 million to date). Then in 2021, the pair launched the #TeamSeas campaign to raise $30 million. This time their goal was to remove 30 million pounds of trash from the world’s oceans (33 million to date). Also, in 2021, Mark teamed up with TV host Jimmy Kimmel to raise money for the NEXT for Autism with a three-hour livestream event that pulled in over three million dollars.

Even as Mark’s channel grows to an astronomical size, he always is genuine to himself and what he loves. And his audience is here for it, no matter what science topic Mark chooses to discuss.

Creator Handbook’s 2022 holiday gift guide

Being an online content creator is a lot more work than it might look like. It can be hard to find the time, let alone the funds, to upgrade your equipment. Whether the creators in your life are just getting started or have already built a cool brand, they likely need a few things. Luckily, the holidays are upon us. However, if you’re not an expert, you could probably use a little help finding perfect gifts for content creators.

We’ve put together a list of practical and fun gifts for video creators that will help them up their video game. From tripods and lighting kits to mics and great extras, we’ve kept our list reasonably priced and organized to make it easy. Check out our Gift Guide below with easy links that will take you directly to purchasing pages on reputable websites.

Studio gear and accessories


MPB is the go-to platform to buy, sell and trade used photography and videography gear, including cameras, lenses and accessories. MPB offers a simple, safe and sustainable way to buy, sell and trade in your camera equipment, recirculating more than 350,000 items of used gear every year and extending the life and creative potential of photo and video gear and making it more accessible and affordable.
Learn more.

Roland AeroCaster Livestreaming System  

AeroCaster Livestreaming System  

Break free from the complicated setup and tangle of cables typically needed to connect cameras, computers, and switchers for multi-camera livestreaming. With just an iPad and a few mobile phones, the revolutionary Roland AeroCaster system will have you wirelessly switching and streaming on your favorite platform in minutes. 
AeroCaster makes it easy and affordable for anyone to create a wireless multi-camera setup with pro-level production quality. Leveraging the A/V power of the mobile devices that everyone carries, our breakthrough system opens up a new world of creative possibilities for any livestreaming application, from online talk shows and music performances to live commerce, remote education, and beyond. 
Learn more.

OWC Envoy Pro FX

Envoy Pro FX

The Envoy Pro FX is the ideal fast and tough portable SSD for on-the-go filmmakers. With Thunderbolt and universal USB compatibility in a bus-powered design, you never have to worry about interfaces or AC outlets. You just connect the Envoy Pro FX to nearly any Mac, PC or tablet for power and enjoy smooth playback and editing thanks to speeds up to 2800 MB/s. You’ll have plenty of space to hold high bitrate 4-6K footage and projects with capacities of up to 4 TB in an extremely compact housing. Work confidentially in the toughest conditions because the Envoy Pro FX is dust/drop/waterproof certified for safely transferring gigabytes of data in seconds anywhere. Whether you’re looking to access and save files from an older machine, backup up personal files or do some in-field large format video editing, the Envoy Pro FX can handle every data task you have.
Learn more.

LiveU Solo PRO

LiveU Solo PRO

Future-proof your livestreams with the LiveU Solo PRO. The new plug-and-play encoder offers one-touch wireless streaming directly from your camera to popular online platforms and web destinations. You will have peace of mind knowing your livestreams deliver the ultimate quality with professional-grade 4K and HEVC video, plus rock-solid reliability. Additionally, it has up to six IP connections, four external 4G/5G modems, Wi-Fi and LAN, ensuring top reliability in any network scenario.
Learn more.

IRIX cine lenses

IRIX’s cine lenses

IRIX has a lot to offer this holiday season. Currently, IRIX has six stellar cine lenses: the 11mm T4.3, 15mm T2.6, 21mm T1.5, 30mm T1.5, 45mm T1.5 and 150mm T3.0 Macro. They are currently working on more lenses to fill the gap between the 45mm and 150mm. This family of cine lenses received Videomaker’s Editors Choice Award; any one of these lenses would be a fantastic addition to filmmakers’ toolkits. Plus, IRIX offers several kits that come with a custom Irix Nanuk case.

So, if your videographer needs a lens — or several — IRIX’s cine lenses will make for great gifts.
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Nikon Z 30

Nikon Z 30

Nikon Z 30 – Compact, lightweight 4K setup for creators, vloggers and streamers. Creators, meet the camera you’ve been looking for. The Z 30 is packed with the features you need, like a front-facing screen, crisp 4K video, crystal-clear audio and worry-free autofocus. Designed to inspire your best work with easy operation, smart connectivity and convenience.
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PTZOptics Studio Pro

Studio Pro

Create content your way with the Studio Pro from PTZOptics. This complete solution features a portrait and landscape toggle switch for adapting content to any platform. The included panel light and noise-canceling microphone array ensure users can be seen and heard in just about any condition. For more control, use the IR remote to zoom in/out, set presets, and make focus adjustments.

The camera features simultaneous HDMI, USB and IP output capabilities and comes with NDI®|HX, allowing it to integrate into any setup. For flexible deployment, the Studio Pro can be powered via USB, 12VDC or PoE.
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Skydio 2+

Skydio 2+

Fly like never before, and create like no one else. Wherever your adventure takes you, Skydio is with you every inch of the way. Because our unparalleled subject tracking enables Skydio drones to maneuver around obstacles and film you like no human pilot ever could. Skydio helps you bring your vision to life. With intuitive cinematography skills that allow you to design unique flight paths and produce dynamic, smooth, single-shot videos. From breathtaking photography to jaw-dropping video, every flight has something worth sharing. Skydio makes it intuitive, so even beginners can shoot like a pro. There’s no limit to what you can capture with Skydio 2+.

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Creator Ready Nikon Lenses

Creator Ready Nikon Lenses

The Nikon 40mm f/2, the 28mm f/2.8 and the 18-140mm f/3.5-6.3 lenes are the perfect set of glass for any budding content creator. These are ultra-compact lenses you can rely on with any Z camera in just about any situation. The 24mm is wide enough for street work, landscapes and interiors and the 40mm is tight enough for authentic portraits and candid shots. These primes have fast maximum apertures that power through low lighting, helps freeze fast action and separates your subject from the background with a beautiful bokeh effect. The 18-140mm provides unrivaled versatility for run-and-gun style videography and they do all of this with clarity, consistency and brightness that all Z lenses are known for.

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Autel Robotics EVO Nano+

The EVO Nano+ is a consumer-level drone with a foldable design. Weighing just 249 grams, the Nano+ is as compact and light as a smartphone, yet provides impressive imaging and advanced obstacle avoidance capabilities. The design of the EVO Nano+ is minimalistic, focused on aerodynamism and well-balanced, making the drone easy to control and ensuring stable flying properties and high wind resistance. Three-way binocular vision sensors also enable the drone to perceive obstructions in three directions and avoid collisions. The drone is steered via an ergonomic controller whose design is reminiscent of a gamepad. It offers a safe, convenient, and satisfying flight experience at an affordable price.

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Mics and audio gear

TASCAM Portacapture X8

TASCAM Portacapture X8

The eight-track TASCAM Portacapture X8 flaunts four combo XLR/TRS inputs with phantom power and two built-in XY/AB condenser microphones. It’s the only 32-bit float/192k recorder with a full-color 3.5-inch touch display and Launcher interface. The Launcher’s app-style operation lets you select from handy configurations to match the type of recording you want to capture. You can use a microSD card up to 512 GB or plug the Portacapture X8 directly into your computer and use it as an audio interface for your DAW. Wireless timecode sync is available with Atomos AtomX SYNC, UltraSync BLUE and other compatible products such as ATOMOS CONNECT and SHOGUN CONNECT. The TASCAM Portacapture X8’s high-fidelity audio and easy operation makes it a perfect gift for podcasters, videographers, musicians and sound designers.

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Sennheiser MKE 400

Sennheiser MKE 400

If you’re searching for that perfect on-camera microphone, look no further. The MKE 400 is a compact, highly directional, on-camera shotgun microphone designed to isolate and enhance your video’s audio. It comes with a built-in windscreen and shock mount.

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AKG Lyra Ultra HD

AKG Lyra Ultra HD

Whether you’re podcasting, making YouTube videos, livestreaming or recording your next hit, the AKG Lyra Ultra HD can help you do it all and sound like a pro. This multimode USB microphone plugs directly into your PC, Mac, phone or tablet and it’s ready to go. AKG has more than 70 years of experience developing quality recording microphones, and the AKG Lyra Ultra HD is no exception.
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Rosco DMG DASH Pocket LED Kit


The DMG DASH Pocket LED Kit is the perfect gift idea for content creators. This bright, compact LED light features Rosco’s six-chip MIX LED technology that provides exceptional color mixing and skin tones. Controlling DMG DASH is quick and easy using its intuitive onboard controls or via a mobile device using Rosco’s free myMIX app. Each DMG DASH Pocket LED Kit is packed with accessories that every filmmaker needs on set, including mounting accessories and a full set of magnetized beam-control accessories.
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FilmConvert creates powerful, easy-to-use color correction and grading plugins so that you can color with confidence. The FilmConvert Nitrate helps you digitally achieve the organic look of celluloid film — with all of its authentic film stock emulations and 6K grain scans. Also, with CineMatch, you can color correct your footage in no time and match multiple cameras from different sources. Filmconvert is available for Adobe Premiere Pro, Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve and Apple Final Cut Pro.
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BenQ’s PD3220U

BenQ’s PD3220U

While there are many monitors that Mac users can choose from, BenQ’s PD3220U monitor is a top choice for Mac creators, especially MacBook users. Why is this? The PD3220U is pre-calibrated to faithfully reproduce the MacBook Apple Colors. This means you can rest easy that the colors you see on the screen are faithful to the colors on your MacBook. Plus, this 32-inch monitor adds a ton of screen real estate space to MacBook users’ setups. Thunderbolt 3 connectivity facilitates additional daisy-chained devices, increasing productivity and streamlining the entire post-production process.

If you want to learn more about the BenQ PD3220U, check out its product page.

Best gifts for gamers and podcasters

Eat.Sleep.Game. Coffee Mug ~$10 

If you know a video creator who is also a coffee or tea lover, then this Eat.Sleep.Game. coffee mug would make the perfect gift. It’s both unique and practical, and it will let the recipient know that you support their passion for gaming. Honestly, that is the most important gift for content creators anywhere.

ON AIR Light Sign ~$39

If you want to find a fun gift for podcasters or gamers who are just starting out, this is it. The ON AIR Light Sign is a quintessential piece of decor for the set-up of any streaming channel. Turning it on when they’re about to go live is a reminder that they have the coolest job ever. It can be placed outside of their filming area to remind others to be quiet or placed in the viewing area as a fun background prop. There are lots of styles and brands available so start with this one and then browse to find the design that best suits your creator’s vibe.

Corsair HS50 PRO Stereo Gaming Headset ~$50

If you’re looking for a gift for gamers or other streamers, the Corsair HS50 Pro Stereo Gaming Headset is a great option. This headset features on-ear controls, memory foam earcups and a detachable microphone. It’s compatible with consoles and PCs, making it perfect for gaming, streaming, and recording. This headset is adjustable in several places so it will comfortable for anyone. The package includes a detachable microphone that automatically cuts out any surrounding noise. With this, your creator can hear and be heard clearly.

GTRACING Gaming Chair ~$120

This chair is designed for gamers and online creators. These hobbies and jobs require a lot of sitting in one place for extended periods so they’ll want to be comfortable while they work. It has an ergonomic design that supports their back and neck. It’s adjustable in several places so they can customize it to fit their height and comfort. Plus, it comes in a variety of colors to match any style. If you know a gamer who is sitting in a basic office chair, this would be a great gift.

VidPro Table Top Tripod with 3-Way Pan Head ~$50

If you have a videographer or video creator in your life, then you probably have heard them talk about how important a good tripod is. This tabletop tripod is made of aluminum, making it sturdy, durable and lightweight. It has a 3-way pan head, allowing for precise and smooth movements when recording. Plus, it has features like locking legs, rubber grip feet and a built-in bubble level to help them capture professional-looking content. 

Thronmax MDrill Dome USB Microphone ~$60 

As a YouTuber or professional streamer, having a high-quality microphone is essential to putting out great content. The Thronmax MDrill Dome USB Microphone is a great option for anyone looking for a top-notch mic. This mic has two options for recording patterns. It’s plug-and-play and compatible with several Windows or Mac systems. This is a great gift for gamers and streamers of all kinds.

Best gifts for on-the-go and travel vloggers

Revo Adjustable Length Shooting Pole ~$15

If you know someone who loves to create videos outdoors, then the Revo Adjustable Length Shooting Pole is the perfect gift. This pole is just about 13 inches at its smallest and extends up to 38 inches. There are four telescoping sections that can each be locked in place, making it perfect for capturing those hard-to-reach shots. It also has a comfortable grip and holds cameras weighing up to 1 pound. Your videographer can easily attach their camera and get started capturing amazing footage right away.

Selfie Stick Gimbal Stabilizer, UPXON 360° Rotation ~$27

A selfie stick is a great tool, especially when it’s the Revo Pole (listed above). However, adding a stabilizer takes it to the next level. It’s designed to keep the camera as steady as possible regardless of the action. This UPXON 360° rotation selfie stick is easy to use and helps capture the perfect stable shot every time. Either of these on their own would be a cool gift for content creators but put them together for a nice set.

NEEWER Aluminum Smartphone Video Rig ~$60

The Neewer Aluminum Smartphone Video Rig is a great gift for any video creator in your life. This rig is made of aluminum, so it’s lightweight and durable. A rig like this allows them to take their smartphone and turn it into a production unit. It has a cold shoe mount on the top, so the user can add an LED light or microphone. The rig also has a 1/4″ screw hole on the bottom, so that it can be attached to a tripod. The best part about this rig is that it’s affordable, so you won’t break the bank when you buy it, but it creates a lot of value for whoever receives it.

Rode VideoMic Me-C Directional USB Microphone for Smartphones ~$80

If you’re looking for a professional-level gift that will make a big difference in the quality of your favorite vlogger’s videos, then the Rode VideoMic Me-C is a perfect choice. Bad audio can be very distracting for viewers so having a good microphone is key. This small microphone attaches directly to a smartphone and provides clear directional audio. Plus, it comes with a windscreen so it’s effective even in windy or noisy conditions.

LaCie Rugged Mini 2TB External Hard Drive Portable ~$99

The 2TB Rugged Mini USB 3.0 External Hard Drive from LaCie is a tough drive to protect valuable data. It features shock, drop and pressure resistance. A rubber sleeve for added protection is included. This rugged external hard drive can withstand up to one ton of crush resistance – seriously! In addition to its reliable outer shell, the Rugged Mini provides storage of up to 2TB with data transfers at speeds of 130 MB/s. It connects to Windows or Mac systems via micro-USB. This hard drive is small and portable, so it can go with them wherever they go. They’ll be able to store a lot of work on this one hard drive. If they’re ever in a pinch and need to access their work, they’ll be able to do so easily.

Xenvo Pro Macro and Wide Angle Lens Adapter for Phones ~$40

This cool lens accessory clips directly onto a phone to enhance the existing camera capabilities for macro and wide-angle shots. It’s crafted from premium optical glass and aircraft-grade materials. The coated glass will minimize reflections and lens flare. Also included, the GlowClip LED light clips ANYWHERE on their phone. It illuminates the scene and subjects with warm natural-looking light even in darker settings. Any creator who primarily works from their phone would appreciate this little gift that makes a big difference in their phone’s camera abilities.

At-home and lifestyle vloggers

“I Woke Up Like This” Graphic Tee T-Shirt ~$21

Creators are in front of the camera a lot. Like really a lot. Having a wide array of graphic tees to suit any mood can start their day on a high note. We love the “I Woke Up This Way” tee because it can be sarcastic or empowering. It’s available in a few different colors. They offer it in men’s, women’s or kid’s fit in a variety of sizes including plus and big & tall options.

GerTong 12.6” Ring Light with Stand and Phone Holder Tall 74” ~$30

This versatile light kit is a truly useful gift for content creators. The ring light itself has an endless array of adjustable hue combinations. It has over 150 settings and 40 modes, all dimmable. The rest of the kit really completes the gift, though. The tripod floor stand adjusts from about 15 inches to nearly 6 feet. Plus, it includes a mini table stand. Whether they are running a beauty channel, crafting DIYs or making ASMR content, they will love using this light set to get exactly the lighting they want.

Neewer Green Screen Backdrop Kit ~$40 

You don’t have to be a video expert to imagine all the ways your video creator could use a green screen to add dramatic effects to their content. Green screen has become a must-have for digital gurus. It’s also a fun piece of gear for newbies to experiment with. Either way, it’s a great gift for content creators no matter what niche they work in. This screen is 5’x8′ and comes with a widely adjustable stand, 5 heavy-duty clamps and a slim carrying case for storage or travel.

Auto Face Tracking Tripod ~$42

Another gift idea for those running lifestyle channels is this Auto Face Tracking Tripod. Since many gamers, creators and podcasters are often working solo, gear like this is a game changer. Creators can attach a phone to this tabletop tripod and start recording. With a silent motor and smart sensor, it will rotate as needed to follow their face. The motion glides smoothly to keep their face in the frame as they move. It helps them create dynamic videos with movement which more engaging for their viewers – like having an automated cameraman.

Telefunken PL05 Microphone Pop Filter ~$24 

For newbies, a pop filter is one of those little things that they don’t realize they need until they actually have one. When this is attached to their microphone, the sound quality is vastly improved. It helps to filter out the distracting sounds that happen when we speak, like the s or t sounds at the end of some words. As a gift, it’s an easy one-size-fits-all option. Anyone who uses a mic should be using a pop filter so they will definitely love to receive this.

ULANZI Smartphone Video Kit  ~$90

Not only is this gift idea incredibly useful, but it also looks pretty weird and that’s fun to give. It’s an octopus-style tripod which means it has several arms. The arms can be used in a variety of ways. They can set it up on a table with some of the arms and have other arms hold a phone and lighting elements. Alternately, some of the arms can be wrapped around a signpost while another arm supports a camera at an unusual angle. The kit comes with an array of mics, attachments and accessories for endless creativity.

Ribbons and bows bot included

Shipping timelines and costs have changed a lot over the last year or two. Grab good deals when you find them and be sure to make your online purchases early to ensure it arrives in time for your holidays. 

Even if you’re not sure what kind of videos your YouTubers, TikTokers and Vloggers are making, rest assured that nearly every gift idea presented here would be a good choice. These are gifts for content creators that they will really use or enjoy. They’ll appreciate adding to their collection of cool gear. 

Hayden Hillier-Smith and Jordan Orme talk YouTube editing, music videos and cultivating your passion

Hayden Hillier-Smith and Jordan Orme
Photo courtesy of Adam Duffy

What do Logan Paul and Justin Bieber have in common? They both have passionate video editors working for them behind the scenes. We had a chance to chat with Hayden Hillier-Smith and Jordan Orme about their editing careers, balancing multiple projects, and their latest collaboration, The Editing Podcast. There, these two professional editors share their experiences and interview other editors and filmmakers.

Hayden Hillier-Smith
Subscribers: 266K
Uploads: 33
Video views: 8,056,152
Content type: Entertainment

User created: Nov 7th, 2008

Jordan Orme
Subscribers: 659K
Uploads: 218
Video views: 77,017,133
Content type: Music

User created: Jan 3rd, 2013

The film school option

These days, Jordan edits music videos for some of the biggest artists, but his first introduction to filmmaking was Vine. “It was so much fun,” Jordan says of the now-defunct short-form video platform. “I was like, ‘You know what, maybe I wanna do film.’” At the time, he needed to decide which major to pursue in college.

Fast-forward to Jordan’s first filmmaking class: “I was making a short film for the first film class that I was trying out … We did everything and got it pre-planned, got it filmed. And then once I got in the edit lab, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, what am I gonna do?’”

That feeling of uncertainty didn’t last long, however. “I got in [the edit lab] at 5:00 PM, and I just started looking up tutorials on one screen and trying to work on Avid and put this entire story that I had scripted out together,” Jordan says. “It was an amazing experience, as I truly describe it as existential and magical. And I look up at the clock after I’ve been working for a little bit, and I see that it says 5:00 AM. And I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve been here for 12 hours, and I had no idea.’”

With this realization, Jordan knew he had sparked a passion. “That was the first moment for me where I was like, ‘Shoot, you know, I think I could actually make a career out of this.’ I really, really enjoy editing and telling stories in post-production,” Jordan concludes.

The industry option

Hayden, on the other hand, took a more direct route into filmmaking and video production. “I think what it was,” Hayden says, “was that both me and Jordan came around a time when accessible cameras became, well, accessible.”

Hayden tested out the role of director and cinematographer. However, once he got the chance to edit the footage, that was the part of the process he enjoyed most. “I think it’s because me, I’m a little bit of an introvert, and so if you just leave me alone with the footage, that’s perfect. That’s beautiful for me,” Hayden tells us. He also sees editing as having the best creative opportunities.

From there, Hayden continued to find ways to get involved in the filmmaking community. His pitch went something like, “Hey, you film something, gimme the footage. Leave me alone. I’ll give you something great in a day or two.” Hayden also produced, filmed and edited a YouTube channel called “What’s Good London,” a tourism channel. That led to some work, and eventually, Hayden landed his first official gig with a company making videos for Facebook. He would later be let go from that gig, but it didn’t hinder his career. In fact, it did the opposite. Getting let go actually resulted in Hayden getting hired to edit for Logan Paul, the ultra-popular YouTube vlogger. Go listen to The Editing Podcast for the full story.

Hayden credits his success to having a clear focus. “I think a lot of it was simply because early in the process, I found what I enjoyed the most straight away and then doubled down on that.”

What’s so great about editing?

When asked what he loves most about the editing process, Hayden’s answer is succinct. He says, “When something doesn’t work and then I make it work. That’s the bit that excites me the most.” He finds satisfaction in solving issues that most editors would consider a lost cause.

Jordan’s answer is related. “I remember being in film school and where a narrative didn’t work and you’re like, ‘This film is just trash,’” he says. In those cases, Jordan and his classmates would sit down and take a long look at the story. “We would write out scenes on note cards and just start rearranging them.” Like Hayden, Jordan finds satisfaction in solving the puzzle. “The ability that we had with a single cut — to just be able to change the entire meaning of a scene or of a way a character feels. That’s, like, so magical. It’s crazy.”

The life of an editor

“Editing is unfortunately always so unpredictable,” Hayden tells us. “Something you might think would take 10 minutes will suddenly take four hours.”

“If you’re a freelancer, the schedule is different for every single job,” Jordan agrees. He emphasizes the importance of balancing work with other aspects of your life. “I think one thing that Hayden and I are really passionate about is about helping freelancers create healthy boundaries, because those boundaries usually aren’t in place for you.”

Hayden gives an example: “Anything past midnight, I very clearly shut it down. Even leading up to midnight, so I’d say even 11:00 PM.” He says he won’t pull an all-nighter for work. “The boundary that I now like to establish is, if you’re expecting me to be working overnight on this, it’s because you haven’t given me enough days to finish this.” When it comes down to it, it’s the client’s responsibility to give the editor enough time to finish the project.

Keeping reasonable work hours also allows Hayden to do his best work. “As soon as you go into the early hours of the morning, your quality diminishes drastically,” he says, “because you’re now having sleep deprivation. Regardless of the extra hours you put in, it’s not gonna get any better. I may as well rest.”

For Jordan, the time of day doesn’t matter as much as the total time commitment. “If you’re editing like over 8, 10, 12 hours, that’s when that quality really gets diminished,” he says. “Some people are more creative at night, so for them, working at night might be better, but they should rest during the day, then.” Jordan emphasizes that it’s all about maximizing creativity with a schedule that works for you.

Pros and cons of freelancing

Despite freelancing’s challenges, Jordan prefers it over traditional employment. “I’d like to say I’m a way more free, flowy person, so freelance just works better for my lifestyle and for my personality,” he tells us. At the same time, he recognizes that different editors may have different work styles. “There are other people that love structure, that love to have a routine, that love to be doing similar things every single day, and really thrive in that environment. And so I think staff is perfect for them.”

Hayden shares a slightly different perspective. He worked as a full-time employee for nearly a decade. “I was a full-time employee for Logan Paul for the past six to seven years, but even that had its flexibility with it as well. What I’m enjoying now is a bit more of a variety as a freelancer, but that does bring inherently a lot more risks, especially financial risks.” He continues, “I’m now switching onto the freelance and enjoying those pros and also enduring those cons.”

Making time for personal projects

Aside from client work, both Jordan and Hayden run YouTube channels dedicated to the art of editing. Balancing client work with making YouTube content can be a challenge, but Hayden believes it’s necessary in order for him to be a good creator. “For me to be able to talk about editing on YouTube, I should still be editing on projects,” he tells us.

Hayden describes his channel as a love letter to editing, especially YouTube editing. He says he’s always wanted to be a creator himself, but there are limits to the types of content he can create. “I don’t have $5 million spare to buy the most expensive Pokemon card in the world,” Hayden admits. “But Logan [does]. So I’ll edit his video. I can’t rent out SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles … my friend Jimmy [Donaldson, a.k.a. MrBeast] will, so I’ll edit his video.”

Hayden goes on to explain how this client work feeds into his own channel’s content. “Once I’ve edited [their video], that gives me the opportunity to then do a breakdown of it on my channel.” Hayden says he especially enjoys picking apart the theory and the psychology behind an edit.

Jordan started his channel because of the 2020 pandemic. “I had a friend that called me … and he was like, ‘Hey bro, I heard that you’re editing for Justin Bieber. You should make a YouTube channel and talk about that,” Jordan says. He was reluctant at first to follow the advice. “YouTube channels are so hard to start and maintain,” he explains, “And I was just very cynical about YouTube.” That changed when the pandemic hit and productions were shut down. With more time on his hands, Jordan decided to go for it. “My personal experience is a ton with music videos, so I just started talking about music videos right away because that was interesting to me.” Like Hayden, Jordan is most interested in the psychology of editing and discovered that not many YouTubers approach editing from this perspective.

Jordan agrees that balancing it all can be challenging. “But it’s fun,” he says, “and I don’t think we would have it any other way.”

The Editing Podcast

Always eager to share their passion for editing, Hayden and Jordan have paired up to create The Editing Podcast. “What I find the most beautiful,” Hayden says, “is that me and Jordan come into the podcast with two different perspectives that happen to align beautifully.” Hayden works mostly on YouTube content while Jordan edits music videos for more conventional clients. “I’m very excited in having conversations with all three generations … the TikTok generation or the Gen Zs, the millennials and the traditional generation as well.”

“We just wanna have the opportunity to go in deeper,” Jordan adds, “and meet the best editors in the world and really learn from them. Because we know, I mean, we’re pretty young still. We know a little bit about editing, but there’s still so much that we can learn. And so much room for us to grow. So for me, it was a huge opportunity to learn from other people.”

“We love the idea of bringing on guests with their own life experiences,” Hayden says. For him, Edgar Wright, the filmmaker known for ‘Shaun of the Dead’ and ‘Last Night in Soho,’ is at the top of the podcast guest wish list. “He was the filmmaker that made me fall in love with editing and a fundamental key into my life and to where I am today. And so I’d love to have a conversation about him and his philosophies and his ideas.” Jordan names Joe Walker, editor of ‘Arrival’ and ‘Dune,’ as his ideal guest: “I think he’s my favorite traditional editor … And his work is — phenomenal, and I admire it so much. So I’d just love to pick his brain about his thought process.”

Hayden and Jordan’s parting advice

As we conclude our interview, I ask Hayden and Jordan to share their best advice for aspiring editors. “For me,” Hayden says, “stay curious. It’s easy to assume you know everything straight away. And the moment you can let that go, what you can learn becomes beautiful.”

Jordan had this to add: “Be passionate … like what Hayden said [about] staying curious, being passionate really helps you to stay curious … if you can be passionate about something, it’s gonna be very easy to learn and become very good at that. Because you want to, anyway.” Jordan concludes with a cautionary note: “Really love the art for the art. And not because you can make money, or because you can get famous, or any other ulterior motive. Because that’ll never last you.”

It’s clear from our chat that Hayden and Jordan are both living by their own advice.

To learn more about becoming a professional editor, check out Hayden Hillier-Smith and Jordan Orme on YouTube or tune in to The Editing Podcast.

Featured image courtesy: Adam Duffy

Jollz shares the strategy that took him from aspiring gamer to pro Twitch streamer

Image courtesy: Jollz

Building a career as an online personality doesn’t always happen the way we expect. It takes determination, consistency and a bit of trial and error. Fortunately, we had a chance to chat with Twitch streamer, YouTube creator and “Valorant” coach Jollz to learn how he carved his path to streaming success.

Let’s dive into Jollz’s streaming career and his advice for growing an online audience.

Subscribers: 249K
Uploads: 676
Video views: 33,810,955
Content type: Gaming

User created: Oct 22nd, 2007

Early ambitions

“I actually first started streaming when I was like 18 or 19. I was just out of high school, and I played a lot of video games in general,” says Jollz. From the start, he knew he wanted to make a career out of playing video games.

“I was pretty good at them,” Jollz tells us, “And because I was playing them so much … it was a dream of mine to make it so I can make a living off of playing video games.” It didn’t matter whether that dream materialized as a career as a professional gamer or a successful streaming channel. Jollz admits that this was unheard of at the time, but he gave it a shot anyway. “I thought, well, I’m playing anyway, so I might as well turn the stream on.”

Unfortunately, Jollz found that just turning the stream on wasn’t enough to attract viewers.

“I streamed for like three years and it got — I didn’t get anywhere, right? Like, I didn’t get to join any competitive team or anything like that. My stream had three viewers. I didn’t really go anywhere.” Jollz decided the streaming idea wasn’t working out. He switched gears and went back to school to earn his bachelor’s degree.

“After that, I ended up getting a job at NASA,” Jollz says. “I worked there for two years or so. I was a software engineer … And about a year and a half ago, I quit.” Jollz explains his reasoning in his video “From NASA ENGINEER to FULL-TIME STREAMER,” but, to sum it up, he just missed making content.

A second attempt

After one failed attempt at launching a streaming channel, Jollz knew he had to make some changes to his strategy: “For one, back then, I was strictly putting all of my eggs in one basket. So what I mean by that is, like, I was doing only streaming.” Jollz knew he needed to put in more effort, but he was still focused on streaming as the primary outlet for his content.

“My effort was to stream longer,” Jollz recalls, “but that, that didn’t really add up.” He saw that spending more time streaming didn’t automatically lead to more viewers. It’s notoriously difficult to get discovered on Twitch — even harder when you only have a few viewers tuning in. “Even if I stream for like 12 hours, 24 hours,” Jollz reflects, “if nobody watched that, did I even really stream? Right?”

Looking back now, Jollz can see where he went wrong. “I didn’t post on YouTube. I didn’t grow my other social media,” Jollz says, “and I think that was a big hindrance for me personally.” Even though his content was good, it wasn’t finding an audience. At this point, Jollz realized he needed to try other tactics. “It doesn’t matter if you post good content, but nobody sees it.”

Reaching new viewers

Since Twitch wasn’t giving him the traction he needed to get his streaming career off the ground, Jollz turned to other platforms. “I started posting on TikTok, YouTube, YouTube Shorts — just every single social media that I think right now currently is doing well. I’m just on there.” The idea is to get as many eyes as possible on his content in the hopes that these viewers will eventually find him on Twitch.

Posting to a variety of platforms allows you to attract viewers you may not have been able to reach otherwise. However, it can be hard to predict where you will find the most success. Jollz has noticed that new viewers often arrive in waves.

“Like a couple months ago, I was getting a lot of views from TikTok, and then, you know, probably the last four or five months, now I’m getting it from YouTube.” Jollz notes that it depends on the video and what’s trending on each platform. “But they come from everywhere, right? I’ve had people come in from Twitter, the browse section now on Twitch because I’ve been getting a little bit more views, Reddit even … it’s just from everywhere.”

Still, Twitch remains at the heart of his content strategy. It’s where all of his content originates, which has allowed him to create a more streamlined production workflow. “I plan out how many YouTube videos I’m gonna have in that stream,” Jollz reveals, “and that gets cut up and then posted onto YouTube — gets recycled into TikTok, YouTube Shorts, etc.” In essence, Jollz can record all the content needed for his other social media channel during his Twitch streams, trimming down clips as needed.


Of course, maintaining a presence across so many different platforms takes a lot of work. Jollz has a team of four managers and 26 editors to keep up with all of his different accounts. “I was editing videos myself,” he tells us. “I’m like, this is time-consuming. I suck at this. After stream, I was just dreading like four hours of just cutting through the VOD and editing.” He decided to outsource: “I think I went on like Fiverr or something and just hired some random person.”

Soon, however, Jollz realized he had too much content; a single editor couldn’t keep up long-term. “I put it all on one editor,” Jollz says, “and after like a month, they’d get burned out.” It became a cycle: “I’m like, ‘Okay, these people are getting burnt out and I think it’s my fault.’” That’s when Jollz started hiring more editors, scaling up as he moved into a more frequent posting schedule.

With more editors, Jollz had more to keep track of. “It was very unorganized … sometimes I would, I would lose a video and I’m like, ‘Oh shit’ — Like I forgot who worked on what. It was a mess.” Jollz needed a manager. Luckily, he had a close friend who was up for the task. Together, they started to home in on a style and production workflow that worked for Jollz’s content.

Each platform has its own requirements: “For short-form content, I just need something that’s either trending or something that is super quick-paced,” Jollz tells us, “It needs to be fast because people will scroll.” On the other hand, Jollz has found an audience for longer videos on YouTube. “For my YouTube, I’m focusing on educational content, collaboration content, long-form content.” Jollz emphasizes, however, that content still needs a hook to draw in viewers: “Titling, thumbnails, all that is very important.”

These days, Jollz can hand over most of that creative responsibility to his management team. The managers relay Jollz’s vision to the editors, who then cut down Jollz’s Twitch recordings for other platforms. “Now it’s like, I don’t even know what gets uploaded on my YouTube videos anymore … I don’t know anything. Like, I don’t even know the thumbnails, the titles, unless it’s like a really good one and he really wants to show off or something, then he’ll show me … Only thing I do is network, plan out my streams and stream. That’s about it.”

Building a community

Spreading content around on social media has proven to be a good way to attract first-time viewers, but getting viewers to your stream is just the first step. Once they find you, you’ll need to give them a reason to stick around. For Jollz, that means providing value in the form of community building and educational content.

A lot of Jollz’s community building happens on Discord. “I basically use Discord as the main hub for all my other socials,” he says. “I think getting a lot of people in your Discord is a very good start.” He admits that the chat can be a bit hectic: “We do have a lot of people in there. Sometimes I do message in there as well, but I can’t consistently always be in there spending all my time, you know, messaging. But I do sometimes.”

Discord can be great for growing a community, but there is some etiquette to keep in mind. “I’m trying not to be too annoying with like mass pinging everyone now that we built a pretty big community,” Jollz says, “I have moderators that I trust, and they keep the community pretty wholesome, lively — you know — welcoming.”

An educational incentive

As with any other platform, to grow a community on Discord, you need to give people an incentive to join. For Jollz, that was video game coaching. “My goal was in “Valorant,” right? I needed to get the highest rank, which is Radiant,” Jollz explains. After reaching Radiant, Jollz would offer free game coaching: “Who wouldn’t want free coaching from, you know, a top 500 player in the respective game?”

The plan worked: “I got a Radiant, and then as soon as I did that, I’m going on TikTok. I’m like, ‘Hey guys, free coaching. All you have to do is hop into my Discord.’ That was it.” Jollz goes on to explain how these new Discord community members naturally converted to Twitch viewers: “They started flooding the Discord, trying to apply, trying to get advice. I’m like, ‘Okay, tune into my stream. If you guys want advice, I’ll go over some educational content.’”

Jollz notes that many of these new viewers would stick around after the coaching session just because they enjoyed the content: “They come in, they tune in for a bit and they’re like, ‘Okay, now that the coaching’s over, that was pretty cool.’ And then they stay around a little bit longer. And then they’re like, ‘Oh, his personality is actually not that bad.’ Right?”

But while coaching eventually turned into a steady source of income and new viewers, Jollz says the experience has also made him a better player. “Usually, when you’re explaining something, especially like, you know, concepts that you think you know to other people,” Jollz says, “it further solidifies what you do know, and it helps you sharpen the knowledge that you learn along the way.”

Coaching has also helped fine-tune his communication skills: “I’m a little bit more patient with people when I’m talking to them. I can explain things a lot better than I used to.”

How Jollz makes a living

Jollz continued to offer free “Valorant” coaching for around three months. After that, demand had grown so much that Jollz could justify charging for his time. “If I’m booked out for like a month at $5,” Jollz explains, “I need to increase the price … So I would just keep increasing the price until I stopped getting this booked.” Coaching now represents a significant portion of his income, along with ad revenue from YouTube and Twitch.

He says it hasn’t always been this way, however: “When I first started, [my main income stream] definitely was not YouTube. I was in the red. I was actually in the red for the longest time paying for the editors.”

During that time, Jollz made sure to invest the little income he made from Twitch and TikTok back into growing his audience. “I had money saved up for my previous job,” he says, “so I was able to basically be in the red while I started off.” For Jollz, that investment paid off: “It’s gonna be very hard for you to grow if you’re not going to be willing to spend money for it. And if you’re not getting any money in return from your socials, you’re not gonna have any money to invest in yourself, which is gonna delay your growth.”

Keeping things interesting

These days, Jollz streams five to six days a week for around six hours or more each session. Coaching is one way he adds structure to his streams, but educational content is not the only thing attracting viewers:

“The way that the stream is structured, usually I will do a coaching session at the start of the stream. After that … I’m doing a challenge or something, or a collaboration. And then after that, I’ll do some react content or something for my other channels. And then after that, I will play a different game, whether it’s whatever’s hot for the month … or whatever I’m enjoying to play for the next like two, three hours just to kind of chill.”

Jollz admits that he does often see a drop in viewers as the stream progresses:

“My peak viewers are definitely when I’m playing ‘Valorant’ because that’s where I came up from, and anytime I swap games, the views slowly decline.” He says, though, it’s important not to fixate on the numbers. He tries not to see fluctuations in viewership in a negative light. “It’s more of just like a positive light. I’m like, ‘Dude, I have this many viewers who wanna watch me play anything.’ That’s huge. Like, to me.” For Jollz, it all comes down to mindset.

Connecting through chat

Jollz emphasizes the importance of engaging with the chat throughout the stream, especially as a newer creator. “You need to bring something to the table that other streamers don’t,” Jollz says, noting that bigger streamers often don’t have the option to engage with chat simply because it’s moving too fast to keep up with. “If you are gonna ignore chat and play your game, what’s to stop them from watching a bigger streamer?” Jollz says he tries to read and engage with the chat as much as possible, even as his channel has grown.

“People like being heard, right? And they like that sort of interaction, especially with the streamers. So yeah, I still try and do that.”

That doesn’t mean that anything goes in the chat pod, however: “If they’re being annoying … I’ll just tell ’em straight up — let ’em know. And, you know, if they keep it up, they just, you know, they get banned. It doesn’t really affect me too much.” Jollz also has a moderator team that will take care of any chatters making inappropriate or offensive remarks.

For Jollz, streaming is meant to be a positive experience for everyone: “The big picture is just that I just wanna make their days better. That’s really it.”

Strategies for stress

Jollz thumbs up
Image courtesy: Jollz

While Jollz is confident in his content and his audience, the volatility of sustaining a career as a creator is still a source of stress. “It can very much slip right under you, especially if you let off the gas,” he reminds us, “This is the type of field where you need to sacrifice a lot to make things work well.” Luckily, Jollz keeps up a couple of healthy habits to help him manage stress and prevent burnout.

“Working out definitely helps me out. It’s basically like a stress reliever. It’s my form of my body, like, sort of meditating in a sense … It really does help me a ton, as well as also journaling. I usually write down anything that sort of bugs me, anything that is annoying me for the day. Anything that I’m noticing.” Keeping up with these daily habits helps Jollz stay ahead of any potential buildup of stress.

“That’s something that I see a lot of other creators fall into,” he warns, “into that sort of category where they let something kind of buildup and sometimes you’ll see it, right?” This is when you see uncharacteristic outbursts or creators disappearing altogether. “I noticed the gym definitely helps with that. And journaling.”

Parting advice

Along with being consistent with your healthy habits, Jollz says the key to online success is being consistent with your content: ”You have a consistent schedule. You’re uploading at a certain time every, you know, every week or whatever, because people look forward to that … Even if you’re doing this for three days a week, having those three days consistently every week is very important.”

As Jollz notes, people need to know your streaming schedule if you want them to tune in regularly. “I really think consistency on all fronts, on all social media, is the biggest take.”

It’s clear that dedication and consistency have paid off for Jollz as he’s built a career online, and he promises even more “very interesting projects” on the horizon. We can’t wait to see what’s next.

Why the Nikon Z 30 should be your next vlogging camera

Whether you’re a long-time vlogger or just starting out, choosing the best camera for your needs can be tough. That’s where the Nikon Z 30 comes in. This 4K vlogging camera offers high-quality video and audio capture and a lightweight, ergonomic design. Reliable autofocus and auto exposure modes make it easy to capture engaging vlog footage, and the Z 30’s vari-angle display ensures flattering selfie shots. Along with these features, the Z 30 offers a wealth of other tools that can help you capture and share exceptionally engaging content with your social media following. Let’s explore why the Z 30 is the perfect camera for any vlogger.

What every vlogger needs

Each vlog gives viewers a unique glimpse into the life of the creator who made it. However, capturing vlog footage poses similar challenges, whether you’re vlogging a chaotic day at the race track or a peaceful camping trip in the mountains. Plenty of vloggers make engaging content with basic cameras or even smartphones. However, the right tools make capturing engaging vlog footage easier and a lot more fun. And that can absolutely lead to better content. Instead of struggling to get your camera to cooperate, you’ll be looking for the next exciting moment to share with your fans. Let’s look at the key features every vlogger needs in their vlogging setup.

A way to capture high-quality video and audio

The word vlog is a term that combines video and log, so of course, every vlogger needs a way to capture high-quality video footage. Vlogging is unpredictable after all; you never know what the day might throw at you. The Z 30 has you covered, boasting a 20.9-megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor and the ability to record UHD 4K at up to 30 fps or capture up to 120 fps in 1080p. An ISO range of 100 to 25600 for video also allows the Z 30 to capture clean footage in a range of lighting situations. Plus, Eye and Face detect autofocus for people and pets helps you keep the right subject in focus. For the streamers out there, the Z 30 also supports livestreaming at up to 60 fps in Full HD or up to 30 fps in 4K.

If you’ve ever endured a video with bad audio quality, you’ll understand the importance of capturing good audio to pair with your vlog footage. If your audience can’t hear you, they’ll lose interest — or worse, they’ll get frustrated with your content and your channel. The Z 30’s built-in stereo mic makes for a simple and lightweight audio setup. Even still, you can take your audio to the next level with the additional Creator’s Accessory Kit that includes a fuzzy wind muff to protect your audio from wind noise and a small, vlog-ready RØDE VideoMicro. All to help capture clear, engaging audio, even in less-than-ideal shooting situations.

Reliable autofocus and exposure

In addition to 4K video capture, vloggers will also appreciate the auto-exposure mode found on the Z 30. It’ll keep you from fiddling with your exposure settings every time you change locations. At the same time, even the highest quality video is unusable if the wrong subject is in focus. That’s why dependable, easy-to-use autofocus is essential for creators on the go.

A way to get good selfie shots

As a vlogger, you are your own camera operator. You need to be able to see yourself as you shoot in order to compose a good shot. You can accomplish this with an external monitor, but that adds bulk and weight to your setup. A better option is to find a camera with a built-in articulating monitor like the Z 30. That way, you can just flip the monitor around when you need to record yourself. The Z 30 even has a touchscreen monitor that lets you make adjustments to your shot on the fly. 

Vlogging yourself throughout your day will also be easier with a wide-angle lens. This will help you capture more of yourself and your environment. When you pair the Nikon Z 30 with its kit lens, the NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR, you get a wide-angle perspective that captures more of both you and the background. 

Another handy thing to have if you are recording yourself often is a front-facing tally lamp, like the one on the Z 30. This little red light on the front of the camera comes on when the camera is recording. That way, you can be sure you’re getting the shot you need. 

If you need to move farther away, Nikon’s free SnapBridge camera control app gives you that flexibility. Or, upgrade to the SmallRig Tripod Grip and Bluetooth remote control with the optional Creator’s Accessory Kit.

A way to keep things interesting

Mixing in unique angles adds context to your vlog and helps your audience connect with you and your content. Another way to add interest is to intercut your footage with time-lapse and slow-motion shots. Speeding up time with a time-lapse sequence is a great way to share activities that take a long time, like cleaning your living room or painting a portrait. At the other end of the spectrum, slow-motion shots can add drama or comedy to your vlog depending on how they’re used.

The Nikon Z 30 also offers a number of creative shooting options to help you capture the most engaging vlog footage possible. The camera supports slow motion recording at up to 120 fps in 1080p HD, giving you clips that play back at one-quarter the speed of real life. Also included is in-camera time-lapse recording along with a number of artistic presets and filters to give your vlog just the look you want.

A way to keep shots steady

Last on our list of key features to look for in a vlogging camera is a way to stabilize your footage.  This is important because, as a vlogger, you won’t always have control over your shooting situation. Capturing life as it happens often leads to a lot of handheld shooting and walk-and-talk-style clips. Stabiliztions comes in many forms, for the Z 30, it gains its image stabilization through its lens.

Plus the Nikon Z 30 is offered with two optional kit lenses that both feature built-in vibration reduction. The aforementioned NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR Lens, and the NIKKOR Z DX 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR.

Found in the Creator’s accessory kit the camera can be paired with the SmallRig Tripod Grip. Folded up, this handy table-top tripod works like a selfie stick. Unfolded, it gives you a stable, hands-free shot that is perfect for a sit-down chat about your day.

The Nikon Z 30 is vlog ready

As you can see, the Nikon Z 30 and Creator’s Accessory Kit are designed for vlogging and online content creation from the inside out. Creators need tools that will free them of the complexity of creating, so they can focus on capturing the moment and engaging with fans. That’s exactly what the Z 30 delivers. You can learn more about the Nikon Z 30 here.

Breaking down New Rockstars’ “The Breakroom” with John Costa

New Rockstar's John Costa

When it comes to creating engaging online content, there’s plenty you can do to keep your viewers’ attention. New Rockstar’s livestream “The Breakroom” has discovered a way to provide highly engaging content on a consistent basis. They leverage livestreaming as a time-saving tool for production. We talk with New Rockstars Producer John Costa about what it takes to produce “The Breakroom.” He shares how creators can maximize their resources to create consistent videos they love.

New Rockstars
Subscribers: 3.86M
Uploads: 2,719
Video views: 1,622,535,517
Content type: Entertainment

User created: Oct 8th, 20011


The New Rockstars YouTube channel has been around since 2011. Initially, they focused on interviewing new media YouTube creators, then dubbed the ‘new rockstars.’ Today, the channel focuses on pop culture and entertainment. Their programming includes BREAKDOWN, a show dedicated to finding Easter eggs and missable details from popular movies and TV shows. There’s also “The Breakroom,” a live show that talks about the latest news in entertainment.  

John joined the New Rockstars team in 2019 as a freelance editor. At the time he wasn’t a dedicated editor, but he had experience editing his own projects in the past. He shares, “I know how to string a story together, and I know the technical aspects of how to edit. I went to film school where I had to edit all my own stuff.”


After some time, John was hired as a full-time editor. After that, he became the post-production supervisor for New Rockstars. 

During this time, John oversaw all of the video projects that went out at New Rockstars. Each piece of content shares a common goal — resonance. “It’s so easy to forget that there are people that you’re creating content for,” says John. “You’re not creating content for a number…[what] we’re trying to do is give people just an hour of a day. If they need an hour of [non-sense], we want them to have fun with these people they feel like they have gotten to know.” 

First production

At the beginning of 2022, John Costa moved out of post-production and into a producer position. The first project John produced was a series called Fitness Origins. This series revolved around hosts competing in a series of superhero-inspired fitness routines.

This was a unique project for John. “We had a sponsorship deal with DoorDash, and we were trying to figure out how to integrate food with what we do, which is pop culture and entertainment. We settled on this weird idea, which was getting nerds into shape… an origin story of people becoming their superhero selves.” 

This project was fun and served as a proving ground for himself and the team that they were able to do more than they thought.

The beginning of “The Breakroom

“The Breakroom” is a five-day-a-week livestream show that discusses the latest in pop culture media. The goal of the show is to be both informative and fun, shares Costa. 

“We’re so busy now; it’s hard to get together with your friends. If you need someone to hang out with, we’re always going to be there. If we can give that to people, that’s awesome. That’s the thing that I find the most satisfying, is giving people something that they were maybe missing.”

The first episode streamed on May 2, 2022, but the show was in development well before that. 

At the time, New Rockstars was interested in getting into live productions. 

John recalls, “After ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ came out, we thought it would be fun to get together on a Zoom call and give our initial impressions.” The team livestreamed a Zoom call to see how their audience would respond.

The responses were overwhelmingly positive, shares Costa. With that, they spent the next five months developing the show. It took a lot of work because it was a live show; there were many elements they needed to test out live. “We really wanted to throw [the show] on its feet,” John shares. They recorded several live shows and took time to decide what worked the best and what didn’t.

Feedback was critical, so they leveraged Discord as a test audience for their private streams. Describing the process, John shares, “Once we got comfortable with a product that we could show real people, we had 45 to 50 members of our Discord just like, ‘Hey, here’s a cool show that we’re working on; we’re just trying some things out. Check it out if you want to come to watch.’” This test audience gave valuable feedback that let them know they were headed in the right direction with the show. 

“We literally set the show up in our actual breakroom, and we did a million test shows and eventually landed on something that we’re comfortable with now.”


Livestream workflow

Preparing for a livestream is imperative because it’s — well — live. There are no second takes or do-overs. Through their livestream tests, the New Rockstars team has developed a workflow that has allowed them to create more content in less time.


“The Breakroom” is primarily run through an ATEM Mini Extreme ISO live production switcher. The switcher allows them to run and operate four Blackmagic Studio Camera 4k Pros that can record independently.

From there, the show is operated through an interface that gives John and his team all the capabilities they need to run the show. They also make use of a plugin called Bitfocus Companion. This software allows them to set presets for the show at the press of a button. One example John displayed was their “starting soon” preset. Once pressed, it mutes all the microphones, brings up a scene in OBS, and starts playing music immediately. This has been the most game-changing resource, John shares. “This is a $200 piece of equipment — the stream deck — and with this piece of software, we got to be saving $10,000 or something.” 


Pre-show prep

With the technical side of the production set, the next step is to create the content. Several members of the New Rockstars team contribute to the process, including dedicated researchers and writers. Because the show is primarily a news show, the show revolves around headlines. The second half of the show is ‘Mandatory Fun.’ In John’s words, it’s just the team going to do something stupid.

“We have a great researcher and she pulls a bunch of headlines for us at 2:00 AM when she’s ready to go to bed. She’s a night owl, so it works out well.” From there, he puts together an outline for the show. Next, John leads a meeting with another producer and the cast to get feedback. It’s important that the cast has a buy-in as well. “ … if they’re not into it, the show’s not going to be good. If they’re not into it, the audience might not be into it. Having a bunch of people’s opinions that I trust [is] so useful. Maybe that’s not actually a good idea, and they’re all super smart — a couple of them are producers and writers themselves, so that’s really helpful.”

Once the meeting wraps, the New Rockstars team works to get the technical aspects of the show, giving them three hours to finish.

Because they treat the production like a news show, they have to plan for when news breaks after they’ve prepped the show. 


The workflow John and his team have created for “The Breakroom” has. Other shows have taken advantage of their setup, allowing them to shoot the footage and effectively edit in real time.


Advice for creators

If you’re looking to get started livestreaming, don’t fall into the equipment trap. John advises you not only to start with what you have, but to start with who you know. Relating, he shares, “The stereotypical answer is, ‘Hey, our phones are so good right now; you can livestream from your phone on TikTok. You can have a huge audience just on your phone.’ That’s totally true, but I think that doesn’t always resonate with [everyone]. Some people are like, ‘my ambitions are bigger than my phone.’”

Recalling a time when he first moved to LA years ago, “The best piece of advice I got was from a screenwriter that I ran into at a screening. He was like, ‘Stop asking people like me for help and advice. Get the people together that you know and come up with them. You will make friends in this industry, and the friends that you make in this industry [will be how you make it].’” 

It’s more than just knowing the right people, John elaborates; it’s about making use of your resources. You may not have the equipment you want to get started, but you may know people who do. 


Reflecting, John says, “Our first livestream test was probably March 20th; we didn’t go live until May 2nd. We had the luxury of being able to do tests that were not public. As soon as you can make something, you’re going to start learning, and you’re going to start getting better. You’re going to learn so much by making things.”

New Rockstar’s “The Breakroom” uses livestreaming to create highly engaging content and save time for creators. Producing a multi-camera live show takes a great deal of tech and coordination. As John has pointed out, the important first step to take is not to buy equipment — but to utilize your resources. If your aspirations are bigger than your camera, connect with other creators. Your first production isn’t going to be perfect, but it will get you started down the path of getting better.




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