On the weekend of November 9, the popular video-streaming website YouTube came to Toronto. The first Buffer Festival was a multi day theatrical event involving the best creative works from video creators on YouTube. Over 100 YouTube creators came down for the festival, including TheFineBrothers, Hannah Hart and Daily Grace. It was an opportunity to see great content normally reserved for the computer screen, on the big screen.
Corey Vidal’s ApprenticeA productions is the organization behind the Buffer Festival. Vidal gained recognition after creating a musical tribute to composer John Williams and was one of the first Canadians to join the Youtube Partnership program. He later created ApprenticeA productions a leading online video production company with over 75 million views.
Inspired by his experience at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2011, Vidal, in collaboration with CFC Media lab created the Buffer Festival. The Varsity sat down with Corey Vidal before the
The Varsity: What do you see for the future regarding the festival?
Corey Vidal: We want to be involved with similar partners and be in the same area. A lot of attendees couldn’t make so we are going to keep throwing it every year. Each year it is going to get bigger and bigger. This is our first event and we couldn’t be happier, down the road it is going to push more for YouTubers to release content that people haven’t viewed before. Using it as a launching point for some of their creative content.
I am a YouTuber at heart and my goal was to merge YouTube with big projects. I want to be a part of YouTube but I care a lot also about the film making process and Vlogumentary is an opportunity to do a traditional feature film that is 100 percent YouTube. Buffer Festival is an opportunity to be in a theatre but not go traditional, be 100 percent YouTube.
TV: Any advice for YouTube Creators who aren’t getting noticed, or just starting up?
CV: First make crap, than make your crap better. A lot of people are obsessed with making their first video good. If you look at any of your favourite Youtubers, their first videos are all crap. I hate my first 150 videos and so does every other YouTuber. It isn’t about making one video; it is about being in the constant state of video creation.
TV: How do you think it is changing our culture?
CV: What we are doing is depleting the amount of time spent watching television. Instead of sitting there watching TV we are only watch a couple of hours of TV and then we are on the Internet. People have more control on when they want to watch it and how they want to watch it. Whereas before you had to watch TV at a very specific time and if you didn’t watch it you missed it. I think it is very empowering for the consumer; we have more control than we ever had.
TV: What do you see in the future for YouTube?
CV: The numbers keep growing and growing. I always check out the stats and right now there are over 80 hours of content uploaded every minute. I remember when you could go on YouTube and check out the latest uploaded videos and you could scroll through a day’s worth of videos; that was seven years ago. It never stops more people have access to the Internet, more people have access to cameras, people have high quality cameras on their phone. We are going to see more content creators; with YouTube a lot of the viewers are the content creators. Somebody attending Buffer Festival today can be premiering content at Buffer Festival next year, because that’s how even the playing field is. That is exciting.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.