Partners Project, a new web series focusing on the YouTube creators who are finding creative fulfillment and financial success with full-time video making, is not for anyone who hasn’t heard of Sxephil or LisaNova. But for those who are invested emotionally or financially in the future of online video, there is much of interest here.
Hosted by Shira Lazar, produced by Disrupt Studios and distributed by Next New Networks, Partners Project has so far featured the people behind Annoying Orange, Mystery Guitar Man, iJustine and ShayCarl — otherwise known as Dane Boedigheimer, Joe Penna, Justine Ezarik and, um, ShayCarl (real name unknown), four creators who have found unique ways of expressing themselves through the production of regular updates.
Formatted as a straight interview between Lazar and the subject, the conversation tends to focus on the practical and personal aspects of regular production, with an enduring message about the importance of working hard if you want to be successful.
The advice ranges, though, from general to specific — Boedigheimer, for example, emphasizes the importance of collaborating with other YouTube creators (a factor in his meteroic success), while Penna advises people to study software tutorials in order to create quality effects for their own videos.
This advice is scattered between the main interview videos and an additional “Partner Pro Tips” segment. The Pro Tips segments largely consist of the main interview edited with a focus towards guiding aspiring creators. It’d be cool if they all included more unique behind-the-scenes material (such as the Annoying Orange episode, in which Lazar learns how hard it is to portray a piece of animated fruit), but the concept of a dual focus is an intriguing one.
The show’s distribution format does a nice job of incorporating the kind of interactivity that gets users engaged on YouTube, including constant requests for questions, featured comments and outtake videos. Some episodes do feel a little lengthy at approximately 10 minutes, but production values are professional, and the cinematography and editing is adding some visual flair without intruding on the interviews.
“The Barbara Walters of YouTube,” ShayCarl calls Shira Lazar in episode three; while it’s meant jokingly, and Lazar isn’t pulling any huge emotional moments from her interview subjects, each interview does feature some genuine discussion about the YouTube world, which she ably enables. It’s not hard-hitting editorial, but from a talk show perspective, Partners Project does offer valuable insight into this emerging community.
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