Julian Smith’s Production Value Shines on YouTube

julian-smith

YouTuber Week, you guys — five days of spotlighting some of the talent using YouTube right now. Feel the excitement!

Julian Smith represents a different approach to creating content than the two other YouTubers I’ve featured so far — both Mystery Guitar Man and Kat Sketch tend to present themselves directly to the camera, but the 23-year-old YouTube creator puts his comedy first, and himself second.

Smith made a big splash in 2009 when his 25 Things I Hate About Facebook video went viral. The video is direct-address, but is filmed more like the gothic cousin to the Mac vs. PC ads, and owes its popularity not just to Smith’s clear on-screen charisma, but its totally fair critiques of 2009-era Facebook.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVA047JAQsk]

And since then he’s continued to produce a varied assortment of sketches, music videos, and random video experiments. And they’re gorgeous. A self-taught filmmaker who was “getting hired to make videos around town before I could even drive myself to pick up checks from my clients” (according to his official site), Smith’s level of production is pretty extraordinary. Across the board, his content is beautifully shot, with clean sound and effects — even his sporadic vlog entries feature great cinematography and lighting.

The one catch is that many of Smith’s comedy sketches lack perfect pacing, with certain gags going just a few beats too long. Take, for example, one of his bigger hits, last November’s Malk. Sure, it’s got great energy from its performers and a decent twist, but there’s also about a solid minute of dudes just screaming variations of “MALK!” at each other.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ty62YzGryU4]

Also, while Smith promises that he’ll post a new video every Friday, sometimes those videos are strange but inventive music videos about jellyfish

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iubJ-XSL9go]

And sometimes they’re advertisements for t-shirts about jellyfish.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNWMbr8RXc4]

The end result, though, remains this: Smith is one of the creators raising the bar for YouTube content, bringing not just a unique voice to the proceedings, but clear professionalism.

Related GigaOm Pro Content (subscription required): Can Online Video Show Us the Future of Newspapers?

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