Feature films

Some TikToks are more creative and better produced than feature films

In part of this week’s newsletter: Really, Really Cool and Really, Really Awesome videos under 60 seconds that should be both a threat and an inspiration to Hollywood.

Posted on May 21, 2021 at 8 a.m.ET


This is an excerpt from Please love me, the BuzzFeed News newsletter on how influencers fight for your attention. You can register here.

I keep saying “This TikTok is better than any movie released right now” to friends and colleagues about some of the hugely creative videos I’ve seen on the app, and now I’m dedicating a great deal to it. newsletter.

Some creators have made such innovative 15- and 60-second videos that it made me wonder if we even need big, multi-million dollar Hollywood productions. Just kidding – there will never be a time when we watch a single TikTok in theaters (or will there be?) Lol.

However, TikToks like that of @gnomeboys, an account created by a group of friends in Melbourne, should be both a threat and an inspiration to the mainstream entertainment industry. The TikTok starts off with them filming a dance, which they’ve done a lot of times and are quite talented at, BTW. He then cuts off a multi-panel screen where two of the Gnome Boys discover that they are being filmed by other cameras around their house. It is ultimately up to them to watch themselves record the initial dance. The loop is perfect and the sequencing is awesome, with an element of sci-fi and artistic edits throughout, and all in under a minute.

In its first week, it was viewed over 3.5 million times. I’m not the only one who is stunned by this. “Which dimension have I just entered?” “Did I just watch a movie trailer?” Commentators wrote.

The conception, the realization and the assembly of all this! To borrow a ubiquitous TikTok phrase for awesome content: “How free is this app?” “

TikToks with cool visual effects have been around for a while, but they never cease to captivate me. It’s like watching a good movie, reminding me of a free vacation somewhere else believable but magical. Last year, I became obsessed with watching user @ harry.rs’s TikToks, who uses sophisticated visual effects in all of their posts. Sometimes the concepts are simple, but the editing is so high-tech that I wonder how much time and professional experience someone like him puts into his videos. I reached out to ask.

I also reached out to the Gnome Boys – a collective of four friends (Mikee, Jamane, Nathan and Chris), all ages 21-22, who have known each other since high school – and asked them about their process. They told me they got together because they wanted to create a TikTok account that was like “their own cinematic universe and their playground for [their] ideas. “

What is most impressive is that they are all “self-taught” in filming and editing. In high school, they said they often did skits and would film them for social media. But they had never worked together on an account until this year, when they created @gnomeboys. They have accumulated 243,000 subscribers since January.

Surprisingly, at least for me, most of the filming and editing they do right on the app, and they release it shortly after filming.

“We aim to show just how powerful the app can be by using the built-in editing tools that come with it,” they said. “There is a large chunk of creators on the app who bring a whole new experience to videos while staying within the dimensions of TikTok.”

They said the four would generally kick off some sounds to use and storyboard ideas together. “The shoot could take [up to] two hours, depending on how long the sound is and how many cuts we want to add to the video, ”they said.

In the one I highlighted on TikTok, they said some changes were made outside of the app and it took about three hours.

The Gnome Boys exemplify the pool of young social media talent that I mean “untapped”, but that implies that being successful in their profession means working for a large production studio. They told me they were ready to someday work for a bigger company creating the kind of videos they already do. But it is no longer a linear path for young budding filmmakers.

“We believe this app can be used to research new innovative ideas. And [it] can also be a voice for young people, ”they said. “As a band, we dream of reaching a wider audience with our talents, and if the opportunity arises, then we would totally agree” by joining a large studio.

Of course, the decision will ultimately be up to them and other talented TikTokers – it’s hard to say no to a day job with steady income and benefits. But creators like them are also proof that the influencer model of maintaining control over your own skills and career can also be viable. If I were an industry executive, I would be emojiing this corner of the app, both of how I could learn from them and work with them to transform the film industry from there. inside. Telling an effective story shouldn’t take more than two hours.

Till next time,

Tanya


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