A lot of us talk about the good old days of ‘Early Youtube’. We like to look back five or ten years and remember the ridiculous sketches, mind-blowing short films, awkward music videos and the initially unique but now tired gimmicks.
There were also the early VFX legends inspiring new waves of artists. Corridor Digital, FreddieW (now RocketJump), and VideoCopilot to name just a few. Videos with consistently more impressive and more creative visual effects starting to pop up all over the place. The industry that seemed exclusive to high-budget blockbuster films had somehow found a place online. I can’t tell you the number of times friends and family have sent me an ActionMovieKid video or one of the seemingly endless Zack King clips. Somehow VFX artists have found themselves at the forefront of this insane, exciting and extremely delightful industry.
More lately than ever before it seems like Youtubers are pushing out content faster and faster. Quantity over quality has been a surprising evolution for online media. It’s not all bad, I do enjoy a lot of the new content, but I can’t help but miss ‘Early Youtube’. That’s why when I found ShutterAuthority, I was instantly sucked in.
Raghav and his team create VFX heavy internet shorts. Creativity, quality, style and uniqueness are squeezed into each video. Each short is fun to watch, with well developed story and comedic timing. Their content is a lot of ‘In Real Life’ videos and dream-battles that would never happen otherwise. Titles like The Terminator VS T-Rex and Packman In Real Life give you a good idea of what to expect.
Shutter Authority has over a Billion Views and 2 Million subscribers. Their story is inspiring for all Youtubers looking to build an audience and make awesome content. Check out the full interview below.
Godzilla VS Packman (26,553,185 views)
Chris: Godzilla VS Packman, Terminator VS T-rex, these are fantastic and really out-there ideas. How do you decide what video to make next?
Raghav AK: It’s usually a combination several factors; topics I’m passionate about, CG/VFX aspects I’ve been experimenting with that match the topic and if the topic has any topical value at the time.
Chris: You’ve started adding breakdowns at the end of your videos, why did you decide to start doing this?
Raghav AK: We get a ton of comments asking us how we make these videos and a lot of people don’t seem to know anything about VFX and other filmmaking techniques, so we thought we’d take the opportunity to give the audience a little sneak peak into the making of to bring awareness on what’s possible even for a very small team like ours.
Check out this awesome breakdown for Mega-Godzilla: King of the Universe
Chris: It seems like you’re able to release a project roughly every month. With the level of work that goes into each, I have to assume this is your full time job. Do you do client work as well?
Raghav AK: Yes, its quite a bit of work to take a video idea to completion, because we try to do most of the tasks in-house. Of course, we do use stock footage and other assets from sources like ProductionCrate, VideoCopilot, ActionVFX, Film Riot etc, which really help us make better quality work at a shorter turn around times. Yes, I do this full time and I do take up a little bit of client work if the project is very interesting and I find the time to pull it off alongside the videos for my channel.
Chris: What was your most difficult project to-date, and why?
Raghav AK: We worked on a 360 video based on Temple Run as a collaboration with Google Daydream. It was our first time working on a 360 video. Every shot was a VFX shot involving 3D CGI and most of them were moving camera shots that needed loads of clean up too. It took us nearly 3 months of non-stop work to pull this off.
Chris: After Effects and Blender seem like your preferred software, are there others you’d like to learn?
Raghav AK: Yes, AE and B3D seem like a perfect fit for an indie creator like me who needs to be able to quickly create semi complex shots for my short films. I’m currently working on improving my sculpting and texturing skills in Blender, but I’d love to learn Substance Painter to take the realism to next level. I’m also very impressed with TyFlow which is extremely powerful for simulations. Another tool that interests me EmberGen to create fluid sims in Real time.
Chris: You seem to start things off with a lot of preparation and planning. Can you explain what your process is like from idea to completion?
Raghav AK: Thank you! As you have seen in our making-of segments, I always like to break down a task into as many small tasks as possible. Our process is as follows:
- Writing the script
- Making storyboards. Run VFX tests in parallel to make sure what we’re aiming for is even possible
- Prepare for the shoot- and Shoot it
- Editing a rough cut, identifying and categorizing the VFX shots
- VFX Process
- Editing, colour grading and sound design.
Chris: What is the most surprising or exciting thing that has happened with Shutter Authority?
Raghav AK: We’ve had a lot of exciting things happen over the last few years, and some of them include going mega viral with more than half our videos, and accumulating 1B views in total on our channel, where 3 of our videos have surpassed 120M views. This to me is absolutely insane and I’d really love to thank our audience for supporting our work!
Chris: Whats advice can you give aspriring Youtubers?
Raghav AK: I’d encourage creators not to hesitate when experimenting with multiple ideas at the start to figure out what exactly they’d like to do on Youtube. Also make sure its something you truly love doing, because you might have to do it for a while before anything happens. I started my channel back in 2006 and it took me 7 years to hit 1,000 subscribers and 9 years for 10K. It only sped up later and took off to 1M in just 2 years after that.
It was only possible for me to stick around doing this kind of content for that long because I love making films with VFX and I’d be willing to do it regardless of whether I made money from it or not. Its ultimately about find a common intersection between something unique that you love to create and what people would love to watch.
Chris: What’s next?
Raghav AK: We have a bunch of cool short film ideas lined up for 2020 that involve Sci-fi, Robots and Dinosaurs. We’d love to do something bigger involving larger productions in the future around similar topics. Until then, Stay tuned for our youtube vids 😉
Make sure to visit ShutterAuthority on Youtube and subscribe if you haven’t already!