Carmel High students pursue YouTube as creative outlet

YouTube reigns as the world’s most popular online video site, with users watching a whopping 4 billion hours of video every month and uploading 72 hours of video every minute.

Since its inception in 2005, YouTube has morphed from an amateurs’ site to one that distributes infinite varieties of content worldwide. The online video behemoth has become the world’s third most-visited website, just behind Google and Facebook. Almost anyone can upload almost anything to YouTube, free of charge, and have the chance to reach its one billion monthly users—whether they are activists or terrorists, politicians or pop stars.

Carmel High is sprouting its own crop of students throwing their hats into the ring of the Youtube circus.

Junior Henry Kou initiated his YouTube career via an unrelated project in Chinese class. Now his channel, “Koulkid,” shares snippets of his life with the Web.

“My channel features rants, personal experiences and music videos that are pretty amusing,” Kou says.

Fellow students may have noticed Kou’s recent robotics promotion video, which was featured in the video bulletin, but Kou advises that visitors check out his magnum opus, “Nerd vs. Wild.”

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“If you go to my channel, be sure to watch [it],” he adds. “And subscribe!”

Senior Hans Voegeli was similarly inspired through a CHS class to begin his YouTube hobby.

“It was sophomore year during a Spanish project,” Voegeli remembers. “I was supposed to create a PowerPoint, but I decided to try and do a Lego stop motion for it. Once I did that, my friends really liked it, and I uploaded it to YouTube. From there, I started to do one every week.”

Voegeli’s videos from his channel, Little Brick Productions, are also featured routinely in the CHS video bulletin. His stop-motion creations take a humorous tone as he skillfully utilizes special effects, like cotton balls for dust clouds.

Junior Hayden Stachelek’s channel focuses on graphic designing and gaming videos.

“I will just go on Photoshop and make a Twitter or a YouTube banner,” Stachelek says. “I just thought one day that I could record myself [and] put music behind it, and it would be pretty cool. I see other people doing it, so why not just try it out?”

Junior Morgan Shirk, whose channel is travel-oriented, pursues YouTube for a two-fold purpose.

“I want to make films when I am older, which has inspired me to pursue video-making now,” Shirk says. “One of my major hobbies is traveling—something I am really passionate about—and I was wanting to share that with my peers while still accomplishing things that I love to do.”

Yet YouTubing is not as easy as it may appear, especially for high school students with already demanding schedules. Junior Nick Griffin can attest to this reality.

“I will be starting up again over the summer, after ending my old channel because junior year has just been too busy for another time-consuming part of life,” comments Griffin, whose channel, “Griffgus,” will primarily feature gaming and sketch comedy videos.

Kou also elaborates on the difficulties of maintaining an active YouTube life while at the same time getting through the daily grind of school. He tries to fit in planning whenever he has a few spare minutes, so executing the final project will go quickly and smoothly.

“School is definitely my number one priority, but whenever I have a break, I am sure to crank out some music videos,” he says.

Dom Smales, founder of Gleam Talent Agency, which looks after social media stars, recognizes the incredible time, effort and creativity exhibited by YouTubers.

“YouTubers are the most diligent, hardworking people you could meet, who doggedly pursue a creative outlet that has turned into a huge media outlet,” Smales says.

These creative high schoolers amuse peers as well as distant followers as they navigate the world of YouTube.

Voegeli smiles thoughtfully as he summarizes his YouTube experience: “There is something special about taking an idea of yours and bringing it to life.”
-Connor Suess