The Underground of YouTube: Jack

YouTube has become quite the sensation nowadays. With new video bloggers, or "vloggers," and collaborative projects at the new YouTube spaces, the company has changed the face of content creating and sharing.

Although fans and followers flock to the channels of popular vloggers, there are some smaller creators just starting out on YouTube that have a spectacular amount of potential (not to mention a solid fanbase already). These filmmakers and creators who are just starting out have a lot to offer the Internet -- a lot more than we expected.

This is the underground of YouTube.

And this is where we meet Jack Innanen.

Jack, an overachieving 16-year-old high school student from Canada, originally had his start on YouTube when he was in fifth grade, making videos about haircuts for each day of the week ("Messy Monday," "Thrown Together Tuesday," etc.). He also attempted to do standup comedy on an old YouTube channel. Later on, in middle school, Jack started a gaming channel and gained a few thousand subscribers. Three years later, he found himself interested in vlogging and filmmaking. He formed his new YouTube channel, JackIninin, in 2013 and continues to upload content regularly. Take a look at a video he uploaded back in May:

When asked why he had turned to creating YouTube videos, Jack explained that, at first, it was out of pure boredom; he was a young kid that needed a creative outlet, so he turned to the Internet for help. He "discovered" his love of film when he was playing hooky from school one day (which he claims is not common for him). Jack was browsing through Reddit when he found a still showcasing the symmetry used in Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom. He was intrigued and began watching the movie. Jack explains, "That feeling of being so touched mentally and emotionally by an hour and a half of simple symmetry and vibrant colors forever motivated my ambitions and altered my perspective of film."

What also surprised me about Jack was his ability to appeal to his subscribers. With a fresh (sometimes quite dry, actually) sense of humor and a playful tone to his voice, he captures his viewers' attentions. He has also proves to be quite clever. In his video, "Social Ping Pong," Jack describes himself as a "weird kid, with a weird sense of humor to go along with it". He says that when he has an opportunity to make a bad joke, he'll go for it, and begins to explain the theory of social ping pong. Inspired by the comedian Pete Holmes, the theory explains that when someone smiles at you, you smile back. If someone makes a joke, you laugh, regardless of how funny it is (or at least, this is what Jack does). The metaphorical net in the middle of the ping pong table represents life as the inevitable barrier that attempts to keep your jokes, smiles, and laughs at bay. Jack explains, "Why? Why not? Like Pete said, life is hard; we all die someday. So for God's sake, just laugh."

Jack's favorite puns:
  • My uncle got in a car accident recently -- it was pretty bad, he lost all feeling in his left side, he's alright now.
  • I just tried to make a belt out of watches, what a waist of time!
  • I just ate a clock, it tasted good but was so chewy. It was really time consuming.

Jack has released videos on both mainstream and unique topics, including school and the reason behind why he is going to hell. Although he doesn't like school, he does do well. "I am always told it isn't enough of a challenge for me so I am then placed in programs to "challenge myself" on a higher academic caliber. This just adds more stress and higher work loads," he explains. "It is no matter of complexity or difficulty or volume, and I have never been able to get that point across. If you give me a small amount of easy work, I will finish it with 100% of my effort. If you give me a large amount of difficult work, I will finish it with 100% of my effort. That is how school has been for me, and they have just cranked up the difficulty and the volume, leaving the same time to complete it." In his video, "I'm Going to Hell," Jack explains that although he isn't religious, he'd go to hell because of his dark humor. He admits that he finds everything funny and comes up with creative puns and morbid jokes whenever he can.

When asked who he looks up to in terms of creating content, Jack explains his admiration for Louis Cole (FunForLouis) and Casey Neistat (although, he says the former wins, if he had to choose just one). He admires their generous personalities, dedication (editing a vlog every day isn't an easy task), and "crazy lifestyles". For Jack, the two filmmakers are a huge inspiration; he especially respects how positive they are, despite having intense lives and busy schedules. "They keep the metaphorical torch of YouTube burning," he says.

The young filmmaker also plans on releasing new content this year, including short films; he's also putting focus into making videos similar to his video "Stronger Than Stigma". When asked about whether he wants to follow current trends on YouTube (i.e. tags, challenges), Jack says, "I aspire to be more of a filmmaker. I still want to continue to grow and develop with the whole YouTube culture, but I am going to put more effort into my work." The self-proclaimed perfectionist is also working on app and web projects, as well as other small projects, in a multitude of mediums. "I have learned as a 'content creator' that life is a perpetual work in progress," he says.

For those who want to create content and be a part of the YouTube community, Jack's final piece of advice is, "Stay in school, eat your vegetables, and just do it. Nike."

Weird things about Jack:
  • "I was born with a small bump about half a centimeter in diameter on the back of my right earlobe."
  • "I once ate a plastic gumball out of a "Claire's" gumball keychain accessory when I was 4. Smelt like bubble-mint, but did not taste like it."
  • "When I was little I used to be scared that E.T was hiding in my closet at night amongst my stuffed animals after that one scene in the movie, so I would lean a glass of water against my closet door so it would make a noise if opened."

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