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YouTube awards cash, schooling to budding videographers

Zach King Thumbnail
Even as Google Inc.'s YouTube works to secure newly released Hollywood films for users to rent, the dominant online video site is cultivating a promising crop of amateur videographers through funding and professional training.

YouTube identified 45 users, among thousands of entrants, to participate in a pair of programs designed to support original content creation. YouTube says some 35 hours of video are uploaded every minute, driving billions of views every year. To keep YouTube as a launching pad for new talent, it has begun this program of funding, education and promotions.

Twenty people were selected to participate in YouTube Creator Institute, where they will gain new-media training at either the USC School of Cinematic Arts or Columbia College Chicago. Another development program, YouTube NextUp, awarded $35,000 each to 25 creators to help advance their work on YouTube.

Zach King, a 21-year-old film student at Biola University, said he would use the cash he received from the NextUp program to develop a series of short films that focus on storytelling. His award-winning submission, "Contest Entry Gone Wrong,"  relies on special effects -- he appears to dodge an assault by airstrikes and groundfire as he calmly pleads his case to be selected for the YouTube award.

"I started my channel two years ago, FinalCutKing, I started posting video tutorials," King said. "I recently turned to posting cool videos, doing digital effects."

One video in particular, in which King seems to be demonstrating a fictional "hologram setting" on his new Apple iPad 2, attracted notice. "That's why we decided to enter a special-effects video on YouTube," he said of the video shot with his friend, Aaron Benitez. "It was different."

-- Dawn C. Chmielewski

Photo: Zach King from his video, "Contest Entry Gone Wrong."  

Comments () | Archives (3)

Dude. This is rad. You rock and will be very successful. I have no doubt.

I don't know what happened to my other comment, but seriously Zach this is legit!

I applaud Google for providing such a powerful incentive for film makers to strive to achieve. I have often believed that companies like Google should create similar programs to motivate K-6 online students. With the power of the Internet, students can be motivated to not only complete specific common core curriculum bu communicate and collaborate with others to achieve a common goal. Students rewarded early in elementary school will learn that participation, passion and achievement are positive attributes that are valued by society equal to or above the common test score. Way to go Google and congrats to all of the artists that have attracted Google support.


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