Why you should know who Gabriel Valenciano is
Gabriel Valenciano is bringing the heat to the YouTube world. Racking up literally millions of views on his mind-blowingly skilled and hilarious YouTube videos, Valenciano is a name you should probably start to know (if you don't already).
Valenciano was invited to the exclusive and elite South by Southwest Festival, where AOL.com's own editors were lucky enough to get a chance to sit down and chat with the Internet superstar.
When did you first realize that social media would be a huge part of your career, your fame and all the stuff you've got going on?
Two and a half years ago, I started making videos. It was funny because I started making videos out of my depression -- it was my release, and I was in school, I left the Philippines, I was by myself, I didn't know anybody and I started creating these videos and one day I woke up and one of them hit a million in like 2 days, 3 days!
Oh wow, what was it about?
It was a Space Jam dance video, 15 seconds on YouTube, and I shot it in less than 3 minutes, I was dancing around. And so that's when I kind of realized, wait -- people like my stuff, and that ultimately propelled me to what I'm doing today.
Right, that's so cool! What's your absolute favorite social media network?
Well the majority of what I do for personal reasons is YouTube, but definitely Facebook is blwoing up because of the shareability. You get the comments straight away with people, people message you, it's so easy and I think it's definitely the future.
Right, when people say that Facebook's at the end of its rope or that only older people use it, I just think that's so not true, especially with the live feature they just launched.
Yes, the thing with Facebook is it gets with the times. It evolves. I think Mark has done a really good job molding it around young people and old alike. It covers every generation and I think that is why it is blowing up at the moment.
Totally, that's such a good point!
And the shareability, again, is so easy -- you can watch videos straight away. With YouTube it's hard because...you actually need to search for the videos. With Facebook, you can just scroll through your news feed and see content right away.
And you might find stuff your friends are sharing that you didn't follow in the first place, whereas you have to find stuff on your own on YouTube. So cool! So, what are some of your biggest passions outside of social media?
Well, I do have a film company. That's my work, that's more of what I do. It's much more serious than my dancing and being topless and being stupid and wearing bathing suits and stuff. But I kind of love it because it gives me that alter ego, when I go to work I do what I have to do as a filmmaker, and on the side I release in all my fun videos.
It's funny because I feel like people think social media stars just do that all day, but it's so not true.
Yeah, well it can be a living because you get brand deals, but in my case personally I just love to create short films. I love to work with corporate and then try to rebrand them in a way that people can relate to, so that's what I've been doing as work.
Where do you get your inspiration to make your short films?
Honestly, anything. Anything I see, hear, people I meet, movies, music. I'm a very visual guy so let's say I hear a sound effect or a conversation and I get inspired -- I visualize it in my mind right away and I write it down. When I surround myself with positive people, I have that positive energy.
But if I surround myself with people that are very negative, condescending, judgmental, I don't get affected. But it really brings that kind of spirit down and I think it's really who you are and who your frineds are and as much as possible, I try to keep that.
That's a perfect lead-in for my next question -- so you have your own crew that you work with, how do you form these connections and collaborations?
It's funny because I am the newest member of the team. One day I went to this party and they were al there and we all just became friends and they were like, 'Dude, why are you not doing this more? You should be doing this!' One of my videos actually inspired, and I got to work with her as a creative director, Beyonce. So everybody's just like, 'Oh my god, dude, why are you letting this slip away? Just keep doing it.' And so that's why I said okay fine and we started rolling together. It's an amazing group of people.
It seems like everybody works really well together.
Yeah, everybody wants to see everybody succeed, which is not always the case.
What kind of advice would you give to someone who's trying to start out and make videos on social?
I think the best advice I could ever give is the best advice I ever got: Do it because you love it.
When you do certain things with hidden agendas, with strings attached, people can read that. People will know. And going back to my group, that's one thing I love. Yes, there's a business side to it, of course, it's what we do to survive. But at the same time, when you're faced with something that will compromise who you are as an artist, as a person, you just say no to it. So my advice is just to say true to yourself, and keep trying. Wehn you just keep doing it and working hard, it'll come. It'll come. All it takes is that one video. Also, never be afraid to keep learning. A lot of people think that they have it all figured out, but the world is constantly changing, the world is constantly evolving. It's always a great thing to keep learning.
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