How Max Jr. went from 'Smack Cam' creator to social media star

How Max Jr. went from 'Smack Cam' creator to social media star

Max Jr. is a bonafide social media superstar. The comedian is person behind the infamous "Smack Cam", which went viral on Vine and catapulted him to success online, gaining million of followers on Instagram, Vine, Facebook and Twitter. was able to catch up with Mx Jr., who was at the official Native.Digital Panel at SXSW, where we chatted about his journey to social media stardom and his future career plans.​

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You're active on a lot of social media platforms. Which one did you have an account on first?
I had Instagram before I had Vine but Vine is the platform I blew up on.

Did you ever expect this to become such a huge part of your career?
Honestly, I was in school for physical therapy and I had like, two years left before I finished. I started doing videos the summer before my second to last year and it just blew up and I just said I didn't want to go to school anymore and so I moved to LA to make videos.

How did your parents react?
Oh, they said no right away. They said "you're not going nowhere" and then they spoke to my ex manager about all the opportunities I would miss out on if I didn't take that so they said go ahead and do it

And this is a job that probably would have never existed five years ago, right?
Right! When we started doing it, no one else was really doing this. Like, it wasn't huge or anything. And now it's blown up.


Do you have a favorite video of yours?
On vine I got huge for doing Smack Cam, where I would smack people with shaving cream, peanut butter and jelly, eggs, to my parents, everyone just killed them all with it.

What was your favorite thing to smack people with?
My favorite thing was shaving cream, for sure. I used shaving cream at least like 6 times.

Do you not do it anymore?
No, I don't do it anymore. That was about two years ago. When you get to that point where you start to make money for it, brands begin to be like,"Hey, this guy is too violent', or 'His content is too dirty', or 'he swears too much.' So we started cleaning up our content to make money.


What are the steps to market yourself on these types of platforms? What advice would you have for people who want to create online videos?
I would just say to be original, just do you. That's how we all first blew up on social media. Just being ourselves, making funny skits, not trying, you know what I mean?

Outside of social media, what are your passions?
Right now, I'm trying to produce my own music. I'm also doing acting as well, getting into some bigger projects. Can't jinx it yet so I can't share with you what it is (laughs).

When people ask me to take pictures of them w/ Dan Nampaikid

Posted by Max Jr on Monday, November 2, 2015

From six second Vine videos to one minute Facebook videos, all the videos you create online are all pretty short. What's the longest time it has taken a video has taken you to create?
There was a video, it wasn't even my video, it was a friend's and basically, he picked me up at 9 pm and he dropped me off at five in the morning and he never actually even posted it.

That's a long time! Were you upset?
Not really, just mostly tired but it was like, all that work for nothing. There are a lot of times like that, too, though. It'll take a couple hours to shoot a video.

So a couple of hours is usually normal?
Well, it's due to the fact that some people are lazy, you have to get a group of people to do this and this, you know what I mean? But like, a Vine is whatever, Facebook now is like hours to a whole day to shoot a video. I mean, we space it out evenly. Like, this person is shooting today, that person is shooting the next day and stuff like that.

How do you adapt your videos to different platforms?
Well, each platform is different so like when we post to Instagram, we kind of post like pictures and quick videos, small second videos. For Facebook, we barely post any pictures, just straight videos. Pictures get no likes on Facebook. The only shareable content is videos. Vine is the same thing, too, like shareable videos as well.

When your friend says he's "here" w/ PiquesDirected by: Poteet Films

Posted by Max Jr on Thursday, February 25, 2016

Do you just use the same video footage and cut it down?
Yeah, that's exactly what we do. Honestly, now I don't post on Vine at all. I haven't posted in like, a year probably. I cut down for Instagram because it's 15 seconds. But I'm not chopping a one-minute video to six seconds. It's like, impossible.

It's funny because Facebook was kind of dead, right? I won't say it has blown up yet because some people still think Facebook is dead. I wanna say by like, summertime, people will be like, 'Oh, s***.'

Facebook now just started monetizing videos so now we get paid for views on Facebook. People are going to start hearing about that and be like, 'Oh, I'm going to try to start doing videos too,' which is why more and more users are coming on. I think by summertime, Facebook will pick up like crazy because I think it'll be free. I mean, that's when we started to make our videos too, like we didn't have any school or work or responsibilities so, like, we had more time to do videos and play with our friends, which is what's going to happen again in the summer with Facebook

You said you all collaborate with a ton of people. How do these collaborations all come together?
Honestly, once you start doing social media, you just start meeting all these people on social media and becoming friends with them. Like a lot of is, we just started meeting through like Twitter and saying like, "oh, I like your videos, we should shoot together or something." They Get my number and meet up with them and if you like the person then you become friends with them and you shoot more often with them.

So it seems like it is a pretty natural process.
Yeah, it's not like we have marketing people reach out to that person because I want to shoot a video with them and then I get their number. Like, we're all in group charts together. You know, all people in social media all communicate with each other in some way and in some form, you know what I mean? So we all are just like, 'Hey, want to do a video? There are about 20 people in one group chat and I'm in another one that has like 30 people and one that has 4 another one has 5, you know what I mean?

It's like a little tight circle but it's big too, though.

Who are your favorite people to collaborate with? Who is your dream collaboration?
Favorite people to collaborate with? I would say that entire team that we have, like Jerry (Purpdrank), Joey (Salads), Piques, Curtis (Lepore), Arantza (Fahnbulleh) andJoJoe are all fun to collaborate with. I wanna do a collaboration with like ASAP Rocky. I love ASAP Rocky. I'd love Nas or something like that too.

See photos from SXSW:

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Originally published