Curtis Lepore is the king of social media -- and here's why we're bowing down
In case you haven't seen that hilarious video, or any of Curtis Lepore's social media genius, it's about time to start. The hysterical digital guru has almost 1,000,000 followers on Twitter, almost 3,000,000 on Instagram, nearly 7,000,000 on Facebook, and almost 10 million on Vine. Didn't hear that? Almost TEN million followers!
So,yeah -- if this is your first introduction to the comedian, you're one of few.
But it's not too late!
Lepore attended this past weekend's South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, where the editors at AOL.com were able to chat with him about his fame, his future and all the fun he has doing what he does. Check out what he had to say below!
So to get kicked off -- what made you choose the group that you're appearing with this weekend?
We all work very closely together, and they're the exact people I would want to have highlighted on a panel, so we're all friends, we all work together.
It seems like they all bring something different to the table!
Yeah, absolutely, which is very key for what we're doing.
Yeah! Not everyone's the same, it's not all the same thing, so that's really different and cool! So, obviously you're huge on Vine, we know this, but when did you first realize that social media would be a big part of your career?
I was just couch surfing in LA, I grew up in New York and then I decided to move and I was trying to get a job doing graphic design out there, and I was creating Vines for fun. Most of it was just me and my dog, and I contribute most of my initial success to his cuteness! So, thank you Buster Beans! But then I started to become more confident in my comedy, and that's when I started getting all of these followers, and brands started knocking on my door. And I was like, well, I guess I'm not going to do graphic design anymore! Which was a blessing in disguise, honestly. I feel extremely blessed to be doing this.
That's really cool! Do you have a favorite social media network personally, not for doing what you do professionally?
Well...Vine is kind of going down the tubes, unfortunately, which, you know, it's where I got my start. I can't ever really knock it. I've got a Vine tattoo, actually. That was for my first million followers. Facebook has been amazing, and I just started focusing on it in mid-October, and I already have 6 million followers. So I am going to take the following I've built on Vine in 3 years, and pass that in less than a year. So it's just a really amazing platform and I'm having a lot of fun with it.
That's so great. So, you mentioned you were working on graphic design, but do you have some big passions outside of social media? If so, what are those?
Actually, I'm starting another band. Before I did social media, I was in heavy metal bands, which is pretty much the opposite of my personality. I'm a happy-go-lucky guy, and that's all yelling and screaming and stuff, but I feel like now that I've become popular on the Internet, a lot of people don't know me for that, so I think it'd be fun to surprise people. So I'm excited to do something weird and different like that.
Totally! What's your favorite band right now?
Oh, shoot, I don't know! There are too many. I've been listening to a lot of country lately, because I want to do something with country music in one of my videos. I feel like not many people do that.
I totally agree. So that's cool -- you're doing a lot of music stuff! It's on the horizon with the other stuff your'e working on.
Yeah, it always has been. Very excited.
So, obviously you're super successful. What do you think are the keys to making it on social media?
I get together with all of the guys and I feel like I'm the dad almost and I'm lecturing them -- but in a good way. I want them to all succeed, to all have the same success that I have and I think the point for all filmmakers, especially if you want to have a presence online, is to just get to the point. Don't drag on, because when people are on their phones and on the Internet, they want to be instantly entertained. That's why we blew up on Vine, because it was 6 seconds at a time. But now, we've got a platform where we can do longer stuff, but you still have got to get to the point. I've seen people send me really high-production stuff that was the same type of topics and stuff that I talk about, but it was 3 minutes long and just went on and on. Even when you see movies -- if people fall asleep in the theater, they're not going to tell their friends to go see it! So that's how I feel. I'm actually working on a project right now -- I got funding for a TV pilot. I'm not going to say what it is or what it's about yet because I want it to be a secret, but I'll be releasing the pilot on the Internet. So I'm very excited for that.
That's so awesome, congratulations! So even just more production, bigger! That's so great. So, I feel like lots of people think that because a Vine is 6 seconds to watch, it takes 6 seconds to make. What's the average length of time it takes for you to put one together, and what's the longest you've ever spent doing one?
I think the longest I ever spent on a Vine was 6 hours.
Yeah, and that was when you had to shoot all your stuff in the app, and you couldn't edit it. I couldn't imagine a more stressed out time in my life -- we couldn't edit. Marcus Johns and I figured out a back door route to plug the app into the computer and edit it and post stuff. I just did it so I could post stuff that I already filmed on there, but some people would use it to edit content and put special effects and blow people away. Vine was almost like an art form -- but I don't want to spend 6 hours in a field somewhere in Los Angeles where its 100 degrees filming some silly thing. I don't want to put my dog through that. He just wants to sleep! But when it turned into editing, it would usually take about 20 minutes. I try to shoot my Facebook videos at the same speed. I like to just get everything organized, I like to plan everything out. If people say they want to shoot a video, I like to sit down first and talk about it before we go out and break out the cameras. I don't want to be standing around and wondering what we're doing.
That's good insight, because I feel like people really don't know how much goes into it!
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