Taylor McNelis, a videographer, has big plans for his YouTube shorts.
McNelis, a junior marketing major from Colorado Springs, Colo., started recording, editing and publishing videos during the summer before his sophomore year of high school.
McNelis started the channel after his family moved back to Colorado Springs and he did not know anybody there. McNelis said that the channel was ultimately created “out of boredom,” but it has remained active since then, with the latest video having been uploaded about a week ago.
“Some videos I think of randomly throughout the day,” said McNelis. “Some are based off of things I actually did. They all come from conversations I’ve had with friends.”
The channel, Wild Lion Productions, got its name from a game of “Guitar Hero,” but has grown from its humble beginnings. The most popular video is titled “Great Resource Center War,” gartering over 127,000 views currently.
The “Great Resource Center War”, a battle between two teachers over use of the library, was filmed during McNelis’s high school career, but more recent videos have gained popularity as well.
One of McNelis’s favorite videos does not appear on his channel. Published in 2012, McNelis was paid to film and edit the music video for a song titled “Luke Warm Love” by Denver rapper Low Viscosity.
With over 143,000 views, this is McNelis’s most popular YouTube work. Low Viscosity told McNelis in a YouTube comment on the video, “We loved working with you and plan to do more!”
During the Harlem Shake fad last February, McNelis filmed four videos of the dance, all of which were filmed on the Troy campus. Locations include: Patterson Hall, the Alumni Hall laundry room, the Trojan Center and a rugby edition filmed on the band practice field.
“Myself and James Travis organized the one shot at Patterson. We just said, ‘let’s do it,’” said McNelis. “I had all of them uploaded within an hour after filming.”
“I just put it on Twitter and it went viral from there,” said James Travis, a senior communications major from Sheveport, La.
While there were many students ready to volunteer in the Harlem Shake videos, that is not always the case for some of McNelis’s more original works.
“I would say the hardest part of shooting videos is to find people that want to put the time and effort into it,” said McNelis. “It can take two and a half hours to shoot a one minute video.” With most of his videos ranging between two and four minutes, McNelis acknowledges that it is a large time commitment.
McNelis says that he would like to take classes and work on improving his videography skills. As a self-taught paraprofessional, McNelis said that he wants to get better at writing scripts and dialogue.
Although this hobby began out of boredom, McNelis said he hopes this venture can turn into much more.
“After getting paid for the music video, I began to take this more seriously. I want to start my own film business or work for a bigger company making commercials.”
Within the last year McNelis has begun getting paid for his YouTube videos.
“I get paid through ad clicks,” said McNelis.
While two dollars for every 1,000 views may not seem like much, it can add up on a channel with over 205,000 total views. There is a catch, though.
“I’m not really making any money because of copyrights,” says McNelis.
He was referring to songs that have been added to his videos. He made no profit on any of his Harlem Shake videos for adding the song to them.
McNelis is working hard to maximize his profit. “I’m hoping to get a lot more videos out,” he said. One of his goals is for a 10 to 15 minute short horror film, complete with actors and a script.
McNelis said that he is open to collaboration among actors, and other volunteers who might be interested in appearing in future videos.