From September 28 – October 1, Buffer Festival 2017 celebrated it’s 5th Annual YouTube creators event in Toronto, ON.
On the Opening day of Buffer Festival, we joined the industry people and creators for breakfast, a meet-and-greet, and the launch event starting with behind the scenes conversations with top professionals in the digital marketplace. The first panel was hosted by best selling author and TV host Amber Mac at CBC‘s Glen Gould Studio.
Nina Pikula, Executive Producer of Buffer Festival, set the tone for what’s to come by expressing: “We want to celebrate all of you who follow your dreams with no regrets, and we hope that today will give you the encouragement, skills, and passion to continue telling stories that resonate with the masses.”
Storytelling and Authenticity was a theme that really stuck in mind in discussion. The relationship between creators and brands and encouraging how to build a community and business were also keys. David Beeb, an Emmy Award-winning brand storyteller, had an impactful speech when discussing the topic saying “we have to provide value as storytellers first.”
In closing, House of Cards Executive Producer Dana Brunetti’s mission was to “get great content to a bigger audience” and added that “it’s important to encourage new talent, undiscovered talent.”
Interviews with some of the CREATORS
For a noob at interviewing YouTubers with such a huge following, I would have to say it was one hell of an experience getting to pick their brains and getting to know a little more about them.
My first interview was with Tessa Netting.
What can I say? I loved her energy; she lit the room. During our chat, I learned she is a huge Harry Potter fan. She’s got a series on Facebook called “Me Watching.” She even told us that she went to The Lockhart Cocktail Bar here in Toronto, which fits the Harry Potter theme. We wrapped our interview with a fun clapping game called Slide. It took us about three tries to get it started right, but we all finished with a good laugh.
For the second interview, I had the pleasure of meeting Timothy DeLaGhetto, who is an “OG YouTuber” for more than ten years. When we greeted each other, I congratulated him on being recently engaged to his fiancé who happens to be from Toronto. He told us that he proposed at the very same place they met and had their first kiss at Ryerson University a couple of months ago in front her family and friends. Tim shared with us his evolution in his career in YouTube. YouTube has opened a lot of doors for him including being on MTV’s Wild’n Out and other acting roles in Hollywood. At the end of the interview, being the dork I am, I requested him to bust a flow off the dome while I “beatboxed” for him. We had a moment.
This last interview was a packed one for sure. I did not have just one, not two, but a whole team of creators that form a dynamic group who make Shipwrecked Comedy. The Case of the Gilded Lily, debuting at Buffer Festival, was a Kickstarter project that surpassed its funding goal of $25,000 to reaching $43,032. They say its a film noir piece, filled with comedy, and a bit of Who Framed Roger Rabbit feel. We had the pleasure of watching it, and we recommend you watch it.
SCREENINGS at Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres
In anticipation, building up to Buffer Festival’s first award show were lineups of screenings premiering the creators’ shorts in different categories such as Women of YouTube, Travel and Adventure, Comedy, Music, Bloggers, LGBTQ+, 8 episodes of PrankMe, talk with special guest Casey Neistat Presented by SAMSUNG Canada, and finally closing with Short Films
GALA AWARD RED CARPET at Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres
Interviewing creators was quite a treat at the red carpet. Getting a few words of inspiration, asking about their experiences at the event, sometimes even fangirling at their presence, we all had a good time. One highlight was with Leslie Wai; I asked him what his favorite go-to Karaoke song and we ended up singing a bit of Backstreet Boys’ “I Want it That Way,” while a common number of creators liked Spice Girls. Another awesome moment was when we ended each interview with hand hugs.
GALA AWARD SHOW WINNERS
– Excellence in Cinematography – presented by William F. White
THE VEGABROTHERS for East of Eden
– Excellence in Editing
OLLIE RITCHIE for A Part of You
– Excellence in Diversity – presented by CBC
ARI FRITZ for Mama wears Timbs
– Excellence in Comedy – presented by Fasken
ADRIEN BLISS for A Documentary by Adrien Bliss
– Excellence in Sound
CIARAN O’BRIEN for Orla Gartland – Inevitable (Live)
– Excellence in Storytelling – presented by The Rec Room
HAZEL HAYES for PrankMe (original production by Fullscreen)
– Excellence in Inspiration – presented by YouTube
HANTEL HOUSTON for Lose Some Weight
– Excellence in Production – presented by Adobe
ANDREW HUANG for Good Run
– Excellence in Cultural Experience – presented by Air Canada
MELANIE MURPHY for Choice
– Excellence in Writing – presented by Wattpad (We had a tie)
TIM HAUTEKIET for We’ve All Been There
DOM FERA for Content
(photos by genesis rivas)
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