Ryan Vallejo is just your average guy — of average height he wants you to know! — with a knack for making people laugh on his YouTube channel, “WTFfilmFTW.” After helping friends make videos for their channels back in 2008, Ryan became fascinated by the entire creative process of shooting and editing, and decided to start his own channel. Now five years and 140 videos later, Ryan uploads a video every Monday, in which he performs all things comedy vlogs, sketches and parodies. He is best known for his parody video of LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” which hit over 26 million views. But my favorite of Vallejo’s videos is, without a doubt, his “Justin Bieber Boyfriend – (Music Video) Parody,” in which our leading man sings not of his lady love, but, rather, of a churro. A man after my own heart. With a comical style that resembles that of “Daily Grace,” Ryan charms his audience with his awkward — yet lovable — personality and creative videos that poke fun at the latest pop culture trends.
Who is your biggest inspiration on YouTube? Who would be your dream collaboration?
Ryan Vallejo: My biggest inspiration on YouTube is definitely JacksFilms. I’ve been watching him since I found his Snuggie parody, which is probably the funniest video ever on YouTube. I’ve seen where he has come since then and has really inspired me with what I would be able to do with YouTube. He is also the funniest guy on YouTube, I think, and working with him would be amazing!
In a lot of your videos you come off as a loveable, yet slightly awkward, person. Is your on camera personality at all exaggerated?
Haha, well my on camera personality is me, but, yeah, a really hyper/exaggerated me. My awkwardness is definitely part of my humor as well (plus I just am a little awkward). I love putting awkward things in my videos and making things funny off of that.
Most embarrassing experience in high school.
It seemed like in high school, every day was an embarrassment. I think just about every day I did little things that would embarrass me for like 10 minutes. I can’t think of any specific time though!
What is someone who makes you laugh incredibly hard? Favorite memory of this person.
One of my friends I’ve known since the beginning of junior high, Parker. We had the same bus stop, and we would always mess with the bus driver that took himself too seriously. After we got home from school, we would just spend the day at each other’s houses playing video games. He also understood every one of my jokes, which is very rare for someone to do!
If you could live in any city during any time period, where and when would you pick?
I think living in any California city in, like, the 50s would be pretty cool. Being in high school then, like, from those tv shows seems like a fun time! I could be part of a social clique or be a greaser or something. I would miss the internet though.
Were you nervous putting up your first videos? Do you still ever get nervous to put out content and have any advice about this for new creators?
I was actually really excited when I first started to upload videos. The only thing I was nervous about was people I knew finding them, because I knew that they wouldn’t really “get” why I did it. I’m not nervous at all when I put out videos, just very hopeful that people will continue to enjoy my videos! Some advice I have for new creators is don’t worry about having the best equipment or best idea, just start making videos. You’ll find your voice and style after you start making them.
Describe your dream date.
The only requirement I have for my dream date is my dream girl. Which is my girlfriend. SO I WIN!
When you’re not filming for YouTube, what do you spend your time doing?
When I’m not filming, I’m usually editing or writing for a video, or uploading, or annotation, or writing descriptions, or thinking of ideas, or watching videos, or finding out which type of video I want to do, or wonder(ing) about my future on YouTube. Hah, that might not have been a typical answer, but I spend as much time as I can making videos or thinking of ideas or anything like that. But when I’m not doing that, I’m playing video games!
What is something people probably couldn’t guess about you from watching your videos?’
Well, sometimes when people see me for the first time in real life, and they know me from my YouTube, they say I’m quieter or shorter than they expected. The quiet part is true, because I’m not really myself from my videos ALL the time. But the short part, come on, I’m an average height!
What have you learned from your time on YouTube? In the short time in Next Up creator boot camp, what is the biggest thing you’ve taken away from the experience?
I’ve learned that people really like to connect with someone online. They like to see their life and know a lot about them and basically be their friend, so it’s important to respond to them and do other things to show them you’re a real person. The biggest thing I’ve taken away from NextUp is that there are many other people like me on YouTube. I don’t spend a lot of time around other YouTubers, and when I do, it’s really refreshing seeing that everyone goes through the same thing as me!
About the piece:
Out of YouTube’s thousands of creator channels, 30 promising creators are picked every season to participate in the YouTube NextUp Creator program — a sort of Hogwarts Academy for the very best of the YouTube best. They spend a week training at the YouTube Creator Space in Los Angeles, attending seminars, learning advanced filming techniques and interacting with some of the YouTube greats. In short, it’s a pretty cool honor. Since YouTube thinks they’re worthy, NMR thinks you should know about them.
So we’re featuring the Winter 2013 class of Nextup participants — 2 a day for the next 15 days. Learn about these fresh faces, love their content and then subscribe to their channels, because these are the next generation of YouTube innovators.