Initially this list was going to focus on filmmakers, but there is such a diversification of talent on YouTube, we thought it would be much more interesting to really nail down specific categories. It’s easy to just rail off a list of good, interesting filmmakers like Corridor Digital or Wong Fu … it takes more gravitas to nail down one winner in five different categories. Sure, we’re going to isolate some personalities and bruise some egos, but anything worth doing is worth doing right. So without further adieu, here are five YouTubers NMR thinks are destined to win Oscars:
5. Best Score: AVByte
This is a slam dunk for me. These brothers behind the hipster Disney princess video and a grip of other YouTube eye candy have such a knack for music-making, I don’t even think we’ll have to wait very long for this one to happen. Someone important who reads NMR: recruit these guys to score something with Meryl Streep and that “I drank your milkshake” guy, stat!
4. Best Actress: Hannah Minx
Though these go in descending order, this was actually the last category to get filled in. There are a glut of what I would consider phenomenally talented actresses working in the YouTube medium right now. As I state below, this was by far the hardest choice (and most controversial one) I had to make because there were A TON of women that I considered. I just sat here for half the night watching video after video of talented female performers wondering how could a list this meaningless and arbitrary be this difficult. I’m not saying this is the right answer, but at the end of the day, I had to go with my gut: Hannah Minx. That girl is talented. Don’t rule her out because she has large breasts — how small-minded and bigoted of you. Time will tell.
3. Best Actor: AlphaCat
This one was a toughie: I had one entirely different performer picked out and written up, and then I went, “Holy shit! What about AlphaCat?!” And I’d already cycled through several other YouTubers who I could very easily see picking up the little gold man. But AlphaCat’s turn in the feature-length “Along the Roadside” make him the undeniable top cat in this field. To be fair, I can see several YouTubers nominated in this category, but it’s AlphaCat’s award to lose.
2. Best Director: Wren the Reaper
While acting isn’t his strongest suit, Wren Weichman has all the behind the camera skills to make some awesome stories come to life. He’s got a young Peter Jackson thing going on. I fully expect this to be a controversial choice — possibly the second most controversial after the Best Actress call. And while plenty of people might have thought I was going in another, more obvious direction, check out the magic of Wren’s year-in-the-making Harry Potter video: “The OMEn Chronicles.” Afterwards, I think even He-who-must-not-be-named would agree: this guy’s a major talent waiting to pop.
1. Best Screenplay: Bernie Su
This one gets top billing because as a writer, the Best Screenplay category is the one closest to my heart. I value it even more than Best Picture — especially since “Network” got jobbed by “Rocky” in 1976 (Paddy Chayefsky rightly still won screenwriter though!). And as far as I’ve seen, for smart storytelling with interesting characterizations, no one in YouTubeland does it better than Bernie. Need reference? Check out “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries,” his modernized take on “Pride & Prejudice.” It’s a prime example of loads of good storytelling on a threadbare budget. So what if Jane Austen originally told the source material — that’s why they have a category for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Here’s more Oscars: