BEST of YOUTUBE 2017

You might think that because I spend my professional time creating and producing television, I would want a break from video in my down-time. When I’m not making TV, I’m watching it. And I increasingly watch online-exclusive content. Video production gets better every day, thanks to advances in technology. Creators get better with every video upload (practice!) Great video is inspiring to me! When I watch, I learn, and believe me… I’ve done a lot of both.

This my friends, is the Best of YouTube 2017:


ROBERT STROK

SKIP TO: All of the short videos < 02:00 min.
I want to see high-quality, artistically shot video, with cool edits and great music, which are features that ALL of my favorites have. I’m not a fan of talking to the camera you’re holding. Sometimes the selfie vlog has good info, but that is not what I’m here for.
^ WHY – Composition, editing, etc. PLUS, I love the skateboard shots. Rob uses them a lot…

^ WHY – CREATIVE… Rob was just on a random trip in Hawaii, caught some amazing videos of kids being awesome and…here you go.

^ WHY – COLLABORATION is king! I love when my favorites get together and create content this amazing!

^ WHY
– STELLAR COMPOSITION, editing & music pairing
– Personal story VO about his decision to quit school weaved into the video 


KOLD

Sam Kolder is an excellent videographer who actually tours with The Chainsmokers and shoots video at their shows. He doesn’t post a lot, but what he does put up is super high quality.

 ^ WHY – The Chainsmokers!

SKIP TO: All of the short videos < 03:00 min.

>YouTube commercial – This one is cool because while this video is certainly sponsored by and created because YouTube requested it, the content is impeccable…as usual. 


SAWYERHARTMAN

Sawyer and his adorable girlfriend Angelique (who also has a channel!) just finished a year of daily vlog posting. While not every one of those videos was my favorite, it is obvious that that much content creation MADE Sawyer really good at what he does.

SKIP TO: any Thru My Eyes videos – Amazing music, shot composition, editing and VO (that’s Voice Over for you non-industry kids) 

SKIP TO: Chapter Videos | Currently two installments – amazing editing and footage. Special bonus on these? a great story, written and VO’d by Sawyer.

  


MIMI IKONN

This was my first YouTube love! Her channel has changed quite a bit since having a baby almost a year ago. If you’re a momma, about to be, or thinking about it, I’m sure you will be obsessed Mimi’s recent videos, many of which feature her and hubby Alex’s new life with baby, Alexa Love. For me, it’s all about travel!

SKIP TO: Best Of 2015 – This one was personally inspirational to me because it came out right before I went on my first big trip. **”Best of” videos are usually a really good bet, since they are the creator’s BEST.
 ^ WHY – Looking more closely, I mostly enjoy her intros and interstitial content. Again, I’m not a huge fan of talking to the camera. Sometimes it’s great information but usually I just skip the talking to the camera bits if they’re more than 20 seconds (in all videos.) ^ WHY – 
Obsessed with Mimi’s music selection. It’s always something I’ve never heard that is both exciting and chill at the same time.


ANGELIQUE COOPER

NEW FAVORITE! Found her because of her BF Saywer, and in a short time she is really developing her style as a video creator. She has workout videos, a lookbook all of the usual, but this one really caught my attention:

Skip to: “My Trip of a Lifetime”
^ WHY – She explains in an earnest and poetic way what trip meant to her. The extra work that it took for her to write the copy, read the VO, and edit all of this footage together really brings this one up in the rankings.


LOOKBOOKS

There are thousands of gorgeous girls on YouTube with videos about what their outfits are and how #blessed they feel. Don’t get me wrong, I love a well-shot lookbook, but I can only watch so many (like 3) before I get bored…

Mimi is the queen of the Lookbook:

^ WHY – Mimi goes through a good variety of outfits for a specific occasion or season. Always paired with great music, clean shots and fun edits. 


What are your favorites? >>>

Mesa Verde – Budget Camping Trip

We took a weekend and drove to Mesa Verde National Park, one of thirteen National Parks in the state of Colorado. Mesa Verde is in the southeastern most corner of the state and from the mesas you can see into three other states — Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. The drive from Denver is about 6-7 hours and you can cut through the mountains and zig-zag your way down or you can go down through interstate 25 and then all the way over. We went one way there and the other on the way back. Make sure that you leave early enough to get all your driving done in the daylight.  There is so much wildlife in that part of the state and driving in the dark with low visibility can be dangerous. The posted speed limits are actually slower at night because of the large number of (mostly) deer in the area that will cross the street.

Here is the cost breakdown of an average weekend (2 night) camping trip to Mesa Verde!

Go and then leave a comment for me letting me know how your trip was!

TOTAL COST (2 people)
$160

GAS — $80
I have a pretty fuel efficient car that gets 30 miles to the gallon on the highway so we filled up a total of 4 times for the entire trip and with the great price of gas right now, was only about $20 a fill up. Remember that Mesa Verde National Park is VERY Large. Once you get to the entrance of the park you still have about 20 miles to go to get back into the depths of the park where the cave dwellings, tours, museum and information centers are. The campsite is much closer to the front of the park and they have full bathroom and shower facilities as well as a convenience store that is open during the summer season. We went pre-season so things were still pretty quiet and not much was open yet.

LODGING — $40
Reserving a camping spot is $20 a night and we stayed for two nights. You get a plot, a fire pit, wifi and the use of a bathroom for the money. There are so many spots (over 300) so the rangers told us that they never run out and you don’t need to reserve your plot ahead of time. They’re first come first serve.

FOOD — $30
This greatly depends on what you like to eat of course. We got a 24 pack of hot dogs, marshmallows, some dried soup packets, cereal, instant coffee and candy.

PARK ENTRY — $20
The Park entry fees vary greatly depending on when you are going and what kind of vehicle you have. Here is the link to the National Park Service website will the full details: https://www.nps.gov/meve/planyourvisit/basicinfo.htm

We actually didn’t pay to enter because we went during National Parks week when the entry fee was waived.

GUIDED TOUR — $8
As you can see in the video we did the Balcony House tour. The only way you can go into the Balcony House is by paying $4 a person to go on the guided tour with a Park Ranger. You must climb a 30 foot ladder to get into the dwelling and then once your through you have to crawl through a small 18 inch hole and then climb up two more ladders and a treacherous stone foot path to get out. It isn’t too difficult and tourists young and old seem to get through the tour just fine. https://www.nps.gov/meve/planyourvisit/guided_activities.htm
The tours fill up so make sure you book in advance!

We also did the self-guided tour, which is free. Here is the link to more info about that: https://www.nps.gov/meve/planyourvisit/self_guided_activities.htm

 

Music:

Kacey Musgraves – Die Fun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61Qiay4EctU
Alina Baraz & Galimatias – Fantasy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiqtgWWL6u8
Hippie Sabatoge – Able To See Me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmfEyJpwVz8
Rain Man – Bring Back the Summer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivLdLtOtOzU